Here is the next set of 2008 Scream Awards interviews for the red carpet. I was fortunate enough to talk to Julie Benz (Dexter, Saw V, Angel & Buffy), Doug Jones (the Hellboy films, Pan’s Labyrinth, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer), and Jared Padalecki (Supernatural, Friday the 13th). Behold their glory!
How do you pick your next project?
Um, it’s the role usually. If I can exercise different muscles than maybe what I play on a daily basis, like on Dexter. If it’s a character where there’s maybe an added element of doing an accent or going on location, like the jungle, that’s very exciting. It’s “What is going to challenge me in the role, what am I going to learn from it as an actor?”
What was it about Saw V that attracted you?
The Saw movies really freak me out, they really scare me on a deep level. So for me the challenge was to see if I could conquer that fear and see if I could be in the movie. And I [found] out that it was very difficult. I had nightmares filming it, I almost threw up on set one day because I got so grossed out…it’s a terrifying movie because it plays with your mind and being in it is just as terrifying as watching it. I play this great character, she’s a high powered real estate developer, she’s pretty ruthless. I thought of her as this thoroughbred racehorse, a finely tuned machine and very unlike Rita on Dexter. Where Rita is soft, this woman is very tough. Rita’s about family, this woman is about work and money so it was a complete opposite for me to play.
And also it’s a complete dichotomy to Darla on Angel – she would torture people and now you’re in the position of being tortured.
So I’d imagine you’d probably want to do something a little lighter next.
(laughs) I always joke around that I’d like to be in a romantic comedy set in New York City playing a fashion designer and be able to keep my wardrobe.
That’s the most important part.
Well they always offer me my wardrobe, like at the end of Saw V they offered and it’s covered in blood and I don’t want it. In Rambo they offered me the wardrobe and it’s covered in dirt and it’s just like, no thank you. But I have so much fun playing these very interesting characters in genre related movies and television. It’s very cool.
You have been involved in a lot of projects that make nerds like me very happy to meet you.
Oh thank you, you’re so sweet.
You play a lot of parts that involve a lot of prosthetics and a lot of time in the makeup chair. Is it still difficult or has it gotten to be old hat by now, a Zen sort of thing?
Well, I’m used to it but it never gets easy, especially the older I get. It’s like okay, here we go again with the fumes and the smell of the glue and the hot and the sticky and the bleh. But it’s a part of it and if I say yes to a fantasy character that doesn’t look exactly human, I’m saying yes to a lot of makeup and I know that going in. It’s a part of the gig. And when I see the finished project and I see how beautiful it looks on film, it’s like, “Now that was worth it.” Abe Sapien was the most difficult makeup ever. Like five hours every day, 108 days in makeup on Hellboy II. That was the most grueling schedule I’d ever kept but at the end of the day we made a really good movie and [Abe] is gorgeous. I love him. I really love Abe.
The second movie was a little different since you got to actually provide Abe’s voice. Did that change how you approached the part from the first movie?
I gave the same performance both times, I was Abe Sapien both times. It’s just something they did in post production in the first movie that I had nothing to do with it. I didn’t go in there any different…[perhaps] with more confidence the second time knowing they were going to keep [my voice], that helps a lot.
What do you have coming up next?
I’m in Quarintine right now, it’s in theaters everywhere. I just finished yesterday a movie called Angel of Death that will be coming out on Sony’s website Crackle.com and then on DVD after that. Hellboy II: The Golden Army comes out on DVD Nov. 11th with lots of bonus features that’ll make you sweat. And my independent movie My Name Is Jerry comes out sometime next year.
No makeup in that one?
No makeup in that one. I’m playing Jerry, a white guy going through a midlife crisis so yeah [no prosthetics or anything].
Now that we’re a couple episodes into this season of Supernatural, I can see why you guys were so excited at Comic Con. Do you feel like you’re running around an amusement park everyday since there’s so much cool stuff going on?
For sure, for sure. We actually did something really cool two nights ago. [Jensen Ackles] and I did the biggest stunt we’ve ever done – they built on [a soundstage] a two-story church and we were shooting this scene on the second floor and there were these big bay windows [filled with] candy glass. Jensen and I actually ran and jumped through the windows and smashed them and landed on a pad and it was like a twelve-foot drop. So before [it’s] like your heart’s beating and you’re going, “I’m cool…no, no, no, I’m not scared. Whatever.” And then it’s time to do it. [Right] before, Jensen and I just looked at each other and we were like, [motions bumping fists] “Kick ass” and we went.
The Fist Bump of Empowerment?
Yeah, exactly. I don’t think if Jensen wasn’t there I’d have been as brave, but since he was there I was like, “Naw, I ain’t scared, I ain’t scared. Are you scared, Jensen? I’m not.”
How different is it to transfer from Sam Winchester who knows what’s going on with supernatural happenings to Friday the 13th where you’re basically running around in the dark?
It was really strange. Also just the idea of going from a TV show to a movie, the nature of the beast. I mean the dates were I shot April 29th in Vancouver, Canada [on] Supernatural and April 30th in Austin, TX for a whole new character, a whole new show. I hadn’t even really met the cast yet, which is okay because my character didn’t really know the cast so I was almost the outsider of the movie. But it was exciting, it’s very different. Every character’s different, you try to make it real and luckily for Sam, he knows what’s going on but there are times when he doesn’t know so you just make it true to the situation.
So [Supernatural creator Eric] Kripke’s already killed you both, and your dad who’s over there somewhere [Jeffrey Dean Morgan is being interviewed nearby], and it’s already seeming like Sam and Dean are going to be fighting each other by the end of the season…
I hope so. I’ve been fighting for that for awhile. I think it’s such an exciting dynamic. Going back to Season 1, we did an episode called “Skin” where [Dean] was a shapeshifter and, even though it wasn’t actually him, the dynamic of brother vs. brother and good vs. evil and you’re fighting what you believe to be right but it’s your brother so you’re not gonna do…it was really exciting. Of all four seasons, I still go back and talk about how fun it was to shoot that and how fun it was to watch.
You and Jensen are really close so is it that much harder to do those scenes where basically you have to watch Dean get torn apart and whatnot?
Yeah, we did that yesterday. He sort of talks about his time in Hell and he knocked it out of the park. He did an amazing job, he’s a fantastic actor and always impresses me. Just watching him do it – it was his coverage I didn’t even have a camera on me – I was just watching him and I started to like, tears were rolling down my cheek and I was going, “[fake sniffles and eye wiping] Uh…it’s dusty…something flew in my eye.”
“There are onions behind me.”
“Yeah, I had onions for lunch.” [fake sniffles]