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Interview : Jared Padalecki

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“Supernatural” stud Jared Padalecki is again fighting off monsters – or rather, one particular monster – in the Michael Bay-produced remake of “Friday the 13th”. Ashley Hillard caught up with the actor in Los Angeles.

Question: How are you doing?  It’s good to see you, good work.

Thanks.  How is it, I haven’t seen it yet?

Question: Oh it’s very good.

Is it?

Question It’s very well made, very good.  The acting’s excellent, it’s just excellent.

Good, good.

Question: And it’s not my type but hey, it’s a no-no.

Really?  Awesome.

Question: Of films, no.

Yes, yes, right.

Question: But, you know, it was great.

Alright, fine.

Question: You and Jensen have dueling slasher movies now.

I know, yes.  When we found out that we were coming out on February 13th and his movie’s obviously called, thank you, My Bloody Valentine, we were like oh man, I hope we don’t go up against each other.  Because we’re buddies and not like it could really affect anything but it’s like, you know, I don’t even want the stigma.  But luckily his already came out and did tremendously.  Now it’s my turn to, hopefully.

Question: Didn’t you say but mine’s 3D?  Didn’t you say yes, but mine’s 3D or anything?

We actually went and saw it, the opening night we actually bizarrely for one of the rare times of the year, we each had the day off and his girlfriend was in town and Curtis Smith who’s in the movie also was in town.  And so we actually snuck into a theater, put the little glasses on, and we had to think later, we were like, ‘You know what? I bet you the people were like these glasses are amazing.’ So it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun and it’s a real fun movie, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s a lot of fun to go and see it.  I’m like giving him a shameless plug.

Question: As he gives in your case?

I haven’t even seen mine.

Question: Oh really?

Because I’ve been working.  So every time they have a screening it’s like, ‘Oh I have this…’ Everything they have, it’s like, ‘Hey are you coming to the party tonight?’ And it’s like, ‘Well it’s Thursday. I’ll probably be working till 3 a.m. so…,’ in Vancouver.

Question: So how hard is it when Derek is such a doll to really look at him in the mask and really, I know you’re still going to say acting but, and really be scared?  Because after meeting him, I would be scared.

Derek’s an awful man.  Derek is incredible.  I think if it had of been mask-less, like if he just played like here’s a bid dude and like he’s going to kill you, but without the stigma of Jason – that’s the second time I’ve used that word in probably ten years and I’ve used it in the last five minutes twice.  If he hadn’t had the mask and the physicality then I would have been like, ‘Oh Derek, you’re not going to hurt me. You could kill me but you’re too nice,’ you know?  Like I could probably sort of kick him in the shin and he’d be like, ‘Man, leave me alone,’ you know?  But he’s tremendous and from what I’ve seen… I sort of get to cheat and I have lines and I can use my facial expressions and stuff like that, and he just expresses so much with his movement and he’s so capable that it was really easy to get there.  And then plus they call action and you’re looking at Jason and you’re like, ‘Ha-ha I grew up watching you. Let’s fight.’  So that’s really cool.  But it was really comforting to work with him because we had a couple of fight scenes, as you know, and like the one in the barn.  They were just, like I had mud in my eye.  I couldn’t wipe my eyes and so most of the takes, like the second end of the take I’d have sand and stuff, I couldn’t really see anything.  And so I’d like slip and he’d kind of just like pause holding me and put me back up, and I’m 220 pounds and he was just like, ‘I’ve got you,’ like back on my feet.  I was like, ‘Thank you.’  He’s really a cool guy.  But I can’t wait to see his performance.

Question: The original series wasn’t much on character and acting, were you concerned about that?

What?  What do you mean?

Question: Were you surprised that there was so much to do in this one or did you have any doubt before you got the script?

Well I didn’t have, before I got the script, honestly my thought was, ‘Man, I really like Friday the 13th ,’ and I’d seen the Texas Chainsaw Massacre that they had done and I loved it.  We actually watched it before we started shooting House of Wax we watched it and Joel Silver says, ‘Listen, this is kind of what we’re doing. We’re trying to remake a classic and make it new and fun and modern and sexy and scary.’  And we watched it and all of us were like, ‘That was a really good movie.’ That was a really well shot, really scary, really real, the characters were fun, you kind of felt for them and you kind of could something with them – can’t think of the word.

Question: Identify?

Yes, you identify with them.  Yes, yes, you’re like, ‘Oh, I get it,’ you know? They actually had hearts, which is nice because I love sort of just the cheesy horror for the sake of horror, death for the sake of death and, you know, oh fun, crazy, it’s like let’s wait for the next kind of kooky death.  But it’s kind of fun as an actor to go like, ‘Hey, kill me, fine, that’s cool, and make it fun, but like give me something to do.  Give me something to kind of make it real for myself so I’m not just running around oh when’s my turn to die?’  So that was exciting to read the script, and then exciting to sit down with Brad Fuller and everybody and talk about, ‘Hey, we’re going to try and make it real. We’re going to try and plug into the reality.’   It’s so funny because you’re filming a movie about a guy who’s immortal and he’s going to go kill everybody in the woods, but we’d sit down and he’d be like, ‘This doesn’t feel real,’ you know?   And you’re like, ‘Well, no, it doesn’t feel real. This is Jason. It’s not real.’  Sometimes we’d pause for like thirty minutes – like, ‘This is where the audience is watching it and they start to laugh and they get up and leave because it’s so bullshit,’ you know?  And so we’d sit down and fix it and they’re like, ‘Let’s make it real.This wouldn’t happen, none of this would really happen but this really wouldn’t happen.’  And so that was nice to be a part of.

Question: Well you’re from San Antonio, were you familiar with any of the Texas locations that you did work in?

Austin is my favorite city. Austin’s my favorite city.

Question: Were you a tour guide for everybody when they…?

Kind of.  I still was doing Supernatural for the first two weeks of principle photography on Friday the 13th.

Question: Oh boy.

Yes, and so they had been there a while to see it, but some of my best friends live in Austin. A really close friend of mine, Logan, he’s got a boat and we go weight-boarding.  My sister was graduating college there.  I was actually enrolled at UT Austin, Austin was always my favorite city.  I was south of Dallas, my brother and his wife had a kid. I mean it was great. The location was perfect for me.  Like if I didn’t work that summer I would probably have been in Austin hanging out with my friends.

Question: Cool.

So it was like cool. Like, what an amazing opportunity.  Austin’s awesome, for those of you who haven’t had a chance to see it.  I know you’d like it.

Question: You don’t have to just contend with Jason, you also have to contend with doosh bag Travis, a cinematic doosh bag in at the last… seriously.

That’s so funny.

Question: Your scenes are great with them, you know.

Oh cool.

Question: Did you guys improv a little?

A little bit, yes.

Question: Yes?

Yes.  And what’s funny is that, I mean maybe it’s my fault for being jaded by Hollywood but I saw a picture of Travis and I saw like his resume, I hadn’t really seen a lot of his work, and I was like, ‘Oh he’s going to be a doosh. He plays a doosh – he’s going to be a turd.  And then I met him and he was like the coolest, most down to earth guy and he was talking about how he still gets his hair cut at Super Cuts but his agent got mad at him.  He was like, ‘Quit getting your hair cut at Super Cuts!’  Aand he’s like, ‘Why man? It’s five bucks?’  And he was just that guy and like we’d go workout and he was just a total, total rad guy.  And so I learned, you know, I had the pleasure of sort of being humbled many times because as soon as someone was like, ‘Great, he has three names,he’s going to be turd,’  but then he was really cool so it was nice to get along.  And we had fun. After the takes he’d be like, ‘Cool, man. Let’s kind of bond and kind of play with each other.’ Yes, this side of his character, having heard that he’s the biggest doosh bag character in a long time.

Question: Yes, he gets a lot of good audience reaction.

He’s got a good death though, a good death.

He does have a good death, that must be really fun for the audience.

Question: Did you ride it, that was you on the bike, right?

That was me on the bike. That was me on the bike.

Question: Yes, OK, so you ride a lot of cycles or no?

I don’t actually.  I actually, I mean I’ve been on dirt bikes and I’ve ridden motorcycles every now and then like Vespers and stuff like that, but when I found out I was going to be riding in the movie I stopped in Vancouver on Supernatural and I called a stunt guy that’s a buddy of mine. He has like four motorcycles.  I was like, ‘Hey man, like I’m riding a motorcycle in the movie, want to show me some stuff?’  And so he literally brought a bike down to stage and like left it there for me.  He was like, ‘Listen, when you’re not shooting just start it up, ride it around.’ We’d get like an hour or two hours in between set ups or something and a few of the guys on set ride also, they kind of gave me advice.  One of our camera guys, Jose, gave me a book on like advanced motorcycle techniques and stuff like that.

Question: OK.

So I wasn’t doing any of those but the idea, but the whole, you know, they went through the basics and so I had a lot of help. And then I’m sure that they only used the takes where I looked cool because I’m sure sometimes I was like, ‘Ahh-ahh, cut, cut!’

Question: Were you on set watching anybody else’s death scene?

I was there during the…

Question: We can’t say the names though, that was a dumb question because you can’t say.

Yes.  We, well…

Question: I just sort of wanted to know if you’d seen any death scenes.

Yes, and we filmed locationally obviously, so if I was not in a location, like let’s just say I wasn’t in a woodshed, then I would not have seen what happened in a woodshed.  Let’s say however I was in the woods, that if someone happened to die in the woods and I’d been on that day.

Female Interviewer: Sex scenes? Fun?

It is, it is but it’s almost like really cool to watch on screen and kind of really just exhausting to watch in life.  It’s like a sex scene or something. It’s like, ‘Okay, well we can kind of see your breast so kind of lean to the right a little.  Okay, yes, okay.  Now your neck.’  It’s just so calculated it’s almost like, ‘Okay, well if you stab like this, then we’re not going to see the light shining off the blade, so make sure you stab like that.’  And you’re like, ‘Oh,’ and you realize like man, it really takes a lot. It’s not just like, ‘All right, go in and stab, and then go like wow!’  So, you know, and the hand coming down and it has to look dead.  ‘Oh the hand flexed a little bit, we could tell you were, so like really keep the hand…’ You don’t think about that.  It’s a very painstaking process to kill somebody on screen.  And especially for a horror movie. I mean I assume it’s like it’s just like ah, you know, blah, blah, blah, but for a horror movie where it’s about the deaths it takes a long time.

Question: Is there a big season finale cliffhanger coming for Supernatural?

I assume, as soon as we get the note on whether or not we’re picked up for season five, I think they’ll probably decide what they’re doing.  But right now we’re in that sort of limbo of, ‘Well we really like the show. We don’t know if it’s coming back but make it really good for the final five episodes.’  ‘What’s really good, how?  Should we kill everybody, should everybody live, should we introduce somebody new?’

Question But doesn’t doing a cliffhanger kind of give you more leverage, like well we can’t just leave it hanging now?

Kind of, kind of, but I think one of the blessings of the show, for those who haven’t seen it, is that our creator Eric Kripke really hates the normal TV process.  He hates like, ‘Shall we kill everybody on the show?’  it’s like I’ve died, he’s just like, ‘Oh they loved that, let’s kill him.’  Like he doesn’t just go like, ‘Oh what’s going to happen?’  Answer – ‘Oh this is going to happen, but what does that mean?’ He’ll answer questions. He’ll go like, ‘Hey, why don’t we make something happen, kill somebody, you know?’  He don’t just keep on going for the same… He didn’t want it to be a thirty episode, I mean thirty season show.  You know, we’re not making it small though. We’re not making like Bonanza where they could just go for fifty years and be good.  He’s like, ‘Listen, let’s tell a good story. I don’t care about if I’m supposed to cliffhang or not.’  Like, ‘If you’ve been cancelled, you’re all going to die,’ you know?  It’s like let’s put some finality to this.  And so I think we’ll find out in probably the next month, and then we shoot until April.

Question: I’ve heard some really interesting things going on with your character on the show, is there anything you can say about what might be coming up with him?

I think once again it depends on if we go to five or not.  I mean obviously it’s been clear to me that Sam’s going to go darker, so to what end I’m not sure. But whether he’s doing things right now that are not okay with anybody.

Question That would be fun for you?

Real fun, and that’s what I really like.

Question: How fun was it shooting this as the break from doing your series?

It was a lot of fun.  I mean ultimately I think whether you’re doing a romance or a classic piece or a comedy or a drama or a horror or whatever or a TV show, it’s kind of like you get to work and you do your work, you know.  But it was fun for me to do a movie. I much more enjoyed the process of working on a movie where you know your character and you know your arc and it’s not like, ‘Oh I’m going to make this decision about my character,’ and then the next episode you read that what’s actually…  ‘Ah, come on.’  But yes, plus you get to kind of take your time and really, really, instead of shooting eight pages a day you shoot like three and so you get to really explore different options and do different things and really embrace it.  It’s not like, ‘Okay, the clock’s ticking. We’re behind at lunch.’  It’s like, ‘Hey, let’s get it. Let’s get what needs to be done and let’s do it right.’

Question: Say you open the day before Valentine’s Day, do you make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, do you make special plans?

My plans are to hermit that weekend.  I get kind of funny and I think I’ll just kind of stay in my room with blinders on so no one can see me and I can see nobody.

Question: That’s cool to hear too because a lot of people relate to that.  So why do you avoid Valentine’s Day?

Well not even Valentine’s Day, I mean just the fact that the movie’s coming out.  But Valentine’s Day…  I don’t know, I mean… I don’t know about Valentine’s Day.  I think it’s nice to do romantic, nice things all the time, not just like for a day.  It feels contrived, you know?

Question: That’s a good point.  What are you scared of, I have to ask, what are you afraid of in life, what scares you?

What am I scared of?  Bears.

Question: Really?

Bears are scary.

Question Have you met one in the woods?

They can climb trees. They can bite. They can scratch.  I think bears is what I’m scared of.

Question: They’re godless killing machines.

They are godless killing machines, yes.

Question: Yes.

I’ve never used that phrasing but I’ve always thought that.

Question: It’s Steven Colbert.

Is it really?

Question: When you were young and you saw Friday the 13th as probably a kid, were you the one who sort of cheered every time?  Because we were a little, I was a little disconcerted when people cheered when the first person’s head falls off and all these people cheered.  There’s something disconcerting about that.

Yes.

Question: They went yeh, and…

I was immature.  I think from what I can remember in my short movie-going experiences, I think killing’s pretty recent. Like I think it used to be like, ‘Oooh, oooh,’ you know, but now it’s like, ‘Yah!’  Maybe that’s speaking on the generation or something, you know, because I would just go like, ‘Ooh that was cool,’ you know, no out loud cheering.  Maybe this time.

Question: Travis got the biggest cheer.

Yes, good.  He deserves it for dooshbag of the century.

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Author: Ashley Hillard
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