Back when we both had spare time, James Gunn and I use to catch up for a blab rather often. But that was then and this is now and as such, things have changed – particularly for one of us, who is now a rather well heeled and successful member of the film industry (The other, well he’s still wiping snotty noses and pouring pasta onto pink Princess plates). Always enjoyed talking to Gunn though, particularly about his work with Lloyd over at Troma, and this week we were reunited. For the sake of the interview, Gunn will be referred to as ‘Bo’ and I will be going by ‘Hope’.
So man, how have you been going since “Scooby Doo” and its sequel (Gunn wrote both)? They still haunting you?
Good. It’s hard to forget about the Scooby movies, as they still are largely responsible for paying my mortgage every month. That said, I haven’t seen them in years.
I know my girlfriend has never seen either one of them. They very rarely come up in interviews like this, as people seem to focus more on Slither and Dawn of the Dead.
Well I’m not. Deal with it [Laughs] But you did take something from ”Scooby Doo” – Linda Cardellini. She’s been in a couple of your films since, right?
Linda Cardellini is one of my three or four best friends in the entire world, and has been since the first night we met on the set of Scooby. We shot Super in Shreveport, Louisiana. Linda was flying in to visit with me and I was like, “Well, if you’re coming, why don’t you play this little part?” She was like “Sure.”
It was a little part, but she was great. And speaking of little, was it tough doing “Super” on such a low budget?
We were a very low budget film, made for just a couple million dollars. Because of that, we had to shoot incredibly quickly. On a normal film you do between 12 and 20 camera setups a day. On Super we did between 45 and 54 camera setups every single day. It was harrowing and both physically and mentally draining. The entire cast and I worked for scale and had none of the luxuries that talent normally has on a movie set. But we were making a very dark, edgy film – a film in the genre of “anti-genre” – and we knew it wasn’t a traditionally commercial venture. The movie had to be told this way.
Glad it worked out. And has working on the film sparked an interest in doing a superhero film down the line?
Not really. It sparked an interest in doing action movies, because I always love shooting action more than anything.
You can tell… some of the action scenes in ”Dawn of the Dead” are brilliant and inspired.
Shooting comedy and drama – Super has a lot of both – is harder for me.
So “Super” is out; what else are you up to?
I’m part of a Farrelly Brothers movie coming out, Movie 43, which is a bunch of shorts by comedy directors connected by a theme. It has everyone from Hugh Jackman to Kate Winslet to Halle Berry in it. My segment stars Elizabeth Banks, Josh Duhamel, and an animated creature. It’s completely over the top. I also have a video game coming out sometime in summer or end of summer. That was a lot of fun as well. And I’m finishing a new script.
We of course share the same birthday . And I believe our star sign says something about us being emotional, sensitive people… how do you handle reviews and criticism?
I DON’T take them. I don’t read reviews at all, good or bad. Part of this is because I don’t like being criticized, but most of it is because when you’re promoting your film you’re literally talking about yourself ten hours a day for days and days at a time. I couldn’t be more sick of myself at this point, or at least the part of myself that has to do with Super. So I want to take any free minutes I have to do something that has nothing to do with me or the movie – talk with a friend, play a video game, whatever. I also, sadly, will probably never read this interview [Laughs], although I’m fairly certain it is the greatest one ever.
You know it.
“Super” is now showing