“Paranormal Activity : The Marked Ones” is about to hit DVD and Blu-ray (and is already available on VOD). We speak to the film’s cast, Jorge Diaz, Gabrielle Walsh & Andrew Jacobs ahead of the library bow.
Hey Gabrielle, Jorge and Andrew. ”The Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” Blu-ray and DVD are coming out. It has a lot of scenes in the Blu-ray that didn’t make the theatrical cut. Are there any scenes you shot that you were bummed didn’t make the final cut of the theatrical version that you hope are on the Blu-ray?
Gabrielle: We had this scene where we were having an eating contest and had to eat all of this hot food and Jorge was spitting it out and I was eating chips. I hope that’s in it.
Jorge: And we go and get a reading from a lady but they ended up switching it up. And there’s a whole sequence in a church. We had the wrap party when we finished filming, then three weeks later we get a call saying, ‘We’re keeping the first 35 minutes of the movie but …’ We’re like, ‘What!’
Gabrielle: I loved the church scene. Oh, and yeah there was a scene where I got to shoot a gun that I was upset didn’t make it into the film. It was such a cool moment. It was perfect. I got to swing my hair around and fire the gun and that didn’t make it (laughs).
That’s where Blu-rays are great.
Gabrielle: Yeah, I’m like ‘Please show me that scene!’
I can see it now in this interview. You see it in the movie. You guys have such a great rapport with each other. Was the chemistry an instant thing?
Andrew: We actually became really good friends during the audition process which was pretty long. We’d have lunch together, go and see movies as a group.
Jorge: Andrew and I have totally different energies. In real life he’s more introverted, way more chilled, a genuine guy but a real observer. And I’m like hugging everyone left and right (laughs).
Gabrielle: Jorge knows everybody (laughs). But, we developed a great chemistry together before we even booked the film. We did a couple of screen tests so we got to know everybody.
Jorge: They really took a lot of time mixing and matching the different actors. They saw a bunch of people during the casting process.
Before you were cast were you already fans of the Paranormal Activity franchise?
Gabrielle: Definitely. What I loved about Paranormal Activity films compared to other horror films is that you could never really anticipate the scare.
Jorge: Yeah. There’s a certain energy that happens when you see these movies in a packed theater with people screaming and freaking out. Now I know why so many people want to go on opening weekend.
Andrew: And Jorge is probably the number one person freaking out in the theater (laughs).
Jorge: It’s true (laughs).
How was it acting in a found-footage type of movie compared to a regular film format. Is there a big difference?
Gabrielle: It was interesting. You have to be careful to keep it really real, because it is different to acting with a script where everything is so set and organized. But it was a lot of fun because it was spontaneous and a lot of fun and spur of the moment. Things popped up. It was a collaborative effort and we got to play around.
Jorge: Yeah. I’m holding the camera a lot in the movie so I had to bring an actor’s energy behind the character. I had to keep it real. I’m such a critic when it comes to watching things. I don’t believe a lot of things that I watch. So, adding natural quirks as a person was important. Hopefully it looked organic.
Gabrielle: It was about letting things be. Sometimes you’d want to milk the moment, but then you have to bring it back to make it real.
The movie had a script, but the role was very improv based. As actors, was it hard for you to find that balance?
Andrew: I find it a little bit harder. At times it’s easier because you think ‘OK, cool. I can throw in some fun stuff’. But there also were a lot of times where it’s harder. We would be doing improv and saying so many things, but then we’ll completely forget we had to mention a particular thing. So (director) Christopher Landon would come over and say, ‘Hey, guys, remember, I need you to say this thing specifically’. Then we’d shoot the scene again and still forget to say it (laughs). It is really hard.
Were you guys fans of horror films before you made The Marked Ones?
Gabrielle: Yes. I remember I was seven-years-old and my Mom took me to see Halloween. She was a fanatic about horror movies and it got me into them. The one film that really freaked me out when I was younger was Gremlins.
Gabrielle: (Laughs) It did. Because of the Snickers part where he bites off his fingers.
Jorge: That’s hilarious. As a kid I grew up watching horror movies like Friday the 13th but then I lost my interest in them, but doing this movie has revived my interest. The Paranormal Activity movies are more like psychological thrillers in a sense. It’s like an internal roller coaster ride. It revived my interest.
Andrew, you have a lot of tattoos, but in the film your character, Jesse, doesn’t have any. What happened to them?
Andrew: (Laughs) Yeah, we covered them all with makeup. It took about two and a half hours a day.
Jorge: He had a very early call time every morning.
Andrew: Yes, I had a lot of early mornings.
Was there any talk about Jesse having tattoos? I guess it doesn’t really fit his character because he is the clean cut good boy.
Andrew: I was supposed to be playing this innocent, friendly kid who changes into this demonic person. So if Jesse had all of these tattoos it wouldn’t look right.
Jorge: Yeah, people would think, ‘When did Jesse start getting tattoos? When he was 12?’ (laughs)
Have you found your tattoos hurt you when you are auditioning for roles?
Andrew: I wasn’t acting before this movie. When I was a kid I did commercials, but I just got back into it. I thought, ‘I’ve got tattoos. Maybe I could do gangster roles’. Then I went for this movie and I thought, ‘I’m not going to book a lead role for a Paramount film. I’m supposed to be playing a kid’. Then I booked it. So, I haven’t experienced being rejected for a role because of the tattoos. I’m guessing with this film it shows that with makeup I can cover them. Hopefully it’ll open up more doors.
This movie is set in LA’s Latino community and has Latino leads. Was that exciting for you guys to be part of a big Paramount studio film and franchise that has this Latino aspect?
Jorge: It’s beautiful that it’s Latino leads in a film that is getting distributed around the world. I feel it shows other studios stories can be told no matter the ethnicity of the characters. Audiences around the world can relate to the characters. And, it shows Latinos do not have to play gardeners, maids, inmates. We’re just playing kids.
Andrew: Yeah. The way they promoted it after Paranormal 4 in the credits, it was all Spanish. A lot of people thought it was going to be shot in Mexico and people were talking negatively.
Jorge: People were saying, ‘These Mexicans will be speaking English? I don’t understand’. It’s crazy. Are we not born in America ? (laughs)
Andrew: It shows that we are all American and come from the same place.
Jorge: We all have the same fears. Friendship is friendship.
Gabrielle: It’s great that we show minorities don’t have to play the stereotype.