As Halloween is quickly approaching, it’s time to think about all those classic scary movies. There are so many different film genres designed to give you scares and chills, such as intense thrillers like “Silence of the Lambs”, gothic horror like “The Exorcist”, and nail-biting suspense flicks like “Jaws”, which is one of my favorite movies of all time. I am, in fact, completely terrified of the ocean and all sea life due to “Jaws”.
In an effort to confront my fears and celebrate Halloween, I was fortunate to sit down and have a chat with Bruce, the shark from “Jaws”. We shared some laughs, some tears, and some chum.
Chic: First off, I can’t tell you how terrified I am just sitting across from you. I’ve had quite the fear of sharks ever since seeing you in “Jaws” as a child.
Bruce: I get that all the time. Don’t worry, I’ve already eaten about 450 pounds of food today. I couldn’t possibly choke you down!
Chic: Phew. That’s reassuring. Your first starring role in “Jaws” was a very memorable one, but even though it’s quite scary, it’s not often associated with Halloween. Your thoughts?
Bruce: Hm. I’ve never thought about that before. Probably because most folks associate Halloween movies with straight-up class horror…like Amityville or what have you.
Chic: Certainly. I think that movies like “Jaws” or “Alien” are perfectly fine to be talked about in the scary Halloween movie discussion. So let’s talk a bit about your experiences making the “Jaws” films.
Bruce: I was not in the fourth film…”Jaws The Revenge”? I mean…this time it’s personal? [laughter]
Bruce: [laughter, tooth flies out of mouth]
Chic: Oh! [intermittent laughter] You’ve lost a tooth.
Bruce: It’s cool. I’ve got, like, 20,000 of them or something.
Chic: Okay, let’s bring it down now. In the first film, you worked with Steven Spielberg, Roy Schneider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw…really an impressive list. What do you remember most?
Bruce: Most? Well, Robert Shaw tasted horrible. He was just so funked up that it makes me wish Febreeze was invented at the time, know what I mean? [silence] Actually…it still chaps my dorsal fin to this day that Peter Benchley, you know…the author of the novel, let them change some of the ending. Like, I was told that I was going to get to eat Robert Shaw AND Richard Dreyfuss. As you may know, [spoiler alert] Hooper is killed in the novel…
…also, all this talk about the shark not working really gave me a reputation of being tough to deal with on set. It…I was very young. It just caused me some problems.
Chic: Well, it didn’t stop them from casting you in the two sequels. What is the first thing that comes into your mind when thinking about “Jaws 2”?
Bruce: Chic…I gotta be honest with you…I was pretty wasted for much of the filming. I didn’t get much cash up front from “Jaws”, but my back end points were sick. Like, disgusting. I was tail-deep in chum for weeks. You know how it goes though…it starts with chum, then you’re moving on to squid, seals, walrus…it’s a vicious cycle and it really can only be stopped with self-control and accountability. So my memories of “Jaws 2” aren’t terrible, because it was such a high point for my career…but it was definitely a dark period.
Chic: I understand. It’s tough being a young star in Hollywood. The pressure, the girls…it’s good that you straightened it all out though.
Bruce: Thank you. I’ve really tried. The best thing to come of it was the discovery of who my real friends were…Orca, Willy, even Flipper was very supportive…that’s after I tried to eat him once. Maybe twice.
Chic: Speaking of Flipper, your next movie involved a few dolphins. What was it like filming at Sea World for “Jaws 3-D”? Also, what do you think of the recent 3-D movie explosion?
Bruce: Paycheck brother. This was a cash grab pure and simple. I blew through everything during my troubles and needed to get the coffers filled as they say. Look, we all know it’s not a great movie. Dennis Quaid pretends he was never even in it. I should have known to get out as soon as I read that the tagline was gonna be “The Third Dimension Is Terror”. [sighs] Weak sauce there.
Chic: What about the 3-D aspect? Have you seen “Avatar”?
Bruce: You know what? I haven’t. Guilty [said very effeminately]. Like…I’m the only guy left to not see it right? I did check out “Jackass 3-D”. Loved it. Those guys crack me up. No matter how hungry I could get, I would never eat Steve-O or Pontius or any of those guys if I swam up on them.
Chic: I really love those guys too. Too funny. It’s been a real pleasure meeting you. I gotta say Bruce, I’m not a bigot, but when I see a shark, I get worried. I get nervous.
Bruce: Thank you, it was a pleasure talking with you. Most sharks aren’t really interested in eating nice folks like you, but there is that extremist faction that is out for blood…kind of like that ridiculous shark looking for revenge in “Jaws The Revenge”! [laughter]
Bruce: [laughter, tooth flies out of mouth] See you later.