Jaime King Interview, My Bloody Valentine 3dPosted by: Sheila Roberts
A long buried nightmare returns to haunt a small town when one of horror’s most terrifying tales comes to life in a way it has never been seen before. A reimagining of the 1981 horror classic which Quentin Tarantino called “the best slasher movie of all time,” My Bloody Valentine 3D uses the latest dazzling stereographic technology to put audiences in the middle of a chilling nightmare.
MoviesOnline sat down with Jaime King (The Spirit, Sin City, Sin City 2) to talk about her new film, My Bloody Valentine 3D, directed by Patrick Lussier from a screenplay by Todd Farmer and Zane Smith. The film also stars Jensen Ackles (TV's "Smallville" and "Supernatural") and Kerr Smith (Final Destination, "Dawson's Creek").
Jaime King plays Sarah, the woman at the heart of the film’s romantic triangle. “Jaime is not your typical slasher film chick,” says Lussier. “She brings such depth to the character of Sarah.” The actress drew energy and inspiration from her costars, Ackles and Smith. “Working with Kerr and Jensen gave me a look at their process as actors,” King says. “Each actor has his own way of bringing something to life and making it real and true for them, and I just really enjoy the experience of collaborating and seeing how we as artists can make the best story possible.”
King loved Lussier’s character-oriented approach. “All the choices in the script were very thoughtful and extremely layered. It’s really easy to do something that’s very cookie cutter, but I’m not interested in doing that and the people making this movie weren’t either.”
Jaime King began her career as a fashion model gracing the covers of international fashion magazines and later landing advertising campaigns for Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein and Victoria's Secret. Her charm and all-American mass appeal lead to a variety of opportunities from Revlon spokesperson for a global cosmetic campaign to an advertising campaign for Jay Z's clothing brand.
King broke into television when she was selected to host MTV's "House of Style." She landed a role on "Kitchen Confidential" and was later cast in a recurring role on the CBS comedy "The Class" and the series lead of "Gary Unmarried."
King's feature film roles include The Spirit, Pearl Harbor, Blow, Slackers, Two for the Money, White Chicks, Sin City, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, as well as the independent features Pretty Persuasion, The Tripper, They Wait, A Fork in the Road and The Pardon. She will be seen next on the big screen in the upcoming film Fanboys.
Jaime King is a fabulous person and we really appreciated her time. Here’s what she had to tell us about her new horror movie, “My Bloody Valentine 3D”:
JAIME KING: My husband (Kyle Newman) is a director and his writing partners were over when they first sent me the script and they flipped out because they were obsessed with the original one. They were like, “Oh my God! You have to do this movie. It’s a cult classic. It’s amazing!” For some of these people, it was the first horror film that they ever saw. And I was like, “Okay guys, chill out, chill out! I’m going to read it.” And so, I read it, and I thought that it was really fun. For the past couple of years, I’ve been getting all these horror scripts. Everybody wanted to make a horror movie because they were making a bunch of money, and all the stuff like that, but I never really found one that I thought was that interesting. A lot of it was torture porn that I would never go see, so I would never want to be in the movie. I just find it kind of disgusting.
What I loved about this script was that it was really scary and then it was really fun, but it was a bit more character-driven. Then, with the idea of this new 3-D, it sounded so amazing to me because James Cameron and Steven Spielberg had just had this seminar at the DGA that my husband was raving about — they were talking about stereo and 3-D and how it was the wave of the future, and how this was the way that all films were going to be made. I knew that they had these new red cameras that had never been used before, but a 3-D version of them. So being a lover of all that tech stuff, I thought that that would be really cool.
Then, I met Patrick (Lussier), and I learned about Patrick and about [how] he was Wes Craven’s go-to guy and had worked with Guillermo del Toro and all these great directors. When I met him, I realized that if anybody knew how to make something like this work, it was going to be him.
JAIME KING: Yeah. You know, honestly, I think it’s way better than I ever could have imagined. I felt like it was perfectly balanced. I thought it was great that some of it was so absurd that you were laughing, and then some of it was so scary in your face that you couldn’t believe what it was that you were seeing. And then I loved watching the fact that you could see the 3-D for every single scene, even when it was just scenes where they were talking to each other to see the depth that it had. I loved that there was a love triangle in it and that it was suspenseful and there was the whodunit thing. I thought it was really fun entertainment.
I think that there is so much turmoil going on in the world right now that sometimes you just don’t want to go see a movie which is very depressing. As much as I love The Changeling and Clint Eastwood and those kinds of movies, which are the kind of movies I prefer to watch, sometimes it’s fun just to go to a movie where you can eat your popcorn and be scared and grab onto the person in front of you, and you never really know what’s coming next. It’s like going on a rollercoaster, like going to Disneyland as opposed to going to the movies.
JAIME KING: Yeah. You just enjoy it. It’s more for entertainment.
JAIME KING: I’m not that confident (laughs). I’m like if you want me to take off any article of clothing, if you want to get me in a bathing suit, you’d better be shooting with a candle. That’s what I’m like. I don’t like it. I had to do a nude scene for Sin City and it was like one of the most challenging things for me, because I don’t know — I get kind of freaked out about all that stuff.
What I loved about Betsy (Rue) is that she’s a great actress and she did not care. She was like, “I don’t need a robe, whatever.” You know, she’d be sitting in the chair with no clothes on. I love someone who can really embrace their body that much, and if somebody is going to have the confidence to run around buck naked with a gun, let them do it because they’re going to be fully committed, unlike me.
I’d be like, “Are they watching?” I wouldn’t have the confidence to do it. But what I love is that every great slasher film you’ve kind of got to have some nudity, so why not really go for it. And that’s one of my favorite scenes in the movie. I thought it was hilarious and funny and just really awesome.
The writer played the guy. I don’t know if you knew that. The guy that wrote the movie played the guy. Todd (Farmer). He wasn’t planning on it. Patrick kept trying to cast the guy and he couldn’t find the right guy to do it. Then he called and asked his wife for permission. He called Todd’s wife like, “Do you mind if Todd does the scene?” and then he asked Todd if he would do it. Todd was really, really good. So that’s pretty funny.
MoviesOnline: Nudity-wise, will we have to worry about that in Sin City 2?
JAIME KING: Well, I’m pretty athletic already so when I’m working I have a lot of endurance. When you’re acting, you’re normally working at least 12 hours a day and you get so wrapped up in what you’re doing that it’s almost like you’re riding on the energy of what it is that you’re doing. So, a lot of times when you’re running and jumping and falling and all that stuff, you don’t really feel what’s happening to you. It’s not until you go home to take a shower that you realize that you look like you fell down like 20 flights of stairs because you have bruises and cuts and all this stuff. You just don’t realize it when you’re doing it, but I would say that towards the end we were all feeling it.
The one thing about 3D that nobody knew because nobody has used this technology before is how long it takes. It added 30 per cent more to our days which is hardcore when you’re doing a movie. So, they moved our days from 5 days a week and 18 hours a day to 6 days a week. We would wrap on Sunday morning at 9AM after shooting 18 hours a day and Sunday would be our day off and then we’d go home. Our location was an hour and a half away, so you’d have to drive an hour and a half, get home, sleep, and then the next day you’d pick up again at 9AM on Monday. So that was our weekend.
After two months of that, it was like “Oh my God.” You felt like you were really breaking down. My point is, you can’t be prissy when you’re making a movie like this. It is what it is. You’ve got to go and you’ve got to commit to it and have fun with it because, you know, that’s just a part of the territory. Otherwise, you’re just going to have a miserable time.
MoviesOnline: What were the shooting conditions like? Was it muddy? Did you hit your head because the ceiling of the mine was so low?
JAIME KING: You were like this (hunches over) and I already had crappy posture. So, that did not help at all because I already walk around like this and not like a lady (sits erectly). I felt so bad for the tall guys and the crew members. We had 50 crew members in the tunnels and these tunnels weren’t used to having huge lights and all this equipment.
What was happening was we’d bring all these lights in and the tunnel would expand. So, things were falling from the roof and things were cracking when you’re in it, and I’m like, “Guys, let’s be smart about this.” That part felt a little sketchy, and there were bats and it was wet and it was cold. You’d go in and you never really saw the sunlight because you’d be down there the whole time.
The thing is those tunnels look so great on film and, as much as you want to create something on a set next to your cushy trailer, you’re just not going to get the same effect. So I’d rather just slum it out for a couple months to get what we need to get so it looks good. When you’re in it and you can taste it and feel it and touch it, it’s just so much more different than trying to make it up.
MoviesOnline: How far down did you go into the tunnels?
JAIME KING: We went really deep and, in our ending scenes, I had to get really deep. I was literally so deep in the tunnels that you could pretty much only crawl into the tunnels, which was really bizarre. Then, I felt a lot of compassion for the people that were working in those mines because I couldn’t imagine – maybe I’m a little bit claustrophobic – but you can imagine [what] the men [went through] that worked in those mines every single day of their life. You know, it’s just pretty crazy.
MoviesOnline: What scares you in life?
JAIME KING: Terrorism scares me. I mean, that’s the first thing that pops into my mind. Ignorance scares me. Anybody who has a disregard for human life scares me.
MoviesOnline: Did you work with the kid who played your son in the movie?
JAIME KING: He’s my nephew in real life.
MoviesOnline: I mean, within the movie, is there a scene of you with him?
JAIME KING: Yeah. I’m with him when I come into the kitchen and we’re together. I come to greet him and there’s a housekeeper.
MoviesOnline: What was it like working with him?
JAIME KING: It was awesome. We flew to Nebraska. I knew there was this role. My nephew had never acted before, but I knew he was really natural. I could see it in him. So, we took a video camera and we taped him literally doing all of the scenes. We cast all of our family members like the people in the roles and then we shot this film and put it on You Tube and asked the people at Lionsgate and the director to watch this film. Then, they cast him and flew him out and he did it. So, it was really, really awesome because I got to spend time with my sister and all my nieces and nephews and it was really fun. He did a great job.
MoviesOnline: At one moment, that pickaxe seems to be attempting to rip off your top. I was wondering how carefully some of the scenes were choreographed?
JAIME KING: Pretty darned rehearsed. When they did that, I was like, “Guys,” and they were like, “We’re going to have the pickaxe and it’s going to go into your top.” And I was like, “No, sorry guys, that’s not happening.” I thought they were going to use that as an excuse to rip my blouse open and then I would have my tits hanging out and I would be that girl in the scary movie with my boobs all over the place and spend the whole third act running around with no clothes on. I was like, “No, no, no, no!” It was a huge concern of mine. I was really freaked out by the whole idea because when you hear it, it sounds like that lame concept. And then they were like, “No, it’s just going to be one button and you’ll be fine.” So, it wasn’t like that thing in my brain that went on this huge train down the tracks. It wasn’t going to go in that direction.
It was really scary because you had to choreograph it and mistakes happen on sets so you never really know. Sometimes when you’re really getting into something, one slight thing and you can be hit by something. All that stuff, when I’m being thrown against the freezer and I’m breaking the glass, that was all me doing it. So you’ve got to kind of try and forget about it. It’s like you lose yourself but you’re very aware at the same time.
MoviesOnline: There’s a scene in the movie where you’re cowering behind a door and the pickaxe comes right through the door within inches of your face and there’s no obvious cut.
JAIME KING: That was me. I was so freaked out. They’re like, “No, no, no, there’s no worries.” But, of course, naturally when you’re doing it, you just don’t really know what’s going to happen. “No, we’re professionals, we’ve got it. It’s never going to go wrong.” But that’s what everybody says. I really had to muster up a lot of courage for that because it was the real deal going through there and it was this close.
MoviesOnline: There was real terror on your face.
JAIME KING: Yeah, there was. It really was terror.
MoviesOnline: Who played the homicidal miner?
JAIME KING: It was the stunt guy.
MoviesOnline: Just one guy throughout the whole movie?
JAIME KING: Yeah.
MoviesOnline: Could you talk about working with Jensen Ackles and Kerr Smith, the love triangle guys? Did you guys rehearse a lot or hang out together off set?
JAIME KING: We all hung out a lot. It’s weird. On movies, you think you’re supposed to go and be best friends with everybody, but most of the time that’s not the case. Sometimes you meet people that you really dig and enjoy and have fun with, but sometimes, just like anyone in life, you meet someone and you don’t really have much to say to them. Then, you get into a scene and all of a sudden when you’re in character and they’re in character, you really click, but when you’re just yourselves, you don’t really click. It’s kind of a weird thing, but we all really got along surprisingly well, and we all talked about our scenes a lot to add some depth and layers to it so that you could feel that there was history with the characters.
MoviesOnline: The three of you, or just you and Jensen?
JAIME KING: The three of us, but especially Kerr and I. Kerr and I are still friends, and I hang out with him and his wife, and my husband and I hang out with him a lot.
MoviesOnline: Do you do any modeling anymore?
JAIME KING: I don’t. I stopped modeling when I was 19. I was very clear about stopping because I knew this is what I wanted to do and I’d saved a lot of money. I felt if I was wishy washy about it that it wasn’t going to work. I’ve done things, but you get hired as an actress endorsing a product rather than just a model and a face.
MoviesOnline: Are you happy that Fanboys is finally coming out?
JAIME KING: Yes! I’m so happy! Hallelujah! Yes, my husband directed a movie called Fanboys and it’s been going through the wraths of hell the past couple years. It’s been an amazing experience because the studio was trying to change his cut because they didn’t like some of it.
MoviesOnline: They didn’t like the cancer?
JAIME KING: They didn’t like the cancer. It’s about 5 boys that are obsessed with Star Wars, like my husband. One of them is dying of cancer so they go on a road trip to break into the Lucas Ranch to steal the print before the kid dies. At the last minute, the Weinsteins decided that cancer is not funny. Because all their movies were tanking, they wanted to have a big, broad comedy hit so they tried to convince my husband to do their cut. When he refused, they hired a director when we went on our honeymoon to shoot scenes the way that he wouldn’t do it, but all the actors revolted and refused to give good performances. So then, the studio freaked out and the fans revolted and, because the fans revolted, Kyle got his cut back. The amazing thing about it is the power. I want everybody to know that the power of the internet, the power of the media, and the power of everybody gathering together for something that they believe in will overtake any kind of old school mentality.
MoviesOnline: Was that the version they showed at Comic-Con last summer?
JAIME KING: Yeah.
MoviesOnline: This may be a candidate for the Guinness Book of Records if you actually triumph over the Weinsteins.
JAIME KING: Oh, I know. Right? Finally!
MoviesOnline: How are things going with Sin City 2?
JAIME KING: Great. Frank finished the script. He just told me the other night.
MoviesOnline: Any idea on when that might start shooting?
JAIME KING: Hopefully, this year at some point.
MoviesOnline: You were born on Shakespeare’s birthday.
JAIME KING: I know. Isn’t that the coolest?
“My Bloody Valentine 3D” opens in theaters on January 16th.