Q: Did you take any of the wax props home with you?
I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, but actual wax doesn't look like actual wax screen I guess. So it was a food preservative. So I took a lot of food preservative home with me. It was a food filler with sort of a jelly substance -- and if you can imagine like curdled milk with a hair gel kind of thing. And that sort of had a good consistency that showed up on camera and was easier to maneuver than actual wax. And I guess if wax was liquid, it was going to be too hot.
So lucky me, the first thing that happened when I got there, I walk in there, it's my first week. I walk into a stage, kind of the size of this one, and there's this big, kind of Aussie fella and he's got a big ol' head, broad shoulders, and he's like: "You Jared?" And I'm like, "Yeah?" And he goes, "All right." He pulls out this walkie talkie and he goes "Heat up the wax gun." I was like, "What do you mean, 'Heat up the wax gun'? Who needs to heat up a wax gun?" He said, "We need to do the hot wax test." "We're going to do the hot wax test?" Only prior to this I had read the script where the killer hot waxes his victims to death, so I was like, "Why am I getting a hot wax gun?" So, lucky for me they ended up not doing hot wax but cold food preservative.
Q: Looks like they brought some props over for the interview. The wax figure of you is right over there.
Isn't that crazy? There were three of them. I kept trying to take one home. It'd be great for the carpool. Like on a long trip. "This is my twin. He's quiet."
Q: What about your character, whose curiosity makes the audience yell at the screen?
Thank you. Then I've done my job. Some people were like, "Ah, aren't you pissed off that you have to play the character they're always pissed off at?" I'm like, "No, it's kind of fun. I rile people up a little bit." Everybody knows this is all my fault, so -- I'm still trying to figure out a way to blame it on Chad's character or Elisha's character. I think it's Wade's curiosity that killed the cat, and all the cat's friends. It was sort of a downward spiral, unable to be stopped. It was fun. It was a lot of fun to film it. It was fun to play that different character that everybody's like "You idiot." And if one person yells "Stupid" at the screen, then I've done my job. So that was exciting.
Q: Can you talk about the waxing experience onscreen, where they ripped off your eyebrows and goatee?
It was so funny because I remember reading it, and you're never really sure. Are they going to want to get rid of my eyebrows? They're like, "Yeah, it's going to be the last shot, so you're not going to need them." I was like, "I really want to keep my eyebrows. I don't know if they're going to grow back. I'm going to have to draw the eyebrows on." The day of, it was great because the did a whole sort of thing to put on my face. And then it was tug, pulled it off and then shaved my goatee and shaved my chest hairs -- which have grown back, all two of them -- and they had this latex-y kind of material and they literally put it on the bridge of my nose and around my eyebrows and pasted it to me and then matched it to me. The same with my chest. They just put one like that (indicates) and cut it, just matched it to my skin tone and achilles tendon. It was pretty interesting, but it was kind of fun because it took a while to put it on so I got to just sit there and rest while they were putting it on.
Q: Is it surreal looking at yourself like that?
Very. I have pictures on my computer, like, Cro-Magnon man with a cigar. You know what I mean? I have all sorts of pictures. The cast photo was that day. It was a cast photo in front of the burnt-out stage -- everybody's wearing nice clothes like we've go on today. And I'm here -- because I was basically naked all day -- so I had on sweatpants, because all I wore was little boxer-brief underwear, so I had sweatpants and a big ol' orange jumpsuit on and no eyebrows. And that was great. So here I am, with no eyebrows in this picture on this burned down stage. It was really surreal, and I took quite a bit of pictures to send as my Christmas card this year.
Q: Was it disturbing for your family to see?
A little bit. I'm sure it's going to be more disturbing when they finally get to see the flick. Yeah, I think a couple of them are coming out Tuesday for the premiere.
Q: Did you see the movie?
I did. I saw it a couple days ago. I was excited. I thought it was really good. I thought it came together really well. I was really proud of my director, proud of all the other actors. It was a fun little ride. I got home, and I didn't get to sleep as soon as I wanted to get to sleep. I think that's always a good sign, and it kind of turns your stomach, something unsettling. So it was fun to watch it. I'm a fan of horror. I'm a fan of the whole kind of genre, my girlfriend hates it. I'm dating a girl that I did a movie called "Cry Wolf" with. I've been dating for the last year and a half, and I'm crazy about her, but she is terrified of horror films, not like the cute (in falsetto) "I'm scared. Will you hold me? Tell me it's going to be okay." She's terrified. Like with "House of Wax." I'd go to sleep and wake up and like two o'clock to go to the bathroom, and she'd be still kind of up in bed, (falsetto) "Hi. I'm sorry. Just wasn't tired." I'm like, "Aw, baby, I'm sorry." So I feel bad, because ... she only watched it because I was in it, because she really hates horror films.
Q: Isn't "Cry Wolf" a horror movie?
Sort of like a thriller, a thriller with an edge. I guess thriller has an edge. Sort of a thriller with an underlying message is probably a better way to put it. But it's a bit of a -- I think that's what they want everyone to think about it. I play a character named Tom, sort of an arrogant, head of the class, captain of the football team, cocky guy. Too good for his own good -- too talented, too rich, too powerful for his own good. His pride lets him and everybody else get in trouble. That was fun, and we filmed that in Virginia.
And having filmed that made it actually easier to film "House of Wax" and get used to the genre that is horror. And actual filming of, like, it's you in a room, and like, "Okay, over there on that wall, that's the killer. That's the killer. You're scared." You feel so goofy at first. They always say about green screen. Dialogue is one thing. You're sitting there, you're talking: that's so easy. But then when it's like "It's just on you. Look. See where that big vase is? Look at that vase. That's the killer." And you're like. "It's a pretty vase. That's not a killer." So you have to learn to commit to it. Luckily I did "Cry Wolf" before I did "House of Wax."
Q: How did you like working with Paris Hilton?
I didn't ever get to work with her. I never worked with her because we -- the scenes that Wade and Paige are in together, we never -- the only thing was the campsite scene, where it's set up the way shooting is done. They set up a master shot: It's a wide shot. Everybody's in it, but no one's really doing anything. We're all just like keeping in motion, and they're like, "Okay, you're supposed to be at a camp site. The luggage is in the trunk. The tents are in the trunk. Get them out and set them up. Throw a football. Beer. Whatever. Let's get this reel." So you're setting up a camp site for five minutes, and when they go into coverage when actual people are doing stuff, we're shooting nights. So we're getting there at five o'clock and staying until seven in the morning, till sun-break. And so, they didn't want us to get tired on set and be like nodding off in the background, the scene wouldn't have been good for the movie. They let the actors go back to the trailer and rest because, one day I got there at five o'clock, went through makeup and was done by six.
I filmed at seven till about eight, and then literally I didn't film from eight to four a.m. So it was eight hours of, where I got to rest and go through my lines, eat lunch. The serve lunch at midnight, which is what they call it over there. And then, since I got to rest, by the time four o' clock came around, I wasn't like, "Ugh. I don't want to go." I was ready, I was like "Okay. I'm ready. I've had some rest. Let's do it." So I think it's pretty fortunate for the actors that we get to kind of do our own thing.
I filmed a lot with Elisha, and that was really fun. We had a good time, and she's funny. She's about a foot shorter than I am. It's fun to film with somebody that you're like "Hey, you're too short." And she'd be like, "Hey, you're too tall." You kind of have a fun time. I know her fiancee Trace. She knows my girlfriend Sandy, which always makes things more comfortable, 'cause playing a girlfriend and a boyfriend onscreen and having an actual girlfriend and boyfriend in real life, you always want them to know "No, it's nothing personal. It's just acting." Sandy knows Trace. My girlfriend knows her fiancee, and so, yeah. You get in there and act and have a good time. It make it so much more comfortable on set 'cause you're willing to play, you're willing to try because you're just acting. I think a lot of people, there are so many on set romances because they start to mistake, you know: "Maybe we have something."
Q: How is it working with Joel Silver? He's a pretty hands-on guy.
He is. He's Joel Silver. And he didn't get to be Joel Silver not being in charge of what he does. It's funny because the first time, we all really met together as a cast was in his office, and he's just got this incredible office. It used to be Frank Sinatra's office, and now it's his. A button pushes, and the curtains open up. The rock cascade waterfall, a rock kind of water-wall... and it's like "Whoa. I'm in the presence of success."
And it's not undeserved success. He's worked hard and done some great work. And so you feel like you're on a ship and the captain is tremendous. The captain is infallible. He does great stuff and it feels good to part of a project where you're so confident, and it's who you're working for. You've got to be, when you come to a set, you've got to be trusting of the other actors, your producer, of the director, of the writer, that you're all there to do something together and that you're all confident. That I trust you're going to do what you're supposed to do. I'm going to do what I'm supposed to do. Let's do it together and let's make a film, let's make a film that people will watch in 30 years. And that's my dream: to have my kids see it when they're ten years old. We'll pull it out of my DVD collection and put it in. "That was scary. Wow. That was great." And so, I think this is one. This is a remake obviously. This is sort of a remake of the Vincent Price one. The only similarity is the title. This is a whole new generation, a whole new script, idea that sort of shares the wax.
Q: When you're doing the scene with just your eyes moving ...
Yeah. That was fun. I went to the set, and they moved "wax me" out of the way, and they sat me down. I guess the way, the camera was set up, they had to get me exactly into place. "Hunch a little bit." So literally, you're doing this, and trying to get exactly where you're supposed to be and then like stop. In makeup, they'd put blue stickers around my eyes that they had to match up exactly with whatever they were seeing on camera. And you stay still and you can't blink, and you're just looking around. And it was so intense. And they just transplant that on to the shot of the "wax me." It's so weird, because I actually saw it for the first time. And I never filmed with Jon [Abrahams] when he touched me. I never saw Brian Van Holt. It was "Okay, Jonny's there. So tell him with your eyes. Don't move your head." And it's so weird because you want to be expressive as an actor. You want to, you feel like jerking a little bit, but they're like, "Oh, you jerked out of the way. You have to get back in." So it was stuff like that, where you really have to match something. It makes it a little bit more complicated. But it was fine. It turned out pretty cool.
Q: Had you ever been to Australia?
I had. I filmed a movie, the first thing I ever did, not the first thing, but I did a Disney movie called "Ring of Endless Light" with Mischa Barton out there. It was four years ago. I love Australia and I love Australians. They're cool They're just laid back. They'd sooner rib you because you're an actor than be like "Hey." They're so cool. They're like (in an Aussie accent) "Ah, pretty boy, ah." They'll buy you a beer, but they won't buy you a beer because they want a beer back. They're just "Here, have a good time. If you have a chance, go surfing at Byron Bay." "Thanks man." And that's it. They just want you to have a good time. It was really fun and cool and cozy to be there with real people.
Q: Do you surf?
Not well. I'm not a professional by any means, but I have a good time out there. It's really about getting some sun and pretending that I'm cool, like I actually know what to do.