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These Guys Give Me The Creeps! A Conversation with the cast of “Jeepers Creepers 2”

It’s always fun interviewing actors who are doing promotional tours for a bad movie. Although I make it a point never to express my complaints to the actors who I interview – they just get defensive – sometimes it’s amusing to hear how they respond to complaints when I disguise them as questions.

I recently interviewed four actors from Jeepers Creepers 2, the pathetic sequel to the excellent horror film from 2001. Not surprisingly, the actors spoke highly of the film, the director, and, of course, themselves. Although I agree with almost nothing that they say in this interview, at least I now have the answers to some of the questions that I pondered in my review.

So, how’d you guys like starring in Jeepers Creepers 2?

Eric Nenninger: We had a great time. It was really fun. The cast got along really well, and, since it was a horror movie, it was, like, really exciting to make. We got to run, and scream, and dodge flying monsters.

Garikayi Mutambirwa: I was happy to be working. (Laughs.) The cast was fun. The crew was really nice. The set was beautiful. It was a good experience.

EN: Yeah, the camera guy was good.

They decided to make a sequel, of course, because the first film did so well. Why do you think the first film did so well, and do think this film continues that tradition?

Nicki Aycox: I think that this is something Victor Salva, the director, has created within his own creativity, and he knew exactly what he wanted from a horror flick. He’s a huge horror flick fan. He’s very good with suspense. He knows exactly when to lead you in, and when to scare you. He’s just a classic horror flick director.

Lena Cardwell: There’s a lot more interaction between the characters, and you start to feel for the characters and have emotions for them, so you don’t want to see something happen to them. I think that’s what separates it.

EN: Yeah, I think he did the second one with the same kind of style. He uses old school camera tricks before special effects. Once he held the camera upside down so it would look like it was filming backwards.

NA: Yeah, there’s a dream sequence where the camera comes down on me, and the background has to move backwards, but I have to be acting forward. So, he comes up to me and says, ‘You’re going to have to act backwards.’ So I had to do everything that I was doing, except in reverse.

Eric, you said that when imagining this character, you drew from your own personal experiences when you were in high school. Were you really this much of an ass?

EN: (Laughs.) Well, when I was looking at [the character], I was thinking that he’s an 18-year-old senior, and he’s really cocky, and he makes decisions kind of quickly. The more I listed these things, I was like, ‘Damn it – this is kind of like I was when I was a senior.’ Before you make mistakes in your life, you kind of think that everything steers right. That’s before you get out in the real world, and get kicked around. It’s just that jock mentality. But yeah, I played basketball in high school – I was a jock, a jock that did theatre, too.

There are a lot of characters in this film. How did you go about developing your characters, even though there probably wasn’t a lot of time for the director to spend with each of you individually and what you had to work with in the script with was thin and sketchy?

GM: For me, it started with the text. I wanted to see what was given to me, and then I went from there. After discussions with the director, before we even started shooting, he made us write a little bio about how we see our character. So I did a two-page bio and submitted it to him. We both agreed on how we perceived Double D. We worked together on creating this character.

LC: And we did several rehearsals where we just sat on the bus and framed out what our movements would be, which, at first, I wasn’t sure about, but after we got in there, it was so helpful because you had an idea of what he wanted to do. And it went much quicker than it would have had we not done that.

EN: Especially for a movie like this, a horror movie with special effects kind of thing, to have rehearsals… it’s unheard of. I mean, for him to do that, it goes back to his kind of style. He makes sure that there are real people.

NA: That’s what makes this movie standout. He cares to take the time with the actors.

GM: I also rented the movie Crimson Tide, with Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman. They’re basically stuck on a boat, and they have their own issues. It kind of reminded me of this movie. I’m not saying I’m as good-looking as Denzel…

On the bus, you have The Creeper, you have conflicts between yourselves, and you have very little space to work in. How did you keep everything straight?

EN: They were awesome at it – the assistant director and the director of photography. They were good at what they did. They shot all the inside stuff on the bus like a jigsaw puzzle – they could pull it all away. It was all built so you could pull the roof off, and the sides off, and move the floor… and the lighting – it was impossible.

NA: They would light up one section of the bus – but we were all so crammed in there, the DP would come in and ask, ‘Where is this light coming from?’ It would take him a good five or ten minutes to look around and see who was in the light because it was just too congested. Once you move somebody and get them out of the light, there’s someone back here that’s in the light. You don’t have much room to move…

Do you think the movie had a main character at all, or do you think this was more about the ensemble?

EN: I think it was good because of the ensemble. Everyone had their own time. Every character, even the little ones, had great moments.

GM: At one point, maybe Spot would be driving the scene. Then it would twist back and maybe Izzy, or maybe Double D would step in. And every time someone else steps up, it’s a different flavor, and a different feel.

NA: Because everyone’s different. The characters are very different people with specific personalities.

What do you feel each of your characters contributed to the story?

EN: A quick death. (Laughs.) I kind of recognized the way kids are in high school. Everyone kind of filled out that nice full picture of what it would be like to have a team.

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