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INT: Adam Brody

09.18.2009by: Alex Keen

Way back in May of 2008 I had the kick ass opportunity to visit my first movie set. Along the way, I had the chance to interview the talent and stars behind one of this summer's bloodiest horror flicks, JENNIFER'S BODY. At the time Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman were hot off of the success of JUNO and Megan Fox had still been riding high off of the first TRANSFORMERS. Since then, the movie has been sitting on a shelf as, it's studio Fox Atomic has been re-absorbed into it's parent 20th Century Fox, and it's crew have moved onto other projects. Now, it's time to dust off the... *ahem* dust from my visit and shed some light on JENNIFER'S BODY!

Immediately following a scene where Brody lip-synchs (looking to me like Chris Carabba from Dashboard Confessional), he sat done for an extensive interview ranging from JENNIFER'S BODY to ANTMAN and SPIDERMAN.

When you're doing the whole frontman - who are you channeling?

[In a scene without a guitar] I like to think of myself as Morissey. In this one [the scene filmed immediately before the interview] I don't have much room to move around. So, no one specific. Just a singer.

Can you talk about your character a bit?

I play Nikolai. He's a singer in a band, a frontman, he aspires for fame and fortune and goes to great lengths to achieve it. But not traditional channels.

Like what...

Like sacrificing a virgin. Like, maybe (ambiguously) burning this whole bar down. It's a longshot but you have to try everything.

What's it like playing a bad guy?

It's really fun because bad guys tend to be very powerful. So, that's kind of fun to be the leader - to kind of be in control of the situation. My character, in most of the scenes he's sort of in control of the situation and that's fun. That's a different thing.

What is like performing Diablo Cody dialog?

It's really fun! It is weird cause I've been dealing - half of it - I feel like I'm half performing Diablo Cody dialog and half performing Test Your Reflex's music. So, it is really split and I've easily spent as much time on stage as I have doing scenes in this movie. But it is great. I think she has a lot - she puts a lot of words - ya'know, I guess they are the same word count per page in every script (but, not-necessarily). I can talk a lot or fast, so it is good. She's very verbal.

How do you come to this your not traditionally the bad guy?

Well, Jason Reitman and Dan Dubecki are producing this movie and they produced and directed THANK YOU FOR SMOKING which I was in. So, I know them from that and they've become good friends of mind. And just through back channels such as that.

Was there a lot of auditioning involved?

No, not at all. It was pretty easy - it was the behind the scenes. And they had the authority to offer me the part and I wanted it. I hemmed and hawed about it for a second because it was a bad guy. And not only a bad guy but fairly vicious in a certain couple scenes and I wasn't sure I knew what I would do with it or how I could come out of it - not unscathed - but how I could do it and make it fun to watch and not just kind of depressing. I think we came up with a really cool thing. And either way, I feel comfortable with it.

Is it a funny character with a lot of jokes?

I think every character has humor in this movie - so, yeah he's definitely chock full of humor, I think. But he's probably one of the more grounded characters in the movie. I haven't actually been in many of the other scenes and I haven't really seen very much. It is tough to say but I think that - in fact maybe that's not true at all - that he's not that grounded comparatively. But, I don't know. Karyn [director Karyn Kusama] described him the other day as the most other-worldly - well not other-worldly - or maybe world-weary...

Virgin sacrificing pyromaniac that's real grounded...

Well, I guess that is in terms of his mannerisms versus straight comedy - I don't think of it as just bits. But I guess it's not that grounded, in fact it's kind of homicidal.

You get your hands dirty in more ways than one. How was is shooting the sacrifice scene?

It was interesting. Ya'know, it certainly is uncomfortable. I mean even though it is a lighter movie it is uncomfortable. I mean ya got Megan - it's freezing, it's a cold night - you got Megan tied up. And then you've got, like me and the rest of the band around her and that's creepy. And the scene before that we usher into a van. It kind of gives everyone the creeps a little. I'd me more freaked out but I actually felt pretty confident - I liked that it was a female writer, its a female director, female actresses as the lead. I feel that because of that viewpoint, hopefully never gets too sadistic. So, it was interesting; I was hesitant because it does give you a creepy feeling - now I'm gonna murder this person in this scene and you don't have to go there but you do the physical activity and it is weird. But there was a moment where I drag her off into the woods that I actually rather enjoyed when it was all said and done. I thought that was super satisfying.

What does Karyn do for you to ease that tension?

I mean, it's a pretty light set and I think I'm a fairly light person. As is she and I sort of just trust her judgment. Like I said, I think she's doing a fantastic job. And I trust her point of view to tell me when its like creepy in a good way or just creepy in a bad way. I sort of trust her and I don't know yet. Ya'know I haven't seen it. I hope I was steered correctly. I think I was. And I totally trust her. Everything else I've seen, not my stuff... all the dailies I've seen or other scenes looks fantastic so, I'm sure.

A lot of times the actors aren't really allowed to look at playback and stuff like that. Do you really want to see all of that stuff?

Yeah, definitely. Every movie and every situation is unique. Every actor is unique. I don't always need to see it or want to see it, but occasionally I do. Especially for this stuff which is like music based - where I'm lyp-synching and performing - I just want to see where the cameras are and what I'm doing that's cool and what I'm doing that doesn't register. But its all just physical movements. I almost feel like... I mean I'm an actor but I'm also part of the crew and I want to help them get the shot too and I need to kind of be aware of where the camera is. If I can see it, what they're going for, I can help.

Back to the beginning when you became involved in the project, did you approach Dan and Jason (producers)? Did they come after you? Did they just in passing did they come across...

Well, Dan [Dubecki] brought it up to me and then we had some conversations and then I talked on the phone with Jason and Dan...

And this is all before you saw the script?

This was all a pre-discussion... and then I read the script and then we talked about it more. Yeah, it was pretty seamless. Ya'know I was pretty hesitant at first because of the nature of the character - so, I had some concerns - but, they were really open and really collaborative. And, that was my concern. I wanted to work on it if we were gonna do it and they were really cool about it.

So, that means you made some tweaks - scriptwise...

Not really, not much - more just in choices or... there have been slight dialogue changes. But I don't think it has been a complete overhaul. And also the in the script the song we were playing only has three lines of dialogue and its really hard to tell what kind of song - what kind of group it be upon reading the script. So, that was my other question and really after hearing the song that informed the character and the band and all of those things so...

My impression from seeing your costume and the song, it was kind of like Chris Carabba from Dashboard Confessional...

Well, it is. Ya'know its a combo. Its like you got the Dashboard Confessional and I tried to pull it what I thought was a little cooler too like maybe if I could do a little Joy Division or a little Interpol, one of my favorite bands, or a little Morrissey and that sort of brit-rock, I guess. Not so much musically, but even a little stylistically and what not. I don't know... ya'know we were doing the prom scene and someone in the band was like "Man, Papa Roach is in the house." And I was like, FUCK. But it was pretty cool nonetheless, so, I don't know it will just be what it is.

Is the tattoo you [pointing to a prominent tattoo on his neck]...

The tattoo is me, but I took it from a line in the script that says black moon that corresponds with our sacrifice. So, I figure I've gotten into a little bit of astrology and Satan worship... I couldn't get any more specific because I don't know any more than that. But that was the intention. Plus, it looked cool.

Were you acting out your rock star fantasy?

Yeah, it's funny, I was in a band for like four or five years with a group of friends but I played the drums and I was always like "I just want to dance around and you guys get to move around..." Ya'know drums are so fun, but there's a part of me that was jealous of the showmanship of the other members. And, yeah, it has been a little bit of a fantasy to kinda; well, alright what would I do And its not me exactly, I mean I wouldn't do it exactly like this guy. He's kind of more grandiose than I'd be. But still, same ballpark.

You mention that you were initially hesitant about some of the darker stuff your character had to do and said that you came up with something that's kind of cool. What is it?

I just want to make sure that if I did it (by the way I didn't change anything) I want to figure out a way to do it to make it enjoyable. Versus how I didn't want to come in a be the BOYS DON'T CRY section. [Where there is a fun movie] and this guy comes in and is brutal. Not particularly funny and just brutal. And then its just a pain to watch and uncomfortable and ugly. It is all of those things... so one of my choices was to make him maybe; you know I feel like one of the major changes I tried to do with him was I feel like initially he came across as a little angry and he is power hungry and he is angry and all of those things. But I wanted to make him a little more amoral and homicidal. A little more Hannibal Lecter and maybe a little more flamboyant and a little more fun to watch. He's kind of a showman... that was the basic thing. How can I make it a little more comfortable and a little more pleasurable instead of just ugly.

Can I ask you about another projects you were involved in? Justice League, which looked all set to go...

(jokingly) - We filmed it. We finished!

From your point of view, what happened there?

I mean I probably shouldn't be commenting on this but, who cares? I am really an outsider. I don't totally know, I know that it was a tax credit thing and the strike, the initial writer's strike, was a hindrance... this is only speculation on my part, and I have no inside knowledge on this. Just as a fan I would understand how there's controversy whether to go off and do my own one and try to build those; although that feels like an impossibility for me. Building that franchise together would be awesome - I don't know. I really truly don't know actually more than you guys know.

Do you hope...

Well, I am huge George Miller fan and I am a huge comic fan, so I'd still be in it. But, maybe I won't be. I know that Ryan Reynolds was attached to the Flash for a while and then I got the part and then I read on the Internet "Oh, he's no Ryan Reynolds. He's the only Flash!" Hopefully, the next guy will get shit for not being me and I was the only person who could have conceivably been the Flash. It's all obvious.

Are there any other super heroes like hero characters you might be interested in doing?

Oh yeah. I secretly... well, shit, I shouldn't be saying this. Let's see, I was young... I don't want to put that out there...

With the AVENGERS coming out there is ANT-MAN who isn't as much of a name but you'd have a lot of room to work with...

Fuck ANT-MAN, man. I kind of... its funny... Shit, I'm not going to say it... Uh, I'm trying to think of other, smaller ones. Well... there's no way it comes back... I'm trying to think how I can phrase it so if I ever see it I won't hate myself.

Is it typical hero? Is it someone out of a mainstream graphic novel character?

No, no. I mean they're making a lot... I always, from a kid, the dream would always be to be SPIDER-MAN. I always associated most with Peter Parker. And then other than that it's all... that was like the dream from being a kid. And I could never be Batman, honestly. The rest (of characters he'd like to be) are from random graphic novels... that maybe I could be. The only one from a kid was SPIDER-MAN.

What are some of your personal favorite graphic novels?

Graphic novels? That's interesting... I like LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. Alan Moore is great for the highest literary aspirations. And then, I've been saying all month long, I can't believe an IRON MAN movie is in theaters. I don't believe its real. IRON MAN is a $200 million movie. Its pretty cool. I feel like I'm 9. I really just can't wait to see G. I. JOE. I'm really excited. I don't care I am so excited. Will it be great? I don't know. I have no expectations.

There's a wave of horror filmmakers coming in (like Rob Zombie) that are all '70s horror. This is the first set I've been on where its "'80s Horror - that's the bomb." That's interesting...

Well, I grew up on slashers, ya'know the slasher films of the '80s and what I love about [JENNIFER'S BODY] is that it reminds me of FRIDAY THE 13TH -- no strike that -- NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, which I like more. I guess what is more reminiscent of the '80s in this one is the high school suburbia of it all. The way its lit its like a foggy suburban nights and I think the '80s and Spielberg and suburbia became... I think its hearkening back to that and that's why its not so much '70s.

You're coming close to the end of your time on this movie. What memory stands out to you?

Well, there's two. There's two things that I haven't really done before. We did the prom and I'm singing up there in front of [an audience] dancing around. That was a new moment for me as an actor. And, also, in the middle of the night ya'know I'm doing this sacrifice scene of a virgin and like playing the total bad guy - that was a totally new experience for me. It was fun.

Are you open to a sequel?

Well, certainly experience-wise I would. Certainly, the quality of the movie I would do three more of these. It would be interesting because this one is called JENNIFER'S BODY and I won't give anything away but its an interesting place they leave off that I don't know what would consist of a second one. I'm sure that they could figure something out. Still, I'd be really curious to read it.

Thanks!
Source: AITH

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