Rusty Nail, the baritone-voiced trucker who terrorized a hapless trio in JOYRIDE, is back! Once again, a group of friends unwittingly screw with the wrong guy, and he's going to put them through hell before finishing them off... Of course, he hasn't counted on the fact that at least one of them isn't going down so quietly...
Of course, it happens to be a strong-willed girl with a knack for rising to the occasion who makes things tough for Rusty. The girl in question is Nicki Aycox, whom horror fans will recognize from JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 and the CW show SUPERNATURAL, where she appears regularly. I got a chance to talk with Nicki about scary movies, driving without road rage, and stripping down in the freezing cold. Yeah, we went there.
Let's just start off with, What made you want to do JOYRIDE 2?
NICKI: Well, I got a phone call, asking me to come into a meeting with Louis Morneau - the director - and Tom over at Fox, and I went in and read the script and was very excited. I first of all love the whole horror genre, I always have, and I loved the idea that this was a female character that was actually going to take down the enemy, so I saw a very exciting chance to play something like that.
Was the desert/road setting appealing to you?
NICKI: The desert/road setting was appealing to me until I realized the actually shooting wasn't going to be in a desert. (Laughs) We were actually in Canada, and it was raining every single day, and we had to make due.
Well, the movie looks pretty hot...
NICKI: They did a good job, didn't they? (Laughs) But we weren't. It was the middle of winter.
I think readers of our site will definitely remember you from JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 - and you already kind've answered this - but do you enjoy horror movies? Do enjoy making them?
NICKI: I do. I grew up loving Nightmare on Elm Street, and I'm a big fan of Hitchcock and all kinds of old-school horror films. I like all of the elements - I like the films that have your beasts and your creatures, and I also like the ones that are very psychologically thrilling. So I was very excited to be a part of the new wave...
Yeah, because JOYRIDE 2 is sort of a combination of psychological thriller and monster movie...
NICKI: Yeah, and I'm a huge fan of DUEL, which came out back in the day, and that was one reason I liked the original JOYRIDE, because I thought "Great, someone has taken the idea of DUEL and recreated it." In part 2, you get more of an insight into Rusty Nail, and I think with any horror sequel, it's nice for the fans when they get more information than in the first one, and that's what JOYRIDE is offering.
Now, when you're talking to him [Rusty Nail] on the radio, is the actor there reading lines for you? And what is it like simply reacting to someone's voice?
NICKI: It was different for me, I didn't really know what to expect. What ended up happening - which was absolutely wonderful - was that our 1st A.D. would read the lines to us when Mark [Gibbon] wasn't available, off-set over the walkie-talkie. He put on a very creepy voice for the character. So we ended up being very lucky, it worked, and I was able to react to it.
Did you spend a lot of time with your co-stars off screen to build up a rapport?
NICKI: I did, we really did have a great time. They were wonderful people, and good actors as well. We all went horseback riding up in the mountains, which was fun, and we had dinners and hung out. We got very close and we bonded - we just kind've spent every waking moment with each other.
What about the actor who played Rusty Nail?
NICKI: Mark Gibbon, Mark's great. He came in later on after we had been shooting already, but he fit right in. He had no problem hanging out with us, sitting down with us, and he was just one of us. He's a very, very tall man, and he can be very intimidating, but as soon as he opens his mouth and talks to you, he's just the biggest teddy-bear, the sweetest guy.
You're character undergoes a serious change throughout the movie. She's a very sweet girl at the beginning, and at the end, she's a warrior. Can you talk about the transformation, for the character, and for you?
NICKI: That was something I was really excited about when I first saw the script, that she was very strong underneath. What I kind've thought about was a girl who had been through a lot of turmoil, and maybe something traumatic, in her younger years, and who had a very tough side, and who had made a change to soften. So that when she was hit with that terror, that strength had to come from somewhere, to be able to survive.
I'm pretty much required to ask about the strip scene...
NICKI: Yeah right! (Laughs) Ask away...
It's part of my job description. I'm just curious what it's like shooting a scene like that. Is it one of the more difficult scenes that you've ever had to shoot?
NICKI: Well you would think that it has something to do with stripping down in front of the entire set the entire night, but that's not what made it the most difficult shooting night of my life. I WILL say that it was the most difficult shooting night of my life, because it was below zero and the ground was frozen. That scene takes a bit of time, so obviously, however much time you see in that scene, is how much time I spent stripped down to my underwear. They literally had a trailer really close to the set and I think they had the heat up to 90 degrees. The second that I was finished I would run to that trailer and just wait until they were ready to shoot again... We did that for, I believe, about 7 or 8 hours.
Oh lord. (Laughs) I mean it's not funny, but...
NICKI: (Laughs) It's funny now, since I survived it. I can't believe I did it. I literally just had to say to myself: "Just do it and it will be over tomorrow."
Is it one of those things where you come upon that scene in the script and say "Oh god, here we go with this scene..."?
NICKI: No actually, because for me it was justifiable. And it has a humorous quality to it, which I don't want to spoil for anyone. But I didn't just see it as something just to have a girl take off her clothes; it wasn't sexual in any manner, and it had a humorous quality to it, so it didn't bother me at all.
Have you ever been in a situation remotely similar to the one in JOYRIDE?
NICKI: Gosh no, thank goodness! I'm a pretty quiet driver. As a matter of fact, I went to get a new car recently, and I was test driving it, and the person in the car with me was saying, "If you're going to buy the car, see what it can do. Drive it! Drive it!" And I'm just really relaxed, I don't get into too much trouble on the road.
Has there been any JOYRIDE 3 talk?
NICKI: I don't know! You're gonna have to get through part 2 first, it just came out... Of course, if there's a part 3, it's going to be enjoyable, you know that...
Many thanks to Nicki for her time. JOYRIDE: DEAD AHEAD comes out on DVD October 7th.