INT: Jensen Ackles
Jensen Ackles is one of those actors that just comes across as likable. He is that smart ass who really means well, and this has served him nicely on his hit series “Supernatural”. Every week it seems to work towards Jensen’s strengths as an actor. But aside from that, Jensen is fairly new to film. Aside from TEN INCH HERO and DEVOUR, he hasn’t done a whole lot as a film actor. But with MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D, and the possible end for his series next year, it seems that he may be heading in the right direction.
The thing I like about Jensen, not so much the actor, but the person… his honesty. Don’t get me wrong, I think he is damn good actor and he seems to be growing. But he really just tells it like it is and I really appreciate that. He talked to me about the difficulty of trying to move past Dean Winchester, living in Vancouver for nine months of the year. He also talked positively about the show… and about his new film My Bloody Valentine. I really liked Jensen when I spoke to him over the phone. Just a really good and honest fellow. And this weekend, you can check him out in MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D. Bring your pickaxe… or probably not a good idea. Leave it at home away from Harry Warden.
I will mention, I had to cut quite a bit from the beginning of our conversation… way too may spoilers discussed… Enjoy!
I think we ended up shooting… three, I wanna say…
Did you know the outcome of the script when you first got the part? Or did they want to keep it secret?
The outcome was decided very early on.
Now the thing that interests me is that you’ve been in this genre for awhile with “Supernatural”, aside from doing DEVOUR, I’m surprised that you haven’t done more horror films.
Yeah, well for one thing, it is just availability. “Supernatural” is nine months out of the year. So give yourself three months and… you know the year before that I did a stage play. The year before that I did TEN INCH HERO, a little independent film. To be honest, I haven’t been available.
Have you had offers?
Yeah, but a lot of times, I tell my agents that I don’t want to hear about them. Because I don’t want to know what I could be doing, it’s just gonna make me mad [Laughing]. Know what I mean?
I see that.
It would just frustrate me the fact that - and I don’t wanna say that I’m “stuck” in Vancouver , stuck on “Supernatural” - at times it’s like, you know, you shoot sixteen hours days nine months out of the year, you can get a little frustrated sometimes. And trust me, I’m a big fan of “Supernatural” and I love the character that I play and I couldn’t be happier. But four years of doing something, sometimes you kind of want, as an artist, selfishly if you are made to play the same song over and over and over again, sometimes you want to write a new song. So to hear the possibility of, hey man, guess what, they want you for so and so’s film. And then to also hear in the same breath, but you can’t do it so don’t worry about it [Laughing].
Yeah… I literally tell them, I don’t wanna hear that so don’t even let me know.
Now if the opportunity to do a sequel for MBV, would you do it?
Well, you know, obviously if we got the cast back, if everything… if all the pieces fell in line and we got Patrick back, we got the cast back, budget was good… well, yeah. Obviously there are a lot of factors into making a sequel, you don’t want to half ass it.
Well you’d better tell Hollywood that because they tend to half ass it a lot.
Absolutely, I hate that just as much as any audience member. Like I hate when you come back for a sequel of something that you love and it’s just a watered down, diluted bullshit version of what you wanted. And I wouldn’t want to be a part of that.
I will say that much of the time, I’m not a huge fan of remakes, but this one just works for me.
Well you know, I think the thing with this one is, Valentine was not just a gigantic juggernaut of a movie. It was kind of this little movie that could, with the cult following of horror movie film buffs. So I think just the… honestly, it’s anonymity is what really helps this movie. But what’s great also is the fact that the people, the cult following horror buffs that do love it, are familiar with the original. I still think it pays quite a homage to its original form which is layering a ton of 21st century technology onto it.
Oh yeah… the 3D…
It’s pretty intense right man?
Oh yeah, had you seen it in 3D before last night?
No I saw it in a little tiny screening theatre about a month ago because I had to do some interviews for it. And I needed to know what I was talking about. So I saw it in 3D, but I hadn’t seen it in that big of a venue. So to see it, kind of like, that large and that in charge, it was pretty commanding. I liked it.
Have you seen the original?
I had heard of it, I knew of it, but I’d never seen it. When I got the film, I went out and… well it was actually kind of hard to track down but I tracked down a copy of it. Bought it off like, Amazon or something. And I held onto it, and I didn’t want to watch it until after I was done filming the movie. And then as soon as I was done filming the movie I popped it in and I watched it. Because I didn’t want it to, you know, if it influenced me in any way I didn’t want it to change what I was doing. Mainly because the year before I did the stage play of A FEW GOOD MEN, the Aaron Sorkin film. I did it in Dallas at a professional theatre. It was me and Lou Diamond Phillips. So I did the play and all I could hear was Tom Cruise doing Lieutenant Kaffey, you know what I mean? [Laughing] It was ringing in my head, like all I could hear was him delivering those lines. And I made the mistake of watching the movie again to refresh my memory of what it was like before I went and started rehearsing the play. And then I couldn’t get his voice out of my head. So it was a bit of a challenge to overcome and try to get my own take on the role. I didn’t want that to happen with Valentine, so I made a point of not watching the original film until I was done filming. And then when I watched it I realized that, even though it is definitely a remake of an old horror movie, that there was no way that I was going to lose myself into… what we were doing was quite different from what was done in Nova Scotia back in 1979.
What’s your stance on remakes by the way… I mean of course, other than this one?
Honestly I’ve kind of been vocally against them. Just in the frustration of, how hard is it to come up with an original idea these days. I mean, we’re in the entertainment industry… there are writers out there that are getting paid hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars… you’ve gotta be kidding me that nobody can come up with an original idea that actually still captivates audiences. So for me, I think that sometimes the remakes are a bit mundane. But there was something about this one. It wasn’t something that was trying to remake a big, giant, blockbuster movie, you know what I mean. Or it wasn’t just a blatant stealing of another countries horror movie [Laughing]. You know what I mean… it was this little, tiny movie way back in the early Eighties that only a few people truly really loved and horror buffs were kind of cult following about it. It was like, let’s take this little movie, which I knew Patrick Lussier was a huge horror guy… you know, he has edited, I can’t even count how many horror movies. So he was a huge fanatic about this kind of movie. And the fact that he was attached to it and I knew how much he loved this genre, it was too priceless to pass up. And the fact that we were doing it with a 3D element man, I was like, ‘Let’s do this!’
And you know what he did which was interesting was the sort of double climax...
That was cool.
Absolutely. I mean… you know what else I loved about this one? It still kept all those like, those horrible cliché horror movie antics. Like the falling down when the guy’s chasing you. Or the running into the woods when it’s the worst place you could possibly go. You know what I mean? It really kept all those great, kind of, back to your original format of horror movie making. And then throwing that with the new format of 3D… I loved it.
Now before I let you go, I’d love to talk a little bit about “Supernatural”. How much longer do you feel you have with the series?
You know honestly, I think we’ve got one more season in us. I think we do. I think Eric [Kripke] doesn’t want to jump the shark. He wants to get it done and go out with a bang. And I honestly think that he was expecting to do it this season. And I think that with the ratings, they just jumped the way that they did the first half of season four… I think it’s kind of a sure thing that we’re gonna go for another one. If we don’t, I’ll be surprised, but I think we are setting ourselves up to do another year.
Well one of the reasons I think the show still works is the fact that the writing seems to have gotten better. You know what it is, most shows get more serious as they continue, but “Supernatural” has gotten funnier.
[Laughing] Well I think that is probably just them utilizing Dean’s quirkiness. But you know what? I gotta say that the writing this year has definitely been above par from what they were used to. And I think honestly that was Eric going, ‘Alright guys, this is it, let’s throw everything at the wall and get it done.’ and now that it has come the way we have, its like, okay let’s pull back a little bit because we actually have another season to go.
Let me know what you think. Send questions and/or comments to JimmyO@JoBlo.com.