INT: Odette Yustman
What’s not to like about Odette Yustman? She is stunningly attractive, she digs horror movies and she is one of those girls that you could hang out with and a have a fun conversation. And she also happens to be pretty damn talented. It isn’t really a surprise to me after her work on the series “October Road” and of course CLOVERFIELD she is given the opportunity to carry a film. And frankly, she does it quite well. THE UNBORN features Odette in nearly every scene and she gets to battle bugs and all sorts of evil entities. Luckily, she is up for the challenge.
I wish I could say that I talked with her in person, but no, we had the distance of miles and miles of telephone wires separating us. But she is still incredibly charming and she seems to take her success just seriously enough. At one point she mentioned that she found it hard to believe that people would want to talk to her… I can’t imagine any guy in their right mind not wanting to talk to her. But talk we did, about monsters, sequels, CLOVERFIELD and that poster… you know the one… it emphasis her in her underwear. That is one way to sell a film. But you can see more of Odette when THE UNBORN is released this coming Friday at a theatre near you.
So I was thinking about your career, and man do you deal a lot with demons and ghosts and what have you.
I really have, that seems to be the theme of my career right?
No kidding, and obviously you were a part of “October
Road”. How was the experience of
doing a series like that compared to doing something like this?
Well, you know, I always say T.V. is so bittersweet because I had such an amazing experience on “October Road”. I worked with such great people and the creators of that show really are my mentors, and they have helped me and guided me throughout everything that I have done so far. You know, I would definitely work with them in a heartbeat again. But film is probably a little more rewarding for me because I get to play so many different characters. You know, I do one movie and then you’re done in two months or whatever it is and then you start another one. But T.V. you kind of have this thing with this character, and even though you can evolve your character and whatnot… film is easier to have the opportunity to play different characters.
Well with the huge success of CLOVERFIELD, I think it is
going to kind of put you into horror genre.
And I think fans are going to love seeing you do genre films.
Right, well that… thank you, that’s a compliment. I really, actually do enjoy the genre and I’m a big fan of horror films and thrillers. I grew up watching them and it’s kind of an honor to be able to be a part of that. Not to say that I wouldn’t want to steer clear from it for a little while, maybe do a comedy or something like that. But I love doing it and hopefully will come back to it one day, absolutely.
Now with THE UNBORN, it kind of reminded me of several
different movies within the genre, from A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET to
ROSEMARY’S BABY. Going in, what
was your reaction to the script and playing that character?
Well, you know, I thought it was really interesting. First of all, I was always a big fan of David Goyer and his work, he’s such a great writer and it was just such an amazing script. It was a great role for me and to be carrying the whole movie, it was really appealing to me. And also, it wasn’t a remake of a horror. You see so many remakes nowadays, and this was actually a psychological thriller but that hasn’t been done before. It’s a completely new concept… it’s something that is new. It’s such a great opportunity to play this character and to carry the whole film is such a great experience for somebody that is kinda just really starting out.
Now come on, you wanted to do it because of the bugs.
Oh yes, the bugs… screw that [Laughing]! I hated those bugs! They’re disgusting and they really have no purpose on this earth. I really believe that those bugs have no purpose. It’s horrible! They eat each other, they bite people, I hate them! [Laughing]
How much of that was CGI?
Well there was about fifty bugs that were actually on me. They were real. And then all the rest is pretty much CGI. But the ones that were on me, they were crawling up my shirt, they were biting me… it was horrible. That was genuine fear that you saw me in. I was really screaming to get those things off of me.
Did they have to put anything on you, you know,
something to attract them?
Nope. They were just fine on their own.
Now I have to ask about working with Gary Oldman…
Oh come on… right? It’s like, such a dream come true in the cheesiest way possible. He’s just such a great, great actor and TRUE ROMANCE is one of my favorite movies and I thought he was unbelievable in that movie. So I was really nervous to meet him and really nervous to work with him… I thought, ‘Oh my God, what if he thinks I suck? What if he doesn’t like me?’ but he just kind of took me under his wing and gave me really great advice. He told me some great stories about THE PROFESSIONAL and about working with Sean Penn. He’s just such a cool guy and has such a great personality. And working with him, it just kind of makes you a better actor.
And he’s not in the film a whole lot, but since you
carry the film, you had a really great opportunity to work with him whenever he
Yeah, which was crazy… Gary Oldman’s going to be in this movie and I’m going to have a bigger part than him and I’m going to be acting with him in every single scene. That is so cool!
Now we talked about you being a fan of the genre, when
you first started the film, did you go back and look at certain films and styles
You know what I really did? I basically, to prepare myself for the role, I went on YouTube. Instead of obviously buying the books and reading up on it, I wanted more of a visual… something visual that I can take with me and learn from that and prepare for that. So I went on YouTube and just searched exorcisms and amateur videos and what people have caught. You know, it’s really creepy just to see certain exorcisms and people that think their kids are crazy. They take them to these priests and ask for exorcisms and some kids are shaking and the words that are coming out of their mouths are really, really, really scary.
I think the scariest thing about this is that some of
these kids just have some sort of development issue or whatever, and you have
this backwoods mentality saying, ‘Oh no, they are possessed by the devil.’
Right, right, exactly.
Which is much more terrifying for these poor kids.
That is such a terrifying thing, and especially watching it
by myself, I could not handle that.
It seems that YouTube has become the key to almost every kind of research hasn’t it?
Oh, absolutely. It’s the future.
It’s unbelievable what we can do these days and what we can see online.
It really is a great tool when you think about it, it really helped me
with this movie and it’s great research. And
even for CLOVERFIELD, I did the same thing.
Just going to amateur videos and seeing how people reacted just naturally
with the camera, it’s just great.
Oh, absolutely. It’s the future. It’s unbelievable what we can do these days and what we can see online. It really is a great tool when you think about it, it really helped me with this movie and it’s great research. And even for CLOVERFIELD, I did the same thing. Just going to amateur videos and seeing how people reacted just naturally with the camera, it’s just great.
Well the thing with CLOVERFIELD, even though it had been
done to a certain extent, I loved the monster and everything.
But I did keep thinking, ‘Dude… put the camera down!’
Right, right, exactly.
But you can’t get past that when doing that type of
Yeah. Absolutely. It was really such a great experience because we all didn’t really know what was going on. We kind of just rolled with the punches and we kind of did improv on a lot of the stuff and you know, they really were brilliant with the viral marketing and all that stuff. So it really turned out to be a great thing. You know, it was a great project to be a part of.
Oh absolutely, the marketing was brilliant.
What bummed me out though, I watched the ending last
night… I’ve seen it a couple of times, but I was watching it and I kept
thinking, you know, maybe you survive and maybe you can go into a sequel… but
after watching it again, I’m not sure [Laughing].
Right!?! Yeah, that would be really great if we didn’t die and you see more footage of us, but I don’t know what they’re going to do with that. I heard some people saying that they’re going to do a sequel, but I haven’t heard from the directors mouth or from J.J. [Abrams] or anybody like that, so who knows.
I ‘m sure it’ll happen and obviously I think it
would be something that a lot of people would be interested in seeing.
And I think people would like to see you there somehow.
I think that would be really cool… let’s put that out there.
Okay… let’s do it [Laughing].
Now as for upcoming films, you are doing one called ROGUE’S GALLERY,
what can you tell me about that?
Yeah, it’s such a great project. It’s this independent movie, it’s a dark, dry wit comedy about a group of assassins. And they’re basically hired to kill people. They’re all based on Tarot Card names and they end up, instead of killing other people, they kill each other in a really funny way. I got to work with some great, great actors like Ellen Barkin and Jeffrey Tambor and Ving Rhames, Maggie Q. Some great comedienne’s like Zach Galifianakis and Rob Corddry. It was this great script… really funny, weird. This character I got to play, a really bad ass girl that got to kick some ass, you know. So it was really awesome to fight, train and do my own stunts. I mean, obviously I didn’t do all my own stunts, but a lot of them. So it was cool.
Do you like doing the more physical roles?
Yeah, I do, I really do. It’s so fun for me, especially since there were so many different twists, and it’s also a comedy. So kicking butt and being funny and killing people… it doesn’t get much better than that.
What else have you got coming up?
I’m available. I’m really in no rush, I kind of want to wait for the right project you know. So I’m just kind of waiting for that great script.
In that sense, were you very disappointed in the
cancellation of “October Road”?
Absolutely. Yeah, that was one of my passion projects. Everybody in it was so amazing and we all became such great friends and it was like family. I know everybody says that about their cast, but we really did have a great thing. You know, ABC just couldn’t find the right spot for us which is unfortunate. I would definitely work with those guys again. And I loved my character… it was really great.
I have to ask you, have you seen the newest poster for
I haven’t seen it yet, people keep telling me about it.
It’s basically you in your underwear.
I cannot believe that. Can I see it on-line?
Yeah, I think we have it up on JoBlo.com right now.
Oh my gosh, I have to check that out right after this. Where do I go?
Just go to Joblo.com… I guarantee that you’ll get a
lot of tickets sold with it, and seriously, last night at the screening, the
biggest reaction was that scene.
Yep, it was a media screening with a test audience
screening, and once that scene happened, a whole lotta dudes started yelling at
the screen… they seemed to enjoy it.
My God, that is so funny. Yeah, I had an array of underwear to choose from and I definitely went with the most conservative. They had some risqué things.
They’re like, ‘… are you sure you don’t wanna
try the thong?‘
Exactly. I definitely had some crazy g-strings and whatever, but I went with the more conservative boy shorts.
Well now you will be forever immortalized in the poster.
Now if Unborn is a success, are we talking UNBORN 2?
You know, that is quite a possibility. I know that David Goyer was talking about maybe doing a prequel. And hopefully working with Carla Gugino - she plays my mother in the movie - so maybe developing that story a little bit more and you could see why maybe her relationship with her father isn't as strong as it should be and how the real story went down. So that would be a possibility, you know, if it's a hit...
Let me know what you think. Send questions and/or comments to JimmyO@JoBlo.com.