A recipe for success in the horror genre: 1) gather a group of hot, amorous young actors; 2) find creative ways to kill each of them off. Its a formula that the first two Final Destination films executed perfectly. FINAL DESTINATION 3, opening this week, looks to replicate the success its predecessors by delivering more of the same. Two of FD3s hot, amorous young actors - Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ryan Merriman stopped by the Culver Studios last week to talk about their experience making the latest installment of the horror franchise. Check it out.
Elizabeth Winstead / Ryan Merriman
Were you prepared for all of the heavy lifting, running, and crying?
Winstead: I was excited about it when I read the script. I was like, There is a lot of cool stuff to do in this. It was challenging. When I got into it, I was like after awhile, Dont make me cry again. But when all was said and done it was so much fun to be challenged everyday. Everyday was high energy and high stakes. Almost passing out.
Merriman: None of it was fluff stuff. Especially when youre doing a movie like this. Some people come to see the blood and guts, but theres also a really good story, which is why I thought the third one was so good. Especially our relationship in the movie it was interesting because we werent like lovers or anything like that. Were friends, both thrown into the circumstance of, I lost my girl and she lost her guy. We both kind of try to go on this journey together. It was fun though. I had a good time.
Now you guys did a lot of your own stunts?
Winstead: We had good stunt doubles, definitely. If anything was really dangerous you know theyre not going to let the actors do it.
How many times did you guys have to ride the rollercoaster?
Winstead: We did it and it was like three nights.
Merriman: One night it was like 27 times.
Anyone get sick?
Winstead: We thought they would but nobody did. Your head feels like its going to pop off of like your neck. Its just insane. Ive never felt that way
Merriman: Its like a whiskey hangover. Not beer. Its like Whiskey. Your equilibrium goes apeshit because you just rode it 20 times.
Winstead: And our voices got like so low I sounded like a man.
Merriman: All you can do is scream, you know what I mean? You never know what theyre going to use so every time youve got to give it 100% because they could use the one where youre like (screams).
So are you guys over amusement parks?
Winstead: I dont really have a desire to go anytime soon to any of them. We spent two consecutive weeks there, every night. All night long.
Merriman: But we only did get to ride two rides. I was bummed. I wanted them to give us free reign and say, Ok guys we want you to ride everything you can. We didnt get any of that.
Winstead: There was one really huge roller coaster that was down the way a bit. We ran over there and got a guy to run it for us. I almost flew out and I almost died.
Merriman: It was an old wooden one.
Winstead: And hes like wearing this big coat because hes bigger than me. Its like out to here on me and hes like filling it out and everything. He tells me to put my arms up when were going down. I put them up and I go flying.
She really went flying. That was cool. It actually got voted
one of the scariest rollercoasters in
When you make a movie like this, how conscious are you of everyday dangers? (* Minor spoiler follows *)
Winstead: When I was making the movie I tried not to think about it so much. You think about it so much while youre in scene that once youre done you just want to think about something funny. It was like, Get it out of my head! But, afterwards when youve seen the movie it almost made me think about it more watching the movie than actually filming it.
Merriman: It definitely makes you aware. You think about things more. Im sure the next time you guys go tanning, youll definitely think about those chicks who got their asses fried. You know the drive-thru is cool. You think about things. Especially home improvement stores. I went in one day and I was buying tar for my dad. I was looking around and was like, Good Lord, theres an 80 pound bag of concrete 13 feet above my head. And theres some guy who just got done smoking a joint at lunch operating a crane, you know what I mean? You think about stuff like that. It makes you aware and I think thats what cool about these movies is that you can incorporate that into real life actually. I mean if it was a zombie with a knife you would say oh that was a good movie and never think about it again. But this actually kind of follows you home a little bit.
Do you guys actually believe in premonitions?
Winstead: I think some people have them. I think its definitely possible. I mean Ive never had one. I dont what its like so I had to make that up. But yeah, I think its possible and I think people may tune into intuition a little bit more than other people. Some people say its more supernatural than that.
Merriman: Itd be nice. Itd be nice to predict how much money this is going to make.
How cold was it when you shot in Vancouver? In one of the long shots it looked like you could see your breath.
Winstead: It was freezing. My mouth started freezing and I couldnt get the words out. My lips started going numb. So the lines by the fifth take or something were like, Brrrrrrrr. So they had to take me and blow dry me and warm me up with blankets.
Merriman: My whole speech too, outside the window. That wasnt exactly a short monologue. Sure enough, it was raining and pouring and she was like waiting to drive off. The funny thing was sorry Mary Im bringing this up
Merriman: For like five takes, five takes this Volvo she was driving. There was like park, reverse, drive, neutral. It was just a weird assembly. She was like Fuck you Kevin! and then, Eerrrrrrrr. (mimics car moving the wrong way).
Winstead: It was like the first day, too. It was like the most embarrassing day of my life. Everyone was like, What an idiot she is. I could look down because I had to be all intense, like, Fuck you! I couldnt look down (at the stick shift) and be like, Fuck you. It wouldnt really work.
As a young actor in Hollywood, do you get a lot of horror scripts?
Winstead: Theres a lot of it out there, so yeah.
Merriman: It sells. The last number one movies were Saw 2, Hostel, what else? I dont know what else came out. But, its a good thing. Especially with this one Im really excited because not only did we make, I think, a good movie thats not exactly a carbon copy of the first two. Theres definitely new characters. Its got a new idea with the pictures and the audience can really tap in and try to figure it out. But, you also get that following from the first two. I mean it made a quarter of a billion dollars the first two.
Winstead: To me it just seems like more and more horror being out there every year. It seems like theres more scripts coming in so I think that any time you can do something different that stands out its like people want that. The Final Destination series is just something thats different.
Merriman: I just dont want the Wayans brothers to make fun of us. (laughs)
Mary, youre following this with Black Christmas?
Winstead: I just did Bobby, so Ive got a non-horror sort of thrown in between. Then yeah, Ill go onto Black Christmas.
What will you be playing in Black Christmas?
Winstead: It basically centers around four sorority girls. Its an ensemble so Im one of the girls being stalked by this crazed killer. I dont know if anyones seen the original, but its sort of a prequel and sequel, kind of combined. The first big chunk of the movie follows Billys back story as a child and what made him the way he is. Then it kind of picks up to present day with the four sorority girls and the house and him coming back to have a visit.
Does that mean its not set up as a surprise in terms of who the killer is?
Winstead: Theres a lot of twists in it. It has a lot of surprises. Its definitely different than the original, but its based on the original.
Who do you play in Bobby?
Winstead: I play its a huge ensemble that follows tons of different stories. I play this struggling, wannabe actress thats trying to get discovered by working at the Ambassador Hotel as a waitress. I cant get an agent. I cant get a job. Its sort of a depressing sob story.
Who did you get to interact with?
Winstead: Most of my scenes were with Shia LaBeouf and Brian Geraghty. We were kind of a threesome and I had scenes with Anthony Hopkins, Sharon Stone and a lot with Christian Slater and Joshua Jackson.
What was it like working with Anthony?
Winstead: I didnt have much with him but he was always there because he was originally a producer on the project. He had a lot of interest, so even when it was just me working with other people hed be there like watching the monitors. It was pretty intimidating, especially in the beginning. It was kind of scary.
What about you Ryan? Have you shot anything else?
Merriman: Yeah. Right after I finished this my agents were like, Youve got to come to L.A. Youve got to do auditions. I was like, God, I just finished. Cause this was a physically type grueling of thing. But, I actually booked a film. I have a week left to shoot on it. Its called Home of the Giants with Haley Joel Osment and Danielle Panabaker. Its a dramatic film about high school basketball in Indiana. So its kind of like what Friday Nights was to football, this is for basketball. It has to deal with high school and the gambling you know. Things that go on and how I get treated.
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