INT: Burgess Jenkins




You may remember up and coming actor BURGESS JENKINS as the racist football player in REMEMBER THE TITANS. If you don't well you'll get another shot at retaining who the lad is via his performance in the upcoming Dark Castle horror flick THE REAPING (now slated for a November 2006 release), starring Hilary Swank and directed by style maniac Stephen Hopkins (Predator 2, Ghost and Darkness). I got shot at jabbing Mr. Jenkins about the flick and here's what he left hooked my way!


Would you call yourself a horror fan? If so what are your favorite horror movies?


I love a good Horror film, but the thriller/horror crossover is more to my liking, which by the way was one of the aspects of "The Reaping" that attracted me to it. Hmmm. Favorites...I'd say "The Shining", "the Ring" (scared the hell out of me), and "Misery".


You play David Winter in the upcoming The Reaping with Hilary Swank. How long and intricate was the auditioning process to lock that role?


It was a matter of a couple weeks and a few meetings. I had originally been reading for a different character, but when they decided to go older with that character, the part of Hillary's Husband was offered to me.


What type of horror film are we in for with The Reaping according to you?


Cerebral…purely entertaining…cheesy…LOL... certainly not cheesy. No "the Reaping" is, as I indicated before, a horror/thriller and because of that it has a lot of "edge of your seat moments, coupled with a plot line that has you intensely trying to figure it out. I like to think of myself as somewhat skilled with figuring out where a story is headed when I'm reading scripts, but the reaping got me. I had no idea what the ending would be.


What can you tell us about your part and its place in the storyline?


Well, originally I felt it would be a bit more "hush hush" but all the pre-press info has detailed parts of my character, so in short, Hillary's character (Katherine), myself and our daughter are Christian missionaries in Africa assisting a village with their infirm. Through a series of events both our daughter and I are "sacrificed" which leads to Hillary's loss of faith in Christ. My character and our relationship are chronicled through flashbacks and the like.


What kind of preparations if any did you for the role before beforehand?

Though my role wasn't huge in scale, it was pivotal, so my Job was to be in touch with the dire circumstance of the village as as well as the toll it was taking on Katherine (Hillary). So mostly to be emotionally prepared and open to my surroundings.



How would you describe working with Hilary Swank as an actor?


What can I say, it was joy. She is a complete pro in every sense of the word. As well as kind. she has a warm demeanor that i believe is one of the reasons people enjoy her work so much, it translates through her performances so well.


Being that The Reaping is a horror film, did you at all have to be personally subjected to prosthetics? If so how arduous was it for you?


I only had one scene that required heavy makeup. mostly coagulated blood...and a lot of it. Its never my favorite thing to be slathered in cold prop blood, but its certainly not the worst experience. Besides at the end of the day it looks pretty cool, and it just so happened that it was Halloween day, so I got some extra mileage out of it scaring some of the kids on set...lol!

From being on set, would you say that the special effects were handled in a practical fashion, CGI or both?


Its not a big special effects film, but they definitely brought out the big guns for the effects where they were implemented.


What was your experience in terms of working with Director Stephen Hopkins? Was he an “actor’s director” as they say?


He definitely is an actor's director. I've worked with both and at least from my experience there is no comparison. He allows the scene to unfold and then when necessary "tweaks" in the subtle ways that bring about a full performance.


What would you say was the most memorable moment of The Reaping shoot for you?

Believe it or not what stands out was the scenery. In general it was amazing, we were filming in remote areas of Louisiana, swampland that was not 3 miles from town looked as if you were in another world, and some of the antebellum mansions we shot in were a combination of beautiful and uber creepy. But what was most impressive was the job they did with recreating the African dessert. We were in a rock/sand quarry, and it was unbelievable. I took more pictures of that than anything just from how impressed I was. You'd swear you were standing in the Sudan.


Are you signed on for a potential The Reaping sequel

As of yet there is no word on a sequel, but here's hoping.

I'd like to thank Burgess for dropping by and wish him the best with THE REAPING. Hopefully Dark castle will get it right this time!

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