The name Jamie Kennedy is known & loved to all who are devotees of the “SCREAM” franchise (He portrayed Randy Meeks in parts 1-3 to be precise). But he’s been acting professionally since 1989 (DEAD POETS SOCIETY) & he’s also written films like 2003’s “MALIBU’S MOST WANTED”. He’s a very familiar face on TV as both an actor & producer (THE JAMIE KENNEDY EXPERIMENT, ENTOURAGE, EUREKA, THE GHOST WHISPERER) & his production company, JAMIE KENNEDY ENTERTAINMENT, is now behind director Matt Orlando’s debut film “A RESURRECTION” which was released on March 22nd to theaters nationwide. He took some time to talk to me about how he got involved with the project & what his plans for the future are.
Horrornews.net: Let’s get right to it. I saw “A RESURRECTION” last week & I spoke with director MATT ORLANDO directly afterwards. A very auspicious debut indeed! What was it about his script that made you want to work with him in getting it made?
Jamie Kennedy: I thought it was a really creepy script! I loved the way it was written & after talking with Matt about it I decided that he had a great voice and an interesting take on it. I just decided that I really wanted to be involved in it. It creepy…right?
HNN: Yes! The whole film had an air of dread & despair to it.
JK: Yeah! So I became a really big fan of his immediately & decided it could be cool to work with him.
HNN: As I spoke with Matt I found out that it was his first film as a director. Did you know any of this before you decided to get involved with the film?
JK: I had seen some shorts and things he had done in the past but I knew it was his first full length feature. That didn’t scare me though, when people are talented…they’re talented! He was very prepared throughout production, he had done up tons of storyboards and I remember being on set and seeing all of these storyboards and thinking “God! This guy is SO prepared!” He had all of these ideas for different shots that were so unique for this type of film that I just knew he was gonna kill it. And he did!
HNN: It was a very assured debut film, I liked it a lot. Did you spend a lot of time on set during production?
JK: Just a little bit but everything was great while I was there. I was just learning from watching him actually.
HNN: Were you tempted to make an appearance in the film?
JK: You know I wanted to but I was told there wasn’t really a part for me. You know these guys, they get dizzy with power! Next time I’ll probably have to audition for a part…jeez!
HNN:While you were on set did you spend any time with MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN?
JK: Oh yeah! He was just a great guy. He just lit up the set whenever he was around. He always knew what was necessary and always did his work the best way he knew how. He was funny & a great person to be around as well. He was taken from us far too soon…it’s sad.
HNN: Did you have any part in the casting of the film?
JK: It was all the directors deal man! Matthew put it all together! He knew who he wanted, he went after them, he got them & I was really excited with the choices he made regarding the cast.
HNN: I’m sure he appreciated that, especially as a first time director. It must have been very freeing for him to not have to worry about the producer watching over his shoulder all the time.
JK: He knew what he wanted! And it made my job easier as a producer to not have to babysit him on set. I’ve worked with directors that had to be babysat & let me tell you…it’s not fun. But he wasn’t one of them.
HNN: Looking at the slate of films that your production company has slated to go I noticed a few that might be of interest to horror fans. One of them was called “KANTEMIR” and another was called “GRANNY”. Is there anything you can tell me about those titles?
JK: “KANTEMIR” has just wrapped and is currently in post production. It stars ROBERT ENGLUND and a group of up & coming actors. It’s scary & if people like FREDDY KRUEGER then they’re in for a treat! “GRANNY” is something that I’ve had for years and I’m waiting for it to be fully funded. “KANTEMIR” should be opening early this fall.
HNN: I saw some poster art for “GRANNY” and it looks nasty! Is there any more you can tell us about it?
JK: I don’t wanna totally give it away. Let’s just say it’ll be a new icon of horror!
HNN: And what about you as an actor? What’s up next for JAMIE KENNEDY?
JK: I have a new film coming out in June that I’m acting in called “LOST AND FOUND IN ARMENIA”. It’s kind of in the vein of “MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING” and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s coming out the first week in June in limited release & depending on how it does it’ll roll out across the country soon afterwards.
HNN: What’s the release pattern for “A RESURRECTION” going to look like?
JK: Right now it’s going to be in ten cities: New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Phoenix, Miami, Nashville, Las Vegas, I forget where else right now but if it does well then we’ll expand. We feel like it’ll find it’s audience. If you like horror or even if you just like a good movie then we think you’ll like this.
HNN: What was it like working with MISCHA BARTON & DEVON SAWA? Did you know either of them prior to this?
JK: I knew Devon before this! I’ve known him for a long time and he was really intense in this movie too! Mischa I didn’t know but I loved working with her. She gave a more reserved, adult performance here than I’m used to seeing from her and I think the audience is going to be surprised.
HNN: I have to say that I was surprised with some of the deaths that take place in the movie as well. Some characters got bumped off quite unexpectedly to me. Actually the film kicked me in the nuts on a few occasions!
JK: That’s what’s good about it! A good horror movie should be exactly that…A KICK IN THE NUTS!
Interview: Jamie Kennedy – Producer/Actor (A Resurrection)