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Interview: Jonathan Bennett (The Haunting of Sharon Tate)

“Based on one of Hollywood’s most chilling murder cases, this spellbinding thriller follows 26-year-old actress Sharon Tate (Hilary Duff), a rising star about to have her first baby with her husband, director Roman Polanski. Plagued by terrifying premonitions, Sharon sees her worst nightmares come to life with the appearance of Charles Manson and his deadly cult.

THE HAUNTING OF SHARON TATE is written and directed by Daniel Farrands (The Amityville Murders, Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy), and stars Hilary Duff (“Younger”, “Lizzie McGuire”), Jonathan Bennett (“Big Brother: Celebrity Edition,” “Awkward,” Mean Girls), and Lydia Hearst (“Z Nation”, “South of Hell,” #Horror).”

Actor Jonathan Bennett (“Mean Girls” and so many more films and television shows) stars in the new film, THE HAUNTING OF SHARON TATE. He portrays legendary hair stylist to the stars and Sharon Tate’s longtime friend Jay Sebring.  Jonathan took the time to do an interview with Horrornews.net to talk about the film and his new cookbook “The Burn Cookbook.” Jonathan is such a talented actor so check out what he had to say.

Jonathan- Hello Janel

Hi Jonathan How are you?

Jonathan- I am good. How are you?

I am good. But, I am not going to lie, I am actually a little nervous talking to you.

Jonathan- Why are you nervous?

You are Aaron Samuels. (MEAN GIRLS) (Laughter)

Jonathan- I know, I am a huge deal.

You did such an amazing job as Jay Sebring in “The Haunting of Sharon Tate.” Why did you decide to take on the role?

Jonathan- You know when they called and said, do you want to do a movie about the Manson murders and Sharon Tate and you get to play Jay Sebring and its with Hilary Duff. I mean what more could you ask for as an actor? One of the most iconic murders in history done with one of the most iconic actresses of my generation. What more could you ask for?

Hilary did an amazing job portraying Sharon Tate. She captured so many of her moments. The smiles and facial expressions.

Jonathan- I know right.

Did you do any research about Jay and the murders and the history of it? Was it creepy it all sort of being involved with all of this?

Jonathan- Of course you research the murders and about your character and who he really was and try to figure out what his daily life looked like. He would go and be the celebrity hairstylist to the stars. He would cut everyone’s hair. He’s actually credited with bringing hand-held hairdryers to America. People used them in England and women used them in England so the hairdryer you use today was brought to America by Jay Sebring. He famously used to layer men’s hair. He did everything from Kirk Douglas, Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra, Henry Fonda, Marlon Brando and Sammy Davis Jr. He cut everyone’s hair so you have to think about what his daily life was like and you figure that out and then you have to figure out he would interact with people. Then when it comes to the murders it is a tough thing to do because you want to be respectful to everything because he was a real person. He has family and friends that he meant a lot to so you want to make sure you respect him and his legacy while also making a movie that is entertaining.

Yes, what was it like for you working with the director Daniel and the cast?

Jonathan- Thank you. I’ll be honest. Daniel’s vision was amazing and he did such a great job. The movie turned out fantastic but when we were shooting it, it was such a high stakes movie because we had so little time to do it that I remember turning to one of the cast members and going either this movie is going to be really bad, or its going to be really good. We shot so fast and Daniel, his vision was all in his head and sometimes he wouldn’t have enough time to communicate with us exactly why we were doing what we were doing and there are some of those scenes where I was like this is either going to suck or its going to be good. Luckily it turned out to be amazing. We just barely had time to talk on-set because this movie was so fast.

Did you have a favorite moment from the film, without maybe giving spoilers away? I had goosebumps watching the film. The ending was so intense with Hilary.

Jonathan- I think one of my favorite moments is when she shoots Tex. I think there is something cathartic about that moment and that is what we wish would have happened and how lucky they would have been if that would have happened. I also really liked the scenes between Hilary/Sharon and Jay at the pool where they’re talking about life, dreaming and hoping because that’s what our movie is about. It is not just about murder. It is about these beautiful characters and these beautiful people that lived that were real people and had such really interesting different lives. I think my favorite part is when it shows them shining and being beautiful in those scenes. It glorifies them versus the villains.

I agree with that because you watch the two of you having light-hearted conversations and being happy.

Jonathan- Exactly.

Now what do you want to say to the audiences and the fans that will be watching THE HAUNTING OF SHARON TATE. What would you want them to know from your perspective?

Jonathan- The point of the movie is to let people try and see into the life of Sharon Tate and what her life was like before the murders versus the actual murders. I think it is important for people to see how full of life she was and how full of life Jay was.

What are you working on next?

Jonathan- Right now I have a book out called, “The Burn Cookbook.” It is a parody cookbook for “Mean Girls” fans. It’s amazing, it is out now and we’re celebrating the fifteenth anniversary in April so it’s a great time to buy the book. It is absolutely fantastic. It’s a really fun cookbook with lots of different fun, easy fetch recipes. Fun games to play with you and your girlfriends. It is a slumber party book where you can get together with your friends and make some of our cocktails and watch the movie and have a good time.

I guess my last question is what does that mean to you that “Mean Girls” is still so relevant? I mean this from my heart, I could be having a bad day and I put the movie on and it makes me laugh and it’s an escape.

Jonathan- Right! I don’t think there is nothing quite like it anymore.

Everybody loves it! Mariah Carey and everybody.

Jonathan- Yeah, it is such a blessing to be a part of something that people love so much. It is an honor to have things where people care that much and they want to keep watching it because it means something to them. I always say this about “Mean Girls” it’s not just a movie, it is part of people’s lives and that’s a really cool thing to be a part of.

Exactly and you find yourself using the quotes and October 3rd is a celebration day!

Jonathan- Yeah. Right. October 3rd is the best. If you like “Mean Girls” then you need to get the book. It is so fun and fantastic.

Will you be doing anymore shows like “Cake Wars?”

Jonathan- Well yeah we are trying. That is the point. We have some things in the works and we will definitely be on “Halloween Wars” this season so you’ll be able to catch me on Food Network that you will absolutely love.

This was epic. It was such an honor to talk with you. You did such an amazing job in “the Haunting of Sharon Tate” and “Mean Girls” will be forever.

Jonathan- Thank you. Thank you very much.

Thank you.

THE HAUNTING OF SHARON TATE IS IN THEATERS AND ON DEMAND APRIL 5TH.

FOLLOW JONATHAN ON TWITTER @JONATHANBENNETT

www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/jonathan-bennett/the-burn-cookbook/9781538747308/

www.imdb.com/title/tt7976208/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_8

www.imdb.com/name/nm1057932/?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

 

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