Featherston, Katie and Sloat, Micah (Paranormal Activity)
Just a week or so after giving you guys an exclusive interview with director Oren Peli (read it here), we now bring you the stars of the phenomenon known as Paranormal Activity (review here): Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat!
Sit back ... relax ... and let's dig in!
Uncle Creepy: Hey, guys! First of all let me just say congratulations!
Katie Feastherston: Hey, thanks!
Micah Sloat: Thanks, dude.
UC: And second of all -- let me just say ... I FUCKIN' TOLD YOU SO!
KF and MS: *laughing and clapping*
KF: We've been trying to give you as many shout-outs as we can, with thank yous on all the different videos and whatever, because you were a big supporter since way back in the day.
MS: Yeah, you did. I remember that conversation.
UC: We've been talking about Paranormal Activity for like two years when nobody else was. So to see this all come to fruition? Holy cow! Dude, you guys beat Saw!
KF: Whoooo! I can't even wrap my head around it. This is crazy.
UC: So let's get down to it ... I know the movie has pretty much changed the game in Hollywood right now, but what's it done for you both?
KF: Well, yeah. No more day jobs, lots of scripts, it's just overwhelming. Walking into an audition room now is so different than it was six months ago.
MS: They know our work. We don't have anything to prove.
KF: We don't have to start from scratch.
MS: Yeah, we don't have to start from scratch; that's exactly what it is. As far as life being different, I don't feel different. Honestly, I feel like I'm in a waking dream that's really long.
KF: I don't feel any different either. It's just that people around us treat us differently.
MS: And we get to do crazy stuff.
KF: Like being flown to New York ...
MS: ... and being on Jay Leno. Craziness.
KF: Then there's all the paparazzi pictures. It's weird. I tweeted a picture of our bathroom in New York, and somebody recognized it and retweeted "Paranormal Activity stars are staying at the so-and-so hotel" and I was like "Oh no!" We gotta be more careful.
UC: One of the things that contributes to the success of this movie is definitely the chemistry and believability that both of you brought to your roles. It's amazing. Some time ago Oren showed me you guys' audition tapes.
KF: I've never seen that! I'd love to see that! Yeah!
MS: That would be great to see.
UC: It was mind-blowing, man. Because he sat you guys down, and then he's like, "Okay, so how long have you guys been together?" And BOOM! You just went!
MS: *laughs* So this is what happened before that. "Katie, this is Micah. Micah, this is Katie. Can you guys sit right here, and we'll ask you some questions, okay?" Roll tape.
UC: That's a real testament to your acting ability. When I first watched that movie -- from the first time that I saw it -- there was never a doubt in my mind that you guys were a couple.
KF: That's a great compliment.
MS: That's the best compliment we could get because that's all we were going for. We had to try and be as truthful as possible and let Oren do the rest.
KF: And he's awesome.
UC: Oren is a fuckin' madman. He's absolutely insane. So, now what do you think it is about this film that has really tapped into people's fears?
KF: Well, it's easy to relate to. I mean ... the blood, the gore, and the torture porn ... those kinds of things may be fun in the moment, but you can't relate to them as much as just being frightened in your own home.
MS: I think ultimately its a question of fear vs. disgust. With the torture porn thing, there's a lot of disgust, and I think people were getting numb to it a little bit. With Paranormal Activity Oren was trying to go back to the classical world of horror. You know, the Hitchcock thing and our fears that we have as children and of simply being alone at night in the dark. Every single person has had that experience ... wondering what's in their closet or what's under the bed. Or when they're walking up stairs at night, walking up faster than they really need to because there might be something down there. It's just awaking that fear.
UC: The film has been out in theatres wide for a couple of weeks. Tell us about the first time you got to see the movie with an audience.
KF: I remember I snuck in wearing a baseball cap one time, sat in the back, and watched it. Something tiny happened, I think it was that the keys dropped or there was a little shadow or something very small happened, and I remember the whole audience went "Oooooooooo!!!" You know? And I was just like, "Really? You're that ... Ok! Yeah! Awesome! You're that scared! It was so cool to watch them become invested in something that you know we care about so much.
MS: And each audience is different. Going to the theatre to experience the interactive nature of the film and hearing people freak out is the best thing we could hope for.
Actually the first time that we ever saw the movie with an audience was at Screamfest LA in '07. I remember that feeling was like "Wow, I am so proud of this movie and so proud to be a part of it!" I remember sitting in my chair at the screening and the guy who was sitting next to me ... I'm freaking out, you know? And Oren's friend Schlomo leans over to me and taps me on the shoulder and says, "Hey, man, you know you're in the movie, right? Why are you freaking out?" *laughs* I really wanna go to like Compton or Watts to see it, you know? Some place where they aren't afraid to shout stuff out!
UC: I remember you guys were doing reshoots for the ending for god knows how long. How many endings did you end up actually filming?
MS: Yeah, a lot. I don't know; I can't remember all of them actually.
KF: Like three or four main ones and endless variations of each.
MS: I think there were more than that!
KF: Were there?
MS: Yeah, there's a lot of stuff that we shot that we never saw or that Oren never brought up again, and we forgot we did it. We were doing so many little tiny reshoots here and there for dialogue and ADR, getting you know little things, and we shot the whole demonologist scene just to see if it would work within the context of the film, and it just didn't work so we never used it. We were doing reshoots for years.
Actually, one of those reshoots ... we have an exclusive story for you, Steve!
KF: Oh! Hey, yeah!
MS: We've never told anybody this; we've been saving this for you!
UC: *laughs* Lay it on me!
KF: So we had to ... Oren decided that we needed to have a little more intimacy. Oren calls it "Sexy Time Scene" like Borat. So we go down to film this quick little scene, you know, jokey like. Micah's like, "Oh, honey, let's you know..." and he starts to kiss me and whatever while the camera's on, and I was trying to get him to turn the camera off kind of thing, you know, joking. And so when we went to go shoot it, Micah was like dying of the flu.
MS: I had like a 103.5 fever.
KF: I was driving, he was sweating, under my car seat ...
MS: For some reason we HAD to get it done.
KF: I can't remember why but we had to do it then.
MS: Because there was something about Dreamworks and the new cut and test screenings, and we needed to get it out. I get down there, and I can barely walk.
KF: Gross! Sweaty ... just clammy.
KF: We tried to do it, but Oren didn't want us to actually kiss because he didn't want me to get sick, and he was really trying to make it work without that, but it just wasn't. So Micah's like on top of me, and coughing, and finally I was just like, "Listen, we just gotta do this! If we're gonna do this, we're gonna do it right!" So...
MS: So we made out! Me with my snotty 103 degree fever ...
KF: And I was just willing my body to not get sick ... and it didn't!
MS: So all that sweat that you see on me when I'm done and I turn the camera back on?
KF: That's not sex-sweat!
MS: Yeah, that's all flu-sweat!
UC: *laughs* Well, that's gonna change that scene for a lot of people!
KF and MS: *laughs*
UC: You know what's cool, inevitable, and funny ... there's still a lot of people who, even though it hasn't been marketed as such, think this really happened.
KF: I had a lot of messages on Twitter and Facebook asking that I please write to their son or daughter because I can't convince them that you're not really possessed! Also, my mom, she and my sister went to see it at one of the midnight screenings. There was a girl just sobbing in the bathroom because she was so scared! She thought Micah was dead, she thought I was taken over by a demon, and my mom had to go in there and be like, "Honey, it's okay ... it's just a movie ... *sobbing* No, it was not! It really happened! *sobbing* ... And my mom pulls out her wallet and takes out a picture of me and says, "This is my daughter, see? She's in LA, she's an actress!" She really had to console that poor teenager; it's kind of crazy.
UC: The funniest thing is our friend has a young son named Lennon, and he called me, I think it was about two weeks ago, and he's like "Steve, is it true that while watching Paranormal Activity three people had heart attacks and one person died?!?"
UC, KF, MS: *laughter*
KF: Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!
MS: Wow! Awesome! Can we get sued for that?
UC, KF, MS: *laughter*
UC: But you know what? That's a sign that this movie's made it! When you have a twelve-year-old who don't know horror movies from Adam coming up to you and being like ... "Did this happen?" You know?
KF: Our manager, his assistant Tom ... Tom went home to visit his family, and his younger sister was there at their house with her friend, and she said, "Oh! You know that's a true story don't you?" And Tom was like, "No it's not. I work with them!" And she's like, "No, no, it's true! It REALLY happened." She just would not be convinced otherwise.
UC: Is there anything you wanted to say to the fans for their huge support of this movie?
KF: HUGE THANK YOUS! Bottom of my heart, life changing -- thank you.
MS: I don't have any words that are adequate ...
KF: Really! I'm just sending a GIANT HUG!
MS: ... Yeah I just ... I can't even ... I can't thank the fans enough. I really want everyone to keep in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook! Send us questions ... comments ... We care about you guys, we appreciate the fact that it's not just us ... it's the fans, everyone who demanded the movie and spread the word ... we couldn't be more thankful.
There's a bit more to the interview itself, where we talked about some other things. For the whole raw audio file, click here.
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