It’s hard to believe it’s been over 11 years now since audiences had their very first brushes with “Death” when the original Final Destination gave New Line Cinema its first viable horror franchise since A Nightmare on Elm Street.
It spawned four sequels and gave us multiple mind-blowing deaths (including the 42 victims in 2009’s The Final Destination alone) and some of the most amazing opening disaster sequences in modern cinema. Well, Death is back in Final Destination 5, and he’s got his sights set on a whole new gaggle of victims who try their best to cheat him by tinkering with his rules this time around.
Recently Dread Central had the opportunity to attend the press day to catch up with the cast and masterminds behind the mayhem. This is the first of our four Final Destination 5 interviews, and today we talk with the film’s stars Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell and genre icon Tony Todd about their thoughts on the sequel, working with first-time director Steven Quale and much more.
For franchise newcomers D’Agosto and Roberts, both actors relished the opportunity to be a part of what makes the Final Destination films so much fun for fans- the epic nature of each film’s opening disaster and the intricate cause-and-effect style deaths that all the characters in the film eventually fall victim to.
“Final Destination 5 is just such a large scale movie that it was a total blast to be a part of something this huge,” said D’Agosto. “For me, it’s definitely the biggest action movie I’ve ever done. I mean- they had to build three different sets for just the bridge scene alone so you can only imagine what was involved making this movie. Even more than that, though, the cast just really enjoyed being around each other, working together and hanging out for three months in Vancouver while shooting.”
Roberts added, “I had a lot of fun making this movie because they actually let me do a little bit of my own stunt work. I mean, they didn’t really let me do a lot of them because they need a stunt person doing them for safety reasons. But in one scene they did let me jump on Miles (co-star Fisher), and I got to hit the crap out of him. That was my moment of empowerment on set and I loved it!”
For Final Destination veteran Todd, he found the ambiguity to his character Bludworth (who made his first appearance in the original film) reason enough to make a return to the franchise.
“Over ten years ago we knew we had a great premise, and I asked everybody around, ‘Who is this guy Bludworth?’,” explained Todd. “‘Where does he come from? Where does he live, what does he do when he goes home?’ and no one would tell me. I have a suspicion Jeffery Reddick knew, the creator of the wonderful franchise, but I never heard anything officially so I created a backstory for Bludworth, and one day maybe it will be revealed or maybe it won’t.”
“The one thing about Bludworth is that he’s completely honest. He’s a man of few words. He doesn’t have time to mess around so if he tells you something, then that’s it. But what I think what’s interesting about my character is that he primarily delivers exposition, but our fans bring their own sense of mortality to who he is. So if you think he’s the angel of death, which he’s not, if you think he’s the Grim Reaper, which he’s not, that’s what you get out of it. I just think of him, and I’m not giving away a secret, but he’s kind of like your unnecessary uncle. You know- he shows up, promises you things, and then he says, ‘I’ll see you next time.’ Then he forgets what he promised you,” added Todd.
Even though Final Destination 5 director Steven Quale is technically a first-time director, that doesn’t mean that this is his first time ‘at the rodeo.’ Quale has been collaborating with legendary director James Cameron since 1989 and served as Cameron’s right-hand man on several huge blockbusters including Titanic and Avatar.
Both Roberts and D’Agosto agreed they couldn’t think of a better director at the helm of Final Destination 5 than Quale.
“In terms of being a technical director, Steven helped create the 3D cameras that they used in Avatar so he really knew what he was doing in that respect,” said Roberts. “But in terms of being a director working with actors, I believe this was one of his first experiences, and he was very open about the fact that he didn’t have as much experience in that aspect of directing as he did in the 3D technical side. But I enjoyed that kind of honesty so it was wonderful because it allowed us to kind of have a communication about it, and from the beginning to the end, Steven’s skill in that aspect of it really grew. But when it came time to do the 3D scenes, he was all business and we knew what we had to do to get the job done from the technical side of things too. I really had a wonderful experience working with him.”
“I totally second that. I will just say that Steven was incredibly prepared. I’m just reiterating what Emma said, but one of the great things about being in a film like Final Destination 5 that was beyond something I’ve ever been a part of in terms of its sense of its scope, it was wonderful to have someone with such a clear hand guiding us through the entire shoot. We’d get to watch the footage every day, and just seeing it even unfinished made me realize how talented Steven is and how great this movie is going to be,” added D’Agosto.
Look for more interviews and Dread Central’s review of Final Destination 5 coming later this week!
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