For this third part of our roundtable interview series for Final Destination 5, we had the opportunity to chat with several more of the cast members including Miles Fisher (who played Tom Cruise in Superhero Movie), Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) and relative newcomer Ellen Wroe.
We spoke with the trio about their thoughts on coming on board for the fifth film of the Final Destination franchise, the real-life perils of shooting the squirm-inducing laser eye surgery scene, how the sequel managed to raise the bar for the horror genre as a whole and why they wanted to collaborate with first-time director (and 3D guru) Steven Quale.
For genre newcomers Wroe and Wood, the pair of actresses talked about why they were excited to be a part of Final Destination 5 even though neither of them really knew much about the franchise going into the project.
“I really liked the story, I liked the deaths and I loved the dark humor throughout the script,” explained Wood. “It knew it was going to be a really cool movie with a lot of suspense where audiences won’t know what was going to happen next, but then you also had real relationships between the characters in the movie, and I really liked that about the script, too. I guess you’d say I became a huge fan of the Final Destination movies after reading this script. There’s just something really special about this movie, something smart and really clever about it, and just watching how Steven shot it- I think the bar has definitely been raised.”
Wroe added, “Well, I think when I found out who the director was going to be for this, it was just so exciting initially. I mean, Steve Quale has been James Cameron’s second unit guy for years so being able to be involved in his first directing experience was a great opportunity. I just knew he was going to deliver an incredible movie.”
When Fisher first read the script, he said that he initially jumped at the chance to bring the conflicted character of Peter to life on the big screen. “Peter was definitely a challenging role to play, but I was incredibly excited about the opportunity because he really goes through a wide range of emotions throughout the movie. And I think the character of Peter is one that the audience will really connect with because he’s faced with some difficult situations like watching hundreds of people die in front of you and then having to make some hard decisions like whether or not he could take a life in order to save his own life. I think some people would truly go crazy if put in the same position.”
“Peter is a guy who prioritizes logic and approaches everything rationally, and then there’s all this stuff that happens that he can’t control, everything’s taken away from him, and he just loses it. And I know I’ve played psychos before (Fisher hilariously parodied Bale in an American Psycho music video send-up in 2009) so I guess I’m just really good at going psycho from time to time,” joked Fisher.
For Wroe, her Final Destination 5 character of Candice Hooper mirrored her real life rather closely. In the film Candice is a professional gymnast, and Wroe herself is a skilled gymnast, having trained for many years before setting her sights on Hollywood.
“My background in gymnastics was a huge factor to me landing the role of Candice,” said Wroe. “And I didn’t want them to have to use a stunt woman to shoot any of the sequences where they didn’t need her to so I immediately headed to the gym once I got the role. I had about eight weeks to really prepare, and I probably spent the first three weeks just getting back all that muscle that I had lost over the years because there’s so much conditioning involved with gymnastics. I couldn’t really last more than an hour at a time in the beginning so I’d go in the morning and at night for two times a day. Then after three weeks I started jumping some tricks, and I eventually got up to about three hours a day for five to six days a week. It was exhausting but worth it.”
“What I thought was really funny was that my character was written to be really superstitious in the script because in real life I am very superstitious. I even wore the same rubber band in my ponytail for every gymnastics meet for like three years because I was convinced that it was going to help me do well. In fact, now that I think about it, I think a lot of athletes are pretty superstitious as a rule- especially gymnasts. I don’t know how Eric (Heisserer, writer) knew to put that into my character, but I thought it was clever,” added Wroe.
Wood, who is a self-professed daredevil, discussed how unprepared she was for how grueling it would be to shoot her soon-to-be-classic laser eye surgery gone awry scene in Final Destination 5. “It was incredibly challenging because I wasn’t sure how they were going to shoot the scene at first. I thought maybe some CGI, but no- they wanted my actual eye. We shot the scene from like 6 pm until 9 o’clock in the morning the next day, and that little metal speculum went in and out of my eye like seventy times. They numbed my eye over and over and over again and not to mention the head vice they had to have me strapped into too for extended periods of time.”
“At one point, when they put my prosthetics on, they accidentally glued my eyelashes to my eyebrow so it made it that I couldn’t sleep because my eye wouldn’t fully close. I couldn’t look up either until the glue wore off because it felt too weird to move your eye up like that when it’s exposed. Then one time I actually had ripped the speculum out without even noticing it because my eye had been numbed up. At first they thought I might have cut my eyeball right down the middle, but thankfully, it was just a scratch on the contact I was wearing. Oh my gosh, was it incredibly, incredibly challenging!” added Wood.
Fisher chimed in on why he thinks Wood’s laser surgery scene will prove to be a fan favorite once Final Destination 5 is released. “That’s such a killer scene! There’s just something so intimate about your eyeball and seeing your eyeball projected to be four stories tall on these big screens. That’s just insane to think about, and I think that scene is going to destroy fans.”
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