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Killer Joe Roundtable Interview with Stars Gina Gershon and Juno Temple

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Opening this weekend in limited release is iconic filmmaker William Friedkin’s latest, Killer Joe, a controversial thriller based on the stage play by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Tracy Letts which will have most fans seeing fried chicken in a whole new light.

Kind of like how he forever changed pea soup with The Exorcist.

In anticipation of Killer Joe‘s release on July 27th, Dread Central recently had the opportunity to catch up with two of the film’s lovelier co-stars, veteran actress Gina Gershon and newcomer Juno Temple, who discussed with us their thoughts on the controversial material as well as gave us some insight into their characters and the challenges and advantages to working with Friedkin’s ‘one-take’ approach on set.

Check out our roundtable interview with Gershon and Temple below, and look for Killer Joe in limited theaters this weekend courtesy of LD Entertainment.

Killer Joe Roundtable Interview with Stars Gina Gershon and Juno Temple

Question: So what was your reaction when you first read the script?

Juno Temple: I wanted to be part of it the moment I read it. As a young actress, being sent a role like Dottie, for that specific age group, is so rare and so extraordinary. She’s got so many levels of emotions. There is so much she is not saying, and I think that is so interesting.

Then you add on top of that that this is a Tracy Letts play and he is a master of his craft. Then you’ve got William Friedkin directing, and he is a genius and a man who has been doing this a really long time and really knows what he is doing. Then there is a fantastic cast to go along with that. For me, it was a challenge I really wanted to be a part of. There was something very daring about it. I want to be part of things that are really making a difference and I think this film will, in some way, make a difference.

Gina Gershon: I thought it was time I did a nice family movie [Laughs]. You watch this movie, and they are so dysfunctional, you can feel good about your own family. As Juno said, Tracy is such an amazing writer. He writes incredibly complex, yet complete characters. Their motivations are very clear, but nothing is obvious. If Joe Schmoe were directing this, I probably would have been worried about some of the scenes, but with William Friedkin directing, and this cast, it was really a no-brainer.

Question: Juno, how did you prepare to get into Dottie’s mind?

Juno Temple: Originally, the way I thought about it was that there is something completely childish about her. People might say she is simple, but I don’t think she is simple; I think she is holding on to her childhood desperately, because she is living in her fantasy world, with the fairies and her dolls. She doesn’t want to be in the living room of that trailer.

When I sent in my video from London, I got my 10-year-old brother to read my sides with me. It is a very interesting thing to watch, especially where she gives that speech about her mother trying to suffocate her. He said it like it was a fairy tale; there was no judgment there and I think that is such an important thing. Actually, with all the characters, there is a lack of judgment going on. You can’t judge those people and they can’t judge each other.

But then I also spent a lot of time talking with Billy about this rage that she’s been developing her whole life. She is bottling up an extreme amount of rage, and she is hiding it. So before every take, he would tell me, “Remember the rage.” It was always there, but it had to be hidden – it was just something to be aware of. Then you have the level of innocence and an angelic quality that she should have in this trailer full of madness and toxins and whatever.

But she is more aware than all of them because she is listening to everything. She is digesting it, she is swallowing it, and she is bottling it up. You get a sense of that at the beginning, when she is listening to their conversation [about killing her mother] and she comes out and says, “I think it’s a great idea.” So she is aware, but it is her choice as to when she is going to tap into that. They treat her like a child, then Killer Joe comes along, and for the first time, she is treated like a woman. And it’s magical. The way he looks at her, the way he speaks to her, the way he respects her… to her, he is her Prince Charming.

Question: Do you think that is why she falls for Joe?

Juno Temple: Completely.

Question: Gina, in that scene where Joe is, for a lack of a better word, abusing you, do you need a few hours to get yourself together, or can you just slap on some fake blood and say, “Let’s do this?”

Gina Gershon: I wish it were so simple. Sharla is so in control – secretly – of everything that is going on. As an actress, I am a preparation junkie. But for that particular scene, I didn’t want to over-analyze it and, frankly, I didn’t want to think about it. It is the one time when she is really out of control, so I just said, “I don’t want to rehearse it, I don’t want to talk about it, just tell me where you want me and what the movement is, and let’s just do it.” Because if I thought about it too much… I don’t know. As it was happening, I just wanted it to happen, how it all just plays out.

Question: Too much contemplation might make you balk?

Gina Gershon: Well, it did. This was presented to me years before, as a play. As much as I loved it, how well-written it was, the characters… when I got to that last scene I thought, “Oh my god. There is no way I am going to do this scene eight shows a week for six months straight.” These characters… you have to play them so truthfully, and they are so layered. The psychology behind them is deep. At that moment, I just couldn’t go for it for that many days in a row.

Question: Did you carry a lot of the characters with you off set then? Did they resonate with you?

Gina Gershon: It was a very intense shoot – we shot for 28 or 29 days. It was very short. But since we didn’t have a lot of takes or a lot of time, you kind of have to “stay there.” I’m a big believer in, at the end of the day, “wiping your feet,” have a drink, eat something, then go to bed to get ready for the next day. Especially after certain scenes. It was difficult – it definitely gets under your skin.

Question: Did you need to shower after that one scene?

Gina Gershon: I took the longest bath ever after that day. I can’t say I was sad to let Sharla go at the end of the movie.

Question: Since these are already established characters within the theater world, did William let you bring your own touches to the characters, or is everything we see pretty much what is in the script?

Gina Gershon: I never went to see the play.

Juno Temple: Yeah, I’ve never seen it either. I thought it was better to approach it like that. It needs to be your own take.

Gina Gershon: Yeah. I was so happy I hadn’t seen the play. I believe Amanda Plummer played my part originally, and she is a terrific actress. Then I didn’t have to spend any time erasing what I had seen because you want it to be–

Juno Temple: –fresh, and yours.

Gina Gershon: These are fantastic characters. When you do Chekov plays or Shakespeare plays, everyone has their own take on it. For me, it’s better not to have seen someone else’s performance.

Juno Temple: Yeah, definitely for me too. I wanted it to be fresh. But also, working with Billy, he told us not to change the dialogue. And why would you? It’s flawless. So I really stuck to the dialogue, but I totally got to say it and use it in the way I wanted to.

Gina Gershon: It was so refreshing to be on a movie set and not be thinking, “This isn’t working, what should we do? Should we change this?” There was one day where someone wanted to say something like “oh” instead of “ah” – something very simple like that. Billy would say, “Hey, he’s just a Pulitzer Prize-winner, but go ahead and change it.” Just being very sarcastic, but he was right: you didn’t need to change a word.

Question: Did you find it easier to let yourself go, knowing that you only had one or two takes to do it in?

Juno Temple: I think you are torn between that. What an incredible experience to work with a director who has that much trust in you as an actor that you can get it in one take. [Billy] didn’t move on unless he was happy with a take, but he had such belief in you, if you did do it in one take, he’d say, “Well, it’s not going to get better than that.” But then sometimes you would question yourself. Honestly, when it came down to it for me, I had such trust in him that if he said it was time to move on, then I was ready to move on.

Gina Gershon: Sometimes when you don’t have such a talented and competent director and DP – Caleb Deschanel is no slouch, it is nice to kind of warm into a scene and you are finding it as you are going in, so you get a couple takes here and there, and maybe it is the fifth take before everyone is on the same page. But Billy was so clear with what he wanted, Caleb is so talented, you had to come ready and prepared that you were getting just that one take. We were all super-prepared before we actually shot.

Juno Temple: It becomes life-like. You’ve only got one take of something, so you have to be so prepared for it that it becomes a second part of you.

Killer Joe Roundtable Interview with Stars Gina Gershon and Juno Temple

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Danielle Harris Tried to Get Jamie Lloyd into New Halloween Movie

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One of the top films all of us are looking forward to the most here at Dread Central is Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel/reboot thing to John Carpenter’s Halloween.

The new Halloween (2018) film is written by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green and is all set to be directed by Green this year. Recently we learned that original Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis was going to be returning to the new film.

Not only that, but Curtis’ classic character Laurie Strode would have a daughter… played by Judy Greer. But what about Danielle Harris?

After all, Harris was the star of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Curse of Michael Myers. Let alone, she had a starring role in both Rob Zombie’s remake and it’s sequel. So how about the new film?

Turns out Harris tried to get her character Jamie Llyod (aka the daughter of Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode) from Halloween 4 and 5 into the new film… but she was turned down by Blumhouse and the new creative team. That sucks.

Harris was pretty bummed about the whole deal and took to Facebook recently to clear the air. You can check out quotes from her video, along with the video itself, below.

After that make sure to hit us up and let us know how much you would have liked to see Harris return to Halloween in the comments below or on social media!

“What I am bummed about is… [Laurie] has a daughter,” Harris says. “I was okay with it when she had a son… but they’re saying it’s the last one and… she has a daughter. And it’s not Jamie. It’s just kind of a bummer, I guess. I think somebody had said, it wouldn’t have hurt the movie to have Jamie reunited with [Laurie]. But that didn’t happen.”

“We did put in a call, thought it’d be kinda cool even just to have a little flashback…” She continues. “They were not interested. So. I tried.”

Blumhouse’s Halloween hits theaters October 19, 2018.

halloween and germany

Posted by Danielle Harris on Monday, November 6, 2017

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Through the Cracks – Trick or Treat (1986) Review

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Starring Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini, Glen Morgan, Gene Simmons, and Ozzy Osbourne

Directed by Charles Martin Smith


I have been a horror fan for more than half of my life at this point. Meaning I have seen most of the quality horror offerings under the sun. But that said, every once in awhile a classic sneaks past so we wanted to create this “Through the Cracks” review section for such films.

Case in point, I had never seen the Halloween horror flick Trick or Treat until last night. I know, right? How the hell did that happen? But these things do happen and so for everyone that has seen the flick a million times, this will be a review of the movie from a super horror fan that – at the age of 33 – is seeing Trick or Treat for the very first time.

Now let’s get to it.

First off you have to love the movie’s plot. Mixing horror and heavy metal seems like a given, yet preciously few films Frankenstein these two great tastes together.

Like many of you out there, I am a big metal fan as well as a big horror fan. The two seem to go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Or Jason and horny campers.

I dig bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and even those hair metal bands (Dokken forever!) and I’m well aware of the legends surrounding playing these records backward.

Off the top of my head, the only other flick that combines the two to this degree is the (relatively) recent horror-comedy Deathgasm. I say more horror-metal flicks! Or should we call it Metal-Horror? Yeah, that’s a much more metal title.

It only makes sense that someone, somewhere would take the idea of “What if Ozzy Osbourne really was evil and came back from the dead (you know, if he had passed away during his heyday) to torment a loner fan?” Great premise for a movie!

And Trick or Treat delivers on the promise of this premise in spades. Sammi Curr is an epic hybrid of the best of the best metal frontmen and his resurrection via speaker is one of the great horror birthing scenes I have seen in all my years.

Add to that the film feels like a lost entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. More specifically the film feels like it would fit snugly in between two of my favorite entries in that series, Dream Warriors and The Dream Master.

This movie is 80’s as all f*ck and I loved every minute of it.

And speaking of how this film brought other minor classics to the forefront of my brain, let’s talk about the film’s central villain, Sammi Curr. This guy looks like he could share an epic horror band with the likes of Mary Lou from Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II and the Drill Killer rocker from Slumber Party Massacre Part II.

Picture that band for a moment and tell me they aren’t currently playing the most epic set in Hell as we speak. I say let’s see an Avengers-style series of films based on these minor horror icons sharing the stage and touring the country’s high school proms!

In the end Trick or Treat has more than it’s fair share of issues. Sammi Curr doesn’t enter the film until much too late and is dispatched way too easily. Water? Really? That’s it?

That said, the film is still a blast as director Charles Martin Smith keeps the movie rocking like an 80’s music video with highlights being Sammi’s rock show massacre at the prom and his final assault on our hero teens in the family bathroom.

Rockstar lighting for days.

Even though the film has issues (zero blood, a rushed ending) none of that mattered much to this horror hound as the film was filled to the brim with striking horror/metal imagery and a killer soundtrack via Fastway and composer Christopher Young.

Plus you’ve got to love the cameos by Gene Simmons (boy, his character just dropped right out of the movie, huh?) and Ozzy Osbourne as a mad-as-hell Preacher that isn’t going to take any more of this devil music. P.S. Watch for the post-credits tag.

More than a few of my closest horror buddies have this film placed high on their annual Halloween must-watch lists. And after (finally) viewing the film for myself, I think I just may have to add the film to mine as well. Preferably on VHS.

Trick or Treat is an 80’s horror classic. If you dig films like Popcornand if you put the film off like I did, remedy that tonight and slap a copy in the old VHS/DVD player.

Just don’t play it backward… God knows what could happen.

All said and done, I enjoyed the hell out of my first viewing of Trick or Treat. But what do YOU think of the film? Make sure to hit us up and let us know below or on social media!

Now bring on Trick or Treat 2: The Prom Band from Hell, featuring Sammi Curr, Mary Lou Maloney, and Atanas Ilitch’s Driller Killer from Slumber Party Massacre Part II!

  • Trick or Treat (1986) 3.5
3.5

Summary

Charles Martin Smith’s Trick or Treat is a sure-fire Halloween treat for fans of 80’s horror flicks, as well as fans of heavy metal music.

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Jordan Peele Is Open to the Idea of Get Out Sequel

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Recently we shared the baffling news that this year, the Golden Globes were considering writer-director Jordan Peele’s psychological horror-thriller Get Out a comedy.

Hurm. While that bit of news still doesn’t make a bit of sense to me, today we have an update on Jordan Peele’s possible sequel Get Out 2. Which is always welcome.

Deadline was recently speaking with the filmmaker and Peele told them that although he still hasn’t cracked the sequel, if he comes up with a fresh spin he would have no problem revisiting the first film.

“I haven’t decided anything yet,” Peele told the site. “I am allowing the creative part to bubble up, and not force it. I know if a follow-up is meant to happen, it will. I’m open to figuring out what it is. But I also don’t want to let down the original and its fans. I simply would not do something like that for the cash.”

Good to hear!

I don’t know about you, but if Jordan Peele does decide to revisit the world of Get Out again in the future, I will be there. After reading these comments, I have faith the man will not return unless the story deserves it. Money be damned!

Unless… the sequel is called Sell Out… Ooohh. Snap. All jokes aside, in this world of sequels and remakes, it feels pretty damn good to hear a filmmaker talk this way.

What do you think of a Get Out sequel? Do you think the first film needs a continuation? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

You can buy Get Out on Blu-ray HERE.

Synopsis:

Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.

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