Horror veteran Jamie Kennedy stars as a psychotic dude at the end of his rope in the new film Buddy Hutchins (review). Kennedy recently sat down with Dread Central to talk about his role in the film, solving problems with a chainsaw, and his upcoming role in Tremors 5.
Kennedy kicked off by giving us his take on Buddy Hutchins. “Buddy Hutchins is a movie that has a Falling Down aspect to it,” Kennedy said. “It’s about a guy who’s at the end of his rope and he’s pushed to the edge and he loses it and does things we all think about doing… but he actually does them.”
He then talked about what attracted him to the role of Buddy. “I liked that it was dark,” Kennedy said. “I liked the script, I liked the characters, I liked a lot of the scenes and I just liked the difference of it. It was dark, and I liked that it was a different side. It was a way for me not to curtail myself. I could be as psycho as I wanted to be.”
We asked Kennedy if spending a significant amount of time in such a negative role affected him personally. “It’s all acting,” Kennedy said. “It’s fun, anyway. I just did it and let myself go and it was fun. It was a hard shoot. It was a lower budget movie. But I liked the material and I liked the director, a lot. So we all banded together and it was three weeks of interestingness.”
Movie stars usually go to great lengths to look their very best on camera, but in Buddy Hutchins Kennedy was tasked with looking as frumpy and disheveled as possible. We spoke about how he felt performing in front of the camera in this state. “I was very comfortable,” Kennedy said. “Sometimes people do comedy just to cover up that side. I’m not saying I’m going to go out and chainsaw people, but there’s a side of me that’s very comfortable doing that. It’s just nice to say what you want and react how you want. In comedy, sometimes you have to work at being funny. In those moments, you have to do something to make it funny. This, I didn’t have to make it crazy. I just acted crazy. But it’s all acting, no matter if it’s dark or light. It’s all just make-believe.”
The fact that Buddy Hutchins is based around a man who has been pushed past his line of tolerance and finally snaps certainly evokes similarities to Joel Schumacher’s 1993 film Falling Down. Kennedy spoke about how that film influenced his performance. “I didn’t watch it again, but it’s a great movie and I remember that movie so well,” Kennedy said. “And I just thought this definitely has some shades of that. Obviously, it’s a darker version. The great Tobe Hooper, who directed the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre, told me something back in the day. I worked with him years ago, and I asked him, ‘Where did you get the inspiration for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre?’ He said, ‘I was in a mall with my mom and my aunt when I was about 17 years old. I was thinking, what’s the quickest way to get out of here?’ So I thought of that for Buddy, too. Yeah, what’s the fastest way to deal with this? Chainsaw.”
Kennedy discussed Buddy’s sympathetic side. “I think it’s nice when the good guy wins in a movie,” Kennedy said, “and Buddy put up with a lot of shit. He put up with a lot of shit before he went to that place. And then he went to that place.”
Finally, just before we wrapped with Kennedy, we asked a quick question about an update on Tremors 5. Kennedy responded, “I just met with Universal and they’re excited about. I think it’s coming out on October 23, 2015, and I’ve gotta tell you, I’m new to the Tremors family and I understand it’s a really big franchise. I respect it and I’m honored to be a part of it. I can’t say too much, but I saw a test of what the worms look like and I think it’ll be the most realistic, gnarliest looking worms yet. I saw it and was like, ‘Oh man, if they can deliver that, it’s gonna look super real.’ The first one was great, but you know how F/X are now. It’s a mix of both prosthetic and CGI. It should be interesting. I’m very excited about it.”