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Attack of the Killer Bunnies!
Rich Cline chats with Cabin Fever writer-director Eli Roth,
and cast members Cerina Vincent, James DeBello, Joey Kern • page 1 of 3
B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
cabin fever you've been warned! On starring in a horror film...
Money. Yeah a lot of money they paid us.
Eli: What they got paid was the opposite of a lot of money!
Joey: I think all of us agree that we really loved the script, and that pretty much is the main reason any actor does anything.
James: The characters were well-defined and really cool. Usually in most horror movies you don't really know anything about the person. You get a back story--blah blah blah--but that's it, and nothing they do during the movie has anything to do with their back story. It's like a cookie cutter version of a person. But this character I play and all the other characters, you're like, "I know that guy! I went to high school with that guy or that bitch, or that's my ex-girlfriend." I'm not the biggest horror fan, but I like that. And I like the fact that it was a funny movie. I think it's really funny.
Cerina: The same for me too, I mean I loved the script, the whole thing, but I really fell in love with my character. It was a kind of gutsy role for me to play and I was excited to go there.
Eli: I just feel so lucky to have these people. I can write the role to a certain extent but every single person--Jimmy, Joey, Cerina, Jordan and Ryder--they all brought their own personal experience and ideas to the characters. Like Jimmy with his improv lines. Jimmy goes, "You f*cking slut!" one time during rehearsal and that's become one of the big quotes from the movie. I want people to take what I wrote and incorporate it to their own personal experience and then bring it to life.

On career choices...
Basically you want to do movies where you have a memorable experience, and you really enjoyed what you made and what you did. It's a moment in your life; it's not about a pattern of success and fame.
Joey: You could screw yourself though!
Cerina: Yeah, it's all about loving what you're doing for the moment. But I definitely try to plan a career path. I'm going to start shooting this movie at the end of the year, it's called Funeral Channel and it's a dark comedy. But it's challenging being selective.
Joey: A million people in Hollywood and they're all going for six scripts. We're busting our asses every day to get auditions. And this movie helps give us a leg up on the game but we're still right in the middle of the game. Career-wise you can start to say, "I would never do that, I don't want to be in that kind of show," or "I want to stick with this stuff," but at the same time....
Cerina: I've been having to do a lot more of that lately, turning things down. No more teen sex comedies! It's very important.
Eli: I think I wanted it to be the movie that became that memorable role. People could watch Jimmy in Detroit Rock City and see Joey in Starship Troopers and see Cerina in Not Another Teen Movie, but hopefully they'll get attached to them in Cabin Fever sort of the way you watch Nightmare in Elm Street now and see Johnny Depp in it, then you watch Friday the 13th and see Kevin Bacon in it. You want this movie to be the way you watch Dazed and Confused now with Adam Goldberg and Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey. You want just to have that! And the other producers and I believed so strongly in every actor that we felt every single one of them could go on to have a spectacular career and that was important to us.
Joey: I don't think people ever go to see horror films for the acting-- Eli: Unless it's like The Shining with Jack Nicholson.
Joey: --and I think that it's hard material to act sometimes because you have to make it so believable and sometimes it's so ridiculous.
James: He tried to get the cast of Dawson's Creek. To kill them off one by one.
Eli: Yeah we tried! Because they were in North Carolina anyway. That wouldn't be a horror film; that would be a wonderful film. A happy celebration.
James: But you're a Dawson fan!
Eli: I'm a fanatic! And I want to kill them because they sucked away hours and hours and hours of my life with that trash. And if I could kill them it would be very satisfying. No, it's not so much that I want to kill them it's that I want to control them! I saw Katie [Holmes] the other night and I was about to get introduced to her, but my girlfriend had to go to the bathroom and she stormed off. And I missed meeting Katie and I subsequently almost broke up with her.

On references to his favourite films....
I sat down and looked at my favourite directors--Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, David Lynch, all these people started out making low-budget, no-budget horror movies, ground-breaking films. I broke down the structure of Evil Dead, John Carpenter's The Thing and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And I looked at what was it that made these films successful. How many characters were there and what were the relationship dynamics? At what point do they hit the general store? At what point do they arrive at the destination? At what point the first person dies. You know at film school at NYU I really learned how to dissect a screenplay and a movie and analyse it structurally. So I looked at Friday the 13th, I looked at all my favourite films, and I lined up all the scenes from all the movies in a row. And there are certain things they have in common that work. So when I was writing it, there's no question I took scenes and said that will be my scene from that and I want this to look like that. But I wanted to do it in a way where people knew I was paying homage to films I respected and loved. I wasn’t just doing a straight rip-off because who cares about that?   more...

roth, ryder strong, vincent, kern, debello

debello and kern


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© 2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall