Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton &
Sean Bean In "The Hitcher"
By Christina Radish
An update of the 1986 film of the same name, Rogue Pictures
tracks a young college couple on the
road, en route to spring break. In the
feature directorial debut of Dave Meyers,
the thriller follows the terrifying
trajectory of Grace Andrews (One Tree
Hill star Sophia Bush) and Jim Halsey
(Zachary Knighton), who are tormented
by the mysterious hitchhiker John
Ryder (The Lord of the Rings star Sean
Bean). As the open road becomes
a suspenseful, action-packed battleground
of blood and metal, the young
pair try to elude not only Ryder, but
also New Mexico State Police
Lieutenant Esteridges (Neal McDonough)
officers, and fight for their
lives as they face their fears head-on.
The films stars, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton and Sean
Bean talked to
MediaBlvd Magazine about remakes, the
challenges of shooting a scary
movie, and why audiences like to watch
a girl who can kick some ass.
MediaBlvd Magazine> Sean, how difficult was this character
to play for
you, since he doesnt really have
Sean Bean> It was difficult. There wasnt a great deal
of history to the
guy, and not a lot of information about
where he came from, which I
thought was quite interesting, really.
It allowed me the freedom to
create what I wanted, and to invent
a character. I always thought that
it was somewhat scarier that you dont
know anything about him or
where he comes from. I find that the
less you know about people, the
less you trust them. I usually like
to have something to go on, but for
this particular movie, I would say he
was like an angel of death. That
quite appealed to me.
MediaBlvd> Sophia, what are the challenges of playing a girl
How do you avoid the typical horror
Sophia Bush> I didnt want to be that girl, running around,
irritating. But, at the same time,
I didnt want to come out like Lara
Croft, with guns blazing, because thats
not quite right either. Something
that made it great, for me, was a lot
of what Zach and I got to do
together because we spent weeks just
working on the chemistry of our
relationship, and how Jim and Grace
behaved and reacted, and the ways
in which partners in a long standing
relationship mess with one another.
That gave me some license to go on the
emotional roller coaster instead of
just being one kind of woman. When
Grace wasnt going to make it, Jim
pulled her up, and when Jim wasnt
going to make it, Grace pulled him up.
It was a very symbiotic relationship,
and it allowed me to show both sides.
It allowed me to flip the scales from
her being kind of happy go lucky to
her being stripped down and very animalistic.
It let me do that more slowly,
in a see-saw, than in one quick flip,
and I think thats a more accurate of
how people change and how people tap
into their strengths.
MediaBlvd> Sean, how difficult was
it stepping into Rutger Hauers shoes?
Sean> I saw the film when it first came out about 20 years
ago, and it made
a big impression on me. It was a very
well constructed film, and Rutger Hauer
gives a very good performance and I
remember being scared by it. I
thought it made an impact, but I really
didnt want that running around
my head and cluttering things up, when
we were making our version of it.
Working with Zach and Sophia, I think
we created quite an interesting new
version. I really didnt have any
reservations or concerns about being
compared to another actor. I just wanted
to do it my way.
MediaBlvd> Zach and Sophia, youre in the same outfits
for most of the movie.
How many different versions were there,
and how gross did they get by the end?
Zachary Knighton> It was the same outfit. I wore the same
thing every day.
It smelled really bad.
Sophia> For continuitys sake, they had to keep a couple
of pairs of all the
Zach> But, there were different stages, because we shot out
Sophia> He looked at me one day and was said, We smell,
and I said, I
know. We were covered in dirt,
blood and filth, so we probably would have
smelled, anyway. I dont think
anyone noticed, except for us.
MediaBlvd> Sophie and Zach, how was the relationship between
Sean, since you had to be scared of
Sean> It was quite good that they were scared of me.
Zach> Im still afraid.
Sean> The first scene we did in Austin, Texas was a night
shoot. It was quite
a long scene and it was quite good that
we didnt really know each other at all.
Zach> You didnt talk to us at all.
Sophia> It took us a couple of weeks to get us all speaking.
Sean> But, it actually worked because we werent supposed
to know each other,
so Im glad we did that.
Sophia> Our first conversation was about how hard he could
push the knife into
my face. I was like, Hi, how are
you? Feel free to hit me.
MediaBlvd> Was it hard to shoot the scenes with the heavy
Zach> If you shoot in the rain, you have a lot of voice ADR
and voice looping
to do after the movie.
Sean> Its only hard, if youve got lines. It was
quite warm in Austin, that
time of year. The rain always feels
good to me.
MediaBlvd> Sophia, how challenging is it to find quality scripts?
Sophia> Its definitely hard to find films of quality
that you want to make.
When this script came, prior to reading
it, I didnt really know it was going
to be anything other than a typical
scary movie. As I was going through it,
I realized that there was something
special here. Not only did that tomboy
side of me get to completely freak out,
in my stunt junkie way, and do all
of these amazing things and watch cars
get blown up and helicopters fly
over our faces and ride around the desert
with guns, but there was such
development for this character and a
slope for this girl to fall down. I try to
choose projects that give me some work
to do, and look for things that
I havent done before. This was
something very exciting. The relationships
between our characters is phenomenal
and real, and something that gets
overdone in our age range a lot. And,
to be working with Sean, I was like,
Yeah, I want to make a movie with
Sean Bean! We had a moment in that
first sequence we filmed, barely knowing
each other, where we were fighting,
and I was like, God, this guy
is so strong and he has my face in his hand,
and this is great. I made some
noise that worried him and he looked at me
and said, Are you alright?,
and I was like, Im okay. Were back in the scene.
Beat me up some more.
MediaBlvd> Sophia, what do you think the fascination is with
girls kicking ass?
Sophia> I think whats great about it is that weve
seen so many great male
heroes in men, like the iconic Indiana
Jones and Dirty Harry. Were at a point,
in our sociology, where weve evolved
to realize that women can kick as much
ass as men, and we want to see it. Theres
something thats a little less
expected about seeing the girlfriend
end up with the shotgun. Its exciting
and it gives the girls in the audience
something to root for. You no longer
have women being dragged to an action
movie by their boyfriends.
MediaBlvd> Sean, playing a villain, do you have any favorite
Sean> I like the old style ones, like James Cagney and Edward
G. Robinson --
the quite rough and ready, no-nonsense
gangsters. I tried to play this guy
without being too aggressive. John Malkovich
is someone I always admire,
as a villain. I like him, in general,
but I think he also has an assertive quality
MediaBlvd> Whats next for you guys?
Sean> Im not really doing anything, at the moment. I
just finished this film
in the Arctic called True North, with
Michelle Yeoh. Its also about three
characters, but slightly different from
this combination. So, Ive been over
there for awhile, and Ive been
flying around a bit. Im just looking at a few
things now. Theres nothing definite.
Zach> I am currently in the mix for some things and hoping
works out. Im basically hanging
out and surfing.
Sophia> Im finishing the fourth season of One Tree Hill.
We start on hiatus
half-way through April so, in the next
few weeks, all the things that will be
put together, and well figure
out what pool we feel like diving in for the summer.
MediaBlvd> How long do you think One Tree Hill will go for?
Sophia> We never really know, and I think its hard to
say. That depends
on how long the kids keep watching,
and how long we keep the teenagers
MediaBlvd> Sean, any plans to go back to the Sharp series?
Sean> I dont know. We did one in India last year called
which was a lot of fun. It would be
good to resurrect it one day, so long as t
here is something to talk about, and
as long as were not just going on
because it was popular and successful.
But, I would like to think there is
life in it, as long as its meaningful
and we are just not repeating what
we did already. Obviously, its
a favorite of mine.