- Source: ComingSoon
- Picking Up a New Hitcher
Source: Heather Newgen
January 15, 2007
- 20 years ago, The Hitcher scared audiences
with the frightening and callous
- tale of a guy traveling across country
who picks up a vicious and murderous
- hitchhiker. It is considered to be one
of the creepiest horror films and now
- Michael Bay's production company, Platinum
Dunes, has remade the haunting
- thriller, this time tormenting a college
couple on their spring break.
- ComingSoon.net talked to The Hitcher
stars Sean Bean, Sophia Bush and
- Zachary Knighton, producers Brad Fuller
and Andrew Form, and first time
- feature director Dave Meyers about
- CS: You did a great job of making everything
realistic, but the Zack, 15
- minutes moment?
Brad Fuller: You know we had to get Zack out of the room; we
had to get him
- out because we debated how we were going
to get Sean in the room. There
- was some fun to be had there and we
had a great shower scene. (Laughs.)
- It was fun for Sophia, so I dunno; we
just kind of went with it. I mean I wish
- I could give you a better answer. Anything
you want to add to that?
Andrew Form: No, but it's tricky, because how do you get Zack
out of that room
- and get Sean in? Because we had this
whole scene constructed where we did
- want Sean in bed with Sophia and we
had to get Zack out of the hotel room.
Fuller: And you know Sean is going to be in the bed. You know
he's going to be
- there. And you're waiting for it to
Sean Bean: There was a scene where I was in bed with Sophia?
- CS: Sean, how difficult was this character
to play for you because we don't
- really know anything about him.
Bean: It was. There wasn't a great deal of back history to the
guy. Not a lot of
- information about where he came from
which I thought was quite interesting
- really, because it allowed me the freedom
to create what I wanted and to invent
- as a person. And I always thought that
it was somewhat scarier that you don't
- know anything about him or where he
comes from. I always 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.
- CS: This is for the producers; the fact
we don't know much about the hitcher,
- does that mean will there be a prequel?
Fuller: No. I don't see a prequel happening. As Sean said, give
him a blank
- slate and let him do what he'll do with
it. There was no thinking about a
- prequel until you brought it up.
- CS: Sophia what are the challenges of
playing a girl like this and avoiding
- the clichés?
Sophia Bush: Right, I think that was a big thing for me and something
- definitely looked into in a lot of moments
in filming, because I don't want
- to be that girl running around whining
and irritating, but at the same time
- I don't want to come out like Lara Croft
with guns blazing, because that's
- not quite right either. And I think
that it's something that made it great was
- or greater for me rather 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 we kind of messed
- with one another and the ways partners
in a long standing relationship sort
- of do. So, what we had, I think this
gave me some license to go on the
- emotional roller coaster instead of
just being one kind of woman or another
- was when Grace wasn't going to make
it Jim pulled her up and when Jim
- wasn't going to make it, Grace pulled
him up. And it was a very symbiotic
- relationship, so it allowed me to show
both sides. And 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
slowly more in a see saw than in one
- quick flip and I think that's a more
accurate of how people change and how
- people sort of tap into their strengths.
- CS: Dave, this is really a lean film.
Was there more stuff that got cut? And
- how was your relationship with the MPAA?
Dave Meyers: I had a really great MPAA experience. I didn't focus
- in the film even though there is some.
I tried to keep everything on thrills
- and suspense. We cut most of it out
before we actually filmed it which is
- sort of how we kept the budget extremely
low, and yet we still have huge
- car action and all that stuff. And so,
part of the relationship I had with the
- producers was trying to cut that stuff
before we filmed it. And really cutting
- the fat everywhere we could. I pulled
from my commercials and video
- background and keeping things really
succinct. It's lean and there is only
- one scene that has only five different
versions of it and that hopefully
- make it to the DVD.
- CS: What scene is that?
Meyers: Am I allowed to say?
Meyers: The motel scene, we shot that so many times I think Sean
- mad at me. He was like, "Again?"
- CS: Dave can you talk about the musical
decisions for the film? I enjoyed
- the scene with "Closer" coming
into the scene.
Meyers: I had a play list that I used to inspire me for the characters
- film. And it came through my exposure
of music and what I love and I was
- distinctly told by the producers I'd
never afford any of it. So, the film came
- out we put it together and we had all
that music in there as my own personal
- thing. And then one day Brad called
me and said, "Guess what. The studio likes
- it and they are going to pay for this
song." I called Dave Matthew's people and
- got a deal on that song. And then I
started going and Trent Reznor signed off
- on it, and then like three or four days
ago the studio paid for it, so it was just
- hanging on it. "No, no, no, OK."
- CS: This question is for Sean, how difficult
was it stepping into Rutger Hauer's
Bean: 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, and I thought
- it made an impact but I really didn't
want that running around my head and
- cluttering things up when we were making
our version of it. So, I think working
- with Dave and obviously, Zach and Sophie
I think we created quite an interesting
- new version. And I really didn't have
any reservations or concerns about being
- compared to another actor. I just wanted
to stop and scratch and do it my way.
- CS: Zack and Sophia, you're in the same
outfits most of the movie. How many
- different versions were there? How gross
did they get by the end?
Zachary Knighton: I'll be back in 15 minutes. (Laughs.) It was
the same outfit.
- I wore the same thing every day. It
smelled really bad.
Bush: Yeah, there definitely got to a point where what did they
have? Six? For
- continuity sake they had to keep a couple
of pairs of all that clothes.
Knighton: Yeah, but there were different stages, because we shot
out of sequence.
Bush: There were a couple of days when we would be in sequence
and we'd be in
- the same clothes and he looked at me
one day and was like, "We smell." And I'm
- like, "I know." (Laughs.)
It was interesting, but then again we were covered in
- dirt, blood and filth so we probably
would have smelled anyway. I don't think
- anyone noticed, except for us.
- CS: Sophie, Zack and Sean - how is the
relationship between you guys and
- Sean since you had to be scared of him?
Bean: It's quite good in a way - that they were scared of me.
Knighton: I'm still afraid. (Laughs.)
Bean: The first scene we did in Austin, Texas was a night shoot,
- scene in the car where they are picking
up the garage and we shot the interior
- of the car which is quite a long scene
and it was quite good that we didn't really
- know each other by then at all, did
we? Liked each other or not.
Knighton: You didn't talk to us at all.
Bean: That's not unusual.
Bush: It took us a couple of weeks to all get speaking.
Bean: But it actually worked because we weren't supposed to know
- so I'm glad we did that.
Bush: Our first conversation was about how hard you could push
- into my face. And I was like, "HI.
How are you? Feel free to hit me." (Laughs.)
- CS: Sophia, how challenging is it to
find quality scripts?
Bush: I think it's definitely hard to find films of quality that
you want to make
- and particularly even when this script
came it's like; prior to reading it did I
- really know it was going to be anything
other than a typical movie of a scary
- genre. And as I was going through it
did I realize that there was something
- special here. Because, not only did
that tomboy side of me get to completely
- freak out and like in my stunt junkie
way and do all of these amazing things
- and watch cars get blown up and watch
helicopters fly over our faces and ride
- around the desert with guns, but there
was such a development for this character
- and a sort of slope for this girl to
fall down. And I think that's it of me is
- choosing something that gives me some
work to do and things that I haven't
- done before. It was something just really
very exciting. And 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 and it was like, "Yeah, I
- want to make a movie with Sean Bean.
Totally scary!" (Laughs.) And it's so
- great, because we had a moment in that
first sequence, like he says, barely
- knowing each other and we're fighting
and I'm like, "God, this guy is so strong
- and he has my face in his hand and this
is great, this is great." And I made
- some noise that worried him and you
looked at me and was like, "Are you
- alright?" And I was like, "OK."
And you were like, "OK!" And I was like, "OK,
- we're back in the scene. Beat me up
- CS: Dave, how did you come to the project
and was it something you always
- wanted to remake? And Zack, can you
talk about the c**ksock?
Knighton: The c**ksock lives on buddy.
Meyers: Brad, Drew and Michael are big fans of the Hitcher and
were sort of
- circling it and found rights to it.
I was circling their operation of sort of being
- a home for video commercial guys, making
that jump to movies. The president
- of the studio happened - to a year before
do a movie with him. All of these
- stars sort of aligned. I studied the
film and realized like Sophia said, there's
- character arcs in there. There is something
more special than the typical horror
- film. It just all sort of worked. And
to see a guy with a cocksock.
Knighton: I always dreamed of wearing a c**ksock so it was the
- of director and actor.
- CS: Sophia, what do you think the fascination
with girls kicking ass is?
Bush: Sorry I'm still laughing. Okay, I'm good. I'm okay. I think
- about it is that we've seen so many
great heroes in men and your icons with
- "Indiana Jones" and "Dirty
Harry". You've got that and we're at a point where
- in our sociology we've evolved to realize
that women can kick as much ass
- and want to see it. There's something
that's a little less expected about
- seeing the girlfriend end up with [SPOILER].
It's exciting and it really gives
- the guys something to root for, but
it gives the girls in the audience something
- to root for too. You no longer have
women being dragged to an action movie
- by their boyfriend. Couples are going
together because they're both really
- excited about the film and it's something
- CS: How close to the original script
did you stay to and how long was the shoot?
Meyers: Shoot was 44 days. The original script of the remake?
- CS: Your original script of this.
Meyers: The structure of it stayed pretty close. We pretty much
- whole movie. There was a greenlit draft
that had a structure that had certain
- scenes that are still in the movie.
I think one of the biggest things of these
- movies is creating a believability.
Everyday we'd show up and see a block of
- the scene and go, "oh, that's not
very real." So we'd all go back to our corners
- and a lot of time it was the cast that
would find the soul of it and we'd help
- guide it. That's why there is an authenticity
in the film.
- CS: Any favorite villains of movies
Bean: Other villains? I used to like the old style ones. James
- Edward G. Robinson. People like that.
It's quite hard to spring to mind. I
- suppose so. Quite rough and ready, no-nonsense
gangsters. I tried to play
- this guy without being too aggressive
in a sense. John Malkovich is someone
- I always admire as a villain. I like
him in general, but I think he has an
- assertive quality about him.
- CS: What's next for all of you?
Bean: I'm not really doing anything at the moment. I just finished
- n the artic called "True North"
with Michelle Yeoh, but about three characters,
- but slightly different from this combination.
So I've been over there for awhile
- and I've been flying around a bit. I'm
sick of it so I'm off and looking and just
- looking at a few things now. Nothing
Bush: I'm finishing the fourth season of "One Tree Hill."
We start on hiatus half
- way through April and so it's sort of
in the next few weeks that we pull things
- that have started coming together and
all the things that will be put together
- and figure out what pool we feel like
diving in for the summer.
- CS: How long do you think "One
Tree Hill" will go for?
Bush: Depends how long the kids keep watching. How long we keep
- teenagers entertained. We'll see.
Knighton: I'm going to start a job as Sean Bean's new personal
- am currently in the mix for some things
and hoping that something works out
- and basically hanging out on the west
side and surfing.
Meyers: I'm just waiting for the movie to come out. A lot of
with a first time
- film, people wait to see the film before
they decide what want to offer you.
- A lot of what I have been offered is
sort of clones of "The Hitcher" and I don't
- really want to do that. I'm developing
a movie called "Witch Hunter" with
- New Regency. That will be the A plan
if that actually gets greenlit. It's
- extremely expensive and I don't know
where it stands, but it's being read
- and if that happens then that will be
the immediate one. Otherwise, I'll wait.
- CS: Can you talk about casting? I understand
Zach went through a rigorous
- audition process.
Meyers: I'll hand that one to Brad.
Fuller: Zack specifically? With Sophia it was very simple. She
was an actress
- we had heard about and for Drew and
myself we get a lot more from sitting
- down with an actor and actresses then
actually auditioning them. That's how
- we found Jessica Biel from "Chainsaw."
That's how we found Jordana Brewster
- for the other "Chainsaw".
We had heard wonderful things about Sophia and
- she came in and we just kind of fell
in love with her. We just kind of said
- we're working on this thing "The
Hitcher" and it was early on. When this
- script was being developed she was the
person we had in mind and we kept
- her up to speed with what is happening
with it. It was always Sophia's movie.
- By design she fits the bill for us.
We thought she was likeable and at the
- same time can carry that gun and blow
his head off. That worked out. As far
- as Zack, Zack had a much more torturous
process to getting this role. Zach
- was a guy who we really wanted to be
in the "Chainsaw" that we had just
- finished. For whatever reason it came
down to Zach and this other guy and
- the other guy got the role. We loved
him and you gotta choose an actor,
- Sophia is really hot and you've got
to choose a guy who you believe is such
- a cool guy because she can get any guy
she wants. You've got to get a guy
- that's a real guy's guy. When you're
casting actors, that was always a real
- hard thing for us to find, a guy who
you believe is going to drive an Oldsmobile
- 442 and land Sophia and be in those
situations. Zach kept coming back. We
- didn't want to cut him and we kept on
seeing other actors for lack of a better
- term, bigger names and people who are
more well know. Zach, to his credit,