For horror fans, Jamie Kennedy is synonymous with the Scream franchise. His character Randy Meeks was the expert, the one who knew what it takes to survive in a horror film. His smarts didn’t prevent him from getting offed in part 2, but Kennedy is returning to the world of horror in another beloved franchise, in Tremors 5, set to be released in October.
Kennedy also stars in the new film Buddy Hutchins, a wickedly violent revenge thriller/dark comedy that sees the seasoned comedian taking on his craziest role yet. He stars at the titular Buddy, a desperate man who the universe has piled heaps of misery on until he reaches his breaking point. If you think going postal with a gun is scary, what till you see Buddy with a chainsaw.
Kennedy was cool enough to answer some questions regarding Buddy Hutchins, Tremors 5, and even a little Scream.
Buddy Hutchins is a sharp departure from your previous work. How did you get involved in the project?
I met Jared Cohn, the director, on another project, he gave me the script and I loved it.
The comedy is still very much there, but it forces you to go to some very dark places. Can you talk about how you prepared for this character? Did you draw on anything in your personal life?
No, I pretty much looked at it as a comedy, because even though it is despicable what he does with a chainsaw, it’s still a chainsaw, and that’s kind of funny. It’s not the most efficient tool. But I just let myself go, it was very freeing.
PS – I love that you get that it’s a dark comedy.
Alongside the comedy and violence, there’s some heavy emotional moments (the hospital room scene for example). What was the most difficult scene for you as an actor?
That was a hard scene because we didn’t have a lot of time — there were a ton of people on set, and I could hear them shooting a court room scene down the hall. I hope I pulled that one off. Sally was very good though in coaching me along.
The gore comes fast and hard in the film. Was there any moment on set where you or Jared Cohn were like, “Whoa, maybe this is too much”?
Jared Cohn? Pulling back? Never! He was like, “More! More! More!” But I actually think the blood was used sparingly compared to what we shot. I don’t think the movie is that gory actually.
A new Tremors film is always an event. How familiar were you with the series going into this one?
I had only seen the first one, and I really liked it. I was very excited to be part of this.
You do a lot of ass kicking in Buddy Hutchins. Can we expect the same in Tremors?
In Tremors my character is an extreme adrenaline junky. I won’t have a chainsaw, but I will have other weapons of choice to take down those Grabboids, and let me tell you, they’re on HGH.
Do you have any crazy stories from on set in South Africa?
It was probably the most physical shoot I’ve even been apart of. There’s a scene in the movie where I’m driving a truck and I hit a rock, and you’ll see in the movie that it looks like it almost flips. That wasn’t planned, that was what we call a happy accident, but thank god it wasn’t a real accident. Between filming under water, special FX and fire, the movie is gonna look huge. Transformers huge.
So far only a basic synopsis has been revealed. Is there anything you can tell us about Tremors 5 that hasn’t been said yet?
I can’t say that much until it comes out in October, but Burt Gummer comes back and he may have a new partner in crime. And the little bit of the worms that I saw are a mix between CGI and practical FX.
How do you feel about the Scream TV series? A lot of diehard fans (myself included) are kinda on the fence because allegedly there’s no Ghostface. What are your thoughts?
I heard also that there’s no Ghostface. For me that’s gonna be different than what we’re used to in Scream, but there are really good people involved, so we’ll have to wait and see how it looks.
It’s been almost 20 years since the first Scream. There have been documentaries about it and its legacy. But do you have any fun story from behind the scenes you could share with us?
My part was between me Breckin Meyer, Seth Green and Jason Lee, and the Gale Weathers role was supposed to be Janeane Garofalo instead of Courtney Cox — a little interesting bit about their casting choices.
Thanks so much for your time. Also, I want you to know that me and my wife drop the “Validate Parking” quote from Malibu’s Most Wanted at least three times a week. It kills me every time.
Thank you, and if you write a good review of the movie I might give you a white chip macadizzamia nizzut cookie.
Buddy Hutchins is available now on home video and various VOD outlets.