'The Cast of Jeepers Creepers 2'
'Ladies & Gentlemen: It's Feeding Time Again!'
In ’Jeepers Creepers 2,’ the sequel to the 2001 original, a high-school basketball team's championship is spoiled in the worst way when their bus breaks down. It's really the work of that darn Creeper, who's on his feeding frenzy and threatening to make meals out of players, coaches, and cheerleaders, all while the cops try to track down and kill the winged beast … and good luck with that!
Taking some time out with four of the cast members: Lena Cardwell, Eric Nenninger, Nicki Aycox and Garikayi Mutambirwa, each one of them was asked a series of questions and here’s how they responded:
With your early beginnings that of singing for money on subway platforms in Times Square, how do you go from that to the soap opera, ‘Passions’?! ”Somewhere I acquired this quiet determination. I auditioned for a soap opera out there, but didn’t think I would get it because I thought I was not pretty enough to be on a cotton-picking soap opera so why are they giving this to me?! So, I went in there, totally got it – flubbed my lines and was a goof ball – and they just totally loved it! So, then I moved out to CA and everything really began happening from there.”
There was over 2000 people looked at for your role and yet you got it. How did/do you feel about that? ”You know what, I was incredibly flattered and I thought to myself that I have to make every single moment count. Every single moment must count so I could never get lazy!”
Any inside info on your character? ”Yeah, I was supposed to die actually in the first twenty minutes of the film, but they told my agent that I was a really great actress and that they wanted to keep me and try and extend my character a little bit more.”
And now you even have a CD coming out?! ”No, I don’t,” she replies firmly and adamantly. ”Scratch it, throw it in the fire and stamp on it! That was a demo, but I did a CD when I was a little girl! Like, when I was 12 and it sold out in the stores, but that information can die!”
Did you actually draw from our own real life experiences as a basketball player in High School? ”Yeah, well, the part of it was was that he was a High School Basketball player who was really cocky like an alpha-male! And, I start with the script and look at what they are and then make a short list of what they are and so as I’m listing them down I saw more and more things that I was in High School! There was that alpha-male jock that I was in High School who thought that every decision he made was right and stuff like that.”
You die in the movie, but you also deserve it! Any thoughts?! ”Yeah, the first copy of the script I was dying at the end of it and then they re-wrote it and had to take out the last scene and so made me die in a different scene! And then they actually re-wrote that and made me die in another scene! So I was pretty sure one way or another that my character was going to get it,” he laughs.
But, didn’t you live longer in one of the other re-writes? ”Actually, my character lived through the whole thing at the start of all this, but then they realized that they had to kill this guy off,” he and the other three laugh.
Story has it that you just packed your stuff up one day and drove to LA to be a ‘star’?! ”Well, I studied all through High School and then in college in Oklahoma, which is not really full of people that know a lot about acting! But, I always really liked it and I thought why don’t I just go out to LA, try it and if it doesn’t work out I can always just come home! So, I thought about it for a day, probably, and then told myself I was gonna put myself into school out there, continue doing theatre and drive back and forth to Hollywood to find an agent. Luckily, I found an agent the first day that I was there and I got my first job on a TV show called ‘USA High’ after my first audition and from there it just sort of rolled! It was all very fortunate, very lucky but it also felt like it just fit because it happened like that."
Are you just a very lucky person all the time?! ”No, no that’s not always the way it is for me! I’ve had my moments where I don’t know where my rent's coming from too,” she laughs. ”And I may not have got the second acting job for like another year, so I guess it balanced out!”
Your character seems to do nothing but stare or cry real hard in this film! ”Yeah, I felt like because of having this extra information through these dreams that there’s a lot of conflict and confusion going on. So, I started thinking about it and I thought well, if she really believes, that I would think that she wouldn’t be that interactive at times. Because, like she says, there’s nothing you can do. You can leave, but you’re still gonna get killed because once he’s got you, he’s got you. So, I felt like playing it in a way that was like this blank sort of thought process, because I would think to myself that it doesn’t matter if I leave.”
So, what's this I hear about you and Playboy Magazine?! ”Erm, well first of all I left a message on my machine as I left to go on this tour that said, ‘The Bunny’s not home’,” she and they all heartily giggle. ”But, basically it’s in the beginning of the magazine and I’m one of the first girls you see and it’s basically women in film. And, the idea of it is to not show any nudity, but to pose in sexy underwear with maybe your top off but still not showing anything. And, to do a little preview of the subject and let people know who you are and whatever. It was fun and I was happy with it, but it doesn’t look like me at all.”
You seem to be the most experienced movie and TV-wise (‘Clockstoppers,’ ‘Bones,’ ‘Focus,’ etc.), but was it different being a part of this movie after all those? ”For me it was just because my part was a little bigger so I had more to do and more to say and even a bigger collaboration with the Director. And also the tone is different. It’s not a PG-13 movie and I’m not just playing the best friend or comedic relief,” he gently laughs. ”So, I just felt very much more involved in this one.”
You worked on ‘Dawson’s Creek’ – Anything to say about those days?! "I’m proud to have it on my resume, but not proud of the work I did on it. They needed a French-speaking actor and I speak French, but originally I had nothing to do with the main story. But, it was an experience as it always is in this business!”
Then, the ‘Journalist For A Day’ winner from Farmington Hills High School, Lauren Marshall stepped into the limelight and asked each cast member her very own researched questions:
[Lena] Lauren - You mentioned that you don’t sing anymore, but will you ever get back to that? ”No, I’m starting fresh and new. Right now I’m acting, working with the homeless and still needing time in the day to find to shower,” she laughs. ”It’s a haggard little trail, but I’ve got that determination of an Ox and I want to do something in this world and I want to make something of myself.”
[Eric] Lauren - Did it bother you playing a closet homophobe in this movie? ”No, not at all. Yeah, he has pretty much undertones of racism. He’s kind of a little bit iffy with black people and the whole thing and the movie kind of indicates that element, but I didn’t have a problem playing it. It’s kind of interesting when you play the bad guy or the real racist, because you don’t wanna go there with your own opinions, you know. But, it’s kind of good for the movie and I was almost kinda happy that there was someone like that up there, because that kind of person really does exists and they are out there. And the way it was written it was like real undertone, where it just kind of mentioned that he was a little upset about the other people. And it all’s pretend and my wife’s right there anyway,” he laughs.
[Nicki] Lauren - Do you prefer acting on TV shows or acting in the movies? ”Er, well, that’s actually interesting because he [Eric] said something that rings true with me also. I’ve done a lot of Independent features and I’ve gotten to work with some really good actors, but I enjoy film more. But I do television because it’s slower and a little bit more creative. You just get the time to think about what you’re doing and that seems to be the fun part to me.”
[‘GK’] Lauren - When you were growing up did the teachers ever screw up your name?! ”No, no, they all got it right, right off the bat,’ he sarcastically laughs. ”No, of course, they often did, but they used to call me Gary for short … and I hate that,” he purposefully adds. ”I go by GK or Garikayi.”
And then finally, as things got a little lighter and more jovial, I went in for some juicy ‘Jeepers Creepers 2’ Behind-The-Scenes info:
Any practical jokes played on the set? [Nikki] ”Yeah, putting plexi-glass in my pants!," she laughs. "Hey,” she says turning towards Lena, ”you remember when I brought you that huge bug!?”
[Lena] ”Yeah, it scared the hell out of me,” she laughs.
[Nikki] ”It was the biggest bug and was the size of my fist and we found it like crawling in the middle of the road.”
[Lena] ’And the thing with that was that I thought it was a water bug and so I thought you had obviously drowned the bug and put it in my trailer! And I just thought that was the sickest thing that I’d ever seen in my life! And so I dumped it out and went to the set and I was really mad and I get back and it’s moving and I realize that it’s not a dead water bug!”
And this plexi-glass incident? [Nikki] ”Oh, that was one of the other guys on the set who thought it was funny to grab plexi-glass because I had these low-riding pants on and if I bent over he thought it was funny to drop the plexi-glass in the back of it without me knowing! And I would then just sit down and it would be just stuck!”
Finally, please give me a Behind-The-Scenes secret from the set of ’Jeepers Creepers 2’!! [Eric] ”The Director, Victor Salva actually has a cameo voice appearance in the movie. There’s some radio-play that goes back and forth when they talk about stuff from the first film and he comes on as a Police Officer! He likes to put himself in the movie and then he was on the cover of a magazine like Sporting Illustrated, but that got cut! He was Coach of The Year or something like that,” he and they all laugh again for the final time.
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
With additional questions supplied by Lauren Marshall.
Jeepers Creepers 2 Web Site
To win some exclusive 'Jeepers Creepers 2' movie memorabilia such as T-shirts, water bottles and even a signed poster by four members of the cast, just tell me in which 1992 movie starring Tim Robbins and Gore Vidal did cast member Ray Wise star? Then, just send an e:mail to me with the subject title 'JC2' and the answer in the text to: