Sarah Michelle Gellar ('The Grudge')
'Still Slaying the Demons'
Eating in a local restaurant, she was discovered by an agent when she was 4 years old. Soon after she was making her first movie, 'An Invasion of Privacy' (1983) (TV). Besides a long list of movies, she has also appeared in many TV commercials and on the stage. Her breakthrough came with TV-series 'Swans Crossing' (1992). During 1997 she became known to the cinema audience when she appeared in two movies at the cinema 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' (1997) and 'Scream 2' (1997). But she is arguably still most associated with her title role in the long-running TV series, 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (1997).
In Sony's forthcoming ghost story, 'The Grudge' an American nurse (Gellar) living and working in Tokyo is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse - one that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim.
So, come on, just how excited were you to jump back into mixing it up with ghosts and ghoulies all over again?! "Oh yeah, very much so as I've now twice gotten to do something incredibly groundbreaking. It's very rare that you get to be part of something that's never been done before. I mean, to be part of the first film to be made for American audiences with the original Japanese director is just an incredible honor, and I've a really proud feeling that I get to show something no-one has ever seen before".
How did you get involved in this remake? "I'm a big fan of Japanese cinema, not just psychological but action films like 'Hero' - I just love the whole style. That's part of the reason why I was so intrigued by it, the filmmaking style and the shots are so innovative, and visually it's just stuff you haven't seen before. I came home from Vancouver and I got a phone call and they told me the story, they said watch it tonight, read the script but the deal is you've gotta go tomorrow. So mistake #1, watching the original "Ju-On" at 10:30 at night," she fakely shivers, "but I loved it - not just the female characters but the thrill and the thing about Japanese films is that it takes you there and leaves you and I just really wanted to be a part of it. Of all the projects I've been offered this was the one I pursued. I stalked Sam Raimi for six months as well, not sure if the restraining order is still in effect," she gently laughs.
A lot of the shots in the trailer seem very similar to the original - was that deliberate on the Director's part? "There were these shots the director did in the original and they would sort of come around someone and then in and then out and you were part of that person's thoughts. You don't see stuff like that and it sticks with you. There's a couple of the scenes like the shower sequence or that hallway shot - what he does is... there's a subtle repetition which you don't realise until you learn how these characters are connected".
Any sequences that particularly stand out in your memory during the filming in Japan? "I enjoyed the whole process, I really did. I've been making film & television since I was four years old and this was like learning everything from scratch. It was truly making art I guess, there was a pride that goes with it that's different. The joke is I'm going to go over and union-ise Japan because those actors and crew work too hard...could you imagine," she laughs again.
Are there any scenes that people will be talking about when they walk out of the theatre?! "My husband said there's three sequences that everyone will be talking about. Everyone will be talking about Kayako and the stairs, that's all I will say. Which was completely done without wires, without pads and without a stuntperson. The little boy Toshiyo is very different - when was the last time you saw a little boy in his underwear that was very scary. The shower scene does standout actually we heightened it a little and shot more footage for it. At least for me it was very scary, nothing like taking a shower with a bunch of Japanese men".
There didn't seem to be an overlaod of special effects in this movie either! "No, there were no effects. I remember asking questions - is there a rig? is there a wire? Everything's practical. Literally it's amazing, you just do it. How do I get through this window? You jump through it. But it's glass? We'll break it first. It's a very different approach to filmmaking".
Finally, will there be a third 'Scooby-Doo' movie?! "No, I don't think they'll doing a third 'Scooby'," she gently laughs and shruggs her shoulders at the same time. "But, I am hoping to be a part of Richard Kelly's next ensemble," she smiles.
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