The 10-year-old on doing his own stunts and working with Richard Dreyfuss
When you think of kid actors, Dakota Fanning comes to mind. But there's another young actor edging up on her plateau, Jimmy Bennett. He's only 10 years old, but he's already starred in some major motion pictures including last year's The Amityville Horror and Hostage, and then this year's Firewall with Harrison Ford and Virginia Madsen.
It turns out, because of Harrison he got his next job - Poseidon. In that film, he stars opposite Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, Emmy Rossum, Richard Dreyfuss, director Wolfgang Peterson; Jimmy told me it was Richard who he had the most fun with.
The early wake up call for my interview with Jimmy happened at 7am; he was on the set of Evan Almighty in Virginia; he's been shooting that for a few weeks already, and has about two more months shooting that. You can check out what he said about that here.
Jimmy really is an amazing kid, as you'll find out; here's how our conversation went:
How's it going?
Jimmy Bennett: It's going good, what about over there?
Well, it's actually 7 o'clock in the morning; I'm a bit on the tired side. What have you been doing this morning since it's already 10 in Virginia?
Jimmy Bennett: Well, I did school for a little bit; after this interview, I go back. It's 4 hours, cause it's home school.
Being only 10, are you amazed that you've been able to be in so many blockbuster films?
Jimmy Bennett: Well, not necessarily; it's actually pretty fun. Once I finished Firewall, I finished Firewall on a Friday; I had the weekend off and on Monday, I started Poseidon. I had two days off between movies.
Poseidon is really awesome!
Jimmy Bennett: Yeah, that movie is really cool. I got to do my own stunts, so that's really cool.
Wolfgang was saying he wanted everyone to do their own stunts.
Jimmy Bennett: Yeah, he didn't want me to do one stunt where I have to jump off a piano when the boat flips upside down; they didn't let me do that. All my other stunts I got to do; they're pretty huge stunts.
Can you talk about your character?
Jimmy Bennett: I play Conner James, the son of Maggie. He gets into a little bit of trouble, goes off; he's a trouble maker.
What was your favorite scene?
Jimmy Bennett: When the boat flipped up, we have to cross a 40-foot beam and from the bottom up; it was awesome! I didn't fall.
What was it like working with all the actors?
Jimmy Bennett: It was really cool; Richard Dreyfuss - he was so funny. He would go, 'Yeemy.' And I would go, 'Reechard.' And we would just make funny faces and just hang out in his trailer. He would get me ice cream every day and he was just really cool.
Where did your nickname 'Two Take' come from?
Jimmy Bennett: It's kind of like 'Two Take Charlie.' But it was on a movie I was shooting called The Heart is Deceitful,' I would always do stuff in two takes or one take, so the director and actor (Asia Argento) he named me 'Two Take Jimmy' and then there was 'One Take Sam.'
We spoke with Harrison Ford a few weeks ago and he told us you're not that innocent; why do you think he would say that?
Jimmy Bennett: I don't know; I was trying to be, but I guess I wasn't.
You must have made quite an impression on him?
Jimmy Bennett: Yeah, he was really nice. And guess what? He actually got me the job for Poseidon; I had gone out for it and Harrison Ford told Wolfgang, 'You have got to work with this kid; he's amazing. I mean, he's really good.'
Wow, that's pretty amazing.
Jimmy Bennett: Yeah!
Do you think you're going to work with Harrison again?
Jimmy Bennett: I want to.
Did he talk to you about Indiana Jones?
Jimmy Bennett: We talked about it, but it was a while ago so I don't remember what he said or the conversation.
What do you want to do for your next film?
Jimmy Bennett: Yeah, like scary movies; I did The Amityville Horror.
What do you want to do when you get older?
Jimmy Bennett: I want to be an actor and I want to grow up and continue acting.
What else do you want to do?
Jimmy Bennett: I'm writing a few scripts, so I kind of want to be a writer. I'm just kind of starting one now; I'm starting the research. It's going to like a drama.
What kind of movies do you like to go see?
Jimmy Bennett: I can get into rated-R movies, and I like to do them. And I'd like to do more rated-R movies cause they're pretty sweet! I liked Freddy vs. Jason and all the Freddy movies (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Chucky (the Child's Play series). I just watched Saw the other day, too.
So you really aren't that innocent, are you?
Jimmy Bennett: No, I'm not innocent.
You can check out Jimmy in Poseidon in theaters and on IMAX screens on May 12th; it's rated PG-13.
Read our other Poseidon interviews:
Exclusive with Emmy Rossum
Exclusive with Jimmy Bennett
Interview with Josh Lucas