Joe Anderson talks about his role on the film, back pains and future films.
Joe Anderson is another young actor that's certainly on the move up. You probably recognize him from last year's indie hit Across the Universe but he's also had roles in Control, Becoming Jane and Copying Beethoven in the past two years. His latest film, The Ruins comes to DVD and Blu-Ray on July 8 and I recently had a chance to speak with this British actor over the phone. Here's what he had to say.
Were you familiar with Scott Smith's book before you took on the role and what drew you to your character, Mathias?
Joe Anderson: No, I wasn't, actually. I didn't know about the book prior to it. My younger brother did. He's a horror fan, so he knew about it, but no, I didn't. He was German, so playing a German again, so that was interesting. But the thing as a whole, pulling off killer vines and tackling that as a concept is kind of a tough one, so I was kind of intrigued as to how they would do that, without it being a Little Shop of Horrors film. Also, having delved into the book a bit, it was kind of an intense read so I thought if the movie was going to follow that kind of path, that's just fun to do as an actor. You just jump on the opportunity to go to that place and see what it's like to get my leg chopped off. It's four months of sitting in a hole, your back all bent up (Laughs). I'm on my ass for most of the movie.
Yeah. I was going to ask if you did any research to prepare for that, on the kind of injury you had?
Joe Anderson: For the most part, it wasn't my legs. My body, from the bottom of my ribcage, the arch in my back started to descend underneath the set. The rest of my body goes under the ground. My legs were fake so in that inverted position, my back was killing me because I was spending hours and hours in this hole with my back arched. It was kind of vague in the script as to what his injuries were. They're questioning if he can feel it or if he can't feel it? Has he busted his back? You're not sure if he has broken his back and he can feel his legs, I'm not sure. So, in terms of research, a lot of the stunt guys around there, we were filming in Australia and a lot of the guys were rodeo riders, the bull riders and they were talking about some of what they knew, but not really. It was really just trying to get it so that hopefully it wasn't cheesey.
You're surrounded by a pretty talented youg cast with Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Shawn Ashmore and Laura Ramsey. Did you click right away on the set and what were they like to work with?
Joe Anderson: It was sort of immediate. It was quite a weird rehearsal process because we didn't want to shoot our load, basically, if you know what I mean, throughout the rehearsal, knowing that, for how many weeks, we have to keep this intensity of this nightmare situation. So the rehearsals were very held-back. I wouldn't say it was a strange vibe, but it was the quiet before the storm, so to speak. Everyone got along great. Jonathan and Shawn are awesome. Jena and Laura are great. Everyone is so different, as people and as characters. It was easy because people just really got into their roles. It was fun, and also being in Australia, working on the Gold Coast, was incredible. It was surfer's paradise.
Had you ever worked in Australia before and what other experiences did you guys have when you were filming there?
Joe Anderson: Not a whole lot except working out and going surfing. I think Laura Ramsey got a few surfing lessons. She'd get up at 5 or 6 in the morning and go down surfing before work. We'd hang out and we'd go on trips. I've never worked here before but I lived here for like six months when I was 18 or 19. It was great to go back.
Do you have any favorite scene that you shot there or any favorite memory on the set?
Joe Anderson: Yeah. It was hilarious. I remember grape fights breaking out across the set. People just started hurling grapes at each other. It was just a release after 8 hours of watching someone get their leg amputated. I think (Jonathan) Tucker started it, but I'm not sure.
Have you seen the DVD yet and do you have a favorite feature on that?
Joe Anderson: No, I haven't seen it yet. I wish I had. I've been moving around kind of crazy at the moment. I'm in Nova Scotia right now. I haven't managed to see the DVD yet but I'm excited because I haven't seen the alternate ending or deleted scenes because I haven't had it sent over, but I should. It would be fun, I think. Hopefully it's a little more intense.
Are you filming Amelia right now?
Joe Anderson: Yeah, I just wrapped so I just got back from that. It was fun, though. It was good. That's what I've been doing.
Do you have anything lined up after that now?
Joe Anderson: Nope. That's it for a bit. I'm going on holiday. I'm going to Virginia for a couple of weeks. I think the strike has put a hold on it. The studios don't want to buy as much.
That's kind of a hot topic around here so we'll see how that happens.
Joe Anderson: Yeah, so I'm just going to take advantage of that and go on holiday. I haven't had one for ages.
Is there anything you can tell us about Traveling or High Life?
Joe Anderson: Yeah, the High Life (Laughs), that's funny. I went into where they were doing post-production the other day and I was giggling all the way home. I haven't seen it yet but I'm looking forward to it. We had fun doing it, lots of laughs. That should be good and, yeah, Traveling was great. I'm looking forward to both of those.
Do you know when those are set to be released yet?
Joe Anderson: No, I don't. There are probably some dates floating around, but I couldn't tell you if those are real or not. I think Traveling is maybe Fall, but I could be wrong.
Finally, for those who didn't see The Ruins in the theater, what would you say to them to try and entice them to pick this up on DVD?
Joe Anderson: I haven't seen anything like this before. Maybe I haven't been watching movies that are old enough, but I haven't really seen this idea, this concept. It's one of those things where you think you've seen it, but it's not actually about that, the killer vines and that whole thing. I think if you don't know anything about it... see, that's the thing. I'd like to see it from a fresh point of view, from somebody who hadn't read the script and worked on it and see what surprises me and see what really shocks me. But hopefully they'll go see it because it's something different. Hopefully it's something they haven't seen before and it's not someone drilling someone's face on something.
Great. That's about all I've got. Thanks a lot for your time, Joe.
Joe Anderson: Thanks man. Bye.
The Ruins comes to DVD and Blu-Ray on July 8.