Nicki Aycox talks about her role in the sequel, Rusty Nail and future projects.
Nicki Aycox is certainly no stranger to genre projects at all. Her roles in Jeepers Creepers 2 and the CW series Supernatural as Meg Masters have paved her way for her starring role in Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead, which comes to DVD on October 7. I had the chance to speak with this talented young actress about her new film, and here's what she had to say.
So how did you first become involved with this project?
Nicki Aycox: I was shooting a movie called Animals in Utah. I came back to L.A. and I got a phone call to meet with Louis Morneau, the director. I saw him over at Fox and I sat down with the script and read it and had a 45-minute meeting talking with them about the script and we all decided to do it.
So were you familiar with the first film at all before you did this?
Nicki Aycox: Oh yes, definitely. I was one of the first ones to go out and see the first one. I'm a huge fan of Joy Ride, so I was excited when I got the opportunity to do the second one.
What kinds of things did you do to get into this character and prepare?
Nicki Aycox: The main thing that I was kind of concerned about was doing all the scenes over the CB, because I realized that was going to be something different than I'd ever really tried before. My main concern, when I went into the film, was making sure that I was going to be able to keep a sense of horror and a sense of emotional feeling to myself when, obviously, I was just hearing someone reading the lines off set. That was the biggest challenge. Other than that, I've done a lot of horror films, so a lot of the other stuff kind of came easy for me, but that was the difficult part.
They didn't really have it listed in the credits, but is this the same voice of Rusty Nail as from the first one?
Nicki Aycox: This is a different actor, Mark Gibbons. He's a wonderful actor and very great to work with. He was always available, whenever we needed him. He made sure he said he would be on set even if he didn't need to be, to read his off-camera lines. He was very accomodating.
That's a pretty intimidating voice. Was that kind of freaky to work with?
Nicki Aycox: Yeah. Mark is intimidating as it is. He's just a really tall, strong-built man. With me being 5'4" and 100 pounds, he probably has I don't know how much over me. For me, it was very intimidating at first look. As a matter of fact, when he first came up to me to say hi, I was sitting outside my hotel room in Cash Creek. He had come up and I didn't know who he was. I didn't know that he was coming in and at first glance, I had to jump back and he had to introduce himself. He's just the sweetest, the biggest teddy bear. You really don't expect it from him when you get to know him, but it was a pleasant surprise.
Your character is obviously very close with Laura Jordan's character and Nick Zano's character. Were they on board when you first came onto this and did you guys bond a lot before shooting?
Nicki Aycox: I don't think they were all on board when I first came on. I think I was the first one that was on and they all kind of trickled in afterwards. We didn't have a lot of time to bond beforehand, but we defintely bonded over the time that we shot. We went horseback riding in the mountains, we went to dinners, we saw each other every day on set, hanging out in each others' trailers and talk. Yeah, we spent pretty much every waking moment together. It was a very long shoot, very long hours, so we got to bond over it and I was really very fortunate to have such nice and interesting people and good actors to be with me on set.
I really liked Kyle Schmid's poser character of the group, the Internet guy. It was interesting to see, as the movie goes on, how fake he really is. Was he kind of a cut-up on the set and how was it to work with him?
Nicki Aycox: Yes, he is an absolutely ornery man, but I just really respected and admired that he was willing to take the character to that very scared and poser mode. He wasn't scared to give it the emotion that it required. He wasn't embarrssed, he didn't have an ego, he had nothing to prove and he just did it. I really admire him for doing that and not taking that, 'I'm a tough guy' road out.
It's a lot more gorier, it seemed, than the first one. I know you've done a lot of horror films before, but how does this one stack up to some of the horror movies you've done, in terms of the gore and violence?
Nicki Aycox: There was a lot of gore and violence in this one. I feel like, with a lot of the Japanese horror films and things like that, the genre has taken more of a modernized version where you do see more gore and you do see more about the actual enemies and things like that. As far as Joy Ride 2 is concerned, I didn't have a lot of the gore around me because I'm the one fighting all the time and kind of running around. The day that we saw the... well, I guess I can't say it, but one scene gets pretty crazy and I had to leave because I couldn't continue to watch it. It was too scary for me.
I'm pretty sure I know which scene that is
(P.S. The scene in question involves a special "brand" of a dice game...)
Nicki Aycox: (Laughs) Yeah, I think you do. It's amazing, the effects and makeup people are so talented and can make such a realistic view of something such as that. They're very very talented people and, sometimes, it's hard to watch, but that's what their job is.
Yeah, exactly. That's how you know they're doing their job, if you can't watch it.
Nicki Aycox: Yeah, they're doing a good job. You can usually watch through a lot of it. I will say there was one time in a movie I did called Animals, there was one scene in that, where I was personally having to do it, and it physically made me sick afterwards. So, it happens. You think you're immune to it and you do a lot of horror films and everytime you go in there you think, 'Oh, I'm fine. I've done this a million times,' but sometimes it does get to you when you least expect it.
So what was like the overall mood or the tone on the set? You said it was a pretty long shoot, so was it pretty serious or pretty light-hearted as well?
Nicki Aycox: It was very light-hearted, for the most part. Everybody had a really good time and joked around and liked each other. Even the crew, we all bonded. I just think that, at certain points, you do get tired. We're shooting through the night, you feel a little bit separated from the world and you're just in this scary horror world every single night. And the weather, it was cold and raining every night and it was very long hours. We were doing 16 hours every day, so, in any aspect like that, people are going to get tired. But morale kept itself up and I was impressed and proud of that.
So have there been any whisperings of a third Joy Ride at all?
Nicki Aycox: I don't know... I hope so. That would be fun.
So you'd definitely be down for another one?
Nicki Aycox: I would be down for another one. I told everyone else before that, let's just get 2 out. Go see 2 (Laughs)!
We have a really big fanbase for Supernatural on the site. Are we going to see more of you as Meg Masters again this season? I know you were back in the season premiere.
Nicki Aycox: Yeah, I was back for a little bit there. A lot of people really love Supernatural. It was great because I just went to Icon in Orlando over the weekend and there were a lot of fans. Fans of Supernatural and big fans of Joy Ride who were ready to see the movie. And The X-Files: I Want to Believe that I was in as well. I just got to meet the fanbase in the genre and I had a really great time. It's the same thing I tell them: I'll go back to Supernatural and do anything I can for the boys and for Ken Manners because they've just been amazing to me. So we'll see how they are on that end.
You also mentioned Animals before. Is there anything you can tell us about that, or anything else you're lining up for the future?
Nicki Aycox: Well, Animals should be coming out soon. I actually haven't gotten the release date on that yet, so I'll be waiting for that. It's an absolutely terrifying movie as well. I just finished a movie called Christina, which is completely different. I play a 1945, post-war German woman from Berlin, so that's going to be completely different than all of this, but still should be very fun and interesting. Yeah, we'll just kind of see what the future has to offer.
So, finally, the DVD comes out tomorrow. How do you think fans of the first film and just horror fans in general will react to this sequel?
Nicki Aycox: Oh, I think they're going to love it, especially being someone who understands the fans of these types of genres, the supernatural, the horror. This has every single thing that you possibly want and demand, so you definitely have to go see it.
Well, that's about all I have for you, Nicki. Thanks so much for your time, I enjoyed the film and I look forward to seeing what you have next.
Nicki Aycox: Thank you so much. It was great to talk to you.
You can catch Nicki Aycox and the rest of this cast when Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead hits the DVD shelves on October 7.