The One Tree Hill actress goes the horror route in her new film
She plays the sweet and innocent, Brooke on The WB's One Tree Hill - ok, almost innocent. But now, Sophia Bush is taking the leap to bad ass October Bantam in the new horror flick, Stay Alive.
The film revolves around a group of friends who start playing a video game, but realize there's more to the game than meets the eye. When one of the guys dies the same way he dies in the game, bad things start happening.
I had the chance to talk to Sophia about One Tree Hill and Stay Alive, which also stars Frankie Muniz, Adam Goldberg, Jon Foster, and Jimmi Simpson. Here's what she had to dish out:
How fun was shooting this film?
Sophia Bush: The film was the best! Really, I think just the most I've ever had.
How was shooting in New Orleans?
Sophia Bush: We traced around that city like a bunch of vagabonds, just crazy. We had the most fun; our cast and crew was such a family, I don't go a week without talking to them. It really was the most exceptional time; we really took advantage of everything, every weekend down there, every restaurant. We did all the sites; Jon, Frankie, and I spent the day at the zoo - and Audubon Zoo is just incredible. We ended up in the bowels of the zoo, with the elephants and their trainers; we fed the elephants and really learned about them from the trainers. We did jazz night at Tipitino's, we had a couple crazy nights at the Howl at the Wolf - the most awesome Guns N Roses cover band ever, this band, Appetite for Disaster. So great, and definitely one of the highlights of one of our Friday nights out there. Weeknights after work, we'd just hang out in each others rooms and order food; I think we drove one of the PA's crazy because she never knew which trailer we were in or where to look for us, cause no one was in their own trailer.
So video games definitely had a major part on the set?
Sophia Bush: Totally, it was the theme of the film.
Are you a video game player?
Sophia Bush: Yeah, I've always been and the thing I relate to my character is that she's such a guy's girl; she's always the one hanging around with the guys. My girlfriends are my life, but I'm also one of those girls who can hang out with the guys. That made it easy for me, and whenever I'm around my guy friends, I'm always playing video games. I've always enjoyed the graphics side of them, how they look. So yeah, I've played here and there, but never really seriously.
The graphics in this movie are amazing.
Sophia Bush: They really are, the guys at Endgame did an amazing job, and the special effects guy Kent - the first level stuff he was showing us on set just wowed everybody. These characters aren't the most popular kids in school, we're gamers and so we wanted the gamers of the world to be impressed in what we were doing. They paid so much attention to every single detail.
What brought you to this movie?
Sophia Bush: I had worked with McG a little bit before and I just admire him; I think he's such a tour de force in everything he does and he was one of the producers on the film. He said 'I want you to read this script.' I said 'Ok, when and where!' So, when the FedEx came to my house in Wilmington (North Carolina), I tour into the script. I've read other horror scripts, but this one is such a new idea and a new concept, the cast of characters are different, and it tapped into a genre that I feel has been largely ignored - the video game culture that's been going on in this country. It really knocked my socks off.
What is about McG that people gravitate to?
Sophia Bush: He gets it! McG is such a machine, he's always thinking and you're always wondering what he's thinking about. He's so focused on every aspect of the shot, he's focused on the characters, but he's also focused on the camera, the way the set looks; he's so attentive to every detail. He gets how to make it work; he's just an amazing person to work with. And when he was on set or when he was not, he was always checking in. Everyone on the set was excited to do this film; it was just the coolest vibe I've had.
But I do have to say, October is completely different then Brooke.
Sophia Bush: Oh, totally, and that was one of the reasons why I chose to do this film; it's something that I really loved about reading this script is that it was completely opposite of the person I usually play. But there are parts of me that relates to who Brooke is and then there are parts of me that relate to who October is.
When you say the name on the page, October, did you ever think about changing it?
Sophia Bush: Oh, no way - October Bantam, great name! She's a bad ass; she doesn't take sh*t from anybody. And what I love about her is that she's so crass, but she's so loving to her brother and these boys; she might tell Phin (Jimmi Simpson) to 'F*ck off' but he is her whole world, and vice versa.
How is One Tree Hill going?
Sophia Bush: It's going great! We're in the midst of our 20th episode right now, so it's crazy to think we only have three more and then we go home - very bizarre. And it always becomes very bitter sweet when we get to this point in the season because we just come out of winter, and it's starting to get warm.
Do you have anything lined up during the upcoming break?
Sophia Bush: Well, we really don't know what's going on right now with the whole merger with the CW. And I don't think we'll really know until May. I'm looking at a couple scripts right now and I'm trying to see what's going to work out for the dates during our hiatus, and then if those dates need to change. There's a lot of good things on the horizon, so we'll see what works out.
Having Ashanti on set for John Tucker; what was that like?
Sophia Bush: I just love that girl so much, I can't even explain it to you. She has the most infectious laugh, so funny, and it was really a blast; we had such a good time. We pulled a prank on her by putting one of her songs on the loud speaker and serenading her; not only were we singing the song, but we dorked it out. Never did she think she would see three dorky white girls singing her songs. Her mom was there shooting all of it on video. And after being on set with all the guys on Stay Alive, I was worried about hanging out with all the girls in this movie. It was so amazing, and we all just clicked.
So there's not going to be a Sophia and Ashanti duet?
Sophia Bush: No, but I really do enjoy leaving her voice mails singing as badly as I can. Her voice is unbelievable. She sang Happy Birthday to her mom and it was incredible; there wasn't a dry eye in the whole place, she was amazing.
Finally, what do you want fans to know about Stay Alive?
Sophia Bush: You just hope; you never know what a movie is going to look like when you're shooting it and you just hope it's going to look like it's supposed to be. We had the most amazing time on that set, but you can have a great shoot and the movie could end up being bad - you never know. But the feeling that everyone had that you should really be excited for this movie. I really hope that all the back story really gets to the audience. It's just a great film that you will enjoy.
Stay Alive opens in theaters March 24th; it's rated PG-13. Stay Alive