The two stars dish out tidbits about the horror/thriller
There are scary horror films, funny horror films, and then those in between - on the brink of being a little of both. Pulse kind of comes in the middle of all three. You can't really place where it would go in the scale of the horror/thriller genre; there are some special effects that give it features from each.
Kristen Bell, of Veronica Mars fame, plays the lead of the film. After her boyfriend, Josh, becomes mysteriously absent from her life, she decides to go over to his apartment to see what's wrong - what she finds is half of what Josh used to be. His soul and life has been stolen by the dead through an internet portal that happened while he was hacking into some computer systems.
She, along with some of her other friends, Christina Milian, Samm Levine, Rick Gonazlez, and Ian Somerhalder start to find out what happened to him; when the rest of the world begins to feel the effects of this 'virus,' it's up to Kristen to stop these monsters from destroying mankind.
Pulse is based on the Japanese film, Kairo, from horror writer and director, Kiyoshi Kurosawa. This American version follows the same path as the original - there are many supernatural elements to it, to which director Jim Sonzero emulates. The script for Pulse was also written by Wes Craven, which can only mean one thing - there are freaky twist and turns!
Jim shot the film in Romania for the look, and for monetary reasons. And if you've ever heard what it's like to be in Romania, then you know the food isn't the best. We spoke with Kristen and Christina about the eating situation over there and what it was like shooting a horror.
Kristen also gave us some info on Veronica Mars, and Christina talked about working on a new CD! Check out what they had to say:
Did you watch the Japanese version, Kairo?
Kristen Bell: I did, yeah; I didn't watch it until after I was cast in the American one, but I loved it when I saw it. We changed a lot of things, I think, mainly to condense the characters because I think that American audiences are more used to following one character, whereas Kairo is more a series of vignettes cause there's so many more characters.
So, your character is a combination of characters?
Kristen Bell: Yeah, I think she's definitely the two girls that you're following, as one; we also made her a little bit of what people are expecting, when you have a female heroine. They made her a little tough - yeah, she's a combination.
Christina Milian: I haven't gotten to see it; I want to see it. It's funny because, when we were shooting the movie, Jim had it, but he didn't want us to see it; I don't know why. Maybe he just didn't want us to make comparisons during shooting. But, I heard it came out on DVD, so I'm going to pick it up and get to see it before this movie comes out so I can compare the difference.
Was this shot during the break after the first season of Veronica Mars?
Kristen Bell: Yes.
Did you just hold off this year then?
Kristen Bell: Yeah, I had a movie set up and it got postponed, which I think was divine intervention because I needed to take a break, and I wasn't mentally able to; I wanted to keep working. I'm getting opportunities now that I really appreciate, and I have the ability to be up for parts that I really want, so I want to work to get those parts. I think that I needed to be forced to take a break, so I took a break this summer and saw family; I'm kept so busy on the show that I lose touch with a lot of people that I miss and adore very much, so I got to actually be a human being this summer, which was so nice.
Jim talked about the rough conditions working in Romania; what did you go through there?
Kristen Bell: Romanian movies are not made the same as American movies are, only because it's newer there. For instance, cigarettes, over there, are much more prominent, and Americans aren't used to that, especially in L.A. and New York, where it's outlawed everywhere, you're not used to that. I remember, when we did the fridge scene, where I open the fridge, the maggots were an insert - that was a totally different shot. But, when you see the wide view of the fridge and you see all the junk that's dripping, I swear to G-d, they used real food and just let it rot; the smell was outrageous, it was like nothing I've ever smelled before. And, I don't know if the props guys were like, 'You know what, we don't have anything that looks like it; let's just use real food and let it rot.' I was like, 'Okay, it's movie making, guys; we don't have to really sit in a room that's rotting.' But, yeah, it was really hot; there was no AC -
Christina Milian: We had the worst trailers that smelled like dead cat; it was disgusting. And, they have over 70,000 wild dogs in Romania - they're everywhere. But, there were a couple dogs that were friendly and became our friends, so I guess that lightened the mood for us, day to day, and hoping the next day would pass. But, we spent a lot of time working out; working out was our past time. We spent an hour to two hours a day, just running on the treadmill for fun - and, our iPods were on us 24/7.
Kristen Bell: There were a lot of stray dogs everywhere. I know they looked at us like we were crazy cause Christina, Ian, and I would be playing with them, and I would let them run in and out of my trailer; that's just because I love [dogs] and I don't really care if they have fleas - whatever, I'll take a shower. But, I ended up finding a puppy, and I took him and washed him in my sink, and all the Romanians were like, 'What is wrong with her?' They look at them like rats, but the dogs would walk in and out of the building, and in and out of the shot. There was a dog in a shot one time, and they were like, 'Shoo the dog outside.' It was like a mouse; it was no big deal to them.
What was the food like in Romania?
Christina Milian: I eat anything; the one good thing that they had was Benihana - it was so good.
Kristen Bell: Benihana rocked our world while we were there; I had never been to Benihana before. We went to Benihana and, as Americans, we felt like such wimps because, with some of the restaurants we went to, we were really picky. We weren't used to tasting a lot of the food, and so, it was hard to find a comfort zone; it wasn't that we were trying to be not open-minded, but we went to Benihana and, over there, Benihana is like a 25-star restaurant - it is out of this world. They had all these fresh vegetables and they'd fry them in front of you, and we were there every night - we truly were there every night. It was at the hotel around the corner, and we would all just walk there every night; we were all obsessed with Benihana.
Christina Milian: I did try the Romanian food, right before we left, and it was actually delicious. It just didn't look as appetizing, but it was actually very good. They have a stew that was some kind of a meat in a red sauce, and their rice was delicious; they had the most delicious vegetables because everything there is organic and fresh, and it doesn't have all that extra stuff that we put it ours, so it was very fresh and good. So, I got by with the food, believe me - I found my way.
With the launching of the new network, is there more pressure on you to keep Veronica Mars on the air?
Kristen Bell: Definitely, I think that they couldn't have paired us up with anyone better, with the Gilmore Girls, and if we can get any of their run-off audience, cause they're so popular, we'll be eternally grateful. I think that everyone's really busting their butt, right now, to publicize it. The network has done a lot of really great things; I'm really happy that it's Dawn (Ostroff) because I know her and I respect her so much, and she's been such a fan of the show - I know we're her favorites, but don't tell the other kids. There's a little bit of pressure, but we're just hoping for the best; we've been given a great opportunity and it's out of our hands now. All we can do is the writers can continue to write brilliantly, and we can continue to have a great production - hopefully, the tables will turn and people will watch.
How many seasons do you want to go on with the show, as opposed to doing films?
Kristen Bell: I don't know that I've really thought about that; as hard as Veronica Mars is to shoot, I do love it. I feel like, if I say that expectation out loud, I don't want to get set on it; I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so if it takes us to seven years, it takes us to seven years. If it's done this year, it will be a sad thing to lay down, but I'm sure that everybody will have learned a lot and had a great experience doing it.
What's going on with your musical career?
Christina Milian: This past year, I had a single called 'Say I' that came out, and an album called 'So Amazing' that came out, as well. Since then, I've actually parted ways with Island/Def Jam, which was the record label that distributed it; now, I'm in the process of moving on. I've gotten a lot of great offers and I think I've found my home, so we're in negotiations and I'm working on new music. I'm in the process of working on new music, and placing new music; I have the second single for this girl named Paula Deanda. She has a new single coming out called 'Hard to Walk Away,' and I wrote that with Ne-Yo - it's cool.
When do you think your next album will come out?
Christina Milian: I want to do it right and take my time, especially because 'Say I' was just out this summer; sometimes you don't want to keep pounding people in the face with yourself. I want to make sure, at the end of the day, that I'm going to take my time and do it right, so it could be sometime in 2007 - late 2007 is what I'm hoping for.
Were there any scenes that were particularly challenging or difficult for you, as an actress?
Kristen Bell: Definitely the one in the beginning where I see Josh; as an actor, I use a lot of substitution, like, 'What if this had happened to me?' It was hard to go there and think about what that would actually feel like, to see your boyfriend, or anybody, right in front of you - so, that kind of rocked me. She went through some traumatic events; seeing the person jump off of the water tower, and then, when we actually had to see the dummy fall, it was a little unsettling.
You can see Kristen and Christina, along with the rest of the cast of Pulse scare up theaters August 11th; it's rated PG-13.