Mary Elizabeth Winstead & Ryan Merriman dig up the dirt on Final Destination 3 with Spooker Washington!
Like, Boo! All you thalidomide babies…The fine folks at Movieweb finally let me crawl back out from underneath the couch. The biggest horror sequel of the year is upon us, and I was allowed the opportunity to see it first. Why? Because I'm the Internet's leading Horror Journalist. Yeah, that's right, all you backstabbers and turd-talkers. I know more than a thing or two about blood and guts.
The Final Destination series has long been one of my New Millennium favorites. And I couldn't wait to see the latest installment. Well, the film doesn't disappoint. It continues the merriment and gore as witnessed in the previous two classics. And the first thing I'm going to do when I get done with you folks is jump on a roller coaster at Six Flags. That sh*t doesn't scare me. Because I'm already dead!
But first, I have to share this Interview I did with a few of Final Destination 3's cast. You may remember Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the main villain from Sky High. And Ryan Merriman appeared in Halloween: Resurrection. They were both in The Ring 2. Here's what they had to say about their latest trip to the other side…
(I was accompanied on this interview by a College Student known simply as H. He has been appointed by Movieweb to keep me in check, and make sure that the talent doesn't run away screaming. Sadly, H has a tendency to ask one too many questions.)
H: You guys shined in the movie.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Oh, thank you.
Spooker: I thought he said, "You guys died in the movie."
H: No, I said, "You guys shinned in the movie."
Spooker: Did you guys die in the movie? There was a bit of speculation on that. The movie leaves it open for interpretation. I think you guys died.
Ryan Merriman: Well, to each his own.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I was asking Ryan the same thing. Do you think we died?
H: How long did it take to shoot?
Ryan Merriman: Three months.
H: Where was it shot at?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: In Vancouver.
Ryan Merriman: Up in Canada, man. It was great.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: It was cold.
Ryan Merriman: Yeah, it was cold. But it was a good place.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: It was fun.
Ryan Merriman: You don't feel trapped, because it's gigantic. You can go from city to country. And then there's a whole sea thing. They have a town on an island. They have great seafood. I love Canada.
H: Wow. Did you guys check out anything specific there? Did you do any sight seeing?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Kinda. There's Grand Little Island. Which is down the way. Just the streets around the hotel, even. There was a ton of stuff to do. It was amazing. It was the place to be.
Ryan Merriman: I did a lot of golfing. I saw a lot of sights while I did that. And I went to Whistler once, but I only went skiing for half a day. (To Mary) You didn't travel much.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I worked. We both worked a bunch. All we had were the weekends, and I would sleep all day long. That was about it.
Ryan Merriman: Yeah, we'd sleep when we weren't trying to fit in the partying…I'm just kidding,
Spooker: You guys didn't party at all while shooting this?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: A little bit. In the beginning.
Ryan Merriman: A lot of people don't realize that, in a film like this, if you half-ass your performance it won't work. You can't do that. It has to be really intense. When we got stuck upside-down on the loop, we both were about to cry.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: And it's real.
Spooker: How long did they leave you guys up there for?
Ryan Merriman: That's the thing.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: They would do takes. And they would leave us up there. And we're holding ourselves up, because the harness was loose to give it a more realistic feel.
Ryan Merriman: So that we weren't just sitting up there.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Literally, our knees were cutting into the cart because we are hanging upside down with all our weight pushing onto it. It was bad.
Ryan Merriman: We got down, and we were both crying. I was pissed though. Mary was kind of okay. But I was really scared.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: It was freaky. That was probably the worst day for me.
Ryan Merriman: We were at least 8 feet off the ground with concrete underneath. It was a physical shoot.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: It was tiring. That really sticks out in my mind. We were both in so much pain during all of those takes. There was a lot of stuff where the next day I would look, and I would just be covered in bruises. They were black bruises. My mom was there, and I was sitting with my knees up. And I had these black bulges all over my legs.
Ryan Merriman: She was like, "Is Ryan beating you?"
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: She was about to call the emergency room. She was like, "What are these people doing to you?" It was pretty bad.
Spooker: If you had the opportunity to find out how you were going to die, would you want to know?
Ryan Merriman: I would take my character's route and say, defiantly not. Think about it. Would you really want to know how you were going to die?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: If I knew it was going to happen soon, I might want to. So maybe I could avoid it. But if I didn't know it was going to happen, then no. I wouldn't want to know.
Ryan Merriman: Neither would I. That's a negative. No, Ghost Rider.
H: Do you guys have any irrational fears that are associated with Amusement Parks? Because I'm personally afraid of clowns.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I was going to say that. Clowns. Yeah. They creep me out. But roller coasters? Hmm? I'll probably stay away from them for a little while. But that's just because I got so sick of riding them for so long.
Ryan Merriman: Yeah. We did one day where we did twenty some takes without taking a break. They changed the camera angles and that was it. We had to ride it five times, change the camera angles, then ride it five times. So, it was a little over the top. But it was fun at the same time. Acting is fun, period.
Spooker: Did you guys have free reign of that Amusement Park?
Ryan Merriman: Not really. Because it was a real Amusement Park.
Spooker: Did they have people actually paying to get in there while you were shooting?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: No, no, no. It was all shut down. But the rides were running.
Ryan Merriman: And these rides were gigantic. This wasn't like some small carnival. These rides fit fifty people.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: We went on one other roller coaster in between takes.
Ryan Merriman: The wooden one?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: They let us go on it.
Ryan Merriman: Oh, Jesus. That thing was scary.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I almost fell out. I almost flew out of that roller coaster.
Ryan Merriman: I told her, "Mary, you've got to ride this with me. Its so awesome." She said, "Okay." So we get in the back, and I tell her to put her hands up. She's like, "No." So I yell at her to put them up. And she did. She almost fell out. It was fun.
H: Which Amusement Park is this?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: P & E, in Vancouver, it's called. The P & E Playland, I think is what they call it.
H: What did they actually have to build for the film itself? The Devil?
Ryan Merriman: Yeah, the giant Devil. That wasn't there.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: They built the Devil. And they made the Roller Coaster look way bigger than it actually is. It's a fairly small roller coaster.
Ryan Merriman: believe it or not, that was a very small roller coaster. Most of it was CGI.
H: Oh, wow.
Ryan Merriman: The aerial shot was amazing. They did a great job on that.
Spooker: Did they shoot this in a particular sequence, where once a character dies, you no longer see that actor on set?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: No, not at all. We shot in sequence in that we shot the roller coaster scene for two weeks, and then we were done with that. But the rest of it was all out of order.
H: It took two full weeks to shoot?
Ryan Merriman: Oh, yeah.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Pretty much every big sequence took a couple of weeks to do. The Bicentennial sequence.
H: Did you guys have to rehearse?
Ryan Merriman: We did. Our chemistry was very important. For us to flow, and the scenes to flow. We were explaining a lot with our lines. And it has to sound convincing. We did a week of rehearsals together.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: They weren't full on rehearsals. We'd sit with the script and discuss certain things. Talk about what we should switch out in which scenes.
Spooker: Did you guys know each other before this?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: No.
Ryan Merriman: Apparently everybody thinks we did.
Spooker: You guys said something when you came in that made me think that.
Ryan Merriman: We were both in the Ring 2, but we never met each other.
Spooker: I don't know. I never seen that movie.
H: What kind of reactions are you hoping to get from this film?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I think it's going to be one of those things they talk about after they see it. They're going to be, "Oh, my God. Did you see that? Did you see that crazy blood?" I think everyone is going to be talking about the deaths, mainly. I'm okay with that.
Ryan Merriman: As opposed to other horror films, where you're just sitting there waiting for someone to die, this kind of gives you a story. And it's a little suspenseful. It's not just some zombie with a knife. It's very creative.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: They're real situations. You could be sitting in a hardware store, looking around at all the things that could fall on your head.
Ryan Merriman: And the tanning bed. That's realistic.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Realistic, but over the top and entertaining at the same time. It's a mix.
Spooker: Have you guys seen the movie yet?
Ryan Merriman: Yup.
H: Did you get to screen it with an audience?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: We saw it at one of the press screenings. I mean: there were still some reactions.
Ryan Merriman: They did one on Monday that did very well.
H: Did you have a chance to improvise on the set? How was working with James Wong?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: We pretty much followed the script. In the beginning, when we're supposed to be having fun, and we're fun loving, we did a little bit. But still not much.
Ryan Merriman: Like my running jump kick with the dude? That was all me. That was awesome.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: It was all you.
H: Mary, you had a couple of heavy drama moments right after someone had just gotten killed. And at the screening I was at, people were too busy laughing and cheering to hear the drama thing. What are you thinking there? Are you like, "Shut up! This is my moment!"
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I understand it. My only hope is that people don't look at me and go, "Oh, God. I don't want to see this girl again. Get back to the deaths." I want people to care about the characters. So I hope they don't completely overlook the dramatic moments.
Ryan Merriman: Same thing happened to me. In that one scene, I'm standing there looking at my girl. And I'm really upset. And I talk about how I was going to ask her to marry me. And it's really an emotional, important scene. But in the beginning, she said she was going to break up with me. So, here, I get a couple of laughs. And I was like, "Don't laugh. That's not funny. I really was going to ask her to marry me."
Spooker: I was wondering about that. (To Mary) Was there ever any indication that your character was going to tell him that she was going to break up with him?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: No. I'm pretty sure that she was going to keep that to herself. She just gives him that knowing glance. "Okay, I'm not going to bring that up. But I know something you don't know." In real life, no, I wouldn't say anything. That would just be heartbreaking.
Spooker: What about you, Ryan? What if the tables were turned? Would you tell a girl that her now dead boyfriend was going to break up with her?
Ryan Merriman: No. I wouldn't do that. That's a serious moment. And I would keep it that way. That's the line we had to walk. We had to keep it more realistic. Really bring the audience with us on this ride. We both lost someone that was close to us. But at the same time we have to figure out what is happening. And keep it entertaining and action packed. I think it came together really well. It screened really well on Monday. They had a great audience rapport.
H: Did you guys storyboard at all?
Ryan Merriman: There were a shit load of storyboards. Hell yeah. They were everywhere.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Not only did they have Storyboards; they also showed us computer graphic pre-visuals.
Ryan Merriman: That was the coolest.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: The first day on set, they showed us the video of how the roller coaster scene was going to go. They had all of us CGI'd into the computer. It was pretty crazy.
Ryan Merriman: That was pretty cool. That was at the table read. It was pretty awesome. It was all CGI'd with people flying out. It was crazy.
H: What did you guys think of the first two Final Destinations?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I'd seen them both when they came out. I love them both. I definitely love the first one. Everything about that worked. The style and the concept. The second one, I thought the deaths and the special effects were awesome. But the first one just had such a great story.
Ryan Merriman: Then there's the third one, which is the best.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Its obviously awesome.
Ryan Merriman: Third time is the charm. That makes sense.
Spooker: There's no question that they aren't bringing you guys back for a fourth?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: We haven't heard anything about that. We always assumed that this was it.
Ryan Merriman: But you never know.
Spooker: Now, why would these kids get on a subway that was number 180, when they already know the history behind this number?
Ryan Merriman: They didn't realize it. If you notice, she looks and sees that only once she's on there.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: She's already on there.
Ryan Merriman: Plus it's six or seven months later. I guess that's not that much time.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: She's trying to get past it, and not thinking about it.
Ryan Merriman: Yeah. Plus you're trying to fit a really great story in a short amount of time. You've got to make unrealistic decisions as far as the story goes sometimes.
Spooker: Don't get me wrong, that was the only question I had coming out of the movie. Do you guys have any ideas as to what they can do in the next one to top this? I mean: they already covered the subway with the climax.
Ryan Merriman: I don't know. I just hope this makes good money on the tenth. That's my only priority.
Spooker: What do you guys have coming up?
Ryan Merriman: I'm shooting a film with Haley Joel Osment. I have a week left. Its called Home of the Giants. Its kind of like Friday Night Lights. Only this is Indiana Basketball. Its cool. It's actually a really dark story. And she's starting with Glen and the guys again.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I actually just finished a film called Bobby. It centers around the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. And then I start Black Christmas.
Spooker: Is that a remake?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yeah.
Spooker: Are they shooting for a Christmas release?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yeah. That's what they're going for.
Spooker: What about Sky High. Is there going to be a 2?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I don't know.
Ryan Merriman: That did really well. It really did.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I would love too. That was really fun.
H: We were talking about Sky High right before you walked in. I haven't seen it, but from what I understand, you play a villain?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Mm-hmm.
Ryan Merriman: She's like the lead in it.
H: Do you like being the villain or the hero?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: They're both fun. Sky High was so fun because for the first half of the movie I was like the sweet angel. Then I turned. I got to be both good and evil, which I loved. But this one was more similar to who I am. And I got to put myself in those situations without having to create a whole new character. Either way. As long as you're doing fun work. Its fun.
Ryan Merriman: I thought I was the hero in Final Destination 3? What the Hell? I saved us in the car.
H: What was it like working with Wong?
Ryan Merriman: It was great. He was the calmest director ever.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: He was very understated.
Ryan Merriman: He was the sweetest guy.
Well, that's that. Let's put it to rest, shall we? I'll see you around the bend. Just like Death. Oh, wait. Actually. I have another interview with the director of Final Destination 3, James Wong. Go check that out.
Final Destination 3 opens in theaters this Friday.