Devon Sawa has been working in the business for three decades and his latest movie, The Fanatic, is truly something. There are many crazy layers to this whole thing, not the least of which being that Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst is at the helm for this one. We've also got Hollywood legend and Pulp Fiction star John Travolta going out on a limb for the lead role, which sees him playing a movie fan who is obsessed with Sawa's action star, Hunter Dunbar.
Needless to say, with all of the pieces in play, The Fanatic has drawn a certain amount of attention. Devon Sawa, for his part, has been involved in quite a few memorable projects over the years, from his work in the original Final Destination, to the cult classic Idle Hands. I had the chance to speak with Sawa on behalf of his new movie. We talked about what it's like working with John Travolta, a possible trip back to one of his most iconic roles and much more.
Can you tell me a little bit about The Fanatic? You know, just in your own words, and how your character sort of factors into the overall story?
Devon Sawa: In a nutshell. Without giving anything away. The movie is about a large man-child who works the Hollywood strip as one of those people that dress up and charge for photos or whatnot. But his hobby, his whole life thing, is autographs, and stars, and celebrities, and memorabilia, and that whole thing. And one in particular, Hunter Dunbar, who is his all-time favorite, who is this action star, this B-level action star, who he absolutely loves. And all he wants is an autograph from him. And when he goes to a signing Hunter has to leave, and he leaves him hanging. That's when it kind goes and gets a little wacky, and he shows up at his house where he just wants his autograph and it gets crazy from there.
So, from your end, what drew you to this project as an actor? How did it come your way? There are a lot of interesting layers to this material.
Devon Sawa: I worked with John Travolta, you know, a couple of years ago on a movie called Life on the Line, which was, you know... It was what it was. It was an all right movie. Some critics liked it, some didn't. It didn't get a lot of viewings, whatever. It didn't matter because I got to work with John which, you know, and he's a phenomenal guy. And then, you know, he got a hold of me and told me he's got this... He's working with Fred Durst on this thing. And he told me about it, and Fred wasn't so sure yet. He hadn't seen me in anything in a while because I've been doing TV and whatnot.
So I laid the whole damn thing on tape. And every scene you see me in the movie, I put on tape and sent it to Fred, and pushed and pushed, you know, for weeks. He kind of went over the tapes, and finally he caved, and I got the role. That's kind of how it happened. So, it was a little bit of, you know, John pushing for me, because he had worked with me, and me pushing Fred to kind of give me the role. So, it went down.
Because you've worked with a ton of directors over the years. He's coming at this from a really unique place. And from your perspective as a performer, what was it like working for him? How did he handle it as a director? I'm fascinated, personally, about the whole Fred Durst element of this film.
Devon Sawa: Fred brings this feeling to set. He's got an energy. He's got that Limp Bizkit energy on set. But he's also an artist. He's very educated in film. He's seen everything. He knows a lot of directors, and he's put in his dues. His work is great.
You've worked with John Travolta before. What is it like working with a guy like that? Especially in the capacity of this character in the movie.
Devon Sawa: Two things: Creatively, first of all, it's been awesome. He's been doing this for what, almost 50 years now. He's a genius at what he does. He's been doing it for so long. He's worked with the Tarantinos of the world and all the way down the line. So creatively, I'm like a sponge on set. I just want to watch him, how he does things, see what he does, see if I can learn. Working with him is just a phenomenal experience. He's got stories for days. He's got stories about Muhammad Ali. He's got stories about Marlon Brando. It's was phenomenal just to sit there and talk to him about all the experiences he had in the '70s, the '80s, and '90s.
That's awesome. It's cool that he's willing to dish on all of that stuff.
Devon Sawa: Yeah, man. I think I might have annoyed him with all my Pulp Fiction questions. It was like, "Can you tell me what was in the briefcase? What was in the briefcase?" Like, "There was a small light, and it lit up our faces." But, you know, he loves talking about it all. He opens up. He's good.
I don't know if you've heard but there's a possible Final Destination reboot in the works. Given what they did with the most recent Halloween movie where they messed with the timeline, say the opportunity arises for you to come back. Would you be interested in revisiting the franchise?
Devon Sawa: Yeah, but if you were in Vegas right now laying some big money down, I wouldn't put it on me coming back. But, of course, I would be interested. I've watched every one of those movies. I think the ship has sailed. I'm getting a little older. I think they're going to be going with a new young Casper. But, I would do it. I would do it in a heartbeat. Sure.
Awesome. Again, thank you so much for taking the time, man. I really appreciate it. It was a genuine pleasure getting to talk to you. And congratulations, man.
Devon Sawa: Yes. I hope you enjoy the movie.
The Fanatic is in select theaters August 30th and available on digital and on demand September 6th.