Jamie Kennedy , co-star of the "Son Of The Mask" Movie!
Jamie's latest success has been with his own show, "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment", where he played hilarious tricks on everyday people and recorded it with hidden cameras. That's exactly the kind of reputation he has developed throughout his acting career, usuaylly playing the role of the funny "wise-guy" in a movie. After high school, Kennedy moved to L.A., where he wanted to have a career as an extra. Unfortunately, Hollywood casting agents had other ideas, and the aspiring actor found himself working odd jobs ranging from a restaurant busboy to a gum-scraper at K-Mart. During this time, he also studied at the American/British Drama Academy and began finding stand-up work at various improv clubs. It was in one of these clubs that he caught the attention of an independent filmmaker and was subsequently cast in the little-seen The Legend of Flin Flon. The actor's bona fide entry into the film industry came with a supporting role in Baz Luhrmann's 1996 William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, in which he played a fuchsia-haired thug. That same year he had a huge breakthrough in Wes Craven's Scream, which cast him as a video store clerk with an unnerving lust for horror movies. The great success of the film opened a number of doors for Kennedy, one of which led to a memorable role as an office boy in Jill Sprecher's well-received independent comedy Clockwatchers (1997), which also starred Lisa Kudrow, Parker Posey, and Toni Collette. The actor also reprised his role for the inevitable Scream 2 (1997) and Scream 3 (2000) and appeared in such slacker extravaganzas as Bongwater and Starf*cker (both 1998).
Kennedy got a shot at more grown-up fare with a supporting role in David O. Russell's acclaimed Gulf War drama Three Kings (1999), and a turn as a movie studio gofer in the satirical Bowfinger (1999). His growing popularity was reflected in the number of projects he was involved with in 2000; included amongst them were Ben Younger's The Boiler Room, in which Kennedy played an ambitious young stock broker, and The Specials, an ensemble comedy that cast him as a member of a motley group of superheroes. Jamie was born on May 25, 1970, in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.
Jamie Kennedy Dons “The Mask”
How does it feel to take over from mega-funny film dude Jim Carrey? The comic star of the Scream movies, Malibu’s Most Wanted and his own quick-change “Jamie Kennedy Experiment” on T.V., was up to the task of creating an original wacky “masked” character in the sequel Son of the Mask. Jamie plays Tim Avery, a cartoonist dad whose baby son takes on the Mask’s magic qualities.
Jamie is also a TV producer, co-creating and executive producing the new Fran Drescher series “Living with Fran” to premiere on the WB but no “suits” for this exec. He joined us to chat at Beverly Hills’ 4 Seasons Hotel in simple black tee, jeans and a colorful plastic Son of the Mask bracelet. Jamie’s off-beat sense of humor kept us laughing as he talked about working with babies, gawking at Aussie ladies on a topless beach, working with dogs and being part of some classic cartoon action.
TeenHollywood: Did you get a free Gameboy advance for putting one in this movie?
Jamie: No, I do have one though, I got one.
TeenHollywood: You are playing it so frantically fast at one point.
Jamie: You know why? Because we shot that scene at the end of the movie, and the whole movie I was like psycho, so that energy just carried over.
TeenHollywood: What was it like wearing the mask?
Jamie:It’s cool, it was actually one of the best make-ups I’ve ever had. It was really subtle to your face, and it really stuck and you forget you’re wearing it. But I wore it one time six days in a row, and by then your skin looks a little rough. The only thing is that I had ears in this one, and in the first one Jim didn’t have ears. The ears are glued to your ears, so your blood gets a little cut off and you have itchy ears.
TeenHollywood: Can your skin breathe under that mask?
Jamie: Not really, but every time you’d take it off you’d get exfoliated, I’m serious. It makes your skin like – it peels off stuff. It wasn’t too bad.
TeenHollywood: Somebody said that you were really good about the make up because of all the years that you worked on your show.
Jamie: I really think that it’s something that you have to love to do. I love becoming someone else, so putting on prosthetics is great, I love it. Sure, there’s times where it’s hard and you’re going (groans) but I’m very comfortable in that, I enjoy doing it, I want to pull off the look and it’s not that big of a deal. I mean, I have really good make-up artists. The material they use is a really light silicone, so it feels amazing – it doesn’t really hurt.
TeenHollywood: How much input did you have into the look?
Jamie:I loved the plastic hair. Me and Larry (Guterman, his director) and the designers designed it. At one point, my chin was really big, so it was really Jay Leno, I went (does quick impression of Jay). But the hair, we had like five different hairs, but we thought that one would be the coolest. It kind of had a Bob’s Big Boy feel. It was like Bob’s Big Boy, and the Green Giant’s son.
TeenHollywood: Was it fun to do the dance number?
Jamie: The hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and that includes working at Domino’s Pizza. I can dance. I have my own natural rhythm, but learning steps is one thing. Singing I can do, but try putting them together. I had my friend do some stand in for me. He’s a really good dancer, and he does my stunts, so we mixed it up a little bit. I would love to do a musical, but I’d need time to rehearse.
TeenHollywood: Going into this, did you feel that you have to avoid doing anything like Jim did? How did you approach it?
Jamie: Ifeel that we had to avoid but yet pay homage, so it was a really hard line to cross. I’m not really in the mask that much, so I wasn’t too worried, but those were my most nerve-wracking scenes. I’d done like ten different voices, and then we settled on the one we did. My voice was more of a Bob Eubanks kind of ultimate father, you know, like, ‘Hello, Ladies,’ and Jim Carrey was more ‘Smokin’ wild. There are certain things I can’t not do, like the (popping) eyes, and stuff like that, that’s just part of the thing that was The Mask, but the other things, I tried to make my own. There’s always going to be that comparison.
TeenHollywood: But if they had been contemplating a revival of the same Jim Carrey character, would you have done the film?
Jamie: Never, never done that. How are you going to top that? I would never do that. That’s why I wanted to do this, because this was different. This was a totally different thing, and it’s a family movie, it’s more about the baby and the dog, and then Alan (Cumming), and then me in the middle like a straight man, I look at myself as more like the Ben Stiller character, things are happening to him.
TeenHollywood: Did you have any concerns at all when they said they wanted to do The Mask sequel with you? Were you hesitant because of the legacy of Jim Carrey?
Jamie: Totally, yeah. I was like totally intimidated and all that stuff, and then that’s when Larry decided to show me what the movie is, and he said it’s going to be this kind of action, adventure, kind of mystical-ness, kind of like relationships with a Mr. Mom feel, and I thought, ‘Okay, I can be really cool,’ he said, ‘You’re only going to wear the mask twice,’ and I thought, ‘Okay.’ And I think that probably some fans of the original might feel alienated, it’s going to be compared, but there’s going to be a lot of new fans. I mean, what are you going to do?
TeenHollywood: Did you enjoy having the feeling of the classic Warner Brothers cartoons in the film?
Jamie: That’s what the spirit of the mask is. It brings out that in people. I love the fact we have “One Froggy Evening”. Spielberg says that’s the Citizen Kane of cartoons.
TeenHollywood: There are so many special effects in this movie. Are you able to improvise at all as the masked character when the effects have to be so planned out?
Jamie: That’s a good question. You have to hit this huge mark, and a huge thing is going to happen, but I improvised more in the relationship scenes.
TeenHollywood: In many of the scenes you play straight man to a baby and a dog.
Jamie: There’s a documentary there. You should see behind-the-scenes of this movie. The dog is amazing. It’s really well trained, but the dog trainer is behind the scenes, so as you’re doing your stuff, he’s like, (in a southern accent) ‘Come on Bear, hit that mark, eat that turkey boy.’ ‘Dude, I’m doing a scene,’ – ‘I’m sorry man.’ So then he goes to do the scene again and he’s like this (imitates him mouthing the words with frantic gestures but no voice).
TeenHollywood: So it was difficult working with the dog?
Jamie; The dog was cute, he was great. The only thing is the dog had these long nails, man. I would have to rehearse with the dog like an hour a day just to get him to know you and trust you. And he would jump up, no matter what with these nails, and I said, ‘Steve, cut his nails,’ and he’d go, ‘Hell no man. He gets loose, and he’s in the water, he’s got no defenses, baby. He’s got to have those nails.’ He was great, our trainer was brilliant.
TeenHollywood: Was working with the baby just as hard?
Jamie: Well you’re shooting with the baby but the baby has to wrap every day at six no matter what. So I’m doing a scene with the baby and the lady came and she’s like(with Australian accent) ‘Baby’s done, six o’clock, baby’s done.’ I said, ‘What are you, a baby cop?’ She said, ‘No, I’m a baby nurse, baby’s done.’ And go , ‘Larry, what do you think?’ ‘I know, dude, there’s something about these rules and babies,’ so we had to go to the robot baby. So that was kind of challenging. Sometimes the baby would just cry in the middle of a (scene). He’d just break down, and I’m like, ‘What happened? I thought we were friends.’
TeenHollywood: Were you envious of Alan Cumming’s role as Loki because he got to be so many different characters?
Jamie: No, because I’ve done that. I think Alan is really talented, and I think that he can do anything, and he is an amazing actor. I thought he would be really good at it and he’s someone I aspire to be. I feel like we’re brothers in the sense that he likes to do chameleon things and I like to do it too. I really wanted to try something that I wasn’t doing so that I could show people another side. Although in the movie I just end up going crazy anyway.
TeenHollywood: As the movie is all about family, have you thought about starting your own yet?
Jamie: No, that’s why I took the movie because I was like – ‘it’s about a guy who’s really scared to have a kid’. I mean, I’d be scared if I had a kid. I don’t even have a goldfish. Babies are beautiful creatures, I’d hold the baby and I thought it was like a bomb, am I going to drop it? Someday I’m going to have kids, you’ve got to have your legacy to leave, but once you have a baby, to me, you got to have it, you’ve got to play with it, you’ve got to talk to it, you just can’t put it away like your bike, you’ve got to be with it, feed it, it’s a big job.
TeenHollywood: How would you ever teach a kid not to lie and play tricks on people, when it could just see your old show?
Jamie: I don’t know. He’d probably take it one generation better, and lie and be crazier.
TeenHollywood: This must be the first movie you’ve had where there is so much CGI – was that hard or easy for you?
Jamie: I don’t mind acting alone. I can just pretend something is there. That’s what we do, we play pretend. But it was hard in the sense that it’s such a technical thing where you have to just get your ego and throw it out, because it’s not about you, it’s not about your performance, that’s secondary. It’s about the effects. So once I learned that, in the first two days, I was like, ‘Okay,’ so I just gave over to it. And then it becomes really freeing, because it’s not so scrutinizing a process. It’s more about the effect and you’re like, ‘How am I doing?’ ‘You were great.’ So I actually find it okay.
TeenHollywood: Did the filming go fast? Were there a lot of takes?
Jamie: We were there (Australia) for five months, so I felt I lived another life when I was there. It was bananas. But the actual filming process, we would only get like two or three takes sometimes, and then we had to move on because it was a 91 day schedule. I used to go on the set and have an idea of what I’m going to do. If it were up to me I’d do ten takes. I learned that this wasn’t going to be like that.
TeenHollywood: Do you draw at all?
Jamie: No, but it looks good though, right? “My” hand.
TeenHollywood: What are your favorite cartoons?
Jamie: Cartoons or comics? My favorite comic book is Crumb. Crumb is brilliant, but that’s not family. My favorite cartoons are probably the classic Warner Brothers and Johnny Quest, I really like that. I also grew up on the Smurfs, so what do I know?
TeenHollywood: Son of the Mask is a PG, not even a PG-13. You’ve done some pretty wild stuff. Was it difficult for you to tone it down?
Jamie: Well, actually no. I mean, we had done stuff in the movie that was risqué, but then in the post-process it kind of got more honed down to PG, so – yeah, it’s different, I think my humor goes across the bar, and I think sometimes it’s PG and it goes all the way to R. I think actually PG is harder and makes you become more clever, because you really have to think of something that can appeal to everyone and make them laugh, and if a good PG movie works it’s great because of that. Anyone can be raunchy, but trying to come up on a twist on something is more clever. It’s harder though.
TeenHollywood: How did you come up with the character of Tim, is he based on anyone?
Jamie: Tim is just me on a bad day. I actually, kind of did base it on, this is going to sound weird, but The Shining, because Jack Nicholson in that movie has this slow progression (into madness). And he just slowly gets more crazy. So I just watched that movie, and I thought that would be a good way of going insane. And he does it so brilliantly.
TeenHollywood: You did a commentary for the DVD already?
Jamie: Yes, I did.
TeenHollywood: Have you done commentaries before?
Jamie: Tons, for my show and other movies and specials. Commentaries to me, the best is if they’re honest and entertaining. I don’t listen to a commentary because I want to watch the movie, so I only do behind-the-scenes stories of what was going on in that moment, who’s doing what, who’s fighting with who. That’s what I think people like. And then Larry (the director) would be like ‘Well, in this shot I used a split-diopter lens’ and the whole time I’m just making fun of him going, ‘Who cares about that Larry? Let’s talk about what the Kraft Service lady was doing.’ The whole DVD is us arguing.
TeenHollywood: Did you try surfing when you were in Australia shooting this?
Jamie: I couldn’t surf because the waves were insane, like the tow it really pulls you. So I’d boogie-board and I actually was out there so far that I couldn’t get back in. The current is crazy, so they are used to Americans doing that, and they tow you in.
TeenHollywood: Your costar Traylor, who plays your wife, said the men acted a little silly on the topless beach.
Jamie: Us? She said that? Like she was all used to it? Hey, it’s not just a topless beach. It’s like a topless boardwalk, a topless restaurant because it’s all in the beach community. I mean you work with a dog and a baby and you’re not getting a lot of action, so you might want to look at a topless woman. But you look and then they’re, ‘What the hell are you looking at, you gross American? Get out of here.’ Put them away, put them away. So, yeah, we used to look. Sure I looked. You’re damn right I did.
Jamie Kennedy gives birth to a `Son'
Being pathetic and funny works for Jamie Kennedy. In ``Son of the Mask,'' a follow-up to Jim Carrey's 1994 star-making hit, Kennedy's Chaplinesque pathos carries the film. At the time he was cast in Larry Gutterman's sequel, Kennedy was starring on his hidden-camera series ``The Jamie Kennedy Experiment'' on WB.
``I mean, it's a crazy story,'' Kennedy said. ``Larry's wife was watching my show, and she's like, `Look at this guy.' I did a scene on the show where I have a brother who's always stealing my girls. And I was, like, on a date, and then in the middle of it I go, `Mom!' And I was really sad and sympathetic and pathetic, and Larry saw that moment, started laughing and said, `That's the guy for my movie' - just off of that moment.''
As Tim Avery in ``Son of the Mask,'' Kennedy plays a married man fearful of fatherhood.
``It was kind of personal,'' he said. ``I definitely would be scared to have a baby, so I could relate to the character. You know, I'm 34. I think like (I'm) 12 years old. . . . I guess I could have a baby, and I guess I could take care of it financially, and I have a lot of love to give. But I'm selfish, you know. I'm an actor. And I wouldn't really want to bring a baby up right now; I would wait till I'm older, when I'm married and all that.''
But no wedding plans are in the works for this comic who grew up the youngest of six.
``Wait, you ready? You ready for it? How close is Palestine and Israel?''
Easier to imagine is what will be ``Son of the Mask's'' most talked about scene, a diaper-changing-as-baby-pees sequence.
``There's a moment in the movie where I go, `Oh shoot' - that's actually just me, breaking character, because, like, the water hit me in the eye and I wasn't ready for it,'' Kennedy said. ``Larry loved it, so he kept it. But the stuff just kept coming. I mean, Larry shot this like `Armageddon' or something. He's got guys with hoses mowing me down. He's like, `Keep going! Get to Jamie!' He even had a bullhorn and a raincoat, and I'm going, `Come on man, shut it off!' ''
Kennedy managed the Australian filming physically intact until the second-to-last day when the crew filmed the scene in which his character first wears the mask.
``It was a 17-hour day, and we were doing a dance sequence, and I was on a wire,'' he said.
Sailing through the air, Kennedy hit a wooden step.
``Everyone was laughing and I went, `Ooooh!' and started to cry. Everyone saw me crying, and then everybody else started crying. It was like `Stand By Me.' It was the most pain I think I've ever been in.''
Kennedy revealed a sizable scar on his shin. If he'll always have this to remember ``Son of the Mask,'' he won't forget the day he received Carrey's benediction. At last year's Teen Choice Awards, Kennedy told Carrey he was doing the sequel.
``He had heard about it and was like, `Oh man, you're gonna make it great! Make it your own!' He gave me, you know, a blessing, and it made me feel great because I just don't want to tarnish anything he's ever done.''
Jamie Kennedy finds some magic in 'Son of the Mask'
Once upon a time in Hollywood, a surprise hit was born - "The Mask." It brought stardom to Jim Carrey.
Jamie Kennedy is hoping "Son of the Mask" will do the same for him. The magical mask of the title finds its way into the possession of his character, a young father, who is still adjusting to the birth of his son. To his shock, the baby is born with the spectacular powers of the mask.
Kennedy's supporting cast is headed by Alan Cumming and Bob Hoskins. Its director is Lawrence Guterman, last represented by "Cats & Dogs." The original screenplay comes from Lance Khazel, who did not write the Carrey film.
The comedy bows Friday.
Jamie Kennedy 'Masks' Being Wasted
The guy who plays Jamie Kennedy's wife, "Monk's" Traylor Howard, reveals a secret about shooting "Son of the Mask" in Sydney.
"Jamie kept getting thrown out of bars, or not even allowed in, because he comes across like he's always stoned, always wasted," Howard tells Zap2it.com. "And it couldn't be more from the truth -- he's a completely clean guy."
Yet, when sauntering in to his interview, Kennedy does look a bit like he just got out of bed. He has a slurred drawl, and he admits that he gets misunderstood a lot.
"First of all, I'm a very relaxed person, but on camera I'm crazy," Kennedy says. "So I'm always low key and so people think that I'm on drugs. I don't do drugs."
Known for his TV show "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment," the "Scream" movies and the starring role in "Malibu's Most Wanted," Kennedy is now starring in "Son of the Mask" as a father who has a kid who's influenced by the magical mask that turned Jim Carrey into a crazy man in "The Mask" in 1994. In the sequel, the mask also takes over his dog, and his low-key character in the film.
When he told Carrey at a Teen Choice Awards that he was doing the sequel, Kennedy says, "He was totally cool. He was like, 'Man, do it. Go make a good movie. You're going to be great.' I mean, he was very, very cool. I ran away. I was nervous."
Like Carrey, Kennedy does get to go crazy with ad-libs and impersonations when he puts on the mask, and that includes interacting a lot with computer-generated images. It's not much different from when Kennedy practices his lines in the mirror, he says. However, it was tough imagining what it was like to have a kid. Director Lawrence Guterman, who's had three children since he directed "Cats and Dogs," says he had to train the single 34-year-old how to be a proper dad.
"Larry's like, 'They took your baby! Do you know what it's like to have a baby? I have three babies.' I was like, 'I don't have any babies.' 'They took your dog! They took your dog!' I was like, 'I don't have a dog.' He was like, 'All right. Ashton Kutcher just got this part!' I was like, 'What? Where is he?' That's how he would get me," Kennedy quips.
Kennedy co-stars with a dog as much as with a baby in "Son of the Mask" and says the dog was a better co-star. "When you're doing a scene with a baby, he's really sweet, but then all of a sudden he'll just start crying," Kennedy smirks. "And I would feel like his bottom getting warm, and I was like, 'That's out of character. That's not in the scene.' "
To befriend the dog, who's real name is Bear, Kennedy mimicked the trainer's voice. "I always used to imitate my mom's friends," Kennedy says. "My mom would have dinner parties every week. My mom had a very eclectic group of friends. So I would always run around and imitate them and they thought that it was cute. But I never knew that it would be a career."
One of his best characters is cut from "Son of the Mask," but it's going to make it on the DVD. He plays a 200-pound Jamaican woman, which required five hours of makeup. Meanwhile, his dream is to imitate David Lee Roth or Ozzy Osbourne in a biopic.
"I'd like to have a career like Jamie Foxx, he's amazing as Ray Charles (in 'Ray'), or a career like Robert Downey Jr.," Kennedy pauses. "Without the drugs."
Knowing how his low energy off the set comes across like he's a slacker, Kennedy does admit that if he wasn't acting, "I'd probably still be working at Dominos," but he adds quickly, "Managing it."
"Son of the Mask" opens nationally on Friday, Feb. 18.
Jamie Kennedy: Life’s Fran-tastic
Funnyman Jamie Kennedy has a few new experiments up his sleeve. Kennedy’s reality TV show The Jamie Kennedy Experiment was cancelled last year after its second season, so the comedian decided to go behind the camera as producer of two shows.
Kennedy is a fan of Fran Drescher, so he was eager to become involved with her new comedy Living With Fran, in which she plays a woman dating a much younger man.
Kennedy points out “it wasn’t inspired by Demi Moore’s romance with Ashton Kutcher. It’s actually based on Fran’s own experiences after she and Peter Jacobson split up.
“Fran’s definitely had her share of younger guys, so she gave us some great plot lines for the show,” says Kennedy, who is one of the series’ writers, as well as producers.
In one episode, Drescher’s character discovers her young lover has his own apartment — something that actually happened to Drescher.
Kennedy recalls how Drescher, 47, “was shocked to discover her young man had an escape pad — as she called it — and insisted we do an episode in which her TV character discovers this and shows how she reacts.”
Kennedy says the episode in which Drescher meets her young man’s father for the first time “is right out of Fran’s own diary.
“The guy’s father turned out to be just a few years older than Fran and he began putting the moves on her. This encounter makes for a really funny episode on the show,” promises Kennedy.
All 16 episodes of Living With Fran have been shot.
The show is scheduled to premiere on the WB network next month.
Kennedy is also the producer of the reality show Starlet, in which Vivica A. Fox and Faye Dunaway mentor wannabe actresses.
Kennedy says the winner of the six-part series “will appear in three episodes of Chad Michael Murray’s popular youth series One Tree Hill.”
He says he didn’t reveal to any of the contestants that he was part of the show because “they’d have thought it was a joke and it isn’t.
“It’s a serious look at how much people want to be celebrities but how difficult it actually is.”
Kennedy will be seen Feb. 18 as the star of the special effects extravaganza Son of The Mask.
TV star Jamie Kennedy slips into big-screen role
This year's winter movie lineup is shaping up as the "Battle of the Network Stars."
Will & Grace's Debra Messing, The King of Queens' Kevin James and WB prank-host Jamie Kennedy are among the TV actors trying to transform some of their broadcast fame into box office clout.
"It's the first time that I'm carrying a film, and that's certainly new and a little scary and very exciting," says Messing, who makes her leading-lady debut Friday in the comedy The Wedding Date. "I'm aware other people will be assessing ... whether or not the film works creatively, whether it works financially and whether they're interested in working with me in the future."
The coldest months of the year can heat up a TV actor's movie career. For one thing, expectations for a movie's performance are lower in January and February, typically a dumping ground for lesser movies amid the Oscar hopefuls.
"If you do it at a time when the competition is not at its peak, it gives you more opportunity to be seen," says Henry Schafer of Marketing Evaluations Inc., which provides "Q ratings" that rank the popularity of celebrities for advertisers and studios.
That strategy worked for Saturday Night Live's Will Ferrell in 2003's Old School, and That '70s Show regular Ashton Kutcher with last year's The Butterfly Effect. But it proved that not everybody loved Ray Romano when his Welcome to Mooseport flopped last February.
Already this winter, That '70s Show's Topher Grace has had success with In Good Company, rebounding from last year's dud Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! But Alias star Jennifer Garner followed her 2004 spring hit 13 Going on 30 with Elektra, a fizzle this January.
"It's a big-time test," says Kennedy, who goes from TV's The Jamie Kennedy Experiment to Son of the Mask, opening Feb. 18. "I'm scared out of my mind. I'm up for a couple movies, and nobody is ready to pull the trigger until they see what this does."
King of Queens' James, who plays opposite Will Smith in Hitch next week, says he felt safer playing the sidekick in his first big movie role.
"If you're out there alone and the film doesn't do that well, you might not get a second shot," James says. "For anybody who wants to break into film, I would highly recommend that they get themselves a Will Smith."
Jamie Kennedy stas in "Malibu's Most Wanted"
Jamie Harvey Kennedy was born in Upper Darbey, PA on May 25, 1970. Jamie became interested in acting at the age of fifteen, and appeared in a movie for the first time at age 19, as an extra in Dead Poets Society (1989). His first role in a movie was as Brad in the film Road to Flin Flon (2000), which was filmed in the early 1990s, but was not released until spring 2000. He is most popular for playing the role of the movie-buff, "Geeky" Randy Meeks, in Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), and Scream 3 (2000). In 1998, he won a Blockbuster Award for Best Supporting Actor in a horror movie, for his role as Randy Meeks in Scream 2 (1997). Kennedy will next be seen in the new comedy Malibu's Most Wanted in which he plays a wannabe rap star from Malibu who acts and talks like he's from the "'hood." Concerned that his son is going to embarrass him during his campaign to become the governor of California, Brad's wealthy father and his campaign manager (Blair Underwood), hire two Juilliard-trained actors to disguise themselves as "real life gangstaz", and kidnap his son, dropping him off in the "real hood" in Compton, in an effort to scare the ghettofied attitude and behavior out of him. PAUL FISCHER reports.
Question: Do you take into account that many African-Americans will be offended?
Answer: Well, I don't think the movie's offensive. I'm sure some people won't like it but I've seen the movie with black audiences and white audiences. Actually, black audiences seem to like it even more. Anything that could be offensive or [we didn't push the line enough???], we would ask the different people in our cast and they would tell us what they thought the line was.
Question: What's something that was taken out?
Answer: I don't really think there was anything taken out. I think when I did the scene in the club, one of the ideas that we had was that everybody wouldn't take me seriously, they would just laugh. We thought about it and everybody in the movie was like no. Your ass is thrown out, beaten and all that. We never were going to do that but we were just talking about different things that could happen. But that was one thing we worked on.
Question: That prank, did you think it was a real letter from Eminem?
Question: How will he respond to this?
Answer: This character wasn't inspired by Eminem. I had this character long before I ever heard of him. I think he's a talented rapper. I think he's great. I don't know how he'll react. He'll either think it's funny, 'cause it's not really about him, or he won't. He'll get mad. I don't know what he'll say.
Question: Who is he based on? Do you know kids like this?
Answer: Yeah, I think we all do. That's one of the things that I like about the movie was it was about a character, a white guy who thinks he has street credentials. He thinks he has a hood pass but he doesn't know anything about the hood. And everything he's learned about the hood is from TV. And he's willing to take the music and the culture and the dress and the fun things, but he's never lived through the stress and the strife and the struggle of someone that lives there. So, it was a comment on that.
Question: Why does the maid treat you sympathetically?
Answer: She is a very loving woman and she took me under her wing and just decided that's how she was going to treat me, as like her own. She kinda raised me.
Question: Was she just humoring you?
Answer: She probably was in the beginning just humoring me, and then decided that this is how he is and he adopted this lifestyle, so she took him under her wing.
Question: Are you comfortable talking like B-Rad?
Answer: Yeah, I mean, I can do it. It's not that hard.
Question: How did you come up with the character?
Answer: That was born- - I used to see this white kid in a west Hollywood coffee shop. He was always ordering vanilla lattes and be like, "Hey, man, I want some soy milk, bitch. Don't you know I'm lactose intolerant." He was always talking about his struggles and his problems. He drove a Mercedes.
Question: Do you share characteristics?
Answer: What's similar is that we both listened to rap music from a young age, we're both from the suburbs, both adopted things from the hood but yet never lived in the hood. I was a whit kid, I was a wannabe grew up in the suburbs.
Question: When did that stop?
Answer: Probably the last day of shooting.
Question: When did it stop in real life?
Answer: I mean, when I moved out to LA, I still loved rap music and listened to it. But I think when I moved out of Philly and moved to L.A. I changed a little bit. In L.A., it's actually more acceptable. You can get away with that more as opposed to Philly.
Question: When did you go that's a wannabe and not me anymore?
Answer: Probably in my early '20s.
Question: Origins of this script?
Answer: The character was my idea. Then script, I had my friends and I wrote an outline of one, and then the guys from my show took that and rewrote it.
Question: Credited screenwriter?
Answer: Nick Swartson, yeah.
Question: Other two?
Answer: Fax and Adam, and they really made it a big script.
Question: What is the audience for this?
Answer: Anybody that wants to laugh, have a good time.
Question: Realistically, more specific?
Answer: Sure. I mean, who do I think the audience is? I mean, this movie was-we wrote this movie as a spoof on white guys that wanna be gangsters, who don't really come from the street. So, I think people that like my show will like it. I think it's actually an older audience than younger kids.
Question: Why has your show connected so well with people?
Answer: Because it's really out there, absurd. We take a joke and really push it farther than people do and just keep twisting it.
Question: Turn it into a movie like Jackass?
Answer: Yeah. Oh yeah;. I would love to do that. We really would have to come up with some really elaborate scenarios, but we've actually talked about that because I thought Jackass was really funny.
Question: Comparisons to Tom Green, are they valid?
Answer: Well, we're different in the sense that Tom does his own thing and he's more of- - his show is him on the street with a camera. It's not really ever hidden. Mine is all hidden. His is more like the world according to Tom Green and mine is more like a hidden camera.
Question: Canadian network?
Answer: I think you get it on the WB station up there, or maybe CTV, but you definitely get it in Canada.
Question: Influence in casting Bo and Ryan?
Answer: Well, when those ideas were brought up to us, I was definitely behind it 100 percent. I thought that would be cool for an older generation. I thought they were perfect for the part.
Question: Did you talk to Bo?
Answer: She played my mother and she's very sexy. Every time I tried to talk to her off camera, John Corbett was making out with her, so we didn't have a lot of time.
Question: How involved in business side are you?
Answer: I love it. I'm definitely running this team and behind that. I don't think movies should be expensive unless they're special effects. The number one thing a movie should have is a great story, and if it's a comedy, then great jokes. This movie doesn't have to be more than 15 million and that's what it was made for. And my show, it may sound like a joke, but I think the Olsen twins are geniuses. They've created their own niche, they're good at it and they market it. Why not do the same for comedy?
Question: The rat?
Answer: The rat was our big special effect, but honestly, we didn't even CGI his mouth that much because you give a rat a piece of baloney before, and they'll eat it and it looks like they're talking.
Question: How about The Mask?
Answer: That would be a big one, yeah. Pretty expensive. We're still talking about parameters of my schedule and deals and stuff like that, but I've seen pictures. It would be massively big.
Question: Still do drama?
Answer: I'm very young. People like to laugh and they seem to like me in that, so I haven't really ever had a chance to really sink my teeth into a real popular drama yet.
Question: Three Kings?
Answer: Yeah, but I was still the comic relief and I don't know. Hollywood has to give me a shot. They haven't really given me a shot. I'd have to fight to get a drama right now.
Answer: Oh yeah.
Question: What makes you laugh?
Answer: I said this before. Documentaries. I know that sounds weird, but American Movie. That was a genius documentary. Blind Date is hilarious. The Fifth Wheel .Anything with real people acting like idiots, showing their real side of human nature.
Question: Was that intention of American movie?
Answer: No. I think that they were really passionate about who they were. I don't think that they were idiots though. I think those guys were really passionate people that were getting their point across. But they were such amazing characters, I thought they were acting. I couldn't believe it was real. It's one of the greatest movies I've ever seen.
Question: Bowling for Columbine?
Answer: Genius. I love that. I love there's a documentary called Frat House, Todd Phillips' first movie, I love that.
Question: How did you get started? Short version.
Answer: Thank you. I hate it when people say, "So, you were five and now you have your own movie. What happened in between?" Well, I came out here when I was 17 and I wanted to get into movies. I worked at Red Lobster. I worked at Domino's pizza. Did all the basic jobs of a struggling actor. Started reading books, reading Dramalogue, learning about the business. Slowly by trial and error, I broke my way into it. got a little commercial, guest spots on TV shows, worked my way in. Years, about five or six years with no money.
Question: Was B-Rad too up on Snoop Dogg?
Answer: Well, it's totally Snoop Dogg. I stole that right from him. I'll be first to admit that. Other languages I stole from other rap songs I've listened throughout my whole life. So no. if it was appropriate, the movie was a satire.
Question: Best piece of advice mom ever gave you?
Answer: Follow your gut.
Answer: She told me to get a job at Weiner schnitzel to support myself. That wasn't very nice.
Question: Did you like your cast?
Answer: Oh, yeah. They were great. They added a lot of life to the movie. I mean, the first guy we got was Taye and he's a legitimate actor, serious drama guy. He said he wanted to do it, I was so excited. Then we got Blair who I grew up watching on L.A. Law and then we got Anthony who I think is really funny, so yeah, we got a lot of great people.
Question: Will kids imitate you?
Answer: Yeah, maybe hopefully. They'll just say Don't' be Hatin'. I'm just imitating rappers.
Question: Are you hoping they'll stop?
Answer: It's a comment of that. It's a comment on society. It's half of it was a comment on poseurs. The other half are there are kids out there who are really like that. The message is let them be who they are.
Question: Was the coffee shop guy real or posing?
Answer: I think he was posing, totally, because he had a Benz, he lived in Beverly Hills. He claimed his hood was Tiffany, claimed he was going to bust some caps in people's ass on Rodeo Blvd.
Question: Wasn't he being true to himself?
Answer: Well, that's a comment on society because he grew up listening to rap music and his parents were never there. He was a really rich kid. It's true. His parents were always in Singapore, so he grew up watching TV and thinking yeah, that's who he is. He didn't know who he was, so he learned that's who he was.
Question: Why does a rich white kid want to act black?
Answer: That's a good question. I can only give you the answer from a white perspective. Part of it is because from a white perspective, being black is cool. They have their own language, their own dress, their own set of rules and morals. You see guys in the video drinking champagne without the glasses. They have girls they refer to as their hoes. It's exciting. And it's something to be a part of as a young white culture. And I'm just saying they embrace that part of a certain facet of black culture. Of course that's not all blacks. I think it's something that they can latch onto.
Question: Even though-B-rad makes a sign, he doesn't call people bitches and hoes.
Answer: No, he's a nice guy.
Question: Was that conscious?
Answer: Part of it is the character. Part of it is we didn't want the character- - you'd hate him in two seconds and want to punch his face in. We didn't want someone like that. The other part of it is me. I'm a sensitive guy. I get my feelings hurt a lot. So, when we do these jokes, I don't want to be mean.
Question: Best prank?
Answer: There's many pranks I like. Some of the highlights are the fake game show we did, infomercial, Bob Saget's house, I broke into, some of the B-rad pieces, Judge Jamie, where I'm a rat exterminator.
Question: How long did it take to get the raps down?
Answer: It wasn't that hard because I wasn't really good at it. We'd write them the night before and we'd add the music.
Question: Did Snoop give you tips?
Answer: No. He did his own raps. I just came and did mind later. So, I listen to his songs, but it was more like rehearsing a scene, listening. It didn't take too long.
Question: Can you talk about the Hip hop explosion with Platinum and Marci X?
Answer: There's been- - it's been now for I think 20 years. It's always been large and it's just now I think people are embracing it more, but I think it's always been big, in my eyes, for a long time. Clothes. And I think it'll be bigger.
Question: Will the Quaid movie be released?
Answer: I want it to be. Have you seen it? I've never seen it either