As I sit down with Kerr Smith
, E-Ring) to talk about his latest project, a foray into feature film with the genre slasher flick My Bloody Valentine 3-D
, I want to tell him that I was shocked and awed by the "not your parents' 3-D" that he is so animatedly plugging and that he brought something special to a normally one-note type of character. Well, at least the latter is true.
Smith is a veteran TV actor who, in his early twenties, moved out to New York to basically give himself "five years to see what [I] could do." He spent about six months in accounting classes beforehand, but the self-proclaimed "thrill junkie" just didn't want to devote his life to eight to ten hour days stuck behind a desk in an office. So with a pat on the back from his dad, he set out to spend the first few years working odd jobs that paid his rent and gave him the freedom and flexible scheduling that allowed him to audition during the day.
Smith also has his pilot's license, which he admits is a very intense and dangerous hobby, but it fits into his adrenaline-fueled lifestyle nicely, as which also does his new film. While Smith admits the draw of the technology was tempting, he is careful to note that when he originally read about the project, he had no idea it would be in 3D. What initially sold him, then, were the intricacies of the characters and the dynamic between the three main individuals (himself, Jensen Ackles
, and Jaime King
) within the love triangle. Smith auditioned for both Ackles' eventual character of Tom as well as the town sheriff Axel, but he knew early on he really wanted to play Axel. "Axel's got a lot going on in this movie," Smith explains, referring to the fact that he is town sheriff during a time when horrendous murders begin but also that his personal relationship is strained due to a little bit of guilt from both his and King's character over some things that have happened in the past. "That's what was really attractive to me-to play a guy with some depth."
My Bloody Valentine 3-D - © Lions Gate Entertainment
The technology was just kind of "a bonus" to Smith, in a way, as he noted that shooting with side by side cameras (for the 3-D aerials) as well as dual layered for the close-ups was definitely different than any of his other projects: "It's not just about punching thing through the screen… you have a wide shot of the grocery store, and there's this can of peas on aisle nine, and it just looks freakin' cool." Instead of having a film full of flat action where every once in awhile something will fly out at the audience, My Bloody Valentine 3-D is three dimensional from the opening frames of the credits. It is truly a new way to watch movies, feeling like the actors are literally mere inches in front of you, and My Bloody Valentine 3-D is the first of nine live action 3-D movies to be released in 2009.
Smith describes the filming process as "like class" for everyone involved, including Patrick Lussier, the director, because of the added technological element. Though Lussier has been Wes Craven's
right-hand editing man for years, and he has even directed a few previous features of his own (Dracula 2000
, White Noise 2
), Smith admits that using 3-D technology "makes you look at the filmmaking process in a whole new way." You really have to pay attention to little details, like the speed at which certain actions happen, if they are going to be the actions that "pop out" at the audience.
But for Smith, the real fun of the set came from his scene companions. He had worked with Ackles before (on The WB's Dawson's Creek), and he admits that having an existing relationship "made it easy." And though there was a rivalry on-screen, they were good buddies off-screen, even during the stunt sequences. In one particularly tough one, Ackles and Smith were basically rolling around the floor of a mine, whaling on each other, and unfortunately, Smith took a shot to the temple that stunned him for a second. But there were no hard feelings, and ever the trooper, Smith got right back up and was ready for another take. "It's par for the course in these kinds of movies," he grins.
Smith is a tough guy, and his next endeavor may prove to be a test about that. Smith will be directing a passion project of his: some informative PSAs for the soldiers over in Iraq to aid them in cultural awareness, a project which is very close to Smith's heart, and one that he admits "probably should have happened six or seven years ago. But the important thing is that it is finally happening now." And after that, he is keeping his options open, reading new scripts, but hey, there's always the option of joining Ackles on the small screen as the new long-lost Winchester brother (Supernatural
)! Smith laughs and admits he "can't remember which part-Jensen's or Jared's-but I read for Supernatural. It's a great show, and I wish I was a part of it. People love the supernatural, no pun intended-people love to be scared-- and I think that's why that show-and this movie, in a way-does so well."
Story by Danielle Turchiano
Starpulse contributing writer