A good parody can’t succeed without a proper cast. The actors go through a lot to produce a great comedy that audiences will love. Ashley Tisdale and Simon Rex recently teamed up for the upcoming spoof Scary Movie 5. In a joint interview, they share their thoughts on physical comedy, and their fondest memories of working in the genre.
One of the main film’s parodied is Mama, when did you see it?
Ashley Tisdale: I saw it opening weekend just because I wanted to go see the movie. I came out of there and I texted the producers. And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, like we should really be spoofing Mama because it just worked so well.’ And then Phil [Beauman, writer] was like, ‘Funny, we’re actually going to spoof Mama.’ I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ So then we saw it again.
How much did the additional Mama shoot entail?
Ashley Tisdale: A lot, like 60 percent. It was a lot of work. Really long days.
Did you maybe inadvertently pick up some of Jessica Chastain’s affectations or was it all just the wig?
Ashley Tisdale: I definitely [did]. With each movie that we spoofed, I’d really watch like Natalie Portman in Black Swan, just like on her reactions. The cool part is it all blends pretty well together. I just felt like how people are in Paranormal [Activity] where it’s like, ‘What do you hear? That’s so weird,’ and how Natalie Portman was in Black Swan, she always felt like something was after her. So it kind of worked all together. But with Jessica Chastain, the wig and the whole outfit helped me get into it. I definitely became badass when I put the wig on. And I was not really nice to the kids [laughs]. But then I’d take it off, I was super nice. Like I love kids. And everybody would be like, ‘Ashley, whenever she puts that wig on, she becomes a different person.’
Are you a genre fan? Do you like horror movies?
Ashley Tisdale: I have always been really scared of scary movies just because I live by myself — and then seeing something, then having a big imagination and then like thinking you see it in the middle of the night. So I’ve never been really into them. But it’s funny because doing this movie has made me a lot more — now I like them. Now, I’ll go watch Mama, because then I see things and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s so spoof-able.’ Because sometimes it’s just so ridiculous.
When you’re humping the microwave, are you on set thinking this is gold?
Ashley Tisdale: No. [laughs] That was part of the reshoots and I had already humped a potted plant in Atlanta and that was nerve-wracking. There was only one camera guy and they kept it really quiet so it was okay. But at that point when I got to having to be with the chair and the microwave and all over the place, I was just like, ‘Oh, I’ve got this. It’s fine that everybody’s watching.’ But I do recall having the hardwood chair hitting me from behind and I looked from behind and I was all into it. And then suddenly, I was just like, ‘I’m getting slammed by a chair right now.’ And I started hysterically laughing because it’s one of those moments that you never think you’d be in that position [laughs].
Was there one scene where you had to check your reservations at the door?
Simon Rex: I didn’t really have anything. No, in this one I didn’t. Even her and I, she had more love scenes with objects and with Erica Ash. All we ever did was lay in bed next to each other and that was it. So I didn’t have anything. She had more of the erotic stuff going on and mine was just falling down a lot, which I love doing. I loved doing the fight scenes with the housekeeper and just falling down all over the place. It was cool because in this movie, we got to shoot like in Paranormal Activity, we got to shoot certain scenes like in a silent film sped up so it looks like an old Charlie Chaplin movie or something. I liked that. Nothing too intimidating, so it was fun.
Do you guys remember the first time you saw this style of humor?
Simon Rex: I do. I’m a bit older than her so I grew up on movies like Airplane! and The Naked Gun. You probably saw it more recently, but as a kid I grew up on them so I loved those kinds of movies. I remember seeing Airplane, and even Mel Brooks movies like History of the World Part I, and just really loving that style of movies that make fun of movies. I think it needs to be done. All of these movies are ripe for being poked at.
Of all the movies you spoofed, which one did you enjoy the most?
Simon Rex: We like Paranormal Activity. I thought that was pretty cool when they leave it to your imagination instead of showing you some monster that’s CG animated over and over. That’s kind of cooler, having it left up to your imagination. I actually liked Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I remember just watching it and being pleasantly surprised with that movie. I didn’t think it would be as good as it was, so I love that movie.
Scary Movie 5 opens in theaters this Friday.