Continuing HN Entertainment’s interview with actor Jake Busey, our very own Nicholas Whitcomb was able to speak with him about previous projects such as Starship Troopers, The Frighteners, Enemy of The State along with his upcoming role in Netflix’s third season of Stranger Things.
While talking to HN about his experience auditioning for the role of in Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners, Jake revealed some of the other actors that he auditioned against which included John Ratzenberger (Cheers), Danny Aiello (The Professional, Jacob’s Ladder), and an unknown Baldwin brother. It seems odd that the John would have played a villain since he’s better known as Pixar’s good luck charm.
HN: What was the experience like working on Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners?
BUSEY: “That was one of the best experiences of my life. I was 24 years old, it was 1995, and I had only done one other big budget movie, and it was Twister.”
“I auditioned for Peter in Los Angeles and as per the material I wound up going completely insane in this tiny 10×10 office he had ten people crammed into it watching me and Peter was sitting on a chair next to the video camera. I just recall his face with a big smile on it and it was like he was watching the World Cup or a Rugby Tournament or cricket or something. He was smiling and nodding his head up and down like: ‘Yeah, go get ’em!’.”
“At the end of the scene it is where Mike [Michael J. Fox] and I are kind of fighting in the giant tunnel to hell or heaven, so to do that in a little 10×10 cubical office in a building was very abstract. When Frank Banister wins, I just started hurling myself across the room and slamming into the door and walls. Then ultimately fell into a big heap on the floor and making these crazy gurgling beyond the grave noises and Peter was like giggling.”
“When I was leaving I saw all these people like John Ratzenberg and Danny Iletto (Hudson Hawk), I could be wrong but I think saw one of the Baldwin brothers and some other name that was a bit older than me and they were all auditioning for the role. I came out astounded the company I was with. I thought to myself: ‘My god, I don’t think I’ll get hired for this thing, because, look at these guys, who also had their shot at it’.”
“So, I was quite surprised when they called me said: ‘Yeah, you got it, Peter wants you to do the thing’ and I was like: ‘Great! When do I go to San Francisco?’ and my agent said: ‘Well, you’ll be flying to New Zealand in a month’ and I was just blown away.”
“Then I remember that Peter was from New Zealand and I just didn’t realize that Universal would have the movie made in his home studio which was absolutely the right thing to do and, boy, was that a terrific experience. If you’re reading this article and have not been to New Zealand, yet, please visit.”
“He’s [Peter Jackson] really built a wonderful little empire down there and I wish I could work with him again, that would be really cool. But, that was great the experience was for me I would just die to work with him again.”
We’ll be posting a lot more from our in-depth interview with Jake coming in the coming days.
You can catch Jake in the third season of Stranger Things dropping on July 4th.