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Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar - "The Grudge 2" Movie - Amber Tamblyn Ign.com Interview


Wednesday 26 April 2006, by Webmaster

April 5, 2006 - IGN FilmForce recently paid a visit to the set of Sony’s The Grudge 2, which is filming at Toho Studios in Japan. The film’s star, Amber Tamblyn, took time out from shooting scenes Monday with her co-star Edison Chen to chat with the press.

Although Tamblyn, daughter of Russ (West Side Story, Twin Peaks) Tamblyn, earned raves for her title role on the short-lived TV series Joan of Arcadia, she has also been steadily building her film career. Prior to being cast in The Grudge 2, Tamblyn appeared in another American version of a Japanese horror film, The Ring, and also stars in the upcoming thriller Spiral.

Tamblyn plays Aubrey in The Grudge 2. She is the younger sister of Karen, portrayed in the first Grudge by Sarah Michelle Gellar, who is expected to arrive in Tokyo next week to film a few scenes for the sequel. Aubrey has come to Tokyo to investigate what happened to her sister and the strange events that transpired in that ill-fated house.

Aubrey, Tamblyn reveals, is "sort of always been the underdog in the family and somebody who is not as ambitious or driven as her sister, as Karen’s character, so she’s sort of always felt like she’s had to follow in her sister’s footsteps. And even her mother sending her to Japan to figure out what happened to her, she wants her to figure out where she went and what happened and all this stuff about fire."

"I think she’s even nervous about that, because it’s the first time she’s ever had to go experience something on her own, and it’s something that scares her, because she doesn’t know anything about it, and she’s really alone in the whole scheme of things. So it’s really this huge step for Aubrey trying to figure out where she is in her family’s life and in regard with her sister, her relationship with her sister, and she goes in a lot more tentatively, I think, you know with her experiences with the ghost and going to the house. I mean, she’s really the last one to go to the house and have a horrific experience with it. She’s sort of the soft lamb."

The actress believes The Grudge films are "a commentary [on] what violence does to us" and that there’s "a huge undercurrent in all of these films with domestic violence as well. ... I think you’re talking about real human nature, but you are emphasizing the unknown about it: What it does to your psyche and your brain and those areas. And so that’s what makes it really scary, the idea that someone who can go through such a terrifying violence that we can identify with, like domestic violence or whatever - not personally identify with it, but we know what it is - and then they themselves can go on and do a violence against you as an audience member, which is to terrify you. So it’s almost like you are second-hand experiencing what they are going through."

Tamblyn was drawn to The Grudge 2 by a number of factors, foremost being director Takashi Shimizu. "The first thing was, obviously, the fact that Shimizu-san was going [to direct] this film again. And because it’s something that he created, I think that he really has no choice but to make it the absolute best thing that he can, because it’s really his neck on the line. It’s really his baby. And I think you couple that with [Grudge producer] Sam Raimi, who’s such a legend as far as American film is concerned and otherwise. To me, that seemed like a really, really incredible match to put together. The script was really solid when I read it."

The thesp concedes, though, that "it’s a double-edged sword, too, because not only is it a remake of a Japanese film, but it’s also a sequel, which is twice as scary. But I think at the same time, it makes people work on this end twice as hard to make it the best film that we can possibly put out. ... From what I’ve heard, it’s coming together really, really well."

Tamblyn credits helmer Takashi Shimizu with how well she feels Grudge 2 is turning out, comparing him to David Lynch. "First of all, I should say that I think he’s one of the most remarkable human beings I’ve ever worked with. He’s just got such a great sense of humor. And he’s very sweet and very open in explaining things to you beforehand. And I just really admire that quality. And I kind of wonder where such a dark side can come out of a person."

"We have a great working relationship because we’re able to even each other out in certain aspects. Like, for instance, things that I feel might be too over dramatic, which is typical sometimes of Japanese films to be more expressive physically, and with sighing or just general body language things, I can pull back and tell him why I think it should be this way. Or even with your language. The way things are written out, and we can talk about it, and say, ’Well, you know, I think you can run these few sentences together just to make it look more realistic when she’s talking.’ ... Whenever you want to suggest something or say, ’Well, I see it this way.’ Or, ’my experience has given me this,’ he’s very open to it."

Shimizu has "got everything covered, and it makes you feel as an actor, it makes you feel really comfortable to then be explorative and be able to move within scenes and make them your own and sort of not feel like you’re afraid people don’t know what they’re doing or anything like that. Because I’ve been in that position, and it’s really horrible. It’s like the worst thing possible for an actor, is to feel like people are just sort of guessing what they’re doing."

However, she cautions that working with a director whose first language isn’t English is "definitely not, I would say, an experience for an actor that needs their ego catered to. Because there’s no room to be careful with what you say around actors, which I think is so amazing. ... Shimizu-san will come to me and he’ll say: ’That was good, but for some reason, the rehearsal was better.’ And I love that. Because it’s that simple to explain something to you. That for some reason, what he saw looked better. Whereas, in America, you’ll have a director who will take 45 minutes to explain what they mean."

For the film’s star, "what’s interesting about (Grudge 2) is that it’s a lot smaller disperses of (horror) throughout the entire film. Until you get to the end. And there’s definitely a grand secret that they’re going to deliver to everybody that is completely different than the sequel to Ju-On. So it should be interesting."

Ultimately, Tamblyn believes that Grudge 2 "isn’t really a thriller. This is a film about ghosts and about hauntings and about things like that, so there’s a thin line that you thread with violence, and keeping people interested and scared throughout an hour and a half or two hour period."

The Grudge 2 opens stateside October 13.