Jackson Rathbone interview for ‘Warhunt’

This past week we got to take a look at the new war horror film called ‘Warhunt’ and we got to sit down with the star Jackson Rathbone who some of you may know from the Clive Barker adaptation Dread and others may know him from his stent in the ‘Twilight’ series. He was very nice to talk to, enjoy the interview!

AJ: So, Jackson, how did you get involved with warhunt?

Jackson: Well, we met each other on this little app called Tinder and, uh, we just hit it off . Um, I was sent the offer, with the logline, the movie and the script, and they, that they let me know that Mickey Rourke and Robert Kneeper were attached and my name, goes right next to theirs and the credits and, well that’s, that, that was about it for me, you know, getting to being in the same movie as Mickey Rourke and getting to work with Robert Knepper was something that, you know, I was a young actor, so it was a cool thing for me, right. A young actor I’m 37, but, I feel like when I get to work with the elder statesman that I’m a newbie again, and I love that feeling. So I was excited to be a part of it.

AJ: Right. And I just watched one of your earlier films today, uh, dread in preparation for this as well. So yeah. Talking about a journey. So working with Mickey Rourke that had to be so much fun on this. Like you said, just having your name next to him on the billing and man, I’m feeling like I’ve been watching him since The Pope of Greenwhich village and even the rest were that came out a few years ago. Just how majestic was he on set?

Jackson: So we filmed this movie, uh, during the onslaught of the first wave with the pandemic. So as we were filming the world was just coming to realize what the Corona, the new COVID 19 is. Right. So we had a lot of issues on set and eventually we had to shut down and separate the film into two different, periods. So one of the great detriments of that was I had all of my scenes, with a stand in for Mickey Rourke. And then in turn, he had to do the same for me. So I never got to actually act in the same room as Mickey Rourke. I’m on the same screen as him and the editor did a completely flawless job of slicing us together. But, sadly I did not get to work with the majestic presence is Mr. Rourke.

AJ: Oh, wow. And that’s a really interesting process. And that had to be something unique as well, dealing with the stand in and not getting the exact chemistry you would’ve got with Mickey work. So how was it in that regard?

Jackson: Like that was, it was such a sadness his, his standin was great, you know, wonderful stand a young, uh, Lockian man who from the, from the stage in theater of Laia he was great. However, no one can quite, um, exemplify the performance of Mickey Rourke. And, yeah, so it was, it, that was definitely, there was a difficulty within that, but you know, the nature of the businesses, you know, you gotta, the show must go on. Right.

AJ: And, you know, the story of war hunt is also very interesting. There’s a lot of sub plots going on within the film. So when you were reading the script, what stood out to you about the story of warhunt?

Jackson: Oh man. What I liked the most is the idea of historical fiction being something that as a genre in and of itself, which is it’s, it’s becoming more and more so, um, historical fiction it, you know, you want the fictional element to go hand in hand with the historical element in a way that is, is plausible or believable. And, that’s where the beauty of the, the horror genre comes in is it’s right. It’s so amorphous that you’re able to inject horror into everything from like a small family, ensemble, like hereditary to a comedy, you know, the situation affecting the world, like, Shaun of the dead. Right, So it’s, it’s such a wonderful genre, that lends together. And then when you add the historical elements of world war II and Hitler’s real life fascination with the occult and then parlaying that with the supernatural horror, there’s so many things, so many genres coming together that it’s, I don’t know, that’s what I like about it. I love the jumble of genre and the escapist sensibility that hopefully the film gives you an hour and a just you’re in this world and don’t think about anything else.

AJ: right. And you know, this film isn’t exactly groundbreaking per se, but it’s still really enjoyable. Have you noticed like a change in people’s mind that the film is not, you know, groundbreaking, a lot of people are just kind of know meh towards the production value of it, but I still found war hunt to be very entertaining. And, you know, it kind of took me back into those seventies and eighties films, you know, we would see on the drive-ins or stuff on Cinemax late nights or something like that. So how did the, if you got to seeing the finished product yet, how did it resonate with you?

Jackson: Well, you know, I, as an actor, you never know how a film’s gonna turn out, you show up, you do your work, you hope for the best. Then I got to watch the movie with my wife and, you know, we, we had a couple chuckles through the film, here and there, maybe, you know, and then there is some production value that I thought was great. And then some things that I thought would definitely lack in. Um, but that’s what you make when you make a independent, small budget films. You have to, uh, you know, kind of trust the process and understand that you’re making something, the best out of what you have. And, you know, there’s certain, you cuts in the movie that, you know, there’s certain character elements that, that were cut out for time and, and then all that.

But, I always treat each, each movie, as what it is, right. This is, hopefully just an entertaining film. I don’t think anything during production was anyone thinking we were making a groundbreaking movie, that’s going to move the minds of the masses to some great, common consciousness, of evolutionary, you know, humankind moving forward. This was supposed to be from day one, an entertaining movie that takes you for a ride with Nazis and with these supernatural elements that are fun. And, they’re fun to think about. Right. That what I look forward to. And just watching Mickey Rourke yuck it up on screen with his cigar and that was just fun for me. I wasn’t there for any of Mickey Rourke scenes. And so just getting to watch him being like, oh, that’s what he was doing. Cool.

AJ: So. All right. So one final question for you, Jackson, what was your favorite moment, if you could talk about one while filming warhunt?

Jackson: Oh man. I think it was, all of my scenes with, with Robert Kneeper, especially a scene where we’re Barings and dead soldiers, and he tells to me a story, I just got to watch him, you know, do what he does best, which is just be in the moment. And, he’s such a great, great actor. He doesn’t get enough kudos, and he doesn’t, for what he can do. He’s got such a deep level of sensitivity. He just plays these kind of maniacal crazy characters mode. There’s a wealth, there’s a wealth of emotion within Mr. Kneeper that I think, if someone can explore that, that they’ll be doing themselves a great service and to the rest of us.

Written By: AJ Friar

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