SHAWNEE SMITH on COMIC-CON and 'SAW 3' Interview by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for Radio Free Entertainment
July 20, 2006
Saw 3 writer and franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell, director Darren Lynn Bousman, and stars Shawnee Smith and Tobin Bell were all on hand at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con, an annual comic book convention that now includes all manner of film and television entertainment, to talk about the third installment of their groundbreaking horror series.
Shawnee, one of our all-time favorite interviewees, graciously took a moment to speak with us about her first year of attending Comic-Con, and to preview Saw 3.
RadioFree.com: Congratulations on having had your baby boy since the last time we talked!
SHAWNEE: Thank you!
So what's up with babies dominating entertainment news all of a sudden? I mean, now the media makes a story out of mere speculation that a celebrity is pregnant...
I guess celebrities right now happen to be like baby makin' age... [jokes] Now I'm starting to take it personally. You know, like "Hot Mothers Who Are Pregnant," "The Cutest Babies..." And my children and I are never included. [laughs] And I'm starting to get a little offended. So, tabloids...
Didn't women used to slap people for erroneously calling them pregnant? I guess those days are gone...
Apparently. But you know what? They're not saying that to their face. They're just writing it from a room. [laughs] I mean, if there's any question, and I'm approaching a woman, I'll still hold my tongue. I won't say, "Are you...? Congratulations!" Because you just never know.
So how are you handling your first year at Comic-Con?
I was expecting like a frenzy and a freak show, and so far...I don't know, maybe it was my touring days with Fydolla Ho that numbed me out to a freak show, but it seems pretty, like...
Tame? The freak level here is acceptable?
Totally acceptable freak level to me. [laughs]
And what about the frenzy part of it?
You know, I've just seen some great enthusiasm, but I wouldn't call it a frenzy, you know? It's just people excited.
So...We're here to talk about Saw 3, even though we can't really talk about any of the specifics this early in the game...
Isn't that kind of a conundrum? At least I can say with confidence that you will be so pleased and satisfied and surprised, and, dare I say, moved by 3.
Are you enjoying the franchise so far?
I'm having the time of my life. I had the greatest time of my entire life shooting Saw 3, with my kids, in Toronto.
They were on set to watch what was going on?
Well, we got a little house by the beach, and so my son stayed home most of the time. [My daughter] came to set, and she had a studio teacher. But she wasn't on set most of the time, because really nothing we filmed in Saw 3 was appropriate for a kid. [laughs] There's even one scene in it [for which] she did some artwork for the set. But there was no way in hell she could watch the scene that took place. But it was great. We have like a repertory film company going over there, and everyone's so talented, and it's a truly collaborative experience. And that's what makes it so great in so many ways. And I think that's why the level of the quality is just higher.
Does your daughter get a film credit for production design?
You know what, I should ask! I should check on that.
Before going off on this Saw trip, were you a fan of horror movies?
No. I don't like horror movies. I don't like to be upset, or scared, but have always been fascinated by this human drama. Why are we here? Who are we? What's the point? The dark and the light. Two sides of the coin. You know, you can't have one without the other. So I just seem to be ever compelled to explore both sides. And I love working hard. And when you work with Tobin Bell, you work hard.
Apparently we've got some good scenes to look forward to...
I hope so. I hope it translates, because we put in a lot of work. And it was such a pleasure. I hope the next one isn't too much of a letdown. [laughs]
Any word on a Saw 4?
You know, there's conversations happening, but nothing's real until you hear "action," and you're on a set.
People love to speculate. Sometimes rumors of a sequel are bigger than the sequel itself...
Yeah. I'm sure they'll go on. I have no idea where the hell they can go from this movie, but they always figure a way. [laughs] And it surprises everyone!
Thanks for your time. We'll see you in October, hopefully!