Actor and filmmaker Jared Cohn (Pernicious, Wishing for a Dream) headlines the latest Sharknado film, Sharknado : Heart of Sharkness (yes, you read correctly) arriving on DVD in October. We had the opportunity to get some of the fishy details from Cohn about this latest flake-twisting installment!
Explain to the readers, if even briefly, what this one’s about?
This is the story about a filmmaker: David Moore, who I play, who is the original director/creator of Sharknado. This story tells in documentary style the trials and tribulations of what it took to make the first, secret Sharknado… that has never been released.
It’s a riff on the Apocalypse Now doco, obviously – but how much does it stick to the structure of that?
There are some definite parallels- but to compare Sharknado to Apocalypse Now would be crazy, two completely different movies. However, both did change the world. Hopefully, people will remember Sharknado as long as they remember that Vietnam classic.
You play a pretty agro and ambitious filmmaker in the movie. How much of you is in that guy?
It really depends on the situation, sometimes I’m very laid back and relaxed while on set, sometimes things get a bit hectic and I find myself running around, moving at hyperspeed to get things done. I do respect my character’s drive to ‘do whatever it takes’ to get the shot. Sometimes I’ve personally had to go to great lengths to get a shot or to get things done. It’s a good trait to have to in life so perhaps I should be more like the character!
How do you direct differently to the guy you’re playing on screen?
For one, I really like to be very specific when I communicate to the actors and crew about what shots I want and the blocking, whereas the character’s approach was a bit more artistically vague, however I justified my choice as an actor because I created a full backstory to make sense of my nebulous direction.
When did you shoot the film? How was this kept quiet!?
We shot it at the beginning of this year, and we really had to be very hush-hush. The producers didn’t want anything to leak so we had to sign NDAs to make sure no one released anything. No social media, no anything until the producers set their release date. Everyone was very keen on being very confidential.
Can you fill us in on any fun, behind-the-scenes anecdotes?
We had some crazy things happening, during one of the scenes we shut down an alley and were filming this crazy water sequence and water was going everywhere and some people around didn’t know what was going on then all of a sudden they got drenched. We had signs up but I guess they didn’t read them, so hopefully none of their phones got destroyed.
Do you think part of the reason the Sharknado films are so successful is because they know they’re so-bad-they’re-good? If they had played it more seriously would they have worked as well?
Sharknado is about entertainment and fun and is not trying to win any academy awards. I think everyone embraces it for what it is and we all just enjoy it. But people really do work hard to make it an enjoyable ride.
This is the first Sharknado film we’ve seen outside of the standard film series. Do you think there will be more spin-offs?
I think if the people continue to tweet and tune in there might be a few more…