Kelly Brook discusses Alexandre Aja's gory fish thriller, set to hit 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD on January 11
Alexandre Aja pulled off the near-impossible this summer. He made a remake that was better than the original. When Piranha 3D premiered in late August, it was met with critical and fan praise alike. Its ample amounts of flesh, gore, and 3D made it a late-season blast that was hard to deny. Now, all of that fun, blood, and gratuitous nudity is coming to 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD this Tuesday, January 11th. To help usher in this must-own release, we caught up with Kelly Brook, the beautiful Brit who may have survived the spring break filming of Piranha 3D, but doesn't fare so well on screen.
Here is our conversation:
When Piranha was originally released, you guys really pushed for that Oscar nomination. Its awards season, are you guys going to be continuing that push as the film hits Blu-ray and DVD?
Kelly Brook: I'm sure Paul Scheer and Adam Scott have a few ideas up their sleeves. They are the ones that came up with the "For Your Consideration" ads. They're the creatives in the movie. I actually go to Los Angeles on Saturday. I am going to give them a call and find out what they have planned. I'll keep you posted.
So there is a chance in the coming weeks that I may flip open Variety and see "Please consider Kelly Brook for her performance in Piranha."
Kelly Brook: (Laughs) You never know!
When you were on set, and you were filming this, did you have an understanding of how realistic the gore was going to be once it was on screen? People who haven't seen Piranha 3D think its going to be a bit cartoonish, but some of these scenes are truly horrific...
Kelly Brook: No, I didn't have an understanding. Not really. I wasn't around for the massacre scene. Although, I did go in the special effects truck. I saw a lot of the prosthetics that they made off a lot of the actors. They told me there was going to be more blood than Kill Bill. That they were going to make it really, really realistic. I knew that from watching Alexandre Aja's other films. He shoots in such a graphic way. I assumed it would be like that, but I didn't know. I wasn't really prepared for it. The first time I saw it, when that person has her entire body split in two, I didn't expect that at all. It is amazing. That combination of the prosthetics and the CGI, I think it really works. I think Alexandre's one of the only directors who could pull it off like that. He is brilliant. What was great, was that when you read the script, it was very tongue in cheek. It was a wink at all those old exploitation movies. Then, when you incorporate someone like Alexandre into the mix, and you have someone like him directing it, you know that, although it is going to be fun, he also wants to make it like a David LaChapelle photo shoot. In terms of making it really American, and bright, and colorful. I think the contrast between that and having these scenes that are disgusting, graphic, and gory, is just a contrast that makes it even worse to watch. I think that is what he is famous for. That is why they brought him on board. Even though it is a fun, jaunty movie, it gives the film credibility in the genre. I think that was really important to the producers of the movie.
How involved were you in the scene where we see your face getting eaten off, and the Piranha are taking nips out of your stomach? Was a lot of that added in post later on?
Kelly Brook: I trained in Los Angeles before we shot, with the stunt guys. We did a lot of stuff on a rope, where I was doing a lot of stomach crunches. We shot that over the course of three days. Because I was in a bikini, I couldn't wear a harness. Everyone else in the scene was all hooked to a harness, which you couldn't see. So they could easily CGI that out later. With me, they couldn't do that. I had to really train, dangling upside down, hanging on with just my legs. When we actually shot it in Lake Havasu, there were scuba divers in the water. They had these green fluorescent gloves on, and they were trying to pull me under. They turned the scuba divers arms into piranhas later. It was quite a grueling three days. I was beaten up and bruised. Obviously, you have the prosthetics on your face. They had me hanging upside down, under water, It was really difficult. It is probably the toughest shoot I have ever done.
If you go to the manicure shops in Los Angeles now, they have the little fish that will eat the dead skin off your feet. Does that horrify you after having dealt with the deadly fish on-screen here?
Kelly Brook: Oh, yeah! I have seen that. The Piranha pedicure. I think that is hilarious. Obviously, the fish in my movie were fake. I am not scared of them. Those fish in the spa are not going to eat your toes off. (Laughs)
That might be a good scene for the sequel.
Kelly Brook: You never know!
Even though you die, are they thinking about bringing you back for the second one? Are we going to see Kelly's evil twin sister, partying in Thailand, hoping to drown the memories of her eaten sibling in a bottle of Thai beer?
Kelly Brook: Yeah! That is what all of the fans have been saying. I think that would be really funny. I have only talked to Harvey Weinstein about it, but that was when the film was doing really well. And he was like, "Oh, we are definitely going to do a sequel." I said, "Harvey, I died in the first one." He said, "Ah, don't worry! We'll bring you back." So, who knows. You never know. I think they want to shoot the sequel around the full moon party in Thailand. With the Lake Havasu spring break situation, they wanted to get as many repellant people as they could in one place, and then put them in a dangerous situation. Now, for the sequel, I think they are trying to find the equivalent to that. I think having a bunch of kids having a full moon party in Thailand will be quite appropriate.
You worked quite closely with Jerry O'Connell and Paul Scheer. Both guys are hilarious in this. Was this just like a party, coming to set every day? You're in Lake Havasu, you're in a bikini, hanging out on a boat...Or did Alex really put you through some hardcore paces on this thing?
Kelly Brook: It was a party. Everyone in the cast was really young. And we shot through memorial day weekend. We had helicopters, and loads of locals that were there as extras. I don't think you can create the energy you see on screen unless there is a realness to it. I think a lot of what was going on off camera was what was going on in the film. Life imitates art sometimes. Even if you aren't inclined to that, you can't help but fall into that. Lake Havasu is geared up to be a party town. We would go out and have fun after shooting. It wasn't too strict. They encouraged us to immerge ourselves into that world for six weeks.
They dumped all of this blood into Lake Havasu. What was that like to see something on that scale? As opposed to acting against CGI. That has to change your physical reaction as an actor.
Kelly Brook: Well, like I said, I wasn't there for the massacre scene, so I didn't get to see them dump all of the blood in Lake Havasu. I only saw it afterwards. And it was pretty horrific. Everyone worked so hard. All of the extras, too. Its not just difficult to shoot in the water, but when you are dealing with a hundred and fifteen degree heat, and people are out there all day on their boats, it becomes a real hard, hard shoot. People were just trying to last through the day. I don't think they were paying much attention to the particulars of it. They were just happy to get off the boat and get out of the water as soon as they could.
And that temperature really got out of hand there, for awhile. Wasn't some of the crew passing out from heat stroke?
Kelly Brook: Yeah. It was over one-hundred and fifteen degrees every single day. It was like radiation on your skin. You just cook. You have to always be in the shade. But there is no getting out of that heat, especially when you are on a boat. We had one vessel that was air conditioned. But when you are doing set-ups, and you are on a tight schedule, it was rare that you could actually get over to that air-conditioned boat. You couldn't just chill out in the air-conditioning, because you were pretty much on the boat you were filming on all day. It was really tough, But we had a good time. Paul Scheer and Jerry O'Connell were such good fun. They were always joking and keeping everyone's spirits up. It's important to have those types of people on set. It keeps the momentum moving, and it keeps everyone else in good spirits.
Did Paul turn you onto the League?
Kelly Brook: No. I have not seen it. He does an improv show in Los Angeles, and I did go to see that. He was brilliant in it. Him and all of his friends, they do this improv thing. I went along, and I loved it. Him and Jerry both are so funny. And they have so many ideas. They were doing behind-the-scenes sketches, and they were always goofing around.
Did you take your Parents or your Grandparents to see Piranha?
Kelly Brook: You know what? I think they missed out on this one. (Laughs) I don't think any of them have seen it.
Because of the gore?
Kelly Brook: Well, yeah. That, and the underwater scene I have with Riley Steele. That is not something I necessarily want my grandmother to watch.
I wouldn't think so! (Laughs) Now, for the fans who haven't seen this yet, and who are contemplating grabbing it on DVD, do you have one go-to scene that you feel would sway them into watching Piranha 3D?
Kelly Brook: Oh, definitely. It would be Ving Rhames in the massacre scene. When he rips the propeller off the boat, and he kills all of the Piranha. I think that is one of my favorite scenes in all movies. Of all time. (Laughs)
What about the 3D? What were your thoughts on some of the unique twists Alex pulled off with that technique?
Kelly Brook: This was always meant to be a 3D film, so it wasn't something that they thought of last minute. Like a lot of the movies, which are conceived as 3D afterward. I think the 3D in this movie works. I really liked that aspect. It's a perfect movie for 3D. It's a porno movie with piranhas swimming through it. That's perfect. A lot of big boobied girls, which always looks good n 3D.
You really can't cheat in 3D. There is no blocking, and its all contact. Otherwise, the audience can now see the space between two objects. How does that change what you have to do as in actress in terms of shooting action scenes or fight scenes? Or did you think about it being in 3D when you were shooting at all?
Kelly Brook: No, we didn't really think about it. That is the director's medium. He would direct us in certain ways, and position us in certain ways. Like when Jessica gets sick over the side of the boat. That is how he wanted to shoot that in terms of making the 3D work best. We didn't have to think about it too much on our part. That was up to him. He had to make the most of it, and get us at the best angles. He needed to make it work. Like I said, most of that stuff was in the script beforehand. That's what was so great about the script. As you are reading the script, you could visualize it in 3D. I don't know too much about the 3D process, to be honest. All of the contact scenes that I had, they came in and CGI'd everything. The thing is, I don't think everything needs to be in 3D. Even if the technology has improved so much. I don't think that Eat, Pray, Love needs to be in 3D. There are certain films that should be in 3D, then others that should just be left alone. I think everyone has gotten carried away. They have all jumped on the bandwagon. I see certain ads, and I think, "Why does that need to be in 3D." It all seems a bit silly.
Yeah, but with Eat, Pray, Love, and then the Julia Childs movie, it might be good to have those in 3D. I could see them using that to entice you into a restaurant next door. You see the movie, then you come out and you're hungry. Obviously, you watch those movies, and you are starving when it is over with.
Kelly Brook: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. But those movies don't need to be in 3D. I think it's all a bit silly.
Piranha 3D was released August 20th, 2010 and stars Richard Dreyfuss, Ving Rhames, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd, Eli Roth, Jerry O'Connell, Steven R. McQueen, Jessica Szohr. The film is directed by Alexandre Aja.