Interview with Johnathon Schaech

Johnathon Schaech is co-starring in Renny Harlin’s new war action film “5 Days of War”. He is also appearing in this Fall’s “ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2”. Besides acting Jonathan is also spends his time writing screenplays. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jonathan about his new film and his upcoming projects as well.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about working on the film “5 Days of War” and your role of Capt. Rezo Avaliani?
Johnathon Schaech: It is about a conflict that happened about three years ago between the Country of Georgia (which is important to say in the States) and Russia. It is based around a journalist that is out there and captures an atrocity that happened during the first day of the war. He tries to get the footage out to make people aware. My character is Capt. Rezo Avaliani, he is special forces for the Georgian military. He fought in Iraq with US soldiers and he friended this journalist in Iraq and he helps him get this footage out.

MG: How was it working with director Renny Harlin and such a great cast?
JS: First off Renny is one of the best all-time big action directors. He wanted to make a big action-style film but firstly he wanted to tell the story more than anything. He has done some big films but with this he wanted to do something different. He wanted to tell a good story but with the Hollywood entertainment value that he is so good at. He is a shooter man…[laughs], he shot the shit out of it. I got to work with Rupert Friend and Emmauelle Criqui, from “Entourage”. Rupert is this eclectic young English actor, who played an American journalist. Richard Coyle is another English actor, from “Prince of Persia”. These guys are really great actors. I got to work with Val (Kilmer) for a very short time. I didn’t get to work with Andy Garcia since he was playing the President of Georgia and I out there trying to save his countries. I am like the superhero man [laughs]. I get to be like the Arnold Schwarzenegger for Renny Harlin. I am the action guy.

MG: You worked on “Laid to Rest”, tell us about returning for the sequel “ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2”?
JS: I did a little cameo for my buddy Rob (Hall). We had a lot of fun. I ended up got my face cut off in the first one. So we tried to do something different in this one with me in a cameo role. We always want to work together. He is going to be a big film director one day. It is a fun and entertaining horror film.

MG: You wrote the teleplay for “Masters of Horror: The Washingtonians”, that was one of my favorite episode, tell us about that?
JS: I did that with my writing partner Richard Chizmar, it was based one of this short story by Bentley Little. We just brought it to life and got to work with Peter Medak, who was the director. He is fantastic.

MG: What can you tell us about writing adaptations of two Stephen King novel’s “From a Buick 8” & “The Black House”?
JS: We started working on “From a Buick 8” seven years ago and we are still fighting. We were so close to getting it made a couple of time. Once with Tobe Hooper and then with George Romero, both were attached to direct. It has had so many lives. It is moving in different directions with different people. The other is “The Black House” and we were hired to write that by Akiva Goldsman. He hired us because (Steven) Spielberg was making the first book, “The Tailsman”. They hired us to do the second book but the first one got canned when Spielberg pulled out. This one is just sitting around waiting for “The Tailsman” to get made. That’s Hollywood.

MG: Did you get to meet with Stephen King in the process?
JS: Well my partner Rich known King very well and is very good friends. King has published a bunch of his novels. I left that side to Rich. I never got to sit down with Stephen.

MG: In the last few years the horror genre has been quite rewarding to you, do you enjoy working most in that area?
JS: I love it man. I just finished a movie in Louisiana from After Dark Productions. This could be the break-out movie for After Dark, it is called “Dark Circles”, directed by Paul Soter. He is part of Broken Lizard, known for “Super Troopers” and “Beerfest”. He loves horror and he is a horror freak. He really wanted to make a horror film, so we wrote this really great script. It came across my desk and I got to sit down and talk to him about it. He put me in the movie. Pell James and I are the two leads. It is suppose to be really great!

MG: So you got acting, writing and producing down, any future plans to direct more?
JS: Oddly enough, I just finished a script for Happy Madison Productions, a comedy I wrote for Columbia. That is the kind of stuff that I want to be working on. Not necessarily comedy, but bigger feature film. You get an opportunity to then get out there and direct something that will really get a chance to be seen and have actual life. I am not going to step behind the lens at less their is something that I absolutely love.


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