Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Interview: James DuMont Discusses His "Indie" Film, Jurassic World

With “American Horror Story: Freak Show” behind him — although I’m sure a lot of viewers are still thinking about that ending — James DuMont is ready to move on to even bigger things, namely dinosaurs. James has a role in the sure-to-be summer blockbuster “Jurassic World,” which opens June 12. While he couldn’t tell me a lot about the hush-hush project, he did give me a little glimpse of what we can expect this summer.

Celebrity Extra: Tell me about “Jurassic World.”

James DuMont: Well, it’s this little, independent, low-budget film that’s got some dinosaurs in it and stuff. (Laughs.) But seriously, I can’t tell you anything about story, plot, my character or anything. I’ve signed all these heavy-duty nondisclosure agreements up and down the street. But the good news to tell you is that it’s absolutely amazing. The cast is amazing. A good indication of the excitement around it is when the trailer came out; 15 million people saw it within the first 24 hours. I think we’re up to 80 million views on YouTube. So, I think I can go out on a limb and predict that we’ll be the box-office hit of the summer. Chris Pratt’s in there. Bryce Dallas Howard’s in there. It’s just really great people involved; it’s going to be a great franchise. There are a lot of cool things about the movie. They got it right. Steven Spielberg’s on board. The director, Colin Trevorrow, is amazing. I’m just excited to be a part of a big movie like that. It’s the largest-budget movie I’ve ever done.

CE: I know you can’t tell me about the plot, but can you tell me about the filming process? How was that, and where did you film?

JD: They did half the film in Hawaii, where the majority of the amusement park is. The rest of it was done in Baton Rouge, and that is where I come into the movie. Louisiana has so much filming going on. At some point we were sharing space with “Terminator: Genisys.” And “The Fantastic Four” was also filming in Baton Rouge. So, you had three $100-million-plus movies all being shot in Louisiana at the same time. That was kind of wild.

CE: And all three of those movies are so hush-hush, which I fully approve of, because I am a no-spoilers kind of movie/TV watcher.

JD: I respect that they want to keep it secret. I feel the same way about the TV shows, too. When I’m doing shows like “American Horror Story,” and even when I was doing “Treme,” I didn’t know about the other scenes. So, I get to watch the show with fresh eyes as well because I don’t know about what other people are doing other than my own scenes. I absolutely like that idea of keeping it quiet and secret. It’s fun to know inside information, but I wouldn’t want to share it, because it kills the story.

CE: I keep expecting to see you pop up as country DJ Bobby Delmont on “Nashville” again, but, alas, you haven’t made another appearance yet.

JD: Juliette Barnes (played by Hayden Panettiere) is going to have to circle back around to Houston and give them a little Bobby Delmont. I thought for sure that returning was a possibility, but, you know, it’s all about the gals and the singing. But you never know. I’m just glad the show’s still going.

CE: I do love “Nashville,” and Hayden has been phenomenal this season.

JD: She’s so incredibly talented. I mean, she’s amazing. She’s the sweetest person and is so smart and sharp, and so on her game. Beyond “Nashville,” I think that some Oscar work is going to come out of her within the next five years, for sure. I was blown away by her, to be quite honest.

CE: I see you’re currently filming a movie called “Mind Puppets.” Tell me about that one.

JD: It’s this cool little ensemble comedy where seven people at a fair are up on stage and are hypnotized by a mind reader/hypnotist. He gives them particular things to do, and the audience is loving it and having a good time. But before he pulls everybody out from under hypnosis, he has a heart attack, so they are stuck in this hypnotic state. It’s a really cool film, a very fun movie. It stars Kevin Pollak, Vinnie Jones and lots of others.

CE: That sounds like a wonderful premise for something I’d like to see.

JD: It is a great premise. The other thing that I loved about it is that it’s a very different follow-up to “Dallas Buyers Club.” I mean, half the movie I’m shirtless. And I’m not built, I’ll tell you right now. I’m a fat dude who sometimes has man boobs. But I researched being hypnotized in real life, and there are no limits or boundaries. Once you’re in that hypnotic state, you’re free from all the limitations that your mind and heart and experiences put on you. There’s something kind of amazing and scary about that.

CE: Tell me about “I Saw the Light.”

JD: It is a Hank Williams biopic, which stars Tom Hiddleston. That definitely will be cut and ready in time for him to be considered for an Oscar nomination, or at least a Golden Globe. He did an amazing job of channeling his inner country singer, and him being the low-key Brit from the “Avengers” movies; you couldn’t ask for more polar-opposite characters to embody. But that one is going to be pretty exciting.

CE: Was this made with cooperation and approval from Hank Williams Jr.?

JD: Absolutely — Junior had approval. We also consulted the people who handled the estate, the musicians who worked side by side with Hank pretty much from day one. You’ve got a lot of old, seasoned folks who handled his business and his personal life. I knew there was a big Hank Williams following, but I had no idea the generational levels of his contribution. I’m excited to be a part of it.

CE: What about the movie “Little Boy”? That comes out soon, right?

JD: That comes out April 24, and I did that about three years ago. I saw a screening of it, and it’s magical. It’s really quite amazing. It’s set during World War II, and it’s about a little boy whose dad goes off to war, and he’ll do anything to make sure his dad comes back home safe. A Japanese man comes to the little town, and he befriends the boy. It’s a beautiful lesson of if you can learn to love your enemy, you can learn to love anybody. Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, David Henrie, Kevin James — they’re all in it. It’s the kind of movie that people make with their heart, and I hope it will get a lot of attention.

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