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With his sizzling good looks and incredible performances on camera, it's no wonder Vanity Fair once called Johnathon Schaech a leading man to watch out for. Lucky for his fans, he has stayed grounded and has worked with Richard Chizmar to write and act in some adapted screenplays. TCC's Kimberly Helk spoke with Schaech about his latest endeavors.
KH: First of all, thanks for the interview with TheCelebrityCafe.com.
JS: TheCelebrityCafe, I love you guys! Alright, cool.
KH: Congratulations on your movie, The Poker Club, being released on DVD today. Tell our readers a little bit about it.
JS: Thank you. Well, it's about a character named Aaron Tyler, and he has a poker club: four guys that get together. They've been getting together for several years now and they're playing poker one night at his house and while they are all playing, a burglar breaks into the house. So four, average, regular guys have to deal with a burglar; they confront him, they get into it with him, and they accidentally kill him. And the reasons why they do what they do, you'll have to watch the movie to see what they do, but they accidentally kill the burglar. And then they realize there are going to be ramifications for what they do and they decide to get rid of the body. And when they get rid of the body, what they don't realize is that the burglar wasn't alone, and that someone starts to come after them. But see, it's not a movie about poker, it's a movie about the undercurrents about what poker is really all about.
KH: That sounds really good. I saw Prom Night and your performance was excellent, I had chills watching you. How did it feel to play such a twisted murderer?
JS: Oh, you know what? I never played that guy as a murderer. I just played him as someone who was just insanely in love with somebody . . . and everybody else just got in the way, haha!
KH: Now, you've done a lot of horror/suspense/thriller movies and shows, is that the genre you prefer to act in or write about?
JS: Well, I merged with a friend of mine whose name is Richard Chizmar. Richard Chizmar is the publisher and editor of a magazine called Cemetery Dance. Cemetery Dance is one of the leading independent publishers of horror and sci-fi in the country. So, a lot of the things that we write together tend to sway towards the horror genre. Um, that's not all we're going to be doing in our career, but a lot of the things that he likes and a lot of the things that I like kind of blend together in the horror genre. The Poker Club is more of a thriller, according to the novel by Ed Gorman, which we adapted. And it's got the scary elements to it but it doesn't have the gore; it can't be qualified as horror because it doesn't have any of those aspects, it's more of a thriller, but we definitely tend to go towards that genre because of Richard.
KH: I read that you've been nominated for the Best Villain Award at the MTV Movie Awards coming in May. How do you feel about being known as one of the best villains out there in movies?
JS: Oh my, I hope to God I get that nomination, I was nominated to be nominated, haha! So my competition is stiff. I mean I'm going against the guy from Friday the 13th, Sam Jackson, the Twilight characters, other characters . . . Heath Ledger, he played the Joker, and he deserves it too. But you know I'd love to be nominated in the category. I'd love to get to go to the awards, I've never been.
KH: Do you really like playing villains?
JS: Oh yeah, I like being the bad guy. Haha! I'm a nice guy by nature, so when I get to be mean, haha, I love it.
KH: I see you have written a lot in the past years, including screenplays and television episodes. Have you always written or was it simply something you took up after being in show business for a while?
JS: I've been looking through my old stuff that I wrote in college; I took a lot of creative writing courses, and I have dyslexia, so it wasn't the easiest thing for me to do when I was growing up. As I got older, and even into this business, I learned how to take my time and go over things a lot more so I didn't have those problems when I was handing something in that people couldn't understand what I had written. Um, so I think it was overcoming problems that really made me strive as a writer, to work hard as a writer.
KH: I saw the clip for Laid to Rest, where you had a cameo role. How did you feel when you found out that your character's head was going to get pretty much torn off?
JS: Well, the writer/director of that is Rob Hall. And I've worked with Rob on Prom Night and Quarantine, and when he was asking me to be part of the film, um, I couldn't be a part of the original photography, we had to do it here in California. And I told him, yeah I'll come out and do it, but make it worth my while, make it something . . . so harsh, something different that no one's ever seen before; if you're going to take me out, take me out the best you can, and man, he did! Haha! It was unbelievable, I love it.
KH: What role have you had the most fun with so far, whether it was TV or a movie?
JS: The most fun I've ever had was playing in That Thing You Do as James Mattingly. By far, because I was in a rock and roll band, you know? Well, first I got to learn how to play an instrument. Which I've always wanted to do, but could never take the time to do. Then I got to learn how to sing. It's not my voice you hear, but I did sing throughout the whole film. I actually sang the playback, and Tom Hanks thought it would be a good joke, when he wanted to have a good joke, they would turn down the playback and hear me sing. And he would laugh and laugh, haha!
KH: How was it working with Tom Hanks on that film?
JS: Well, I've come to realize, it doesn't get any better than working with Tom Hanks. He's a sweet, smart, you know, wonderful man. I think the world of him.
KH: And what do you like to do in your spare time when you are not writing or on camera?
JS: Well, there are two things, I guess there are two hobbies I have created in my life. One is I'm a huge fan of baseball. And the other thing I love to do, I love red wines, I love my cabernets. So I've become a bit of a wine snob.
KH: Is there a role you would like to play that you haven't had a chance to yet?
JS: Well, I've always wanted to play one of the Marvel Comics or DC Comics characters. I've always wanted to be a comic-book hero; I've always wanted to be Wolverine, um, and I can't believe Hugh Jackman actually won that role over me. I didn't really get a chance, and he did, haha! But there's a lot more out there that I would love to play. Uh, I hate seeing Ben Affleck play Daredevil and ruining that. Um, I'd love to play an old movie star named Montgomery Clift; I was going to play Montgomery Clift at one time and that was taken away from me. I've always had a bug up my butt to play that guy. H. H. Holmes is America's first serial killer, hopefully I'll get a chance to play him in the future. So there's some characters; there you go.