Jonathan Tucker Gets Dirty

4.2.2008

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'Ninety-five percent of the movie takes place on top of a hill in an area that's probably only 50 square yards,' he confesses. 'So it's not like the movie is four people running around in the woods screaming and falling down. And I don't want to get all Hollywood and self-important and make it sound like it's the most significant movie ever, but it was like the head of every department had an Academy Award.' The Ruins was shot by Darius Khondji, director of photography on Se7en, Evita, and Panic Room. The special effects were created by people who had worked on the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong. Ben Stiller and Steven Spielberg numbered among the producers.

Though the movie's director, Carter Smith, had never directed a feature-length film, Tucker wasn't concerned. 'I'd seen Bugcrush, which is some of the most disturbing 30 minutes on film,' he says of Smith's short, which won Sundance's Jury Prize for Short Filmmaking in 2006.

'Carter was blessed to have a terrific support system, and they were just as blessed to have him,' Tucker says of his experience on The Ruins. 'The trailer may look like a run-of-the-mill horror movie, but it's far more like Bugcrush than anything else -- there's nothing over-the-top or fake about it.'

For a decidedly East Coast guy who spent of much last year shooting The Ruins on Australia's Gold Coast -- he claims Los Angeles as his current home, but he still keeps an apartment in Greenwich Village -- Tucker is just as happy to be on location as anywhere else. 'People always ask me, 'Don't you want a home-cooked meal? Don't you want to sleep in your own bed?' I'm like, 'No, I love hotels, and I love going out for dinner.' At a certain point I was ashamed to say that -- but not anymore!'

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