In the summer of 2000, the Wayans brothers reignited the parody movie genre when they skewered red-hot ’90s slasher movies in film “Scary Movie.”
Thirteen years, three sequels and nearly $400 million in box office receipts later, the “Scary” franchise has proven to be one of Hollywood’s best bets (albeit, without the Wayans). The series’ fourth sequel, “Scary Movie 5,” is now available with XFINITY On Demand and stars former “High School Musical” actress Ashley Tisdale and actor/rapper/comedian Simon Rex.
The film takes aim at recent cinema favorites of all genres, such as “Paranormal Activity,” “Inception,” “Black Swan,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Mama” and “The Cabin in the Woods,” and features more than a dozen celebrity cameos, including the highly publicized big-screen union of Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan.
I recently caught of Tisdale to talk about the new film, working with Mike Tyson, avoiding the “child star curse” and stepping out of her comfort zone.
David Onda: First off, tell me about the storyline for the characters you and Simon play.
Ashley Tisdale: They’re married and they’ve inherited Charlie Sheen’s kids, because we’re spoofing the movie “Mama.” And, at first, my character’s just like – she just did not wanna be a mom, and she’s kind of stuck managing that and, also, the ballet. It’s just a lot of fun. We spoof a lot of movies. One of them is “Paranormal [Activity],” and we actually spoof movies that haven’t even come out yet.
Onda: You’re sort of taking over Anna Farris’ role as leading lady in the “Scary Movie” franchise. Do you feel any pressure to live up to her success?
Tisdale: I don’t really feel pressure, I’m just super-excited. I’m a big fan of Anna Farris’, and I just wanted to kind of do my own thing with the character. I think I was just really nervous because I’ve never really done a comedy like this before, but I had [producer] David Zucker, and he was just amazing and he’s genius with spoof movies, so I felt like I was protected.
Onda: I know you’re a big fan of physical comedy. What was the most physical you got while shooting?
Tisdale: We did a ballet performance that’s actually not in the movie. We had a lot of ballet. There’s definitely some physical comedy moments where I’m not really good with the kids. When I first get to the house, the kid’s head is on fire, I’m ramming a child’s head into the door. [laughs]
Onda: Did you train for this “Black Swan”-spoofing scene that was ultimately cut?
Tisdale: Yeah, we did a month of training before we even went out to Atlanta, and while we were in Atlanta, we did rehearsal as well. So, we definitely trained a lot for the performance, but with these types of movies, if something doesn’t work it just has to get cut. It never made it.
Onda: What would you say is the funniest scene in “Scary Movie 5”?
Tisdale: There’s so much funny stuff in it, but I have to say one of the funniest scenes to shoot, and I think came out really funny, was this bathroom scene with me and Molly Shannon .First of all, Molly Shannon is so funny, so working with her was just so hard because I could not keep a straight face. But there’s this bathroom scene where she’s going into the stall, and how she moves in these braces is just the funniest thing ever.
Onda: Fans of this franchise always look forward to the cameos. Who were you excited to meet?
Tisdale: I was super stoked when I heard Mike Tyson was on set and I was just, like, freaking out. He was really cool. He’s so nice, but he’s definitely still intimidating at the same time.
Onda: You got to work with Katt Williams, too.
Tisdale: Katt Williams was, like, so hilarious. We’re working so long – we’re working 17 hours and it’s just been crazy – and at that point you question, “Is this funny? Am I funny?” And then, suddenly, Katt came in to do his cameo, and he just brought this amazing energy to the set that was a breath of fresh air.
Onda: The troubles of ex-Disney child stars are well documented, but you and the other kids from “High School Musical” have managed to find success without controversy. What do you attribute that to?
Tisdale: I can’t speak for everybody. I just think, for me, I’ve just been someone who is very thankful for my fans and I wanna grow with them and not run away from them. So, through my transition I’ve definitely looked at material based on how it would affect my fans. But at this point, I’ve also come to the conclusion that I just don’t wanna stay in my comfort zone, I wanna kind of push myself out of my comfort zone. And I think they’re ready for that. I feel like they’re all in college now, and they’re of age. It’s been a couple years. I guess just making good choices.
Onda: Which part of this movie pushed you out of your comfort zone?
Tisdale: There’s so many things. I had to have sex with a lot of different objects in one scene. [laughs] At that point – it was in the reshoots and so I had done it before, so I was like, “Ok, this is no big deal” – but when I first did it, I was like, “Oh my god.” All the camera men are there, everybody’s watching me and I am, like… you know… with a plant. It’s just craziness.
“Scary Movie 5” is now available with XFINITY On Demand. Click here to start the process of ordering at home.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.