A chat with Ashley Tisdale and Simon Rex (“Scary Movie 5”)

Ashley Tisdale and Simon Rex have different credits to their comedic resumes, but both seem ideal for the latest incarnation of “Scary Movie.” While Tisdale is the idol of kids, tweens, and more than a few adults with her weekly portrayal of Candace Flynn on the Disney Channel animated series “Phineas and Ferb,” Simon is a veteran of the franchise, having starred in the last two installments. The pair recently sat down with Bullz-Eye to discuss “Scary Movie 5,” the latest chapter of the comedy series, featuring parodies of films like “Mama” and “Paranormal Activity,” as well as non-horror movies like “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Black Swan.”

BULLZ-EYE: When did you guys get to see “Mama,” which is the main plot of the movie?

ASHLEY TISDALE: I saw it opening weekend, just because I wanted to go see the movie.

SIMON REX: Then, we went and saw it together.

ASHLEY TISDALE: I came out of the theaters and texted the producers and said, “We should be spoofing ‘Mama’ because it works so well.” Then, Phil [Beauman] said, “We’re actually going to spoof ‘Mama’.”

BE: How much did the additional “Mama” shooting entail?

ASHLEY TISDALE: A lot. About 60 percent (laughs).

SIMON REX: We shot for about a 10-day reshoot when we got back to L.A.

ASHLEY TISDALE: It was a lot of work with really long days.

SIMON REX: We had to update it. The movies we spoofed were already a year or two old. “Black Swan” wasn’t really a horror movie. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” wasn’t really a horror movie, so it needed some current horror stuff. With “Evil Dead,” which isn’t even out yet, we spoofed the trailer.

BE: Are either of you horror fans?

SIMON REX: I’m more of a fan of the comedy genre or spoofs like this, from Mel Brooks to all of David Zucker’s movies. I am a fan of what we did more than horror movies.

ASHLEY TISDALE: I’ve always been scared of scary movies, because I live by myself. Seeing something and having a big imagination, I’ll think someone is there. It’s funny — this movie has made me like them. Now, I’ll go see “Mama,” because now I’ll see things and think, “That is so spoofable.”

BE: Ashley, when you’re humping the microwave, are you thinking, “This is comedy gold”?

ASHLEY TISDALE: No. (laughs) That was part of the reshoots. I had already humped a potted plant and that was nerve-wracking. There was only one camera guy and they kept it really quiet. When it got to the point with the chair and the microwave, I was like, “Oh, I’ve got this. It’s fine that everybody’s watching.” I do remember the hardwood chair hitting me from behind and I looked from behind like I was all into it. Simon was like, “You’re getting slammed by a chair right now.” And I just started hysterically laughing. It was one of those moments where you never think you’re going to be in that position.

BE: Who was moving the chair?

ASHLEY TISDALE: The prop guy. (laughs) They were saying, “Do it harder.” And I said, “It’s hardwood. It hurts.” (laughs) I wish there was a camera on the prop guy. He was jamming it behind me. It was just so wrong.

SIMON REX: It was funny, though.

BE: Did you feel that you had to outdo what’s been previously done in the “Scary Movie” films?

ASHLEY TISDALE: As a comedian, I like to just go for things and go for the joke. I’m not thinking about what I look like or what expression I’m making. You kind of have to be free as a comedian and not take yourself too seriously. Every single time they’d say, “Oh, he’s going to hit you from behind,” or, “You’re going to land in a toilet,” I’d say, “Ok, cool… just make sure of the water.” (laughs)

BE: Was it ever awkward for you and the prop guy?

ASHLEY TISDALE: I couldn’t look him in the eye. (laughs)

BE: In the closing credits, Erica [Ash] had her fingers in your mouth a lot. How was that day of shooting?

ASHLEY TISDALE: It’s funny, because I had just been through a lot in this production. I had lost my voice for three days, so the whole ending was pretty much ADR. (laughs) I had a sinus infection, so I was like, “Props to you for sticking your finger in my mouth.” There was also a cut scene where Heather Locklear also sticks her finger in my mouth, so I was not a virgin anymore with the finger in the mouth. She was all over the place. It got me when they’d say, “Put your finger in her nose.” Then, they’d say, “Put it back in her mouth.” And I would be like, “Just stop. This is gross.” (laughs) They could just keep going with that stuff.

BE: How was Heather during that scene?

ASHLEY TISDALE: She was saying, “I’m really sorry I have to put my finger in your mouth.” She was really sweet.

BE: Simon, was there ever a time where you had to check your humility at the door?

SIMON REX: No, she had more love scenes with objects and with Erica. All we did was lay in bed next to each other. That was about it. She had more of the erotic kind of stuff going on. My stuff was just falling down a lot, which is what I love doing. It was fun to get into the fight scenes with the housekeeper. Since we got to shoot like “Paranormal Activity,” it was like a silent film in certain parts, where it sped up to look like an old Charlie Chaplain movie. I liked that.

BE: Do you guys remember discovering this style of humor?

SIMON REX: I do. I’m a bit older than her, so I grew up on “Airplane” and “Naked Gun.”

ASHLEY TISDALE: I saw it once.

SIMON REX: As a kid, I grew up on them, so I loved those kind of movies.

BE: Ashley, which fans usually approach you?

ASHLEY TISDALE: I always feel like it’s going to be “High School Musical.” I was at the Kids Choice Awards backstage and Jon Stewart comes up to me. He said, “Every time I hear your voice, I think I’m busted.” I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” I do an animation series called “Phineas and Ferb,” so I get that a lot. It’s so funny, but I have all these comedians that I look up to who love it.

BE: I read you studied ballet for the part, but you don’t dance in the movie. What happened?

ASHLEY TISDALE: Yeah, that got cut. It was a whole dance sequence. We trained for a month and [they] just cut it right out. (laughs) With this type of movie, you just have to roll with it. In the end, we spoofed “Mama” more and cut some of the “Black Swan” stuff.

BE: Did you pick up any of Jessica Chastain’s characteristics in “Mama”?

ASHLEY TISDALE: Yes, and with each movie that we spoofed. I really watched Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” with her hurried actions. The cool part is that it really blends well together. I just felt that how people are in “Paranormal,” like, “What do you hear?” and Natalie Portman felt like something was after her in “Black Swan.” I think it worked all together. With Jessica Chastain, the wig and the whole outfit helped me get into it. I became badass when I put the wig on and I was not really nice to the kids. (laughs) Then, I’d take it off and be super nice. I love kids.

BE: Which movie did you enjoy spoofing the most?

SIMON REX: I’d say “Paranormal Activity.” They were all pretty cool horror movies. I like it when they leave it up to your imagination. For me, playing the monkey trainer in a laboratory, I actually liked “[Rise of the] Planet of the Apes.” I remember watching it and being pleasantly surprised with that movie. I didn’t think it would be as good as it was.

BE: Were there actors in this movie that you regret not sharing a scene with?

SIMON REX: Chris Elliot, who got edited out. I went down at two in the morning to see him work and drove 30 minutes across Atlanta to see him work. To me, he’s just the best. He’s been in one or two of the “Scary Movies,” but I never got to meet him or work with him. So, that was a dream for me, and Molly Shannon, we both just adore. She was just so funny and a really sweet person.

BE: Did you guys lose it a lot during filming, especially with Molly Shannon?

ASHLEY TISDALE: Whenever I think of Molly Shannon, I just laugh so hard. It was definitely a reoccurring problem. I tried not to. A good actress doesn’t break character and I was trying not to break character, but she’s just so funny. She’s just hilarious to be with.

SIMON REX: And Katt Williams had you busting up.

ASHLEY TISDALE: If I’m laughing and they’ll say to pick it up and not cut, I’ll start laughing again and keep laughing. It’s kind of shit after that. It’s not going to go anywhere good. That was the hardest part of doing this movie.

BE: What’s your favorite comedy film?

ASHLEY TISDALE: I love “Bridesmaids.” It’s so funny.

SIMON REX: There are so many. There’s a movie called “American Movie,” which I feel is so brilliant, because it was so real. It’s so bizarre. I like darker comedies.

BE: Would you both be up to doing “Scary Movie 6”?


SIMON REX: Yes, they’re fun to make and they’re always going to be making horror movies.

BE: What do you guys have coming up?

ASHLEY TISDALE: I’m just reading scripts right now and I have my production company. I just finished producing a movie for the Disney Channel.

BE: Are you doing “Left Behind” with Nicolas Cage?

ASHLEY TISDALE: Yes, I don’t know when. I can’t wait. It’s completely different from this movie. I think it’s a really cool book series.

BE: Will you guys be approaching it more as an action blockbuster and less with the religious aspects?

ASHLEY TISDALE: Yes, that’s what they’re saying.

SIMON REX: I’m doing a spoof of telenovelas called “El Gringo Loco” and she’s in an episode with me. It’s on my YouTube page at youtube.com/dirtnasty. I have a music album coming out. I have a character called Dirt Nasty that’s a very dirty rapper.

ASHLEY TISDALE: We’re going to do a song together.

SIMON REX: Because she sings really beautifully and I rap really comedic. We’re going to do something together.

ASHLEY TISDALE: Yeah, maybe it’ll be Dirt N Ashley,