In the third installment of an exclusive MTV News column, director Eli Roth discusses the conclusion of shooting his upcoming “Hostel: Part II” as well as his role in “Grindhouse.”
In Prague we finished filming with Jay Hernandez and Jordan Ladd. We had to wait because of Jay’s availability with his TV show (“Six Degrees”), but it was well worth the wait. I love working with Jay, and I was really happy to get to work with Jordan again. Jordan was the first person I cast in “Cabin Fever,” and we’ve been close friends ever since. We all had a great time. I also got to direct a great European actor named Luc Merenda, who starred in some awesome 1970s Italian genre films. I’ve always been a huge fan of his, but he’s been retired from acting for 15 years and now runs a highly successful antique business. I tracked him down in Paris and asked him to play a part and he said he’d come out of retirement to do it. It was a great thrill for me, and it was really fun for the other actors as well.
After we wrapped I jumped right into shooting my trailer for “Grindhouse,” which I’m not allowed to talk about under penalty of death, but it’s one of the most ridiculous, violent, fun things I’ve ever shot. That you’ll be able to see when “Grindhouse” opens April 6, along with my acting debut, assuming I haven’t got completely hacked out. Although Quentin did tell me that one of my dialogue scenes made it onto the soundtrack, so hopefully that’s a good sign I’m still in there.
Jay Hernandez and Jordan Ladd changed their flights so they could stay an extra day to be in the “Grindhouse” trailer, and we had a really fun time filming. It felt like 7th grade, when I’d shoot movies in my basement with my brothers and my friends, just having fun with the camera and doing whatever we wanted. And thanks to global warming, Prague was really nice this fall, so we were able to shoot our exterior scenes without a problem.
I’m always depressed when the shoot ends. It’s so much adrenaline every day for so long that when it’s over you realize you’ve become addicted to it. During shooting you’re up every day before 5 a.m., and you don’t stop until you pass out at 11 at night. You can’t let up for a second or you fall behind in your shooting schedule, but somehow, after a few days of shooting, your body snaps into it. And then suddenly, after a few months, you come to a screeching halt and go into the editing room, where it’s you, your editor and your footage.
I am very lucky to be working with one of the best editors in the business, George Folsey Jr. George cut such classics as “Animal House,” “The Kentucky Fried Movie” and “The Blues Brothers,” and produced such classics as “Trading Places” and “An American Werewolf in London.” George’s son Ryan edited “Cabin Fever,” and George edited “Hostel.” We have a great time working together, which is key, since we’re spending about 12 hours a day in a small dark room with just the two of us. But it is strange going from 200 mph every day with questions being fired at you nonstop from all departments, to just sitting in an editing room looking at everything you shot. I have this nervous, uneasy feeling in my stomach that does not go away until the movie’s completely cut, so like a compulsive addict I have to spend every day and night in the editing room. But my insane editing neurosis is a whole other blog.
Check back with Movies.MTV.com next Monday for another installment of Eli Roth’s exclusive “Hostel: Part II” column.
In the meantime, scope out these past Roth columns:
Check out everything we’ve got on “Hostel: Part II.”
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