HOLLYWOOD — Some kids spend their summers rubbing two sticks together at camp, but Frankie Muniz is spending his evading supernatural forces.
The 19-year-old "Malcolm" actor finished shooting "Stay Alive," a low-budget horror flick, in late June in Louisiana (see "Frankie Muniz Trades Child's Play For 'Very Scary' Movie"). "Doing this movie was probably my favorite experience I've ever had filming anything," Muniz said. "The entire cast was so close and every night we'd go out to dinner and just have a good time." It would seem that the actor also got close to someone outside of the cast: Muniz recently became engaged to a New Orleans woman he met while shooting the film, according to People magazine.
The dark thriller tracks a group of New Orleans teens whose lives start mirroring a scary online video game. "Every time one of us dies in the game, we die exactly the same way in real life and there's no way to stop it. It's crazy," the actor explained.
Samaire Armstrong ("The O.C."), Sophia Bush ("One Tree Hill"), Adam Goldberg ("Dazed and Confused") and Jon Foster ("The Door in the Floor") co-star in the film, due out next spring.
Muniz tackles the role of video game geek Swink Sylvania. "This guy could have gone to MIT and had an incredible job that made him millions of dollars, but instead he makes video games his life. He's a very straight-edge kid, and at the end of the movie, after everyone's dying, he's one of the last ones left, so he kind of goes berserk and freaks out."
The cast filmed the project in 20 days, and Muniz says he had no choice but to leave his fears at the trailer door.
"On the first day, the first scene we filmed together was one of the biggest death scenes in the entire movie," the actor said. "It was so weird to just jump in and have to really act. You know, you don't get time to loosen up. But as soon as they said 'Action!' and Samaire started crying and Jon started screaming, you don't even think of what you're doing. You just do it."
Since the flick takes place in a virtual world, the actors had to act out a good portion of their scenes in front of a vacant green screen. "It was weird because a lot of what this movie is was us reacting to scary stuff in the video game before it actually starts coming to life — and of course, we're not really looking at anything," he said.
With his first horror flick in the can, Muniz will begin shooting his seventh, and perhaps final, season of "Malcolm" in mid-July. "I've heard this is our last year, but you never know," he revealed. "If people are still watching and still want more, we'll keep doing it. The only thing is with our show, it's not the kind that can continue on forever, and I think I'd rather have a great end rather than them telling us not to come back because nobody is watching, you know? I want to go out on a really good note."
Muniz hinted at some future projects, but said nothing is set in stone quite yet. "It all depends on if the show is coming back, but hopefully there are a few good things, so we'll see."
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