Zachary Knighton = Lucky Man
Sean Bean may have some big shoes to fill taking over Rutger Hauer's role in The Hitcher, but C. Thomas Howell is just as important to some people. Zachary Knighton got his first taste of celebrity stalkers when a fan found him on location in Austin.
Interview: Zachary Knighton on The Hitcher
"I did have a guy call me at the Four Seasons in Austin and tell me how I should play Jim Hallsy," said Knighton. "That was pretty interesting. His main point was to make sure that I did the thing in the sand where C. Thomas picks up all the sand and rubs it in his hair. The guy said it was one of the best parts of the movie for him and just to make sure I could squeeze that into the movie."
Luckily, Knighton was quite knowledgeable of the C. Thomas Howell ouvre. "I’m a big horror film fan, like old, old school horror films. The Hitcher is one of my favorite movies actually, the original. So when I got the audition I was really happy. And then when I got the job I was nervous because I was nervous about doing it justice. Everybody, including myself, you never know when you’re getting into a job, what the directors are going to be like, what the producers are going to be like. I’m one of those guys that when they were doing Texas Chainsaw, I was mad about it until I saw it."
To answer the Austin fan and any others, Knighton is bringing his own take to Jim Hallsy. "This Jim is pretty different from C. Thomas. He’s a local kid, kind of a guy’s guy and he’s not transporting a vehicle across country. It really is more the spirit of the first film that we try to capture a little bit of in this one."
Zachary Knighton in The Hitcher
This Hitcher has much more action with car chases, crashes, running and fighting. Knighton was up to the task. "I just tried to stay physical. I’m a big surfer, so in Venice I surf all the time. Obviously I haven’t been able to do that out [in Texas] but I’m trying to stay active, working out a lot. Especially like stuff for if I’m in a harness or stuff like that, you get to stretch. It’s just being kind of ready but I don’t want to be too prepared because you want to experience the uncomfortableness of certain things, like this dog scene today. I wasn’t prepared for how fast they were going to come tearing around the corner. That kind of stuff adds to the performance I think."
The driving, on the other hand, was left to the pros. "They won’t let me do too much cool stuff besides a go kart race [at lunch]. But yeah, we don’t get to drive too fast. That’s what they have all the stunt guys for. We have this guy, Cory Eubanks, who’s one of the best drivers in the business and he’s been doing some car work, some 360s, jumping off cliffs and what not. I wish I could do that stuff. That guy’s awesome. Maybe one day."
The Hitcher opens to theatres on January 19th, 2007.
For the trailer, poster, more interviews, movie stills and more movie info, go to The Hitcher Movie
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