Sunday, July 26, 2009
Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson find the joy in their nightmare world.
SAN DIEGO — If zombies rose up from their graves tomorrow, they'd want to eat our brains. Every second of our remaining lives would be a living nightmare, sneaking and hiding and running away from the undead. The world, as we know it, would become a living hell.
Or would it? That's the provocative, fun-loving central question behind "Zombieland," a buzz-heavy film out October 9 that finds a small group of people embracing their inner monster-hunters when they find themselves in a world full of limping, drooling flesh-eaters. As part of our ongoing Fall Preview week, we recently caught up with the film's stars to ask them a question we've all pondered at one time or another: If you had to kill a zombie, what would be your weapon of choice?
"I have a pretty cool pump shotgun [in the film] that I liked a lot," grinned "House Bunny" star Emma Stone, who plays Wichita, one of the four survivors — who also include Little Rock, Tallahassee and Columbus — who call themselves after their hometowns so they won't grow close enough to be unable to kill each other in case of infection. "I did [train with a real gun]. I had to go to a gun range. We got to pick the weapon from there. I was originally supposed to have a genuine, old-school shotgun. Then I tried a handgun, a shotgun and a rifle, but when I got this pump shotgun in my hand, I was like, 'This is it. This is it!' It was pretty cool."
"The movie takes place in this post-apocalyptic world called Zombieland," explained "The Squid and the Whale" star Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Columbus. "And it tells the story of these four individuals who join together despite different circumstances to survive in this world. I'm obsessed with survival, and I have a list of 47 rules for how to survive in a world of zombies."
Forget about weapons — Eisenberg's list might actually be the most valuable asset in a zombie uprising. "Pre-Zombieland, [my character] has obsessive-compulsive disorder," the actor explained. "Post-Zombieland, he uses that to his advantage. ... The list is comically boring. Like, Ziploc bags, carry a suitcase with wheels on the bottom instead of a duffel bag so that you can run faster while being chased by a zombie. You want to limber up, to make sure you've stretched; do a lot of cardio. Always know your way out; don't be a hero."
"It is supposed to be a comedy," reasoned Woody Harrelson, who has likely one of the fall's breakout characters: a banjo-toting, homicidal, loner madman who seems to be having the most fun in this world of mayhem and murder. And what's his weapon of choice? "I like chain saws," he said, flashing a wicked grin. "I get to wield two at the same time."
"It's hilarious. I think it might be the funniest movie that has ever been made," director Ruben Fleischer deadpanned. "These are the survivors in a zombie-filled, barren landscape. And now they have to kill zombies, get Twinkies, meet some girls and travel across the country."