Freddie Prinze Jr. has recalled being “miserable” on the shoot of 1997 slasher hit I Know What You Did Last Summer, saying he “almost quit the movie” and “was just going to quit the business.”
This was Prinze Jr’s first major Hollywood film and launched his career, but he says he clashed with the director, Jim Gillespie. Appearing in a video interview with TooFab to promote his new podcast That Was Pretty Scary, Prinze Jr said, “There was no passive aggressiveness — which I hate — (the director) was very direct in the fact that, ‘I don’t want you in this movie,’ So when that’s your first job and you hear those words, it just wrecks you, man. It just wrecks you.”
He added, “It was very difficult waking up in the morning – or in the afternoon, because we shot a lot of nights – and go to work with the right attitude.”
On his podcast, Prinze Jr called the movie “a struggle every day” and said he almost quit following a mishap that allegedly happened while filming a scene on a motorboat which he refers to as a “near death experience.”
He told TooFab, ”I almost caught a flight and went home. I was just done. I had enough. They had broken a ton of union stuff that they shouldn’t have done, like union rules and all kinds of things. I packed my bags that night. I was gonna just quit the business.”
A producer encouraged him to stick it out and Prinze Jr opted to stay, not leaving costars Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar “on the wire.”
Ultimately, he told TooFab, “In hindsight, I’m not upset. In hindsight, the movie launched my whole career… I wouldn’t have my wife (Gellar), I wouldn’t have all the other movies that I’ve done… I’m here because of that struggle and because of that pain.”
In 2017, Gillespie appeared to have a different recollection when discussing the production for the film’s 20th anniversary, telling Digital Spy he had advocated for Prinze Jr. “Nobody wanted Freddie; they thought he was too soft, he wasn’t muscular enough, so Freddie probably screen-tested four or five times. He got to the point where he was saying, ‘I’m done,’ and I really had to plead with him to stick with it because I wanted him. I thought he was going to be great with it.”
Deadline reported in February that an I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel is in early development at Sony with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson directing and Jennifer Love Hewitt and Prinze Jr in talks to reprise their roles.
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