Exclusive Interview: Dave Sheridan on “A HAUNTED HOUSE 2”Features/Interviews,Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there’s no denying the popularity of the many spoof franchises that the Wayans Brothers have created over the years. From the smash success of the first SCARY MOVIE to their recent microbudget hit, A HAUNTED HOUSE, the Wayans have combined their unique sense of crude humor with an awareness of contemporary horror hits, bringing in audiences by the handful. Among these spoofs, there are few actors who’ve appeared as regularly as Dave Sheridan, who broke out as the scene-stealing character of ‘Doofy’ in the original SCARY MOVIE and teamed with the Wayans again as ‘Bob’ in A HAUNTED HOUSE. Sheridan returns once more for A HAUNTED HOUSE 2, in theaters April 18th from Open Road films, and this time around he puts a spin on a recognizable contemporary horror figure. “I play a spin on Bughuul from SINISTER [here called Agouhl], but he’s the Wile E. Coyote of demonic killers because everything backfires on me,” says Sheridan. “For example, I try to burn the family in their car and I light myself on fire on accident. It’s a really funny part.”
Sheridan, a long time lover of horror who genre fans would remember from THE DEVIL’S REJECTS, has proven himself a proficient addition for these spoofs, especially considering the physicality of the roles from his A HAUNTED HOUSE films. And from the sounds of it, Sheridan intends to keep his foot in the world of horror spoofs, aiming to return once more should A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 be a hit like its predecessor.
“They did tell me that they’re definitely interested in a third one and since I’ve tested well, there shouldn’t be any problem with me coming back for another one,” he says. “The only problem is in this one, I’m wearing a mask, so I’m at the mercy of the kindness and the love of the Wayans Brothers, who keep bringing me back and letting me do my thing. I’m very grateful and humbled by that.”
Sheridan, who met with the Wayans at the request of the Weinsteins on the first SCARY MOVIE, has been game for anything thrown his way, often at his characters’ expense. Though Sheridan loves working with the Wayans, he’s also glad that he could change up his performance for A HAUNTED HOUSE 2, hoping that his appearances in these films never become repetitious.
“It was refreshing [not to reprise Bob] because that role was limiting what I could do. Even though you don’t see my face in this one, it’s a fun role to play, and now I’ve crossed a new bridge of appearing in a sequel as a different character. So if I’m to appear in A HAUNTED HOUSE 3, the natural progression would be to appear as yet another character. It could become a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ type of thing where I’ll be in every A HAUNTED HOUSE movie and you just have to find me.”
By changing his visage this time around, Sheridan and company also offered a chance to riff on Bughuul and add a new dimension to the creepy modern monster. In fact, the opportunity even allowed him to bring his own unique personality to the character, playing him closer to Buster Keaton than the family-killing specter of SINISTER.
“I watched the pertinent clips of SINISTER, because they were pretty clear on how we were going to be spoofing them,” Sheridan says. “But the one difference is that Bughuul doesn’t talk in those movies, and he doesn’t even have a mouth. My version doesn’t have a mouth, but he does talk because it’s a comedy and you have to make sure you’re maximizing the funny, which comes with the personality of the demon. So the juxtaposition is that Bughuul is so serious when he’s preparing to kill these people but when he screws up, he becomes this completely different character. So the voice helps sell the comedy of it all, but at the same time, for me, having a voice is important.”
Hopefully, the comedy on the screen in A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 will reflect the comedy behind the scenes as well; a natural result of gathering funny people skilled at improvisation. Yet it was Sheridan who may have had the last laugh among the cast of A HAUNTED HOUSE 2, using his heavy prosthetic make-up for a bit of wicked mischief that he’ll never forget.
“The funny thing was that the make-up job to play Bughuul took about two hours,” Sheridan explains. “The prosthetic that would go over my face was the first thing that went on, and since no one was in the make-up trailers, the cast didn’t know who I was. So on the call sheet, instead of putting ‘Dave Sheridan’, we put ‘James Franco’, so Jaime Pressly and all of the actors thought that James Franco decided to play this character and was just really getting into character. James Franco would make a weird, artsy choice like that, so there was this mysterious believability to it. So I didn’t have much interaction on set, but ‘James Franco’ had a ball with everyone.”
A HAUNTED HOUSE 2, starring Dave Sheridan, Marlon Wayans, Jamie Pressly and Gabriel Iglesias, hits theaters April 18th from Open Road Films.