Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jon Lee Brody have long collaborated on the YouTube channel @GeggHead, a gaming coverage platform they founded with Clare Grant that covers a lot of horror titles including Mixtape Massacre, Horrified: American Monsters and more. And today the actor and filmmaker are launching a new podcast called That Was Pretty Scary, where every week they'll dive deep into a different horror film.
In the first episode, they cover the movie that launched Prinze Jr. into superstardom: Jim Gillespie's 1997 teen slasher I Know What You Did Last Summer, which Prinze Jr. had never seen before! The actor tells us,
"When Jon and I watched I Know What You Did Last Summer for the podcast, it was the first time I'd ever seen it. Sarah [Michelle Gellar] actually ended up watching it with us, too. It brought back some memories that I was able to share on our first episode. Some of the stories you'll hear are ones that I'm telling for the very first time."
I Know What You Did Last Summer, based on Lois Duncan's YA novel, was famously rushed into production after screenwriter Kevin Williamson's runaway success on Scream, and though the writer was busy working on Scream 2, which came out just two months after IKWYDLS, he was able to join production of the latter for the first week. In the episode, Prinze Jr. talks about the meaningful advice he got from Williamson.
"He said, 'Everyone processes a horrible event like this [the hit-and-run and ensuing chaos of the film] differently. And I would love for each of you to process it differently, and I tried to put these things in the script for you, just so you have thoughts in your head.' And he gave everyone different things" – so Prinze Jr.'s "thing" was guilt; Sarah Michelle Gellar's was fear; Ryan Phillippe's was anger; Jennifer Love Hewitt's was penitence. "And I can't speak for the other actors, but I definitely took that to heart. I was like, 'Oh my god. That's the greatest note ever. That's legit going to apply to 90% of my dialogue in the script. If everything else fails, I can just lean on that."
Prinze Jr. goes on to explain that the motivation Williamson wrote for each character helped distinguish all of those hero ensemble shots – including the legendary crane shot of Jennifer Love Hewitt's Julie, flanked by her friends, screaming at the sky, "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!" – "Because I really believe we were all doing something different" in the scenes.
We learn in the episode that Gillespie did not want Prinze Jr. in the role of Ray Bronson – the director was gunning for Clueless' Jeremy Sisto instead – and made sure Prinze Jr. knew it "every single day." The director made the experience pretty miserable for the actor, who still acknowledges that the film changed his life, and introduced him to his "best friend" and wife (Gellar).
There's so much more behind-the-scenes scoop in the episode: which other actors read for the film, the fact that Prinze Jr. first auditioned for Scream and was invited to audition (five times!) for IKWYDLS based on the strength of his Scream try-out and, most notably, the absolutely harrowing stunt during which Prinze Jr. "almost died" on set. Listen to the first episode of That Was Pretty Scary HERE!
And there's loads more to come, too. Brody tells us, "This isn't just a rewatch and discuss podcast. We also talk about the techniques horror filmmakers use to give listeners a peek behind the curtain. We give a sense of where the world and the entertainment industry were when the movie in discussion came out. I always feel it's important to understand what was going on when a certain movie was made in addition to viewing it through the lens of today. It's a pretty immersive experience, and you get to know Freddie and myself a bit more, as well."
Brody continues, "Horror movies have been a staple of my life since childhood. Whether it was studio classics like Jaws or The Exorcist or b-movie classics like Chopping Mall or The Stuff (or the lesser-known cult classic Fatal Games), I've always had a love for horror as a fan and, as a filmmaker, I always have an admiration of the craftsmanship involved in making horror movies. Being able to talk about it in podcast form with one of my best friends just adds to that love."
Prinze Jr. adds, "I've loved horror movies ever since I visited Universal Studios with my mom in 1984. I remember being completely enthralled by the studio tour and seeing the Universal Monsters up close. Since then my love for horror has run deep. My career brought me full circle with that very love when I filmed I Know What You Did Last Summer, and our podcast has been a great opportunity to not only revisit the horror movies I loved growing up, but also revisit memories of where I was when I first watched them."
That Was Pretty Scary is presented by Wondery and Morbid, and it's available on all podcast networks, though Wondery+ subscribers can listen to each episode a week early.