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Justin Long on Drag Me to Hell

Published June 1, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Universal Pictures
Drag Me to Hell Drag Me to Hell

Justin Long was a huge Sam Raimi fan. Growing up with the Evil Dead films, he matured along with the filmmaker watching A Simple Plan and The Gift. When Long finally got to costar in Drag Me to Hell, he met Raimi on a professional level.

Justin Long on Drag Me to Hell


“He’s very insightful and he communicates specifically when he needs to,” Long said. “For the most part I think he just kind of trusts. He puts a lot of trust in the actors which is not to say that he doesn’t give specific direction. He does when he feel he needs to, I think. He was an actor. He’s acted before, and while we were writing certainly we would act out certain things and he would slip into this very natural cadence, this very natural delivery that he had. I think he just understands actors and is able to communicate in as less intrusive of a way as possible, which I think for me is key, so I don’t get into my head. I give myself over to a director, so it was the most liberating thing working with him, because I would just trust everything he has to say. I would trust him inherently because I knew his work so well. For me it’s always like a personal thing. It’s just communicating, how do you talk to an actor. I always felt so empowered, and I felt freedom and I felt like I was a part of it.”

Of course, the set of a Sam Raimi horror film is also darkly comical. “Sam is one of the funniest, and like a wicked sense of humor. Like I said to him, we were shooting the ending and we just every once in a while we would just like crack up, like Sam would be like, ‘Okay then, okay buddy…’ and we started laughing. Sam is the most gentle, like greatest dad, like sweetest man alive and he’s also a twisted f*ck. He’s like a sick fu*k. He really is. I mean we would laugh about it. Like again, like a kid, like with this glee. Like, hmm, are we gonna put the GI Joe character in the microwave and watch it melt. Like he had this like twisted, sort of like glee. I loved it though. It was infectious. I was like, ‘Sam, you really gonna do this to the audience? You dark f*ck, you’re a dark f*ck. Sorry I keep cursing. There’s no other word. He’s a twisted f*ck but sweeter than anything.”

Drag Me to HellDrag Me to Hell


Drag Me to HellDrag Me to Hell

Drag Me to HellDrag Me to Hell

Long also lamented that poor Alison Lohman had to get dragged to hell after all. “He would make jokes about how it was such a shame that this had to happen to her, because she was so sweet. Alison’s so sweet and what she brings to it is so much of herself, which is this inherent sweetness and a complete lack of awareness, which is very rare among Hollywood actresses. She’s so unaffected and earnest. She just got a farm in upstate New York. She’s that kind of girl who’s like, ‘I think I might become an organic potato farmer. I don’t know if I want to do this anymore.’ A lot of other actresses say that, and you’re like, ‘Okay, that’s a bit of an act. And really you want to win an Oscar. So let’s cut the sh*t.’ But she is genuinely that girl, and it’s such smart casting, such great casting that Sam would exploit that. The goal is that you should feel for her and not want her to get dragged to hell. If you had some obnoxious actress in there, there’s actors that I can think of where I’m like, ‘I hope they get dragged to hell sooner than later.’”

Drag Me to Hell is out in theaters now.

For the trailer, stills, poster, review and more movie info, go to the Drag Me to Hell Movie Page.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Universal Pictures
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