Horror movie fans were so hyped about the 2017 re-make of IT that it prompted a sequel, IT: Chapter Two. One of its stars Jeremy Ray Taylor is set to reprise his role in the upcoming film, which is said to be even scarier, and possibly even bloodier, than the first. But before that sequel drops in late 2019, Jeremy can be seen as Sonny in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.
I was fortunate enough to get the chance to talk with him recently about the upcoming film, his role in Goosebumps 2 and how he’d like to die in a horror movie. I mean, wouldn’t it be fun to choose your own death for once? Keep reading to see what he had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you got into acting originally.
I was discovered in Nashville, TN by The Avenue Agency. They saw something in me that I didn’t even see in myself at the time.
Was there a specific person or experience that you would credit with helping you decide that acting is something you wanted to pursue professionally?
My best friends have a band called Chasing daVinci. They were with me when I was discovered and have always encouraged me to follow my dreams.
What was it like to work on the movie, IT? Did you feel any pressure or stress about it due to the success of the original mini-series?
It was an amazing experience! And yes! We were super intimidated because the original had such a huge following. The fans weren’t sure about it until that first trailer dropped. Then we knew we had a hit on our hands!
The re-make of IT was one of the most talked about movies in a long time. The sequel is reportedly going to be better than the first. What can you tell us about the sequel?
IT: Chapter Two is going to be an amazing ride. The adult characters are amazing and it is going to be everything the first movie was and much, much more. Our director, Andy Muschietti, is a visionary and warns that you just might need your adult diapers to watch this one.
Let’s talk about Goosebumps 2! What was your audition process like for the movie?
The audition process was crazy! I think I auditioned for every role before landing the role of Sonny. I made several tapes and even flew to LA for a screen test while auditioning for multiple characters.
Had you read the Goosebumps books series before you booked the role? If not, did you turn to those as source material after?
Being the youngest of 6, the Goosebumps franchise has always been part of our family. Since this movie wasn’t based on a current book, I used the direction of the director, Ari Sandel, and the previous movie as my source for developing my character.
For those who haven’t seen the movie yet, tell us a bit about your character, Sonny, and how he fits into the story.
Sonny is a science nerd who loves all things Tesla. He lives with his mom and sister, who are annoyed by his science projects. While hanging out with his best friend Sam, they unknowingly bring Slappy, a Goosebumps character, to life. Wanting a family of his own, Slappy brings Halloween to life and it is up to the boys and his sister to stop it.
Would you say Sonny is more similar or different to the person that Jeremy is and why?
I think Sonny and I are much the same. We both love science and I have a best friend like Sam. I’ve never been bullied in real life, like my character, and I can’t imagine how that must feel. But otherwise, we are pretty much the same.
I have to ask about the iconic gummy bear scene. What was it like filming that fight, seeing as you’re fighting “things” that are put in during post-production?
The gummy bear scene is the best! It was great fun to film and very physical. Fighting things that aren’t there is hard, but the crew made is “easy” by throwing balls and shooting nerf guns at us to keep us moving. I also had to put a fishbowl over my head to film part of the scene.
Can you even look at gummy bears the same way after that scene?
Gummy bears will forever have a new meaning in my life! Not only did we eat our weight in gummy bears while filming, having them attack us makes you really consider ever eating them again. It was lots of fun.
Let’s end this with some fun questions. If you could pick one way to die in a horror film, what would you pick and why?
If I could pick one way to die, it would have to be in a smart way. I don’t want to hear a noise and then say “What’s that?” and then go investigate and die. I want to smartly be leaving the house that the bad thing is in and then be killed in the process of greatness.
Seeing as this is a Halloween movie, what’s your favorite part of Halloween?
I think my favorite part has changed the past 2 years actually. Of course, when I was young I thought the trick-or-treating was the best, but now I’m getting into more of the scary stuff. Scary movies, pranks and all of that stuff.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner-nerd. What is something you nerd out about?