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6 Degrees Entertainment

Sean Bean & Sophia Bush  ('The Hitcher') Sean Bean & Sophia Bush ('The Hitcher')

'The Highway To Hell Reopens!'

A remake of the classic eighties thriller, the all new 'Hitcher 'casts Britain’s Sean Bean in the title role of a grisly, manic serial killer of sorts trying to do the wrong thing by young lovers Sophia Bush and Zach Knighton.

Sean, how difficult was this character to play for you because we don’t really know anything about him? "It was. There wasn’t a great deal of back history to the guy. Not a lot of information about where he came from which I thought was quite interesting really, because it allowed me the freedom to create what I wanted and to invent as a person. And I always thought that it was somewhat scarier that you don’t know anything about him or where he comes from. I always find that the less you know about people, the less you trust them. I usually like to have something to go on but for this particular movie I would say he was like an angel of death. Wandering the freeways ... that quite appealed to me!"

Sophia, what were the challenges of playing a girl like this and avoiding the cliché’s? "I think that was a big thing for me and something we definitely looked into in a lot of moments in filming, because I don’t want to be that girl running around whining and irritating, but at the same time I don’t want to come out like Lara Croft with guns blazing, because that’s not quite right either. And I think that it’s something that made it great was or greater for me rather was a lot of what Zach and I got to do together. Because we spent weeks just working on the chemistry of our relationship and how Jim and Grace behaved and reacted and the ways we kind of messed with one another and the ways partners in a long standing relationship sort of do."

"So, what we had, I think this gave me some license to go on the emotional roller coaster instead of just being one kind of woman or another was when Grace wasn’t going to make it Jim pulled her up and when Jim wasn’t going to make it, Grace pulled him up. And it was a very symbiotic relationship, so it allowed me to show both sides. And it allowed me to flip the scales from her being kind of happy go lucky to her being stripped down and very animalistic. It let me do that slowly more in a see saw than in one quick flip and I think that’s a more accurate of how people change and how people sort of tap into their strengths."

Sean, how difficult was it stepping into Rutger Hauer’s shoes? "I saw the film when it first came out about 20 years ago and it made a big impression on me. It was a very well constructed film and Rutger Hauer gives a very good performance and I remember being scared by it. And I thought it made an impact, but I really didn’t want that running around my head and cluttering things up when we were making our version of it. So, I think working with Dave and obviously, Zach and Sophie I think we created quite an interesting new version. And I really didn’t have any reservations or concerns about being compared to another actor. I just wanted to stop and scratch and do it my way."

Sophia, as you seem to be in much the same outfits most of the movie, how many different versions were there - and how gross did they get by the end?! "Yeah, it was the same outfit. I wore the same thing every day. It smelled really bad. Yeah, it definitely got to that point. I think they had six sets in all? For continuity sake they had to keep a couple of pairs of all that clothing."

"There were a couple of days when we would be in sequence and we’d be in the same clothes and someone would look at me one day and would be like, ‘You smell.’ And I’m like, ‘I know'," she laughs. "It was interesting, but then again we were covered in dirt, blood and filth so we probably would have smelled anyway. I don’t think anyone noticed, except for us!"

Sophia, how challenging is it to find quality scripts? "I think it’s definitely hard to find films of quality that you want to make and particularly even when this script came it’s like; prior to reading it did I really know it was going to be anything other than a typical movie of a scary genre. And as I was going through it did I realize that there was something special here. Because, not only did that tomboy side of me get to completely freak out and like in my stunt junkie way and do all of these amazing things and watch cars get blown up and watch helicopters fly over our faces and ride around the desert with guns, but there was such a development for this character and a sort of slope for this girl to fall down."

"And I think that’s it of me is choosing something that gives me some work to do and things that I haven’t done before. It was something just really very exciting. And the relationships between our characters is phenomenal and real and something that gets overdone in our age range a lot. And to be working with Sean and it was like, ‘Yeah, I want to make a movie with Sean Bean. Totally scary!’" she laughs. "And it’s so great, because we had a moment in that first sequence, like he says, barely knowing each other and we’re fighting and I’m like, ‘God, this guy is so strong and he has my face in his hand and this is great, this is great.’ And I made some noise that worried him and you looked at me and was like, ‘Are you alright?’ And I was like, ‘OK.’ And you were like, ‘OK!’ And I was like, ‘OK, we’re back in the scene. Beat me up some more'!"

Bean: "But you liked that, didn’t you?", he laughs.

Sophia, what do you think the fascination with girls kicking ass is? "I think what’s great about is that we’ve seen so many great heroes in men and your iconic with “Indiana Jones” and “Dirty Harry”. You’ve got that and we’re at a point where in our sociology we’ve evolved to realize that women can kick as much ass and want to see it. There’s something that’s a little less expected about seeing the girlfriend end up with the shotgun. It’s exciting and it really gives the guys something to root for, but it gives the girls in the audience something to root for too. You no longer have women being dragged to an action movie by their boyfriend. Couples are going together because they’re both really excited about the film and it’s something I enjoy. I really liked that whole end sequence in the movie. We had a good time with that one."

Sophia, how long do you think One Tree Hill will go for? "We never really do and I think it’s hard to say. Depends how long the kids keep watching. How long we keep the teenagers entertained. We’ll see."

Sean, any plans to go back to the Sharpe series? "I don’t know. We did one in India last year called Sharp’s challenge, which was a lot of fun. It would be good to maybe resurrect it one day so long as there is something to talk about. As long as we’re not just going on for the sake of it because it was popular and it was successful. But I would like to think there is life in it as long as it’s meaningful and we are just not repeating what we did already. It’s particularly, obviously a favorite of mine."

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