Freddie Prinze Jr says I know What You Did Last Summer director left him ‘psychotic notes’ on film set
Freddie Prinze Jr had such a hard time shooting I Know What You Did Last Summer that he almost quit the film.
The Scooby Doo actor made his big screen debut in the 1997 slasher film, which was directed by Jim Gillespie.
It was Gillespie’s second film and, according to Prinze Jr, he treated him terribly as he wanted Jeremy Sisto to play his role.
“I’ll give the man this – I think his name is Jim – he made no bones about it,” Prinze Jr said on horror podcast That Was Pretty Scary.
“There was no passive aggressiveness, which I hate – he was very direct in: ‘I don’t want you in this movie.’ So when that’s your first job and you hear those words, it just wrecks you, man.”
Prinze Jr claims Gillespie left him “psychotic notes”, one of which said: “Don’t leave your mouth open as you look stupid when you do that.”
“That was the exact note, word for word,” Prinze Jr continued. “I’ll never forget it. And I’m like, I’m either gonna break down or I have to beat this guy’s a**. Like those were the only two options in my head.”
The actor recalls his co-star Ryan Phillippe saying: “Screw that guy.” But he found the experience so difficult that he almost quit.
“It was a struggle to finish work every day,” he said. “I was in pain every single day. However, it prepared me for this business in a way. I’m forever grateful to Jim for being such an a**ole because I’ve never met one like that since. No other director crossing those lines would be OK.”
Scottish director Gillespie, whose debut film was the 1995 thriller Joyride, remembers the situation differently. In 2017, the actor told Digital Spy it was him who supported Prinze Jr’s casting in the film.
“Nobody wanted Freddie,” he said, adding: “They thought he was too soft, he wasn’t muscular enough, so Freddie probably screen-tested four or five times. He got to the point where he was saying, ‘I’m done’, and I really had to plead with him to stick with it because I wanted him.
“I thought he was going to be great with it. He went to the gym and worked out, changed his diet and his hair cut. I stuck to my guns and eventually they went, ‘Yes.’”
The Independent has contacted Gillespie’s representative for comment.