Ken Kirzinger has been in tons of major blockbusters doing incredible stunts, but when “Joy Ride 3” comes out, you’ll be able to see him as the iconic presence that is Rusty Nail. ShockYa was happy to talk with Kirzinger about taking on the character and his storied film stunt career. “Joy Ride 3” will be released June 17.
What was it like taking on the iconic character of Rusty Nail?
It was a lot of fun. I guess I’m no stranger to being into other shoes after playing Jason in “Freddy vs. Jason,” so it wasn’t anything new in that way. I was a project that I was really excited about doing. I just thought it could be a lot of fun.
The whole series has been a horror/staple for years. How does this third installment ramp up the horror?
The first one was really a thriller and the second one was still a thriller but with some horror elements elements thrown into it. This one is really horror, all the way. It has thrills, of course, but it’s the most horror of the three. There’s a lot more gore in this one, I think.
I’ve read your IMDB page and saw just how many films you’ve been in as a stuntman, films that have become fan favorites. Do you have a favorite story from your career?
Oh wow [laughs]. I’ve got a lot of favorite stories…The first stunt job I got–how it all fell together is that I wanted to play pro football, so I switched from college basketball to football, and I quickly blew my knee out. I thought I’d look into stunt work because I’d read an article about being a stuntman when I was very young and it turned out my sister was living in LA, so I went to visit my sister in LA and it turned out her next door neighbor was the property master on a TV series called “The Fall Guy,” which was a big action [and] stunt show, and he introduced me to some of the stunt people and they recommended me to some stunt people in Vancouver, so when I went home, I called them, and about a month after I got back from LA…I was working on my first movie, called “Superman III.” The other coincidence is that the plane ticket was $365 and when I got my tax refund, it was exactly $365. So, it was like it was all meant to be. Blowing my knee out wasn’t such a bad thing. It led me to this career. It amazes me how it all fell into place and how I got into the film business.
So blowing out your knee was a blessing in disguise!
Yep, it actually was!
Are you a horror fan? which horror films do you love?
When I was growing up, I was a big horror fan. I would sneak out of bed at night when my parents had gone to bed, turn the volume way down low and watch chiller thriller theater and loved that stuff growing up. The horror movie that really affected me…was ‘The Exorcist.’ I was raised Roman Catholic so [laughs] seeing that was really, really frightening.
For people who are just coming to the Joy Ride series, what would you say to the person who is new to the series? What can they expect?
If you’re going to it expecting a comedy, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you’re going to it expecting to see a horror movie, a genre of movie where you’ve got the small handful of friends going into the woods or into the creepy building and are stalked and killed by some force bigger than themselves, you’re going to enjoy “Joy Ride 3” because it falls into that genre of movie.
If you came upon Rusty Nail yourself, how do you think you’d escape?
You know, I just wouldn’t piss him off [laughs]. We’d get along fine. I think [you’d] actually sit down and have a beer with Rusty Nail. As long as you don’t piss him off.