People often overlook the all-important resiliency of those who appear not to have the determination to achieve what they want in life. Jacob Goodnight, the brutal mass murderer in the 2006 slasher film, ‘See No Evil,’ was driven to commit his heinous crimes from the manipulations of his mother. But the criminal proved his emotional resolve in going after what he truly wants in the horror movie’s new sequel, ‘See No Evil 2,’ which is now available On Demand, Digital HD, Blu-Ray and DVD. WWE wrestler Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs, who reprised the role of the ruthless killer from the original film, also showcased his emotional versatility in the follow-up, which was directed by veteran horror filmmakers, Jen and Sylvia Soska.
‘See No Evil 2,’ which is set later on the same night of the events that occurred in its predecessor, follows morgue attendant Amy (Danielle Harris), who is forced to cancel her birthday plans after the corpses of Jacob’s victims are brought into the morgue. She instead celebrates her birthday with her colleagues, Seth (Kaj-Erik Eriksen) and Holden (Michael Eklund), before the three begin contending with the aftermath of the murderer’s brutal rampage. Since Amy was forced to cancel her plans to instead go to work, her friends, including her overprotective brother, Will (Greyston Holt), and Tamara (Katharine Isabelle), show up at the city morgue hoping to surprise her.
But the shock is on Amy and all of her friends when the ruthless killer unexpectedly rises from his gurney in the sub-basement level of the hospital that houses the morgue. The group’s wild party quickly turns into a terrifying slay-fest as the sadistic mass-murderer resumes his savage rampage with hooks, surgical knives and power saws.
Jacobs generously took the time recently to talk about reprising his role of Jacob Goodnight in ‘See No Evil 2’ during an exclusive phone interview. Among other things, the actor and WWE wrestler discussed how he was drawn to play the villain again in the sequel because he not only enjoyed portraying him in the original film, but also enjoys the directorial style of the Soska sisters; how by the end of ‘See No Evil,’ viewers feel sorry for his character, because it was really his mother who was the villain, and in the follow-up, she’s still the dominant influence on Jacob’s psyche; and how he embraced the fact there were actual fight sequences that were tailored to the physicality he’s involved with in the WWE, as well as the fact that the sequel’s stunt coordinator, Kimani Ray Smith, included him in creating the action sequences.
ShockYa (SY): You reprised your role of killer Jacob Goodnight from ‘See No Evil’ in the film’s new sequel, ‘See No Evil 2.’ Why were you interested in playing Jacob in the follow-up movie, especially since the first film was released eight years ago?
Glenn Jacobs (GJ): Well, initially after making the first ‘See No Evil,’ I thought we would make a sequel. But after a few years went by and the sequel didn’t happen, I thought, well, that’s not going to happen. So I was pretty excited when the opportunity came up, since I had fun making the first movie.
What drew me to the sequel wasn’t necessarily the script; it was more the chance to work with the Soska twins. When they first signed onto the movie, I didn’t know that much about them. But then I did a little research, and I thought, wow, they sound really cool, and they’re definitely up-and-coming directors. then they gave me a copy of (the last feature film they directed) ‘American Mary,’ which really put them on the map. I thought, that’s really good.
Then I met them, and they’re fantastic-they have energetic, bubbly personalities. (laughs) They’re these larger-than-life characters. I told them to keep me in mind when they become big-shot Hollywood directors.
So I don’t think it was seeing the initial script or anything like that; I was drawn to the film because of the opportunity to make another movie. Also, I was drawn to working with all the great people who were involved with the film.
SY: While you reprised your role of Jacob from ‘See No Evil,’ the sequel features a new supporting cast, which includes such actresses as Katharine Isabelle, Danielle Harris and Chelan Simmons. What was your experience of working with the rest of the cast on the follow-up?
GJ: Well, what’s great is that we all got along so well. By the end of the shoot, we all felt like we were friends and family. I was able to work with some really great people, like Danielle, Kaj-Erik, Katharine and Michael. They put together a great cast who had a lot of experience. That was great, because they could carry the movie, so I didn’t have to do a whole lot in that respect.
SY: Since not much information is given on Jacob in the first film, were you interested in offering more insight and details into why and how he became a killer in ‘See No Evil 2?’
GJ: Yes, and that’s what we effectively do in ‘See No Evil 2.’ For me as a performer, that’s the really fun stuff. By the end of ‘See No Evil,’ you feel sorry for Jacob, because it was really his mother who was the villain, not him. He was more of an inanimate object that she used as her weapon and instrument of revenge and destruction. But in ‘See No Evil 2,’ she’s gone, but she’s still the dominant influence on Jacob’s psyche. It reminds me a lot of ‘Psycho,’ in the sense that you have the mother who is the evil villain, even after she’s gone. It’s somewhat like that in ‘See No Evil 2.’
In this film, there are a couple of scenes where we do get to see what’s going on inside Jacob’s mind. What’s going on is that his mother’s still in there, pushing him around, basically.
SY: Were you able to have any rehearsal time with Jen and Sylvia, or your co-stars, to discuss your characters’ backstories and relationships as you were shooting?
GJ: Yes, absolutely. In fact, there are two scenes in the movie that weren’t in the original script that have become my favorite in the movie. The reason they’re in the movie is because Jen and Sylvia wanted to put them in. They’re the scenes that really flush out Jacob, and what’s going on with him. Then I lobbied pretty heavily to get them put in, as well.
It was funny that when these scenes were added, the higher-ups were like, “Man, you got those scenes written pretty quickly.” But Jen and Sylvia had already written them long before then, and were just putting them in. (laughs) In a lot of respects, I think the three of us were of the same mindset when it came to that.
Than, of course, they were also working with veteran actors and people really liked, like Danielle. That’s the wonderful thing about great directors-they’re open for input from the actors. The director may have a vision, but it’s up to the actors to make it come to life and carry it out. So the actors have to be comfortable with that vision. But sometimes the actors will have better ideas, because they’re actually the people making it happen. The thing about a great director is that they have that great security and confidence to say, “Yes, that’s a good idea, let’s do that.”
SY: What was the process of creating the action and stunt sequences for ‘See No Evil 2?’ Did your experience in the WWE influence the physicality you brought to your role of Jacob?
GJ: Yes, it did. One of the things that was great about this movie from other films in the genre was that there were actual fight sequences. There weren’t just scenes of people running away. The action sequences were tailored to me because of what I do in the WWE, as well as my size.
One of the things that was really cool was that the stunt coordinator, Kimani Ray Smith, is a really great guy. He would have the overall vision, but would also ask me, “Is there anything specific you want to do? How can we make this better?” I was really flattered by the fact that an experienced stunt coordinator would be willing to work with me.
A lot of times when I do movies or TV, I sort of gravitate towards the stunt people, because that’s what we do in the WWE a lot. So I definitely think my experience in the WWE certainly helped a lot those scenes.
SY: Besides horror films like the ‘See No Evil,’ WWE Studios has released several action movies, including ‘The Condemned’ and ‘The Marine.’ Are you interested in staring in an action film as well in the future?
GJ: Yes, sure. Acting’s fun, no matter what you get to do. Of course, for a guy like me, it’s probably going to be character acting, with larger-than-life characters in science-fiction, fantasy and horror projects. But it would be fun to do pretty much anything.
SY: The movie primarily shot on location at Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam, British Columbia. What was your experience like filming in the hospital? Do you enjoy shooting on location, and did that experience influence the way you approached your role of Jacob?
GJ: It certainly got me in the mood. (laughs) Riverview’s pretty famous for being haunted, and everyone on the crew who had worked there before had a story about ghosts. Things would happen, like equipment would suddenly stop working, and that sort of stuff.
There’s a maze of tunnels underneath the buildings of Riverview, so the rest of the cast and I went down there. We were all running around, taking pictures, and hoping that we would see something. I was looking at my camera, checking to see if there were any orbs or anything like that. So that was a lot of fun. Overall, the atmosphere was creepy, because of the place we were in. But when you’re there alone for a little while, it gets a little creepy.
SY: After seeing how Jen and Sylvia approached directing ‘See No Evil 2,’ are you interested in trying helming yourself in the future?
GJ: I know nothing about directing. But we made a deal; I’m going to show Jen and Sylvia wrestling moves, and they’re going to help me if I ever want to direct. We did start that, and I showed them a couple of moves on set. (laughs)
I’ve been fortunate when I’ve done movies and television to have worked with very competent people who have helped me out a lot. But whatever my role may be in the future, it will probably be in front of the camera, not behind it.
SY: Speaking of the fact that you’ve also acted on TV, are you interested in pursuing more television acting in the future?
GJ: Yes, it would. I would really like to do some episodic TV shows, because those are such high quality now. You have series like ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ ‘True Blood’ and ‘Hannibal,’ and that’s what I’d particularly interested in doing. There used to be such a different between TV and movies, but now, some of these episodic television shows have gotten so good, particularly since they have really memorable characters. So I think that would be a blast to do.
SY: ‘See No Evil 2’ received a Video On Demand and Digital HD release a few days before it was available on Blu-ray and DVD. Are you personally a fan of watching movies On Demand?
GJ: Yes, particularly since the whole movie industry has changed. People ask me this about ‘See No Evil 2,’ since we didn’t get a theatrical release, like we did for the first film. Of course you want everything to be on the big screen. But nevertheless, On Demand is where everything’s going, because of the convenience. But some of the stuff that’s being released on Netflix now is really great. But I think whatever delivery platform it is, it doesn’t really matter; it depends on the quality of the product.
Watch Shockya’s exclusive clip from ‘See No Evil 2’ here.
Written by: Karen Benardello