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News Article

We Chat with Jennifer Carpenter and Co. at the 'Quarantine' Premiere!

October used to be the month for horror movies.  But the box office is now trading quantity for quality, starting with this weekend's Quarantine.  The cinema verite film stars Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) as a journalist out for a ride with the LAFD.  But what starts as a routine call to an apartment building ends with the crew being sealed inside while an unidentified outbreak wreaks havoc.  We caught up with Carpenter and some of her co-star stars, as well as writer-producer Drew Dowdle, at the world premiere of Quarantine, appropriately held at LA's Knott’s Scary Farm.  There were plenty of celebrities walking that blood-red carpet, along with a few undead – and uninvited – guests...



You’re not a fan of horror movies.  What drew you to this one?

I’m sick of going to movies, and two minutes in thinking, “Wow, they stole my money again.”  You won’t have that experience here.  This movie pays off.  I’m really happy with it.

What was your favorite part of doing the movie?

Seeing it when it was over.  It was like running a marathon at work, every single day.  I really took a beating – it was almost abusive.  I hope when the audience sits down, and they take the abuse, they appreciate it.  It really is a great payoff.  It’s a good movie-going experience.

Did it scare you?

Yes!  I’m yelling, “Don’t go in there,” even though I know I go in there, and I know what I find.

I know you're a little scared of horror movies -- are you going to be screaming more than anyone else tonight?

I did last time. I don’t see why I wouldn’t be this time.

How does this compare to your work on Dexter?

On Dexter, I’m kind of living a parallel life.  I get to step into [my character, Deb] every day.  I’m experiencing two lifetimes in one.  I know her really well, and I like her, but she kind of sits beside me.  Stuff like [Quarantine], you know it is going to be over in six weeks, so you just jump right in.  I hope Deb lives a long, long time.

They have a Quarantine maze here at Knott's Scary Farm.  Will you be going through it tonight?

I think I have to.  In heels.  Usually when I go through haunted houses, I close my eyes and hold on to my friend’s hand.

Are you a fan of Halloween?

Yeah, it’s great!  It’s like a nationwide party.  The thing is, I just moved this year.  So I’m thinking, “No one is going to want to climb thirty stairs to get to the candy.”  So I hope I get some trick-or-treaters. 

How do you like having the Quarantine premiere here in a haunted amusement park?

It’s not bad!  It’s an hour drive, but totally worth it.  There are zombies jumping out at you on the carpet.

What is your greatest fear in real life?

The people that I love the most leaving me.


What was the genesis of this script?

We were adapting the Spanish movie.  It was the first time we [my co-writer, director, and brother John Erick Dowdle and I] had ever adapted any kind of source material.  We had an amazing source film to adapt, so that helps.  It’s not some turd from 1930.

Is it easier to adapt material, or write your own?

I would say we prefer to write our own material, in general.  With the adaptation, it’s about finding the balance between the original material and what we want to change, and why we want to change it. 

What is your greatest fear in real life?

Plane crashes and falling from high places.  I have a recurring nightmare where I am on a ledge and it is giving way.



What's your favorite scary movie?

Stephen King’s It

Have you any Halloween plans?

I think I am going trekking in Virginia and North Carolina, trying to get people to vote for Obama.

What is your greatest fear in real life?

Getting eaten by a shark.  When I was a young boy, they cleared the beaches and I was the kid left on the raft, with a shark right by me.  My dad was screaming from the shore.



How was it, working on this movie?

It was my first horror movie – and probably my last.

Did it scare you?

Yeah.  But there was so much artistic merit to this film.  Amazing cinematography.  It was just one of those projects that you want as an actor.

Did it give you nightmares?

No, it just made going home uncomfortable.

What is your greatest fear in real life?

Sarah Palin.

Do you have any plans for Halloween?

I’m going to be John McCain for Halloween, and I’m going out on the campaign trail.  I’m not trick-or-treating -- I’m campaigning.  Tina Fey will be my Sarah Palin. [Laughs.]