Dustin Milligan has tried his hand at both horror (Final Destination 3, The Messngers) and thriller (The Butterfly Effect 2), but he's never tackled a project quite life Shark Night 3D before.
In the movie, which opens tomorrow, Dustin plays Nick, a shy pre-med student who turns "reluctant hero" when he joins a group of friends for a weekend on the lake that quickly turns into a nightmare, but don't think of this as your typical horror movie.
"Because [of movies like] Piranha 3D we've seen the campiness, goofiness and silliness on that angle of this type of horror film," Dustin said when I chatted with him earlier this week. "What I think we do with the underwater world in this movie includes that same fun, but then we bring in the tension and suspense building that you might expect from Jaws and the action from Deep Blue Sea and roll it all into one mega shark summer sexy thriller."
Because this movie goes into action/thriller territory, it is something "brand new" to the 26-year-old Canadian, who is most recognizable from his time on the CW's "90210," but it is something he hopes to continue in the future. "I really enjoyed this action. I didn't expect to enjoy it this much. I can definitely say that one of the many roles that I dream of playing would absolutely involve more action."Shark Night 3D involves a great ensemble cast, including Sara Paxton, Chris Zylka, Katharine McPhee, Alyssa Diaz, Chris Carmack, and Joel David Moore. With such a large cast of young actors, one would think there might be some clashing, but that was not the case on this movie set. Dustin told us, "It was beautiful that no ego ever came into play. It was actually really great because everyone did get along really well and everyone did just want to go and make this crazy movie together and have fun and laugh the whole time while we're punching sharks in the face."
Punching a shark in the face. That totally sounds like a fun time...or rather a scary one. While no real sharks were using while filming the movie, the cast did end up getting banged and bruised by the animatronic sharks that "were terrifying, because even though they were controlled by a remote control team, they had real shark teeth in their mouth."
And if battling sharks wasn't terrifying enough, the cast also had to deal with being in their bathing suits for the majority of the flick. "When I first started this movie, I tried to figure out how I could be wearing a t-shirt in a bunch of the scenes as scripted I was not," Dustin shared. "As the action started happening and you're underwater, you appreciate how physical these types of jobs can be and it kind of goes to the back of your mind...you sort of stop thinking about your love handles by week 3." While you will see most of the cast in their bathing suits, there is one you won't see. "The one guy that is in the best shape in the whole movie never takes his shirt off once," Dustin joked. We're guessing he means Chris Carmack. Sorry ladies!
I have a feeling the waters might be a little scarce after the release of this movie, especially since it was shot in 3D. So will the 3D inhibit or enhance the film? According to Dustin, it will make it that much scarier. "Because you're underwater, it really helps you immerse yourself in that environment. You feel a little bit more claustrophobic and then you have these sharks swimming right at you as they would," he told us. "I think it just helps intensify that fear and make it that much more realistic that these sharp toothed, angry, angry hungry killers are coming after you right through the screen." And Dustin is quite excited to see himself in 3D as well.
Next up for Dustin is the release of an indie movie he did called Sisters & Brothers, alongside "Glee" star Cory Monteith, who is a close friend of Dustin's (they went to school and roomed together in Vancouver). The movie, which is completely improvised, will make its debut at the Toronto Film Festival and is a role that is very close to Dustin.
So if you weren't planning on catching Shark Night 3D in theaters, we think you should change your mind. Besides the fact that it features multiple kinds of sharks, according to Dustin, it might just be the perfect date movie. "It's just a fun end of summer movie. Maybe if you bring a girl or boy, you'll get some frightened holding of the hand in the movie theater, leaning up against you kind of action. That sweet stuff." Dustin also recommends it because "more than anything if you just want to go have fun, maybe poop your pants a little bit because your'e so terrified of the sharks coming at you through the screen, then you should go check it out."
Shark Night 3D is in theaters tomorrow, Friday, September 2 and below you can check out three clips from the movie.
Thanks so much Dustin for the interview. Make sure to follow him at twitter.com/DustinWMilligan.
- Lisa Hiser
(Photos: Getty Images)
Clip: Caged In