When you are working opposite Leslie Nielsen, best known for his work in the Naked Gun movies, chances are you won't be able to keep a straight face. However, Sara Paxton, who plays Jill Johnson in 'Superhero Movie', could definitely hold her own. At only 19 years old, Paxton has over a dozen movies to her credit and an even larger number of TV credits under her belt including an Emmy award nomination. Comics2Film had the opportunity to talk to Sara about her role and what it would be like if she had the opportunity to be a super hero.
Comics2Film: Tell me about your role in the movie
Sara Paxton: Well I play Jill Johnson who is like the Mary Jane character. So my part is mostly a spoof of Spider-Man.
C2F: What was it like working with Leslie Nielsen who is infamous for his Naked Gun role?
Sara: He's hilarious. This is my first time working with him and he is really funny. He's like 85 and still moving.
C2F: Are there any on set moments that were particularly funny for you that you can share?
Sara: Yes. There is this one part like the very first day we were filming. We had to film a scene where Leslie was in a hospital bed and he had been attacked. I was visiting Drake's character with him in the hospital and when I got on set Leslie was already in the hospital bed with the blanket over him. Then we wrapped and Leslie asked if we were done and we all said yes. He said cool, rips off the blanket and he's in is his tighty wighties. I did not expect that. He just whipped off his blanket and there he was in his underpants.
C2F: That's brilliant. Obviously you have been acting for quite a long time. I read that you have been acting since you were eight?
Sara: Six actually.
C2F: Wow six. So what prompted you to start acting at such a young age?
Sara: When I was little I was always playing dress up. For fun my cousin and I would model clothes from my aunt's store. One day my mom got a card from this guy who thought I should do acting, but my mom ripped the card up and threw it away. Then I saw my cousin on the front of a newspaper for my aunt's store and I got so jealous and said to my mom where's that card I want to take acting classes to one up her. So I started going to acting classes for fun once a week. A Manager saw me, and they picked me and that was TJ Stein and he's still my Manager to this day.
C2F: Prior to Superhero Movie you were in Sydney White, you were in Sleepover. Can you ever relate to the characters you play?
Sara: I'll take an experience and bring a character from personal experience. Jill Johnson was an entirely new experience. Jill is very naïve and innocent and doesn't realize…she's so gullible and naïve and kind of guileless that she doesn't even realize that she's being sexy or saying something sexy to Drake's character. She's also a bit of an airhead, but she has smart moments. When there is danger she suddenly becomes smart and knows how to fix the situation. I can't say I can relate to Jill because the character is over the top. I am definitely gullible in real life, but not that gullible.
C2F: How was it coming into a film that was mocking such a well-known franchise (Spider-Man)?
Sara: I was excited. To be honest when I was auditioning they didn't let me read the script so when I was auditioning I didn't know what I was auditioning for. When I got the part that's when they gave me the script. So I didn't know what the movie was about. I got the part and then I got the script and thought OOOOH now I get it. I was all for it; I was very excited. I was a big Spider-Man fan and I'm looking forward to the new Batman movie and I saw all of the X- Men movies.
C2F: Are there any comic books or graphic novels you read? You mentioned X-Men?
Sara: When I was younger I was really into comic books. My dad and I would walk to 7-11and he would get me a Twinkie and a comic book. I always wanted to read the girlie ones. I wanted to read Betty and Veronica, Richie Rich. I would always watch all the cartoons based on the comic books like Batman and Spider-Man, which was very much based on the comics. I was already into all that. When we all went to see Spider-Man the movie my friends didn't know what it was going to be about, but I was yes Peter Parker, Mary Jane and I know this and that because my dad used to buy me the comic books.
C2F: So if any comic book you have read could be adapted into a movie, which would it be and which role would you want to play?
Sara: I was such a big Betty and Veronica fan I guess I would want to be Betty. Has that movie already been done?
C2F: I don't think so, so you may have a shot!
Sara: Let's do it. If you're looking for Betty I'm right here.
C2F: We've been talking to a lot about Superhero's so if you could have any super powers what would it be?
Sara: My first thought would be I would like to read minds, but maybe not. I'd want to fly so if I'm stuck on the 101…and also super strength so I could carry my car and fly all at the same time.
C2F: That would be great especially being in Los Angeles.
Sara: Yea exactly that would come in really helpful I think.
C2F: And when does the film open?
Sara: March 28th
Be sure to check out Sara Paxton as Jill Johnson in 'Superhero Movie' when it flies into theaters March 28th.