It’s been a busy old week for James Buckley. Not only has he been on the promo trail for the home release of The Inbetweeners 2 (you might’ve seen a certain video go viral…) but he’s got his own film out in cinemas too; ‘The Pyramid’. If you’re not in the mood for something Christmassy at the pictures then this might be worth checking out. What definitely is worth checking out (and you’re in the right place for it) is our interview with the man himself, which we got to do right after his Twitter Takeover on Monday. Enjoy…
What makes ‘The Pyramid’ stand out, for you as an actor and for fans of horror movies?
I think for fans of horror movies, I think a good horror doesn’t particularly stand out. There are things in horror that have to happen and this film does those, and it will make you jump. That’s what I look for in a horror, and I’m a massive fan of horror films and I’m the easiest person to frighten, I’m so jumpy and flinchy. Going to the cinema to see a horror film is the best, you’ve got the big screen, in the dark, those big speakers all around you and this film is made to be seen in the cinema. So, what stands out for me is I get people offering me comedies all the time and somebody thought it would be quite cool to put me in a horror so that was great for me.
What was it like making a horror film? Is it scary on set?
Well I’m not a good enough actor to turn it on, yknow? You have to work yourself up and get yourself into a state. I have to convince myself, as far as my brain’s concerned I am trapped in a pyramind. There was one time where we’re crawling through a really tight tunnel and I did get worked up, it was really dusty with all the sand and I couldn’t breathe. So they wheeled out this oxygen tank and I just had some pure oxygen. It was amazing! It was well good.
When did you start watching horror films, and which ones did you like when you were younger?
It was my wife that got me into them because she loves horror films and its become a tradition; a past time of ours when they are behaving and they’ve gone to bed by themselves and we’ve got some time to ourselves. We’ll stick a horror film on, and we must have watched every single one, we go through them all. The first horror film I watched when I was four years old, my Dad was watching ‘American Werewolf in London’, he let me sit there and watch it. I had nightmares, literally like for years. My Mum went mental “how irresponsible!”, I was freaking out and my Dad’s like “It’s just tomato sauce”. But that’s terrible! I wouldn’t let me kids watch that film at that age!
Do you feel as a parent now, you shouldn’t let your kid watch certain films even if you watched them yourself when you were younger?
Personally I can only go on “every child’s different” but I was watching in secondary school, that’s when you start watching. Even though there’s X-rated or 18 or whatever, everyone watches ‘Carrie’ when they’re 12 years old with their pals. It didn’t affect me, I didn’t have any problems but it could be traumatic to kids of that of age. So the answer to that question is I don’t know!
So you’re quite a chilled out parent?
Oh I’m not a strict parent by any means whatsoever. My kids will do whatever they want because they’ve got no respect for me at all, and I don’t know how to get any off them at all.
Have they seen any of your stuff like ‘The Inbetweeners’?
Nah, they haven’t at all. One, they’re not interested because the youngest one is like, one. And two, the other ones only wants to watch ‘SpongeBob’ and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’. But I wouldn’t let them watch anything I’ve done, that’s for sure.
So you’re obviously a massive fan of horror films, what are your favourites?
Personally, the first ‘Paranormal Activity’ was a game changer. It was so scary, so simple. Then of course the first ‘Blair Witch’, what was that… 97-98? That was when we were all starting secondary school and we’d all gone round to our friends to watch it. ‘The Ring’, I really like that one. Really scary. There’s loads. The classics, like ‘The Exorcist’, that’s just freaky. I really like the ‘Insidious’ films as well, I watch a lot of modern horror and I need to go and watch some of the classics. ‘Texas Chainsaw’…
I know this is controversial and I get told off for this all the time, especially as I’m an actor, but I’m not the biggest Hitchcock fan. I just find a lot of his stuff quite… quite boring. I mean ‘The Birds’, they’re just birds! There’s a lot of ’em yeah! But when I watched it I was like “what’s scary about this?! There’s nothing scary about this at all!”. Go to Trafalgar Square with a sandwich in your pocket, you’ll get the same reaction.
If you were in a horror film situation properly, as you and not Fitzie, what would you be like? Would you last longer or die sooner?
Oh god, I’d faint. My body would just shut down. I’d go “I’m not having this” and just faint. I’d be so overwhelmed. If I saw an actual ghost, I’d be so scared and I wouldn’t know you what to do. I’d faint!
And then the birds would come and get you.
And then the birds would come and take the sandwich out my pocket.
What does the future hold for you?
Oh God knows. Specially now ‘The Inbetweeners’ has finished. I don’t know. Could go anywhere, I’ve never had a plan. I’d like to do a good drama, a cop film. I’d love to do action but I’m not built for it. You gotta look like you could beat people up.
Well you did ‘The Expendables 2’ ad. Were you actually there?
I was, yeah! People always ask me “oh was you there with them?”. That’s why I wanted to do it. Stallone is a huge hero of mine, I don’t care what you say. The reason he’s so huge, even today, is that no one can do what he does. Those guys make a certain type of film no one else can do. You’ve had no one, in literally forty years, no one’s come through to carry through. Who else would’ve been Rambo? No one. I love those guys and… you don’t wanna do adverts as an actor, selling out and all, but I couldn’t give a s**t. I was there. I wanted to be in with those guys. And what’s flattering is a lot of people were quite disappointed I wasn’t in the film. I get people saying “I went to see it ’cause I thought you’d be in it”. I could pop up, little comedy character.
It would’ve been a better film.
I think so! They’ve missed a trick there, idiots (laughs).
Best Christmas present you’ve ever had?
I’ve got no idea. This is bad innit? That’s the bad thing about Christmas presents is you forget most of them. Maybe it’s just me, maybe it says a lot about me as a person. I was bought a really nice guitar, actually, when I was in high school. It wasn’t particularly expensive but it was one of the nicest guitars I’ve ever played. It was a Washburn D10 acoustic guitar. It lasted a couple years then I broke it, a bike accident, I knocked it over. I was heartbroken.
What is the best flavour McFlurry?
Don’t know what they do anymore, do they still do Crunchie ’cause that was pretty good.
How excited were you by the Star Wars trailer?
I’ve still not seen it! Yeah, no, I’ve still not seen it. I’m excited because personally, they need to win me back over.
Not a fan of Jar-Jar?
God no! I love the originals, like every boy does. The prequels for me, went to a territory that was too Star Trek and too sort of… the first ones were cool but the next ones go so nerdy. You have to know all about Star Wars. So I’m hoping the next ones will be cool again and all about action.
Is it true you’re not allowed on buses because of ‘bus wankers’?
Who’s said that? Someone’s said I’m banned off buses?! Listen, I’m a movie star, I don’t give a f**k about buses anymore. There’s no irony there because I’ve not been on a bus for years, can you imagine the abuse I’d get?!
Massive thank you to James Buckley for the interview and Twitter Takeover. His new film ‘The Pyramid’, is out in cinemas now.