Fright EXCLUSIVE Interview With THE GREEN INFERNO’s Daryl Sabara!!

514lomHrdcL._SY445_Daryl Sabara has come a long way as an actor since his days as Juni Cortez in the SPY KIDS series. Having tackled the bully role in Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN, a cholo  in the Robert Rodriguez-helmed MACHETE and many other fun roles, he’s now ready to be served up to cannibals with his role in Eli Roth’s Cannibal Film homage, THE GREEN INFERNO (review).  As Lars, a man devoted to helping save the rainforest, he’s thrust into a horrific fate when he and the rest of the survivors of a plane crash are abducted by a cannibalistic tribe.

We thought it would nice to reach out to Daryl, and thanks to fine folks at Universal, we spoke to Sabara about the film, his preparation for it, as well as other things. Read on, and check out THE GREEN INFERNO, which is out now on DVD/Bluray/VOD via Universal.


Daryl Sabara: Hellooo

IOF (Icons of Fright): How’s it going, man?

It is super rainy and gloomy here.

Yeah I’ve heard that LA is crazy wet. So, I just had a couple of questions for you. First off, THE GREEN INFERNO is somewhat of a crazy ride. What inspired you to jump on board this cannibal-filled movie as Lars?

It was a fun journey getting there. A friend of mine Aaron Burns, who’s also in the movie, was in Texas for a while and I met him on the set of MACHETE. He moved to Chile for a while because he was good friends with Nicolas Lopez and every time Aaron would come to town in LA, he would stay with me. It was around the summer of 2012 and he was at my house and we were driving around so he could go to all of these sporting goods places to buy the craziest gear. He was buying ropes, hates and all of this stuff and I asked him, “Man, where you going?!, this is nuts!” He told me the plot of THE GREEN INFERNO and that Eli was directing it. I told him, “Man, whatever I can do to be a part of that, whether it’s being a P.A. or a camera assistant, I don’t care, I want to be a part of this.”  I had been a fan of Eli’s work for years, and I just wanted to meet him and watch him work, especially since it was the first movie that he had directed in a while.

Yeah, it’s been a while since HOSTEL 2. 

So I talked to Aaron for a while and a few months later, he sent me the script and asked if there were any parts that I was drawn to. Lars, immediately popped right up. It’s funny, because he’s a stoner, but he was a paranoid stoner (laughs). So it was a very interesting part to play.

The film itself feels very dangerous, with tribes and such. How was that experience?

Yeah, there wasn’t a lot of imagination there. A lot of our acting is just reacting to what’s around us. What was great is that we were all game and excited to go d2over there to shoot. We all worked together and what was cool is that we kind of prepared together. So we were all ready, but the shooting itself was just incredible. Every time I would look up at the sky, it felt like I was looking at a painting. I was lucky to be surrounded by such great people. You know, you get to know people by travelling with them, and the experience of going to the Amazon with them was just incredible. Filming in the village was the farthest that anyone had gone before in the Amazon. I was a four hour trip to the village. One hour for the car ride, one hour for the boat ride and two hours walking to the village. So every night we went there, we had to have our bags with stuff, in case we got stuck there and we had to stay there for a while. It was a lot of fun, man, I had a great experience. I definitely got over my fear of arachnophobia (laughs).

The film feels like an homage to films like CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST or CANNIBAL FEROX. Were you familiar with either of those films before taking the role, or did Eli make you watch them at all?

That was a prerequisite for me to even meet with Eli for the role. I had a breakfast with Eli and we talked about the role, but before that, people said “You should really watch CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST,” so I did…and HOLY HELL.


d1Yeah, that experience changed my life (laughs), yeah. You can’t even put that movie into words, but what’s funny is that the villagers in the movie, the first movie they had EVERY watched, was CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST,…

Oh boy.

Yeah, Eli went out there and had to kind of show them what a movie was. I can’t remember who, but when Eli left, someone showed them CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST and they thought it was a comedy.

Yeah, they saw right through it, but when I watched it, I was like, “No, don’t, please don’t open that turtle!, OH, THEY’RE DOING IT, NO!” So yeah, we had all seen the movie before going to Chile’.

I’ve always admired how versatile you’ve been, when it comes to your career choices. You’ve never been afraid to dip your toes into any genre, as long as the role is something you dig. My kids grew up loving the SPY KIDS series and the Spiderman cartoon series you’ve done. What was funny is that every time my kids would watched one of those more family friends films of yours, I’d typically follow it up with HALLOWEEN or MACHETE and it would cool to see how you’ve grow as an actor. 

Yeah, man, so many things interest me and I just like to do things that are different. Doing the SPY KIDS movies, as a kid, I had an awesome time. I am so grateful for that entire experience, especially because of the genius that Robert Rodriguez is. He helped give me my intro into everything, whether it’s film, writing or directing. It was when I was thirteen, that I did a workshop and it was then that I discovered that I loved playing characters. So, every role I do, I make sure that it’s something very different from the last role. I really like the Gary Oldman type of actors, when you’re watching them and then you say to yourself, “Oh my god, that’s Gary Oldman!,” You almost forget that that’s him. I’d like to be one of those kinds of actors, who take on roles and characters and get completely into them, where people could forget about what I had done before and almost get caught off guard for a second.  To get there, I just need to play a lot of characters.

THE GREEN INFERNO is now available on DVD/Bluray/Digital HD via Universal.

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