We had the extreme pleasure of speaking with Ryan Merriman and Tom Everett Scott this week. The duo chatted about their upcoming new SyFy original movie Independence Daysaster. A July 4th holiday is interrupted when an unannounced alien invasion sweeps the earth. Sound familiar? The comparisons to the original blockbuster Independence Day starring Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith seemed too obvious but thankfully, everyone is a huge fan of that movie.
It took most of the energy I had not to ask Ryan whether or not he still knew the dance from Smart House or if he hangs out with Timothy O’Mundson on St. Patrick’s Day.
Check out our interview with Ryan Merriman and Tom Everett Scott for their new movie Independence Daysaster.
PopCityLife: You guys spoke about working with the cast and I was just wondering if there was anyone you look up to yourself professionally?
Tom Everett Scott: Oh sure, lots of people. There’s too many to name.
Ryan Merriman: Yes.
PopCityLife: Is there anyone you would love to work with someday, if you could pick anybody?
Tom Everett Scott: Ooh, so many people.
Ryan Merriman: I mean, I really want to work with Brad Pitt. I love that guy. I’ve got a slight man crush on him. And I want to with Michael Peña, he’s pretty cool. We met at a golf tournament and he seems like a pretty cool cat so that’d be fun too.
Tom Everett Scott: I’ve worked a lot of really great actors and I’ve always had great experiences. I think I’m a little more, you know, even more interested in working with great directors. So for me it would be amazing to work with somebody like Steven Soderbergh or Clint Eastwood, who’s both an actor and a director, you know, or Scorsese.
Q) No problem. One quick question for Ryan, just for your Pretty Little Liars fans: I was curious if you’re interested in or excited at all to see its upcoming spinoff, Ravenswood. Is that something you’re interested in?
Ryan Merriman: I mean, I obviously love all of the writers and the creators over there that were involved with the show. But, once I was off the show and they did away with me I haven’t really kept up with the storyline. I’m sure if the same people are involved that did the show Pretty Little Liars, if they’re doing a spinoff, I’m sure it’ll be great.
And I love all the fans. The fans have been awesome and they still tweet me every day, asking, “When are you coming back?” I’m like, “I’m not, I’m dead, I promise.”
Q) Well it’s a supernatural show, isn’t it? So maybe you’re…
Ryan Merriman: You never know, dude. Hey, I would be more than happy to come back and play with those guys again, it was a lot of fun over there.
Q) Can you both just talk a bit about kind of how you got involved in the project and why you decided to go forward with it.
Tom Everett Scott: Yes, well Ryan was attached before I was and that was certainly a draw to work with Ryan and to work with David Hogan and just felt like it was an exciting script and based on the trailer I think you can see that it’s full of action and it’s a pretty good sci-fi story.
Ryan Merriman: Yes, I mean, I got to see David’s stuff and he was a visual-effects guy. Some of these sci-fi movies are so visually effect heavy, I thought that would be really important. And, with that being his main background, I thought some really cool stuff could happen. So just working with him and the script is fun; it’s really cool, lots of action, lots of movement. And who doesn’t want to kick some butt and save the world at the end of the day? And I love Canada.
Q) That’s good. I know it had a lot of action. Can you two talk about filming the different action scenes?
Tom Everett Scott: Yes, it was – it’s always interesting when you have to pretend that there are things flying around and chasing you, but you always have to do the same kind of stuff, you know?
I mean, it’s pretty exciting. I thought that, Ryan, you probably had more to do than I did in terms of action, right?
Ryan Merriman: Yes, I think a lot of yours was driving, right? I don’t know how many times I dove and grabbed somebody to save them but that was fun.
And it was the first time I got to do some driving. It was nothing crazy but we were doing a lot of kind of fast driving, swerving in and out. I got to drive a fire truck. But, yes, they did a lot with the camera and foam cannons and a lot with wires and stuff.
So, everybody got a little piece but, yes, me and Tom didn’t get to do too much rolling around, getting crazy.
Q) So, Tom, in the film you get to give one of those big presidential-rally speeches and everyone’s familiar with Bill Pullman’s iconic speech in Independence Day. So how did you go about making that your own?
Tom Everett Scott: You know, it’s really not a very interesting story. I rehearsed in my hotel room and when I got on the set we had maybe 15 minutes at the most to shoot it because we were running out of sunlight and the pressure was on.And it’s just a matter of being able to memorize. Ever since I had to memorize the 50 states and their capitals in sixth grade, I’ve known that I’ve had this gift. And so I just rattled it off and I’m just lucky that it actually went well.
Q) And your character, he gets lots of these fun reactions as people realize they’re standing in front of the president. Did that ever happen to either of you guys in real life when fans recognize you, do you get this weird reaction from people?
Ryan Merriman: Yes, though nothing like the president. I don’t think we ever pull that much respect but I get some squeals and a free beer every once in a while.
Tom Everett Scott: My friends are the ones that usually notice people recognizing me. I don’t usually notice.
Q) I was curious if either of you were fans of the Will Smith version (Independence Day) and if you thought about that when you were going to make this.
Ryan Merriman: Oh, yes, that’s kind of what I tell people whenever I’m like, “Okay listen, it’s called Independence Day-Saster,” and they’re like, “What?” I’m like, yes. But I say I’m kind of like the white Will Smith in this one. You know, I get to save the world, I’m a firefighter and I love that move, I love that character.
He was obviously a little cockier, got to have a little bit more fun, but yes I love the premise and it’s a fun Thursday-night-popcorn sit-down and have a good time. It’s a good movie.
We’d like to thank Ryan Merriman and Tom Everett Scott for taking the time to answer some questions for everyone on the conference call. We really appreciate it!
Independence Day-Saster premieres on SyFy tonight, Thursday, June 27th at 9pm.