Question: Have you been having fun?
Mendez: I’ve been having a great time, a lot of fun… too much fun.
Question: How familiar were you with the comic?
Mendez: To be totally and completely honest, I wasn’t familiar with it at all. Then after I read Mark’s script, I was really into it and the idea of it. The whole selling your soul to the devil thing is very interesting to me, probably because I work in Hollywood and feel like I do it a little bit everyday. So, then I started reading some of the comic books, I started getting into it and now I’m obviously very into it.
Question: Can you talk about your character?
Mendez: I play Roxanne Simpson. We start the movie when she’s sixteen years old with Johnny Blaze, and she’s so in love with him. We think we’re going to run away together, and then the day he’s supposed to pick me up and take me away, is of course the day after he sold his soul to the devil and that kind of complicates things when you do that. so he never shows up and he leaves me just heart broken forever. I try to go on with my life, try to put my energy into my career but its never the same. So when I have an opportunity to interview him 13 years later, of course I take it and then we become more in each other’s lives again and this time I want answers – like every good woman does, I wanna TALK!!!
Question: Why would someone have the opportunity to interview Johnny Blaze?
Mendez: He’s doing the biggest jump he’s ever done – field goal to field goal. So I happen to be in Texas, basically I’ve made the decision that she’s been following his career all along, and so when she hears about this she makes her way back to Texas where she’s originally from and she kind of makes the situation happen. So that’s how she gets the opportunity, its pretty cool.
Question: How much has the character changed from the comics?
Mendez: I haven’t read that much of the comic books so I don’t know exactly how much has changed but the first and most obvious change is that she’s a blond girl and I’m not. She’s got lighter skin than I do, and I thought it was really interesting that Mark didn’t really care about that – he wanted the essence of Roxanne, and she’s real kick ass and she’s not some skinny little frail thing – she’s got a woman’s body, she’s tough and not some little victim. He just wanted to keep the essence of her but he took a chance which I think in today’s world is so great, he’s reflecting what’s really out there – especially in America – I’m really happy he did that.
Question: How difficult is it to snap right back into work after laughing so much between takes?
Mendez: You know what, it depends on how heavy the scene is. Sometimes I can’t play around as much in between takes and joke around because I have to be really really focused but, today was more of a… it was the ending, the fighting’s over, it’s more of like the culmination of everything and so today we could play around a lot. On easier days like that it’s easier, but it’s hard not to cause… I know you guys talked to Nic, he’s so strangely funny and I love his sense of humour. Mark is like funny in a different way, so between both of them and me – I’m just obnoxious – we’re just like always laughing so its a really great chemistry on-set. It’s probably… no, not probably – it is the best time I’ve ever had filming a movie, the actual process has been the best because of the company.
Question: Has it been very physical?
Mendez: It hasn’t been that physical for me, but I got to shoot a shotgun the other day which was really fun, I really liked that. Then I was on wires and they flew me, and that was fun – it was like a Six Flags ride or something. It’s been a little physical but not too much.
Question: Nic seems very unpredictable in terms of his improvisations and his delivery of lines. What’s it like working opposite that?
Mendez: I like that because it keeps me on my toes and there’s never a dull moment. He seriously is one of the best actors of our time, you see what’s on the page and then you see what he brings to it and the chances that he takes. Its just how he twists stuff and his choices are so great that he makes it so interesting, and it’s great because you don’t know what’s going to happen. for me it’s great, I love it – I’ve never felt thrown off or anything. He did it to me a few times today and I was like – cool.
Question: Would you call it a fun action film or would you call it something deeper?
Mendez: I’m not sure. The way it feels, it feels like a fun action film but it has a lot of heart and it has a love story which is something I loved about Spider-Man. One of the reasons I loved “Spider-Man” was that it was true to its love story, and I think this is similar in that way that it’s true to its love story – it’s not just about some dude with a flaming skull – it’s about relationships and what you do for love and where that takes you and how one little decision can affect the rest of your life forever.
Question: Was it a conscious decision to go from a comedy to an action film?
Mendez: No, I’d like to say it was all strategically planned but I had such a great time working with Sony on “Hitch”, and I really love them as a studio and they had this and I just got right back into work with them. Then, after they presented me with the script I met with Mark and it was like – it’s done. It’s really about him, cause I just get along with him really well and I really trust him. The character wasn’t that developed in the first script and he told me, and it’s a really scary thing in our business, he says trust me I’m going to give her some meat. Anytime anyone says trust me in this business you kind of go ‘Ugh’ and tense up. I said you know what I do trust you and if you screw me over I’m coming after you – your dog, your bunny, no I’m kidding. I just trusted him and it worked out perfectly.
Question: Did you make any suggestions about the revisions?
Mendez: I make a lot of suggestions, I’m literally the kind of girl who’s like in bed and can’t fall asleep and literally get an idea about the character at 3 o’clock in the morning and Mark is so great because I have to call or else I forget and I get so excited. He’s like “Hello [half asleep grumble]” and I’m like “what about the scene in which she meets Ghost Rider in the alley” and so I’m full of suggestions. I’m lucky enough to be working with him, he actually listens and really does incorporate into the script.
Question: How effects intensive is your role and what was your biggest challenge?
Mendez: The biggest challenge would be to be playing the girl if you know what I mean, and being okay with that. She’s a career woman and not a victim, but she’s ‘the girl’ and he saves me. A lot of times I have to remind myself that that’s okay to be. You don’t have to be some screaming victim, that you don’t have to sound like a powerless idiot to be that. You can still be a strong woman, and allow your man to be there for you and literally save you which is actually a beautiful surrender. At first I was like I wanna kick ass, I wanna kill the Devil, I wanna save Johnny – it’s like I need to relax, this is Ghost Rider not Eva Rider so I was like okay. So once I surrendered to that, it was easy.
Question: Could you see yourself playing a superhero?
Mendez: Absolutely, that’d be a lot of fun. But a clutzy one, a different kind of one – not a slick one, one that would like whoops – kill the wrong villain.
Question: Could you see yourself being possessed by the devil?
Mendez: Strangely enough yes, yeah I can.
Question: When does your character discover Johnny Blaze is?
Mendez: I find out almost halfway through the movie, so it gives me a lot of time to really figure stuff out but I don’t believe it. Obviously it’s like you’re going to say that, you’re just not going to… she’s a sceptic anyway so she’s like yeah right. Then she starts seeing very strange things and she starts believing it. I can’t relate to it thank god.
Question: Do you get to ride the Hellbike?
Mendez: No. Can you guys complain about that, maybe they can add something in.
Question: Tell us about your first meeting with Peter Fonda?
Mendez: He stuck his tongue out at me and swirled it around (laughter) but thankfully he was about 15 feet away so there was no damage. I said “only cause your Peter Fonda am I going to let you get away with that” and that was it, beautiful. He’s great, he can get away with so much – he’s Fonda, and he knows that and he plays around with that a lot so its great.
Question: How much CGI have you had to deal with, and has it been a new challenge?
Mendez: That has been new for me, but it has been cool cause I have kind of a crazy imagination. The other day I had these spirit like things flying through and over me, and I really got into it like a lot – it was really funny. I really like that stuff, but then again I don’t do it too much. I don’t know if I could do a whole movie on green screen, but definitely what I’m doing is the perfect amount. The imagination can takeover, but still I’m opposite real people all the time and not some green background and orange tape, so its good.