Interview: Oded Fehr, Super Hybrid

Oded Fehr is an Israeli film and television actor now based in the United States. He is known for his appearance as Ardeth Bay in the 1999 remake of The Mummy and its sequel The Mummy Returns, as well as Carlos Olivera in Resident Evil – Apocalypse and Resident Evil – Extinction, Faris al-Farik in Sleeper Cell and the demon Zankou in the TV series Charmed.

I had the distinct pleasure of briefly chatting with Oded on August 19, 2011 about his latest film, Super Hybrid, a crazy science fiction horror story about a car that eats people. (I really want to make a Patton Oswalt joke here, but I think fans can do that for themselves.)

Here, then, are Oded’s thoughts on Super Hybrid…

GS: First, before we get into the film, I have to ask: do you consider Brendan Fraser to be a serious actor?

OF: Sure. I think he chose roles where he didn’t have to be serious, some goofy roles. “The Mummy” is both funny and heroic, and I think he blended those aspects very well. I mean, everyone would have a different answer, I can only give my opinion. But what I do know is that Brendan is one of the nicer actors I’ve worked with, and I think he could probably do anything he wants. So, sure, he’s a serious actor.

GS: Cool. When you first opened the pages, what was your reaction to the script for “Super Hybrid”?

OF: (laughs) “Wow, this is a script about a man-eating car.” That was my thought. I went in, and I didn’t have a lot of intentions at the meeting. Frankly, I am not a good judge of horror films. I had done them, but it is not what I consider to be my genre. Sitting in the meeting is where I decided to take the role. I said to them, “You guys know this is a movie about a man-eating car, right?” And they said, “Yeah, we know, we know.” And these days, how I decide to take on a film is pretty simple — I think its best to work with people you like, and they said we would make it fun and not take ourselves too seriously. They had the right mindset, and we had fun with it.

GS: What sort of changes were there from the script to the screen? Were there changes?

OF: Sure, absolutely. Originally, the character Ray didn’t have a lot of color, and he was less annoying. Producer Elizabeth Wang-Lee and I sat down and made some changes, made Ray him more annoying, the guy you love to hate. He’s the bad guy, but he survives anyway. So, yeah, I helped flesh out my role a bit more.

GS: What were you interacting with while filming? Were there real cars or just nothing?

OF: Most of the time we were working with regular cars, and they fixed them up a bit with paint to add effect. So running from a car was really running from a car. But we reacted to nothing when the hood opened up. We didn’t know what would be there for the finished product, so we just had to go with it.

GS: Comparing the acting part, where you saw nothing, with the finished product and monster in place, how do you think you did?

OF: Well, you know, my immediate reaction to anything I do is “I did a horrible job”, so that was what I thought here, too. But I think the interactions worked well, I think we made a fun movie.

GS: It’s definitely not something you can take seriously.

OF: No, no. It’s a very cheesy film, and if you take it seriously you won’t like it.

GS: Exactly. Thanks for taking time out for me today, Oded.

OF: My pleasure!

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