Comic-Con 2014: Exclusive Interview with Kaj-Erik Eriksen for ‘See No Evil 2’ and Hallmark’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”
Jacob Goodnight is back.
WWE and Lionsgate is presenting the sequel “See No Evil 2” at this week’s San Diego Comic-Con International. Kane returns to play the serial killer as he hunts everyone down in a hospital morgue.
Latino-Review had an exclusive phone interview with one of the main cast members of the upcoming “See No Evil 2.” Kaj-Erik Eriksen plays one of the morgue employees. We talked in great detail about the upcoming sequel, and working with Glenn Jacobs (Kane) and the twin directors Jen and Sylvia Soska.
In addition, we discussed about his Hallmark Christmas movie for “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” And most importantly, we talked about all the fun to be had at San Diego Comic-Con itself.
You can catch Kaj-Erik’s panel on Thursday, July 24th, from 7 to 8 p.m. in Room 7AB.
Read the full interview below.
Latino-Review: I understand one of the major projects you have coming is “See No Evil 2?”
Kar-Erik Eriksen: Yes, we got “See No Evil 2” coming out around Halloween time. So that’s exciting and we’re gearing up for that. We’re doing some promotion for that at Comic-Con and that’s pretty exciting. And then later in the year, I have a Hallmark Christmas movie coming out and that should be fun as well. It’s going from blood and guts to sunshine and smiles.
Latino-Review: Tell me about your role in “See No Evil 2.”
Kar-Erik Eriksen: In “See No Evil 2,” I play Seth, who is this earnest nice guy. He works at the city morgue. Film starts out with Jacob Goodnight in the morgue after the whole fiasco at the Blackwell Hotel in the first one. He proceeds to terrorize a bunch of us medical students who are working at the morgue.
Latino-Review: May I take a wild guess that you may not be a survivor? [Laughter]
Kar-Erik Eriksen: [Laughter] I don’t want to spoil it for anybody, but…..[laughter] It’s one of those movies that hard to talk about without giving too much away. You don’t want to spoil it. One of the unique things about this film is that it’s going to turn the horror genre upside down. It isn’t predictable in the order that people are killed off.
The twins (Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska), the directors, wanted to do something different. They spent a lot of time on character development so that you will feel the connection with the characters. Then they decided to mix up the traditional order that people are killed in to really do something different. Quite frankly, I think it came out to be a quite fantastic film.
Latino-Review: Oh, great. Are the kills a little bit more creative this time around?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: Yes. In the first one, there are pretty much the same kills throughout the movie. In this one, [laughter] everyone gets killed in their own way. And Glenn [Jacobs] has a lot more to do in this one. It’s quite nice because they wrote him some really, really nice scenes in which there’s quite a bit of talking compared to the first one. It dives into him in terms of him as a being a little bit more. He pulls it off fantastically. Glenn is a fantastic actor and he got some really nice stuff in this one.
The deaths are different. They are totally unique and cool. The characters are fantastic. The traditional horror movies tend to get very predictable on who’s going to get it. And for the characters that people really dislike—when they die—people go “whatever.” In this one, they are really watching for the feel for these characters.
And the nice thing too is that you don’t have to see the first one to jump into this one. It’s kind of like a new movie into its own. You can just jump right in.
Latino-Review: Wow, that’s great. I was thinking “Gosh. I can’t remember when the last time I’ve seen ‘See No Evil.’” What was that like five, six or seven years ago? I can’t remember that.
Kaj Erik-Eriksen: Yeah, I think it came out in 2007 I believe. So it’s been a little while. It’s a great film to watch and catch up. This one looks different and the tone of it is different. The girls put together a really fantastic movie and we’re really proud of this one.
Latino-Review: And what made you be attracted to this film?
Kaj Erik-Eriksen: When I picked up the material for it, right away, I felt the connection with this character. It was a great chance for me too. Like I was saying earlier, the character is a nice guy and an earnest good guy. And I often play character that often has a chip on their shoulder and more of an edge. It’s really nice to play this nice funnel. I liked on what was written and sort of snapped into it.
And it’s been a while since I’ve done a horror movie. I wanted to work with the twins and that’s a really, really big thing. It’s really cool that I’ve got to work with them. It’s great to do something in the horror genre. Everything just came together and I was very, very happy when I took the job.
Latino-Review: What other horror movies have you’ve done in the past?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: Well, the only other horror movie, or traditional horror movie, was “Friday the 13th Part 8” when I was a kid. I quit. I got fired. And my agent and union pulled out all at the same time. [Laughter] I still haven’t seen it. I’m not sure of the stuff they shot is even in it or cut it out. I played baby Jason in “Friday the 13th part 8” or it used to be called “Ashes to Ashes.” Then it was changed to “Jason Takes Manhattan.”
Latino-Review: Oh, yeah. Don’t worry. You’re not missing much. [Laughter]
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: [Laughter] They still send me residual checks so that’s fantastic. [Laughter]
Latino-Review: I’m trying to remember the wrestler in this one. Is he Kane? And how was it like working alongside with him?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: Yes. He was fantastic. Everyone keeps asking on how is working with Glenn while we’re doing the promotional stuff. How is he as an actor? He’s a great actor! These WWE superstars are amazing performers. We had a lot of fun. Glenn is fast too. He got all these moves with incredible speed. You’re running from him and he’ll come after you pretty good.
Latino-Review: [Laughter] Awesome. You also mentioned that you have a Hallmark movie coming up. What’s the name of that movie again?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: That’s obviously going to come out around Christmas time. It’s for “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” the Hallmark series they have. They’re doing a big Christmas special. That cast is just fantastic too. It was nice to go and jump into that for a little bit with a cast who is like a family for a whole season now. I have a friend who works on the show and it was nice to work with her. So that’ll be out later in the year.
Latino-Review: So what is this going to be about and what do you play?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: The premise of the show is that they take the dead letters, for whatever reason like without a proper address, to the rightful people. They read through the letters, but only up to the part that they want to. They only gather enough information and try to deliver it to the right person.
So basically, I get to play a father in this one. It’s fun and exciting to play dads now. I have a sick wife and a daughter. My daughter mails a letter and the rest takes its course to get the letter to its rightful person.
Latino-Review: Like you said before, you play characters with a chip on their shoulders and this is one of them.
Kaj Erik-Eriksen: Yeah, really angry dad. [Laughter] That’s two in a role. No, I enjoy playing these interesting darker roles. I do want to play something that’s a little bit different. There’s a little bit of yelling involved with some anger to this. It’s good to do something a little bit different once in a while.
After these two roles, I want to slip back into something darker now.
Latino-Review: What made you get into this business? I understand you started off as a kid, but later on you got the acting bug?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: I started when I was six years old. It was suggested to me and “Hey, I’ll try it.” When I first started, it was a chance to skip school and hang out with adults all day. I remembered the moment when I was working on “The Commish” at the time, it just clicked with them. Up until then, you can just be a cute kid and deliver your lines. You don’t really have to understand the scene or really know what you’re doing. I remembered specifically like someone just flipped on a switch. I said, “Oh, okay. So this is the part when it’s really important to listen to what the actor is saying. Don’t rush through. I can take some time to respond and listen to what the other has to say.” After that, it became as on how to work a scene. That made things completely interesting all over again.
I am amazed too as I’ve seen certain films with these young kids on how mighty good they are. I don’t think I had the same instinct when I was their age. Most adult actors don’t even have these kind of instincts like these kids have. So it’s something that I’ve always had done and something that I will always enjoy.
Latino-Review: So literally, people can describe you once as a child actor then?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: Yeah, that term gets thrown around a lot. I guess I don’t really think about it that much. Theoretically, I started off when I was six and so I was a child actor. The term gets thrown around a lot with such a negative connotation. I just forget that I’ve doing it for so long sometimes. [Laughter]
Latino-Review: It sounds that unlike those other child actors with negative publicity—you turned out just fine.
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: I hope so. I think there are plenty of child actors that turned out well. You just always hear about the ones that didn’t. They are the ones that get exposure in the press or on the front page with the sad things that happened.
It also depends on how you’re raised, situation at home and what you’re parents are like. I grew up as a pretty good kid. I did things together with my family by going on vacations and always go camping. I’m very close to my mom and dad. I also think that being raised up in Vancouver may have played a different role in the child actor phase compared to places like Los Angeles.
Latino-Review: So let’s talk about Comic-Con here.
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: Oh, yeah!
Latino-Review: You’re heading off to Comic-Con for the big push for “See No Evil 2,” right?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: Yeah, I’m going to be down there Thursday through Sunday. I’m going to be doing a bunch of stuff for the movie and I’ll be jumping around to enjoy some of the activities there. I want to check out the panels and see some of the stuff going on at the exhibit floor. I am excited!
Latino-Review: Do you have any idea on what they’re going to present at Comic-Con for “See No Evil 2?” Maybe a trailer?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: I know that there’s going to be a panel and there’s going to be a signing. They have not told me, but I’m hoping that they’ll be using Comic-Con to unveil the official trailer. We do not have a trailer yet. I know it’s a shared panel with “Leprechaun: Origins,” a reboot that comes out in August. So I’m hoping it’s a trailer reveal, because I’m excited for people to see on how it looks.
Latino-Review: When is the panel?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: The panel is on Thursday I think. They don’t tell me anything. [Laughter]
Latino-Review: All you know is that you’ll have a handler taking you to places on that day then.
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: I’m just the actor. They’ll lead you around and tell you on what to do. [Laughter]
Latino-Review: Is this your first time at a Comic-Con then?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: No, I’ve been at Comic-Con there every year just for fun. This is the first time that I get to do a panel. I’m really, really excited and I can’t wait.
Latino-Review: What other panels are you looking forward to at this year’s Comic-Con?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: I have some friends in various panels in which I’ll go to so I can support them. I know that there’s a Star Wars origami making panel, which I’m going to check out. [Laughter] I’ve been so busy with this Hallmark thing that I haven’t been able to sit down and look through the booklet to pick stuff out. It’s going to be a little bit chaotic down there with everything that’s going on. I’ll be trying to pick things out to do between all the interviews and parties.
I’ve been really lucky in the past years to sneak into really cool panels, especially the ones without the lines. One of my favorite ones I’ve went to was this Robert Rodriguez panel a couple of years ago. He talked about filmmaking, how to direct movies and how to do it with your kids. It was a phenomenal panel, because it felt very intimate. It’s one of my all-time favorites.
Latino-Review: What do you aim for when you personally go to Comic-Con?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: In terms of panels?
Latino-Review: In terms of the general experience. What are you looking forward to?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: I like to see panels with filmmakers that I really like. It’s always interesting when they talk about film. That’s why the Robert Rodriguez one was such a pleasure. For me, it’s about taking a bunch of friends and hang out. It’s a yearly activity thing that we do. It gets kind of crazy around too many people and crowds. I love walking the floor and try to pick up a vintage magazine. I want to see the neat things on display and check out the new video games coming out.
There’s just a certain atmosphere for people at Comic-Con for those people who haven’t gone before. It’s not just in the convention center. It’s across the street. It’s all in the Gaslamp District. It’s a huge, huge thing. There’s all sort of fun stuff happening. It’s an invigorating environment for all of your best friends.
Latino-Review: I’m actually excited cause I’ll be there from Wednesday through Sunday. Unlike you, I won’t have a handler leading me around. [Laughter]
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: [Laughter] It’s going to be chaotic. It’s huge and there are so many people there. It’ll get kind of crazy in there. It’s fun and maybe I’ll see you down there.
Latino-Review: But, you’re not dressing up, right?
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: No, with the amount of stuff going on—I don’t know if I should be showing up to interviews all decked out. [Laughter] For an on camera interview, I’m all dressed up like Optimus Prime. They’ll love that. [Laughter]
Latino-Review: I figured your job is already to pretend so you don’t have to do that while you’re not at work.
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: Yeah, that’s true. Sometimes during Christmas, Thanksgiving or special occasions, my mom likes to take photos of me. Sometimes I go, “Awww, man. I’m so tired of pictures.” [Laughter]
Latino-Review: Trust me. When you’re going to start your panel that’s all you’re going to see is people taking pictures.
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: Oh, that’s fine. Bless my mom too. When I was a kid, she took so many pictures and I’m extremely thankful for that. I have all these photos when I was a kid and starting out with all the projects I’ve done. I have fantastic memories because my mom was snapping pictures. It’s quite good thing that she does take pictures. Thanks mom!
Latino-Review: This is a great conversation and interview. I’ll see you at Comic-Con!
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: Yes, hopefully I’ll see you there.
“See No Evil 2” panel will be from 7 to 8 p.m. in Room 7AB on Thursday, July 24th at San Diego Comic-Con International.
Gig Patta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or @gigpatta on Twitter.