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Freddie Prinze Jr. Recalls I Know What You Did Last Summer Director’s “Psychotic Notes”

As reported by Variety, star Freddie Prinze Jr. recently spoke about his experience filming the 1997 teen slasher I Know What You Did Last Summer. While chatting with TooFab about his new horror movie podcast, That Was Pretty Scary, Prinze Jr. revealed that making the classic slasher was an awful experience due to the director, Jim Gillespie, who the She’s All That star said was “such an a-hole” to him during filming.

Prinze Jr. said, “I’ll give the man this, I think his name is Jim, he made no bones about it. There was no passive aggressiveness — which I hate — he was very direct in the fact that, ‘I don’t want you in this movie.’ So when that’s your first job and you hear those words, it just wrecks you, man. It just wrecks you.”


The Scooby-Doo star went on to say that Gillespie gave him “psychotic notes” during filming, like “don’t leave your mouth open [because] you look stupid when you do that.”

Prinze Jr. stated, “That was the exact note, word for word, I’ll never forget it. And I’m like, I’m either gonna break down or I have to beat this guy’s ass. Like those were the only two options in my head. I remember Ryan [Phillippe] came up to me and was like, ‘Screw that guy, man. How many times did you audition for this movie?’ and I go, ‘Five times,’ he goes, ‘Yeah, you earned it. You didn’t get offered the role, you earned it.'”

RELATED: I Know What You Did Last Summer Sequel in the Works with Original Cast Returning

Freddie Prinze Jr. Said, “It Was a Struggle To Finish Work Every Day”

Columbia Pictures

The actor went on to reveal that he almost quit the movie due to the tensions between him and Gillespie. He said, “It was a struggle to finish work every day. I was in pain every single day on that movie. However, it prepared me for this business in a way. I’m forever grateful to Jim for being such an asshole because I’ve never met one like that since…no other director I’ve met felt crossing those lines would be OK. I’ve been prepared for every lesser A-hole in the business.”

Prinze Jr. continued, “I’m sure he’s a hero in someone else’s story. I’m sure he helped someone else out and they loved him. But for me, he took a lot of frustration out on me. He was a first-time director, he didn’t have a lot of time, he didn’t have the budget he wanted, he didn’t have the actor he wanted, and he didn’t know how to deal with that frustration.”

TooFab noted that during a previous interview with DigitalSpy back in 2017, Gillespie stated that he was the one who pushed to cast Prinze Jr. in I Know What You Did Last Summer. He said, “Nobody wanted Freddie; they thought he was too soft, he wasn’t muscular enough, so Freddie probably screen-tested four or five times. He got to the point where he was saying, ‘I’m done’, and I really had to plead with him to stick with it because I wanted him. I thought he was going to be great with it. He went to the gym and worked out, changed his diet and his hair cut. I stuck to my guns and eventually they went, ‘Yes.'”

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