Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Crushing" on actress Sasha Jackson!

by Brittany Geragotelis

I recently did an interview with Blue Crush 2 star—and all-around cool chick—Sasha Jackson for American Cheerleader, all about filming her new surf film (which is on DVD now!). Besides being gorgeous, hilarious and wicked smart, this Jack of all Trades is an amazing actress. So get out your sunscreen and prepare to learn everything you ever wanted to know about this blond beach beauty!

photo credit: NBCUniversal/Blue Crush 2
AC: How does it feel to have your new movie Blue Crush 2 coming out on Tuesday?
Sasha Jackson: I don’t really know how to put into words how I feel. I’m proud and excited to see how people will react to Blue Crush 2. I hope they enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it. Basically, it feels rad!

AC: Doesn’t it take a long time to get through the whole process of a movie?
Sasha: It depends on the genre, script, location, etc. Pre-production took roughly three months, but director Mike Elliott and producer Greg Holstein were working on it a year prior to that. We spent three months in South Africa shooting the movie, then post-production took about eight months.

AC: We all saw the original and loved it—so what can fans expect from this one?
Sasha: The only commonalities between the two films is the name (obviously), killer surf scenes and female empowerment. Aside from that, the story is totally different, it doesn’t pick up from the original plot as a lot of sequels do. It’s a brand new cast and location; there’s more intense surfing by some of the top surfers in the world, who are also part of the cast—not just surf doubles.
Blue Crush 2 showcases South Africa at its finest. The audience gets to see parts of South Africa that you’d never be able to see on vacation or on TV. We have everything in this movie: the real Roxy team and competitions, sacred surf spots, exotic animals, friendship and the incredible bond between the most unlikely family.

AC: Did you do your own surfing in the movie?
Sasha: Both Elizabeth [Mathis] and I had three weeks to learn how to surf right at the start of the shoot, but we were mainly taught how to look like we’d been surfing our whole lives. Surfing is made to look so easy, but it was extremely challenging! However, we loved every second. We weren’t allowed to surf after those first three weeks until the very end of the shoot due to insurance purposes, though, which was very tough because we just wanted to catch a wave!
The water week we did at the end of the shoot was awesome and we were surfers by the end of it. We were catching waves and it was a blast. In the movie, anytime you see us paddling and standing on the boards, it’s really us; the rest is mainly our doubles due to the waves being enormous and the conditions being dangerous. There were also moves in there that take years and years to learn, so we could never have done them justice.

AC: What was the hardest thing about surfing?
Sasha: Accepting that you have absolutely no control over the ocean. If a huge set comes and you get held under (unable to see which way is up and being tossed and turned around like a rag doll) there’s nothing you can do about it.
When filming dialogue scenes we’d have to deal with the rip tide, meaning we’d shoot three or four lines of dialogue then have to paddle so hard to get back to the same point so the background was the same. Continuity is very difficult to maintain when filming on the ocean. The ocean definitely controlled our shooting schedule. Days completely changed due to bad weather conditions.

AC: What was it like filming in such a beautiful location?
Sasha: Filming in South Africa was awe-inspiring and incredible beyond words. I feel so blessed to have experienced such a wonderful country. We shot in the winter so it was bitterly cold, which luckily doesn’t come across in the movie. The crew would be in full capestorm wear—gloves, balaclavas, hats, etc.—and we’d be in bikinis, trying to stop our teeth from chattering. But we saw so many incredible things (dolphins would swim around us) and we’d sit and eat lunch while watching the whales breaching. I will never forget it. South Africa is embedded in my heart forever.

photo credit: NBCUniversal/Blue Crush 2
AC: Now of course there’s a love story in there…what was it like working with your on-screen love interests?
Sasha: Ben [Milliken] and Chris [Fisher] were both great guys, and we all became good friends, so there was no awkwardness at all. I was so lucky to get to work with such an incredible cast.

AC: Speaking of love interests, who’s your celebrity crush right now? Maybe we can hook you up!
Sasha: I don’t really have any celebrity crushes to be honest—though I do think Eric Dane and George Clooney are gorgeous.

AC: This looks like one of those girl power movies. What did you learn about yourself while shooting this film?
Sasha: Three months away from my home, friends and family was a big challenge for me. I was in a lot of scenes so I didn’t have as much time to stop and stay in contact with everyone back home or chill with the rest of the cast. It was lonely at times.
Due to the weather, quite a few of us caught bronchitis, lung infections and hypothermia (twice). I fractured my scaphoid bone in my hand and had a tiny hairline fracture on my spine—it was intense. Shooting this film taught me that if I could keep going all day, every day for three months in those conditions, then I can pretty much do anything. The main thing I learned was that sometimes it takes more strength to ask for help and admit that you don’t know what you’re doing, than to deal with it alone.

AC: You had a sick body in the movie…any pointers for getting into swimsuit shape?
Sasha: Swimming is one the best forms of exercise, and yoga was very useful, too. But if you want to get a great body, try surfing!

AC: After being on the beach in paradise, was it hard to come back to the States?
Sasha: Had I been filming for a month it would’ve been so hard to come back. But I was so homesick by the end of the shoot that I was happy to be going home! Plus, I wanted to be in sunny California again.
It was tough to come back and adjust to my normal life again, as South Africa became my everything! It was my home, and my job, and leaving the cast and crew who’d basically become my family was so difficult. I still talk to them every week and I miss them all very much.

photo credit: NBCUniversal/Blue Crush 2
AC: When you get a bunch of girls together in one place, they don’t always get along. Did you guys all make friends or cat-fight through the whole shoot?
Sasha: There was no competition whatsoever; it was actually the polar opposite. Having gone through all the tough stuff together, we were incredibly close and became each other’s biggest support systems.

AC: You’re actually from London, but you have a totally believable American accent in the movie. Do you ever trick people into believing you’re American just for fun?
Sasha: I can easily switch in and out of my accent without thinking about it. People actually think I’m putting on a British accent, not the American one. It’s fun to go into auditions American then say goodbye in my real voice and watch the shock on their faces.

AC: What is it about the U.S. that you like better than your hometown?
Sasha: The weather and the beaches!

AC: At the shoot, you told us you were so over the Prince William/Kate Middleton hooplah. Tell the truth…did you wake up in the middle of the night to watch the ceremony?
Sasha: No I didn’t, but I did TiVo it. When I saw that it was five hours long, I fast-forwarded through everything aside from the arrival, the vows and when they came onto the balcony.

AC: You mentioned that you like to write. Is that something you’d like to pursue in the future?
Sasha: I’d love to. I’ve written two movies and one TV series so far. It’s a great outlet for me to stimulate my mind and escape from everyday life now and then.

AC: What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but have been too afraid to try?
Sasha: Karaoke.

AC: What other projects do you have coming up?
Sasha: I’m shooting a movie this year called Tarantula, starring Billy Zane, Danny Trejo and Rodger Halston.

photo credit: NBCUniversal/Blue Crush 2
AC: Why should people buy Blue Crush 2?
Sasha: Because the surfing is insane, and you get to see South Africa, cute boys and beautiful scenery. To be honest, it’s just a really feel-good movie. I’ve watched people’s reactions and they all leave with huge grins on their faces. And there hasn’t been a Blue Crush film for 10 years! Isn’t that a reason in itself?
**Be sure to buy your copy of Blue Crush 2 today and stay tuned for the August issue of American Cheerleader to see the cast modeling the best in back-to-school fashion!