About The Production
Director Louis Morneau was pleased to land Lou Diamond Phillips in the part of Sheriff Emmett Kimsey. "Lou Diamond Phillips is terrific. He anchors the film and has a real charm. This film certainly isn't a comedy, but when you have this kind of suspense and tension it's good to have a character that can break the tension and still keep it real and make the whole experience sort of a fun ride, while being scary as hell. Lou is particularly right for that. He's got a terrific sense of timing and can play both the dramatic and the
Phillips was interested in the project immediately. "I knew it would be scary and a lot of fun for the audience. The script reminded me of scary scenes like the monkey scene in THE OMEN and the scarier aspects of JAWS. Phillips was also very interested in working with Morneau. "Louis and George (George
Mooradian, cinematographer) have such energy, dynamism, and style to all their shots. They've injected the film with a really good action feel, and a great sense of artistry, movement and pace."
Phillips found inspiration for his character in his Texan father. "A lot of the adlibs and mannerisms that I have in this movie are really from my father, who taught me a lot about how to be a man. You know, to walk the walk, and do as you say and say as you do. Kimsey is a man who lives in a small town and loves the people in it, so when this horrific thing
happens, he takes it very personally." Phillips also notes "It's odd because I've never played a Texan before. I finally got to do some of the funny,
quirky, idiosyncratic things that I know about Texas."
Actress Dina Meyer jumped at the chance to play Sheila Casper, a zoologist with a passion for bats. She is no stranger to special effects-driven movies, having starred in STARSHIP TROOPERS and DRAGONHEART. "It's the third movie that I've done (acting opposite) nothing," the actress says. "Bugs, dragons and now bats."
Dina also seized the opportunity to play a heroine. "These days the chances of that are really slim. I love having the opportunity to play a character who is trying to save the world." Morneau felt Meyer demonstrated the intensity required for the character of a fiercely committed researcher and doctor. "She's somewhat reluctant to take (the bats) on. She has to destroy the one thing that she loves."
Co-star Lou Diamond Phillips enjoyed working with Meyer and says that, while there's clearly a spark between their characters, "there's no place for the old love scene in this movie. Our lives are in danger and a million bats are over our heads." The attraction works on a more subtle level. "Dina and I have this lovely, lovely chemistry together. It shows between the lines, in the characters caring for each other and in their respect for each other."
Leon plays Jimmy, Sheila's assistant, the heroic yet most reluctant of the bat fighters. "Jimmy is the sanity of the movie," says Leon. "He's thinking what the audience is thinking. Like, let's get out of here. You're going to do WHAT with
bats? No, I'm going home." Leon was enthusiastic about doing a film that reminded him of the scary movies he watched growing up, the kind where the most fearful moments are the ones where the audience is jumping out of their seats in anticipation of what will happen to the victim next. "It's that thing of you as the audience knowing that there are creatures there, and the person doesn't. You're dying to say, Don't go up the steps! No! No!" Leon relishes the fun, interactive nature of a good creepy movie: "You know people like to talk to the screen. . and this will be one of those movies that you'll be doing that." Morneau adds, "Leon is just fantastic. He plays the guy who really doesn't like bats but provides comedic relief in the more tense moments."
The cast is rounde
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