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Johnny Whitworth on Playing Blackout in Ghost Rider 2

Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor

Johnny Whitworth is no stranger to the Neveldine/Taylor team – the guys who gave us crank. The actor starred in Pathology which Mark (Neveldine) and Brian (Taylor) produced, and he appeared in Gamer. Next up, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Shock Till You Drop’s Scott Huver caught up to the actor to chat a bit about his villainous role in the upcoming sequel.

Question: After ‘Limitless’ what are we going to see you in? What’s coming up?

Johnny Whitworth: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. I just wrapped that four days ago. In Romania. In Turkey.

Question: I got asked to go there but I couldn’t go.

Whitworth: Oh, man. And I was totally in this character blackout makeup and I didn’t get to go to that. I had to bow out. I was like, ‘I’m not going to do interviews as this guy.’ But man that would’ve been cool if you would have been there. So you know the movie?

Question: Yeah, so tell me a little bit about what was cool about that experience for you?

Whitworth: Oh, Nic Cage, Nic Cage and Nic Cage because Nic Cage is awesome. I got to be a comic book character. I mean that’s part of the partial reason why I got into- not to be a comic, but the things that inspired me as a youngster, the things and the things that I was into, one being comics and of that nature and pretend and that’s the ultimate way. Because he’s bad and I get to be even extra bad. So I’m human and then I turn into Blackout and then he’s bad and then he’s just horrible.

Question: Did you read the ‘Ghost Rider’ comic books? I guess the ’90s were one of the hey days and then like back in the ’70s, too.

Whitworth: Right. You know to be honest with you, I didn’t really. My little brother did and that’s where I got my influence before I knew him. My little brother was into ‘Ghost Rider’. I was ‘Batman’. Not to switch-

Question: Superheroes on me?

Whitworth: Yeah, well, superheroes is okay. But there’s a different brand. There’s Marvel and there’s DC. And I just jumped into a different universe. So that might have been bad. Next time I’ll prepare not to do that.

Question: I just talked to Nic for ‘Drive Angry’ last week. And it’s very interesting to hear his acting process and why he chooses his roles. Did you get a chance to study him at work and see where he looks to make interesting decisions in his performance and find those quirky little moments to really elevate?

Whitworth: Let me think about that. You know, Nic is kind of such an interesting character as himself. And not that he plays himself, but that as a springboard lends itself to interesting choices. So I don’t know if he looks for things or just more for- he looks for the experience of doing things, you know. And I would tend to believe he looks for the experience.

Question: What was the coolest thing you got to do in character for the film?

Whitworth: Oh, well, which character? I mean I’m one guy and then I turn into another guy.

Question: Okay. Well, tell me both.

Whitworth: Well, I had a moment just near the end where- I don’t know. I’m giving spoilers.

Question: Don’t give it away.

Whitworth: What can I do? Just looking down the face of Ghost Rider, Nic Cage, doing- in this one he does all his Ghost Rider stuff. The one before he didn’t. So it has his body language and his feel. With that it’s already better. When I was in the human form just before something hap- well, I don’t know how to answer that question. I wasn’t prepared to without giving spoilers. But looking down in the face of Nic Cage when he’s about to throw me and I did my own stunts, when he’s going to throw, discard me, if you will, as Ghost Rider and doing this thing when I’m pleading and beating. And then there’s fire. I think there’s going to be a lot. It’s hard to choose from, really. Because all this stuff is rushing back to my head. And I’ve been in Romania for so long that part of my faculty- it does seem like a dream.

Source: Scott Huver