Here's a challenge most actors don't have to face: doing last-minute reshoots that constitute more than half of the main plot of the movie. But that's exactly what Ashley Tisdale found herself faced with when her bosses on "Scary Movie 5" decided they needed their spoof to be more up-to-date and worked in some digs at this year's horror hits "Mama" and "Evil Dead." And they had to work fast. Of course, some of that might be Tisdale's own fault.
"I saw 'Mama' opening weekend," Tisdale remembers. "I came out of there and I texted the producers, 'Oh my gosh, like, we should really be spoofing Mama because it just worked so well.' And then [writer] Phil [Beauman] was like, 'Funny, we're actually going to spoof Mama.' So then we saw it again." By the actress' estimation, the additional material spoofing "Mama" and "Evil Dead" — based solely on seeing the trailer — accounted for about 60 percent of the finished movie, done over about 10 days of filming.
Before signing on for the latest in the "Scary Movie" franchise, Tisdale was admittedly far from a horror fan. "I have always been really scared of scary movies just because I live by myself, and seeing something, then having a big imagination and then thinking you see it in the middle of the night [is terrifying]," she says. "So I've never been really into them. But it's funny because doing this movie, now I like them. Now I'll go watch 'Mama,' because then I see things and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, that's so spoof-able.' Because sometimes it's just so ridiculous."
But not nearly as ridiculous as simulating sex with household objects, something Tisdale was called on to do to excess for one overstuff montage in "Scary Movie 5" — with some covered during the initial filming and some added in at the last minute. It proved to be a steep learning curve.
"I had humped a potted plant in Atlanta, and that was nerve-wracking," she remembers. "There was only one camera guy and they kept it really quiet so it was OK. But by the time I got to having to be with the chair and the microwave and all over the place, I was just like, 'Oh, I've got this. It's fine that everybody's watching.'"
That earned confidence didn't mean the performance was easy, though. "I do recall having the hardwood chair hitting me from behind and I looked from behind and I was all into it. And then suddenly, I was just like, 'I'm getting slammed by a chair right now,' and I started hysterically laughing," she says, adding that the chair's enthusiasm was provided by a prop guy. "They're like, 'Do it harder!' And I'm like, 'It's hardwood; it hurts!' I wish there was a camera on the prop guy who was probably like jamming it behind me. It just was so wrong."