Paranormal Activity is the surprise hit of the year in movies. Made for $11,000 by director Oren Peli and shot at his home, the film has made over $60 million.
Its young stars, Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat spoke with OnMilwaukee.com's Gino Salomone recently.
Gino Salomone: When was the first time someone recognized you in public?
Katie Featherston: First time I was recognized was before I finished my day job. I'd put in my two weeks but still had to finish working. It was in a restaurant and a table recognized me and wanted a picture, which was great until I realized I was wearing a horrendous looking -- no offense to the uniforms but they're bad. I was wearing a terrible uniform and there's a picture out there floating around.
Micah Sloat: I was coming out of a Holiday Inn Express in Sacramento and there was just a guy there who said, "Hey I saw your movie." I was like, "what do I do now?" I was like, "thanks man you're great." He doesn't have a picture but to that guy, thank you, man, I'll remember you.
GS: What was the first time you heard about this movie. Who called you and what was the situation?
KF: We got the audition online. It was posted everywhere. I got it off of L.A. casting and we went in and there were a couple hundred people for each of the roles and we auditioned, and there was no formality. There was no "hi, how are you." It was just, "Why do you think you're house is haunted?" We just had to immediately go into it.
MS: The audition was really fun, it was like we didn't even want to stop cause it was such a good time and working with Katie and working with Orin there was just something instantly there that was working.
KF: He and I met at the callback and it was like "Micah this is Katie, Katie this is Micah. How did you guys meet?" And we started telling our story.
GS: There's great chemistry between you two. Your work as a couple is so realistic that we as an audience believe you've been together for a while. How do you develop that?
KF: I think we're just good at listening to each other. I studied acting in college we both have taken classes since we've been in L.A. We just work well together.
MS: I think there are two things. One is a chemistry thing, the other is both of us have had relationships before where we know what that's like. And to be able to draw on our own experience like that when we're making it definitely helps.
GS: Did you know this is a special experience when you were making it?
KF: Oh yeah. We never expected the kind of response it's received, but the three of us were so passionate about it and really wanted to make the best horror film that we could for hardcore, scary movie fans. It was something we really loved doing.
MS: And the fans have been awesome from the beginning. This entire thing has been driven by word of mouth from the fan base. We just wanted to say thanks to everyone. And find us on Twitter and Facebook, and send us messages cause we love to hear from you guys.
Gino Salomone has loved movies and entertainment since he was a boy on Milwaukee's Northwest Side. He squinted from the glare of the movie lights that his family shot as a child, and his proudest high school accomplishment was a 30-minute "feature" he made for John Marshall High School.
He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in Mass Communication.
Salomone created a business called Rerun Reunions through which he booked personal appearances for actors from "Gilligan's Island," "The Brady Bunch," "MASH," and from "Saturday Night Live."
Salomone has one screen credit, the Lab Technician in "Naked Gun 2 1/2." He was cut out of two other movies. Hollywood has not called since.
He is also the movie critic for WISN-TV where his feature, "Gino Goes to the Movies" airs on the weekend newscasts. He also reviews movies for the Dave and Carole Show on 96.5 WKLH radio. His interviews have been used by E! as well as the TV Guide Channel.