"The Last Exorcism" was one heck of a pleasant surprise: a character-driven horror flick that eschewed gore for sweaty-palmed tension and delivered some first-rate performances from Patrick Fabian as a disenchanted preacher, Ashley Bell as a maybe-possessed-maybe-crazy country girl and Caleb Landry Jones as her seriously creepy brother.
Jones in particular is an actor on the rise, a 20-year-old who graduated from the low-budget "Last Exorcism" to a meaty part in "X-Men: First Class," in which he'll play the sonically-enhanced Banshee.
In a recent interview, "Last Exorcism" director Daniel Stamm went into great detail with MTV News about his working relationship with Jones and why he's so excited to see the young actor in a big studio picture.
Stamm's comments were both insightful and hilarious, so we've decided to reprint them in full. Here's Stamm on future "X-Men" star Caleb Landry Jones…
"He was a real find, because I wanted the character to be slightly off, but where you couldn't really pinpoint what's off about him. There's some weirdness about him, and his doesn't have that in real life at all. He's the smartest guy."
"He's going to be great in 'X-Men.' I can promise you that. I can't wait. But it's going to be very different than this movie."
"The first time he came in to audition for us, I had the feeling, 'I found my guy, but he's completely stoned!' We said goodbye and I was like, 'Dammit, he would have been so good.' I ran after him in the street and said, 'Caleb, can we just wait for two, three hours and do it again?' And he said, 'Why?' And I said, 'Because you are completely stoned!' He said, 'Oh man, that always happens to me! My manager is always screaming at me for that. I always come across stoned when I improvise. I'm not stoned at all! Let's do it again!'"
"And we did it again and the same thing happened again. He had the slurred speech, sometimes he didn't answer straight away, and he wouldn't look at me. So I said, 'Let's just do one problem at a time. Why don't we first have you enunciate? It doesn't matter what you say, just enunciate to get rid of the slurred speech.' So we did that and that worked. Then I said, 'Just look at me. Stare at me the entire time,' and he did that. And the third thing was just, 'Immediately answer me. It doesn't matter what you say. Just be quick.' And suddenly it was brilliant."
"He has this touch of genius. We never really knew what it was until he gave us this CD, because he's a musician. He gave us this CD where he had played all the instruments and written all the songs and recorded them himself, and I kid you not, it was one of the most amazing CDs you've ever heard. It's like Bob Dylan in his best times. So suddenly, we all were like, 'That's where that genius is lying. It's on the musical side. But you feel it with him.'"
Do you think Jones will make a good Banshee? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter.