Known for his roles in series such as “Dadholes” and “Young Sheldon” as well as in films such as The DUFF, 2009’s horror film The Revenant, and 2017’s The Babysitter, actor Chris Wylde is no stranger to the world of comedy and horror. For his latest role in THE BABYSITTER: KILLER QUEEN, the follow up to The Babysitter in which he reprises his role as Melanie’s dad, Juan, Wylde brings his distinctive brand of humor to successfully steal the spotlight in this crazy, neon-soaked slasher comedy. For the release of the film, I had the chance to speak with Wylde 1:1 on where he discussed everything from reuniting with the cast, his bro-mance with Ken Marino, and how his love for his former Cadillac DTS helped prepare him for the role.
THE BABYSITTER: KILLER QUEEN takes place two years after Cole defeated a satanic cult led by his babysitter Bee. Cole continues to be haunted by the horrific events of that night while everyone in his life thinks he’s lost his mind considering Bee and all of her friends disappeared. He is still hopelessly smitten with his best friend and next door neighbor Melanie – the only one who believes his story – who convinces him to forget the past and come to a party thrown at a nearby lake. But when old enemies unexpectedly return, Cole will once again have to outsmart the forces of evil and survive the night.
How does it feel to return to the world of The Babysitter and reunite with the cast?
Chris Wylde: When we made the first movie, I knew it was good when when we were making it but you just never know what can happen with editing and music choices…you just never know. McG had the whole cast over his house for the first one and he threw a little party. He had a table read and that way we could all build cast chemistry. It was my first time meeting my “daughter” played by Emily Alyn Lind and it was my first time meeting the neighbor boy played by Judah Lewis. We made the first one about 4-5 years ago and these kids were just little kids, they were 12-year-old adorable little cherub cherubic angels. I’ve known Ken Marino a long time, I met him at an improv festival in Austin, TX in the 90s and we did a movie together called The Ten back in 2006. I’ve known Hana Mae Lee a long time, we had the same agent back in the day. McG sits us down for a table read and he says, “This movie is what if Quentin Tarantino directed Home Alone meets Die Hard” and I was like, Oh my God, that sounds like the best movie of all time! When we made the movie we had a blast, we all got along really well. The fact that the horror film genre fan base really took a shining to it….they are the best fans on the planet and they’re so loyal. If they don’t like you, they’re gonna let you know. If they love it, they’ll also share that with you. I’m so thrilled to be back for the second [film]. My character Juan is two years happily divorced, has not had a hair cut, discovered marijuana, and is really enjoying living his best life right now.
Juan has a deep love and appreciation for his muscle car. Was that something you could easily relate to?
Chris Wylde: When I moved to LA, from New Jersey, in the 90s, the first time I really made any money I bought myself a white Cadillac which is so Jers’. I would drive around Hollywood in a white tank top with the seat leaned back in my white Cadillac – I loved that car. When I got married and had a kid, I traded it in for a Toyota Prius which is basically the polar opposite of that car and with it went my New Jersey and my bravado. That all went out with the automatic windows. I loved that Cadillac DTS and I definitely conjured that love into the muscle car. I’m a big theater geek and the fact that my car was the deus ex machina in the first movie, I think is literally fantastic. The machine came from the heavens and saved the day at the end of that movie.
My favorite line of the film is when you yell, “I’m taking your IUD” and I need to know, was that scripted or did you improvise that?
Chris Wylde: (laughing) That was not in the script but that was 100% a McG line that he fed me on a silver platter. When he said, “Dude, what if you were screaming at the top of your lungs saying, ‘That’s it, I’m taking your IUD'”, I literally started crying laughing. This is like my 7th or 8th project with McG, I’ve done like three McG movies in a row that he’s directed, I’ve done 5 McG produced movies, so I think in a lot of circles I’m technically, at this point, McG’s muse. In The Babysitter, “NASCAR Nation, bitch” was a McG line, he gave that to me. We were ad-libbing stuff, we were yelling out lots of fun lines and he goes, “Hey Wylde, NASCAR Nation, bitch! Whoooo!” and I was like, “Dude, that’s amazing!”. We’re both kind of surfer-beach-kids grown up and we both kind of have the same pop-culture sensibilities, so he and I get along so wonderfully. He has this wonderful, positive, infectious energy where he’ll walk up to me and just throw the script over his shoulder and say, “Let’s make chicken salad out of chicken shit” and I go, “Alright buddy, let’s do it!” (laughs). He feeds me lines, I take what he feeds me and add to it, it’s a wonderful collaborative process.
Your character and that of Ken Marino’s develop a bro-mance while on a road-trip of sorts. This results in a beautiful rendition of Alannah Myles “Black Velvet”. Can you talk about working alongside Marino as well as preparing for that scene?
Chris Wylde: I really do think the majority of Ken Marino and I’s brom-com buddy romance picture that’s happening… this road-trip buddy picture is happening simultaneously during a teenager slasher film, all kind of happened organically on that day. All of the party atmosphere that happens with me and Ken as soon as Leslie Bibb takes a hike kind of happened organically and I think the product is wonderful. The movie is such a feel good escapist party that we all kind of need right now. Ken Marino is a very gifted improviser – we literally met at an improv festival in Austin, TX. The fact that, my God, 23 years later we are still improvising and now ideally with this movie, for millions of people, it definitely makes your brain explode when you think about it. When we are belting out Alannah Myles one-hit wonder classic, “Black Velvet”, that happened 100%… McG was like, “What song can you guys belt out?” This was a night shoot and Ken and I got a little bit of cabin fever being cooped up in the car together for a couple of hours having fun but also kind of losing our minds. Night shoots are real head-scratchers, you sleep during the day and work all night, and we were a little punch drunk when we got to that scene. At one point we almost started singing, “Let’s give em something to talk about…” (laughs). I think that’s Reba McIntyre maybe? Bonnie Raitt, I think? Raitt begat Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet”. I had that song on a cassette single, it was like the late 80s when that song came out. I definitely had the cassette single of that song and I used to belt that out with my Sony Walkman in the bathroom as a kid. Here we are, however many decades later, the fact that I’m belting it out now streaming worldwide is fantastic.
Lastly, it looked like everyone had a blast being drenched in buckets of blood. How was your experience?
Chris Wylde: There’s definitely cartoonish levels of gore in this movie. Somebody gets killed underwater and somehow a bucket of blood gets splashed above water onto the people on the boat. It literally makes absolutely no sense. When a particular character meets their grisly demise, I happen to be within the wet zone like at Sea World when Shamu comes down – I’m in the front row. They literally covered me in blood which is total karma. I did a show called Filmfakers many, many moons ago where we pranked actors and pretended they were in a movie but really they were on a reality show. The New York Times, at the time, said it was the rudest reality show in the history of television (laughs). William H. Macy said he wanted to take a hit out on the creator cause it’s so rude to actors. We did an episode called Croc Park where if a crocodile bites you, you turn into a were-crocodile instead of a werewolf. We were in the woods, in the snow…why would a crocodile be in the snow, it makes no sense! I remember being the fake director of this fake movie just literally dousing actors with buckets of blood and screaming, “MORE BLOOD, MORE BLOOD!”. So now it’s all come back to me and I got 100% drenched in delicious fake blood, but right in the eye, I definitely got blood in my eyes. There was a bucket of blood just off camera that was thrown directly into my eyes and the reaction is 100% real. That said, I would give my arm and my leg to be in the next McG movie.