In the latest series, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, one year after the fatal car accident that haunted their graduation night, a group of teenagers finds themselves bound together by a dark secret and stalked by a brutal killer. As they try to piece together who’s after them, they reveal the dark side of their seemingly perfect town—and themselves. Everyone is hiding something, and uncovering the wrong secret could be deadly.
Ahead of the release of the I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER series on Prime Video, Shannon spoke with actor Sebastian Amoruso, where they chatted about the complexity of his character Johnny, the weight of taking on a huge horror genre IP, and what it was like to tackle the series during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To start things off, how did it feel when you found out that you got this role and that you would be playing a part in this revitalization of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER?
Sebastian Amoruso: Huge IP. Yeah, I was freaking out. A good bit of that. I was very excited, honestly. So, they sent me the first two scripts when I was auditioning, so that was really nice. I kind of knew what I was getting into and what excited me more than it being a big franchise was the fact that this character was really cool. He was not what I had expected given the first films, because he’s like the jock archetype, but he’s actually such a good dude. He’s super likable. And in the first reimagining of this story, he was not so great. Not so great of a guy. [laughs] It was great. I was super excited to get to be…I mean, it was a little daunting in the fact that there are so many people who love it. Obviously, it’s a horror cult classic.
Yeah. It’s a lot to take on.
Sebastian Amoruso: That’s a big, big burden. But I don’t know. Hopefully, we did it justice.
You did. It’s so much fun. Piggybacking off of what you said, your character is a good guy, but he kind of rides this line of one foot in, one foot out. How did you approach the character to be like that?
Sebastian Amoruso: That’s actually a great question. I think there’s this whole idea that maybe I have about the world, which is a very actor idea, which is that we all have these masks that we wear. And I think Johnny is somebody who obviously needs to wear a lot of masks, but I think they’re all weirdly kind of the same masks. They always fall within this caretaker place. I told Craig [William Macneill] this who’s the director in the first call we had, where I was like, I feel he’s the drummer of the band. Because to me, that’s what he felt like. He was keeping everybody in time. He’s kind of the heartbeat. But in some ways that didn’t change as a through-line. And I think Sara [Goodman] did a good job of writing that in for me, which was nice. But he does have that through-line. I think it’s presented in this different light, where it’s his [biggest] flaw.
Was there anything you guys did to help grow this natural chemistry between all of you? Whether just hanging out prior to filming and what not?
Sebastian Amoruso: It was tough because of the pandemic.
So, you guys filmed during the pandemic?
Sebastian Amoruso: Yeah, and COVID regulations and all that kind of stuff. But we were kind of in a bubble. So, that was nice. They set us up on the first day in this controlled environment, which was good. Immediately they flew me in and after landing, I immediately was rushed to set and filmed a scene. I was spinning. My luggage hadn’t even been dropped off. Yeah, and then they were like, oh, also, you’re going to the beach. Just prepare and also here. Order some food. I was like, Okay, sure. But it was actually great. I think actors are good at oversharing and I think we all did a little bit of that and that’s nice because that can be an actor’s flaw in some ways. But we all had that moment at the beach. I think that was good. I obviously had individual moments throughout filming. And then, it was a tough shoot. It really was. So many nights shoot. it was a bizarre…[laughs]. So, we trekked through something together. There’s some sort of kinship after that
If you were playing yourself in a slasher movie, what role would you be?
Sebastian Amoruso: Oh, God. Devilishly handsome. No, I’m just kidding. Absolutely not. No, I would definitely be. Ah, I don’t know.
I would definitely die.
Sebastian Amoruso: I mean, me too. I’m out immediately.
I feel like I’d say just take me out. Let’s get this over with it.
Sebastian Amoruso: Just don’t draw this out for me. It’ll hurt more. I don’t know. Here’s the thing about Johnny right? He’s a hero. He’s courageous. He has potential. He’s a golden dude. I would hope to be more like that. I don’t think I am. I’m going to say that I would hope that I’d be that guy.
To wrap things up, what are you the most excited for people to experience with your character? Is there anything you hope people take away from your character on the show?
Sebastian Amoruso: Jeez, I think with my character, specifically, I think he’s unapologetically himself and he really does try to take care of the people around him, regardless of how much it hurts him. And I think that that’s something obviously that can border on being codependent and dangerous. So, of course, be careful. I do think genuinely at the end of the day, don’t let that part of you die. That’s what I hope people see.
I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER will premiere on Prime Video on Friday, October 15, with new episodes airing each Friday following, leading up to the season finale on November 12.
This interview has been edited for length, clarity, and spoilers.
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