SXSW Interview: Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler on Scenic Route

The stars of the dark new thriller Scenic Route talk mohawks, javelinas, jelly beans and whether Duhamel will appear in Transformers 4.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Shall we talk about the mohawk?

Josh Duhamel: Sure.

Dan Fogler: Yeah, why not?

Josh Duhamel: I miss it, man, I miss it.

Dan Fogler: Did you like having it?

Josh Duhamel: I loved it. I felt so cool with the mohawk.

Dan Fogler: It was pretty rad. It was very Mad Max. Yeah, one of the plot points is that I’m trying to get him back to how he was in his college days and spontaneous and how he’s so not spontaneous anymore with his wife and his kid. I guess I convince him to do what he always wanted to do which was have this mohawk. So we shave his head out in the middle of the desert there just with the tools we have.

Josh Duhamel: Just for literally something to do. Out of boredom.

Did you know it was going to be the poster image?

Josh Duhamel: Well, we figured it would have something to do with it. But yeah, we really had no say in what that was going to be but it’s pretty gnarly. I figured there was a chance it would be on there somewhere.

Was it cold out there, and how did the wind feel on your scalp?

Josh Duhamel: Man…

Dan Fogler: The weather would change every 20 minutes.

Josh Duhamel: Have you ever been to Death Valley?

No, I haven’t.

Josh Duhamel: You should go. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend it.

Dan Fogler: Dust devils, have you ever seen a dust devil? I know you’ve seen them in movies but mini tornadoes. It was the most extreme weather I’ve ever been in, back and forth. It would go from sandstorm to 100 degrees.

Josh Duhamel: The pressure dropped one day in particular, which actually worked out great for the movie because it was the day that I was digging this grave, and it literally went from about 80 to 40 or something. 35 degrees. I don’t think it was quite 80. It was about 70 and it dropped to almost freezing by lunch. We had to quit the day after lunch. We couldn’t even finish the day, it got so cold and windy. It was just one of those freak things that happened out there. You’re 214, 220 feet below sea level and there’s just a different energy about it. I’ll never forget the month we spent out there. It was something, I don’t know, something spiritual about it too.

Dan Fogler: It was very brutal. Yeah, it was a journey for the soul. We really immersed ourselves in that environment. There’s something about beating yourself up to the point where you get to a really deep place in your performance which is cool.

Josh, will you be in Transformers 4?

Josh Duhamel: Not that I’m aware of. Michael told me early on that they were going to reboot the whole thing. They’re going much younger. I think Mark Wahlberg’s playing a scientist or something in this one.

Dan Fogler: I’m playing an energon cube.

Josh Duhamel: He’d be great in it actually. He should be in it.

Dan Fogler: Do a voice.

Josh Duhamel: No, you should be in the movie.

Dan Fogler: Okay, fine.

Josh Duhamel: “If I must…” But he did call me after he found out that we were having a baby and he told me that they were going to look for [a role]. He wanted to find something for me to do in it, so I don’t know. He might’ve just been saying that to pacify me in the moment. Who knows?

How are the dachshunds?

Josh Duhamel: There’s only one now.

I’m sorry.

Dan Fogler: Nice, dude.

Josh Duhamel: Yeah, thanks a lot. No, Meat Loaf died last year on April Fools day, so when I got the call, I wasn’t even in town, I didn’t know if somebody was playing a cruel joke or what.

No one would joke about that.

Josh Duhamel: You never know. I’ve got some pretty sick friends. Yeah, he’s not with us any more but he was a great little dude.

Photo Credit: Quid Pro Quo Investments, LLC

Fred Topel is a staff writer at CraveOnline and the man behind Shelf Space Weekly. Follow him on Twitter at @FredTopel.