It's been a big year for Jake Busey. Not only did the actor appear in Marvel's Agents of SHIELD last season but his latest movie, The Predator, is currently in theaters bringing new life to the long-running franchise. And 2019 is shaping up to be pretty busy as well, with Busey also set to appear in the upcoming third season of Netflix's Stranger Things.
It's those projects -- The Predator and Stranger Things -- that ComicBook.com had an opportunity to speak with Busey about recently with the veteran actor opening up about what it was like to follow in his father actor Gary Busey's footsteps as part of the Predator franchise, what his favorite thing about the Predator creature is as well as his upcoming role on Stranger Things -- especially since he's a self-proclaimed super fan of the Netflix series.
Keep reading to find out more!
On how he came to be part of 'The Predator'
ComicBook.com: In The Predator, you play the son of Special Agent Peter Keyes, which is a character that your father, Gary, played in Predator 2. How did it come about that you ended up part of that legacy?
Jake Busey: Well, it was just a stroke of good luck for me. Shane Black, the director and one of the writers...I've known, I've been friends with him for 20 years and he...I've never been in one of his movies and he called and said "Hey I got this idea and why don't you tell me what you think..." and so he laid it all out for me and I thought well, that's a great idea. That's a great way to pay respect to my dad and a great way to be in an A-list film, a big studio movie again and then to also carry on the legacy of that character and the franchise. It was all very exciting. When I hung up with them, I was just giddy and jumping up and down excited to be a part of it and it was great. It was a great experience and I really did love walking on the set and seeing the giant science lab and the indoor forest. It was great to be back on a big budget movie again because it's been awhile for me.
On the decision to take the 'Predator' role
ComicBook.com: Now, as an actor whose father is also an actor and a very well-known one, you've definitely worked very hard to, kind of, create your own professional identity outside of that and stand on your own merits. Because your father is so tied into that role in Predator, did you ever for a moment even consider not taking the role?
Jake Busey: Oh, no! There was not a single second that I ever thought of not taking the role. It all happened in one conversation on the phone with Shane and I...It's hard, honoring my father and getting to be in that movie, it was just all too good to be true and so I never felt that...I don't know, I guess you'd say I never felt worried or nervous about anything. I was just excited.
On his favorite things about 'Predator'
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ComicBook.com: What is your favorite thing about Predator?
Jake Busey: Well, my favorite thing about the Predator itself is that even in real life...It scared the pants off of you. When we looked across the room, you see Brian [Prince] sitting there in the suit and you don't know it's Brian. It just looks like a giant beast from outer space and it's really scary. There's a lot of things that I just kept saying, pinch me because I think I'm dreaming here because I'm actually on the set of the Predator film and you know, when I was 12 years old I was watching Arnold [Schwarzenegger] play Predator in Central America so to be in the movie with one of those things, was really like, a dream come true. Gosh, I mean for me and my lifespan and what I grew up watching, it would be the equivalent of being, say, in an Indiana Jones movie or in a Star Wars movie. The Predator is obviously not as big a franchise as those films, but still it was something I grew up with so to be in it was just like, this is awesome!
On his role in 'Stranger Things'
ComicBook.com: you're going to be appearing in the third season of Stranger Things and I have read that your character is described as a Journalist with questionable morals and a sick sense of humor. Tell me a little bit about that character and what that looks like against the 1980's setting.
Jake Busey: Oh, well...I'm a journalist and I work for the Hawkins Newspaper and in the 80's if you'll remember, woman in the corporate workplace were kind of still a little bit of a new thing and there was still a lot of that old boys club...There was some misogyny at work in the workplace. There was man-makes, locker room humor jokes right in front of the ladies and a lot of times the men back then would, you know, they were a little condescending toward woman. I think Dolly Parton in 9 to 5...That movie was a big success in the 80's because it was a movie about woman in the workplace and how they got shit upon by their bosses, you know. This character embodied that aspect of life in the 80's a little bit and it shows that a little bit of just how far we've come in 30 years and how much better off we are and how much our culture in America has changed.
On preparing for 'Stranger Things' (and not giving away spoilers!)
ComicBook.com: You mentioned the movie 9 to 5, have you been watching any 80's workplace type of movies to prepare for the role or how have you prepared for the role?
Jake Busey: You know, I haven't consciously been watching any movies like 9 to 5. The writing was on the page and I was 15 in 1985 so I vividly remember how the old brass works. I remember the old...I kinda grew up with the adult men behaving that way. It was pretty easy. I mean, my character was basically, it was just...It was fraternity, it was like frat boy juvenile humor which we all see, unfortunately, all too much out in the world and on Twitter and other places. It wasn't that hard to replicate given that there's so many examples out there in the world.
Personally, it was a bit of a stretch. I have a wife and a daughter who my life centers around and so I have a great deal of respect for the females and the life of the female. My wife is a working make-up artist and my daughter has aspirations of being a singer and an actor. The character of Bruce in Stranger Things certainly is a stretch from who I am as a person but it was easy to play because there's so much research out there in the world for us to see...Sort of archetypal character. It was fun. The writing was good and I understood the point with the writing and thankfully...Well, Oops, I can't say that. That might be a spoiler.
On being a 'Stranger Things' super fan
ComicBook.com: Were you a fan of Stranger Things before getting the role?
Jake Busey: Absolutely! I was a hook, line, and sinker dork-a-fan. I was super fan, like, this was a show that was a show that other people got to do. This was a show that cool people got to do. This was not a show that I would ever get to do. This is not a show that I would ever be hired on to now. When the offer came in, I was literally just blown away. I didn't even believe it was true and I'm still pinching myself thinking I'm dreaming to this day. It's really one of those things that I just...I'm just so thankful. I'm thankful that they wrote the role for me and I hope that it continues forever but I know that they're not going to continue past 4th season with me but it’s been really fun.
The Predator is in theaters now.
Stranger Things Season 3 is currently filming and will debut on Netflix in 2019.