ZOMBIES 2 is a HUGE hit and we had the opportunity to talk to Pearce Joza, who plays Wyatt and talk about the film, his time on set, and a bunch of other fun things. It was great to learn so much about Pearce. Since we know that you don’t want to hear more from us, let’s get right into the questions.
We take a chance before we start the questions to congratulate Pearce on his work on ZOMBIES 2.
Pearce Joza: I am absolutely unbelievably excited, this is all coming together, it is amazing
BSCKids: We have lots of good questions so let’s get into it. Tell us a little bit about your character and how you got the role for ZOMBIES 2
I will start with how I got the role. I originally got a self tape audition and they wanted to create 30 seconds of dance to a specific song and for me to sing. Then they sent me a scene and I recorded and sent in. The dance was the most challenging part of that, I spent like a full day trying to choreograph 30 second of the dance, and finally I got it done and I was exhausted. I waited and waited and I didn’t hear anything for about a week, and then I got a producer session and I went in 4 more times in person over the course of a month and a half. I was actually sitting in the quiet section of the library studying and I got the call and I was like “Oh My Gosh” and I was very loud so I left very quickly. I went home and I got to celebrate with everybody and honestly I couldn’t believe it. I left a week and a half later for Toronto which was so cool. I finally got to see the script after I got the part, and the first thing it was talking about Wyatt, he is a big massive lover of family. That is a big part of the movie, and a big part of Wyatt’s character is how much he cares for his family and how much he wants to help them and save them. So he goes on a journey throughout the movie to try and find the moonstone, and he ends up asking Addison for help, in ways that I can not reveal right now.
How was it coming into the second movie since the cast from the first movie already knew each other
I was definitely very nervous coming in. I flew in a couple of days before anybody got there, to Toronto, but the night that everyone got there was a couple of days later. I got texts and calls from everybody, and they were like “we are hanging out it does not matter that we have work tomorrow or it is 11 PM. We are going out in true ZOMBIES fashion.” The message of the movie from the first one to the second one in real life, we immediately became a family and we still are. We are in NY City right now, but it has been cool hanging out with everybody off set and on set. We truly love each other and that’s rare.
Is there anything behind the scenes that has been funny that you can talk about?
There is a song called “One For All” and it is a really big and massive song in the movie, meaning there are a lot of people and a lot of choreography and it was definitely the most challenging to choreograph and learn. I don’t come from a massive dance background and that was one of the first we learned and I remember being in the dance studio and I couldn’t get this one portion of the dance that the werewolves were all supposed to do. It is not a funny memory, but one of the most heartwarming. We had an amazing team of professional dancers help us with the movie. It was still towards the beginning of dance rehearsals and I didn’t really know anybody and people could see me obviously struggling. Quite a few dancers came up to me and said hey if you want to work with us outside, we will come to you, we will help you figure this out. At that point I just lost all nervousness and panic. I took them up on it, and we worked outside, even during breaks we would be working in the back corner. That was an amazing addition to family as well.
From the movie, what do you think your favorite set was, and then tell us a little bit about your makeup work.
My favorite set was, I can’t decide between the wolf den or Zombietown. I think it would have to just be the wolf den because when I walked on the set “Call To The Wild” was the first dance that I actually shot at the wolf den. I hadn’t seen the set before I had walked on for rehearsals the day before we shot. The massiveness of the physical set, blew my mind. It was so large, it was one of the biggest sets that I have ever been on that has been built. Big shout out to the creative team who worked on that, it was an amazing job.
The makeup work, when we were in rehearsals doing makeup tests, I remember a day where I was in the production office for seven hours. Just dying my hair, doing different hair colors, different tattoo colors and stuff. At one point I had like 20 tattoos on me. Eventually we whittled it down and we would be in the makeup for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Chandler’s was the worst, Chandler had crazy makeup, but we all had prosthetic ears and we would be there really early in the morning. Everyone really put in amazing work and that is why it looks so great on screen.
Here is a question we love to ask, what would you say people would be surprised to learn about you?
I think a lot of my fans know I snowboard, I was on the Junior Olympic team in Colorado. So people know that. Something I really haven’t talked about ever, was when I was younger I was born in a very small town in Colorado and I got into community theater there. While I was in community theater and before we moved out to Los Angeles, I learned how to play the viola very well. I was very good at it, but through the Suzuki method, so I don’t know how to read music. Some point soon I do want to pick up another musical instrument and try to learn it.
What would you say your favorite ride is at Disneyland or Disney World?
Tower of Terror, 100%. When I was younger I took my first steps at Disney World. My Mom worked at Disney World as well, at Epcot, many years ago. So my Mom would take me to Disney World from time to time and my grandfather lived in Orlando. I was finally old enough and tall enough to go on the Tower of Terror ride. I was so nervous when I got on the first time, but I loved it so much. I think we did it like 20 more times after that. I would be begging my mom to take me back to that ride. And every time we go I have to do that ride.
Outside of your movies or shows that you have worked on, (I have to give a shout out to Lab Rats by the way, one of my kids favorite shows and one that Pearce has been on) what would you say your favorite DCOM outside of things you have worked on.
I think I have to go High School Musical the original. I remember when, I don’t think the first one, but when the second one came out, I was in middle school and all of these kids, everybody saw it obviously, it was High School Musical. Everybody was doing the dances and stuff and it was a craze at the middle school for a while, and I remember that very vividly for some reason or another, and here I am.
Why should everyone be tuning in to watch Zombies 2?
I think the coolest thing about ZOMBIES, and after I watched the first one, I think the thing I understood about ZOMBIES was number 1 how fun it is. Obviously you can get up and dance and sing to all of these songs and have a great time. There is the amazing message as well. That’s something we really tried to portray on set. We tried to make it as real as possible on set and really feel the turmoil that everybody was going through in the script and the story line. And that’s an amazing part of it, and that is something everybody should be listening to no matter if you are a kid, a teen or you’re an adult. At whatever age, that is a nice message to listen to, no matter what you are watching.
At the end of the day we have these awesome songs, these bigger cool new style of songs that we all put so much work into. Not only is it entertaining and fun it has an amazing message at the end of the day. Just like the first one.
Were you able to take anything away from the set, and if you were not, was there anything that you would have liked to have taken away from the set to keep for yourself to remember the making of the movie.
Pearce has to think about this because he does not want to ruin any of the story for us.
One thing I was able to take away from the set was a little piece from the wolf den. It was a small piece in the background, but it was in the shape of a W and it was really cool. It was wood work art, and I was able to take it home and I have that in my room.
Special thanks to Pearce Joza and we wish him well in his future projects! Please note that we have transcribed this from a phone interview we did with Pearce.