‘Jumanji’ movies completely changed my life, says actor Madison Iseman


MUMBAI: Actor Madison Iseman says the rebooted “Jumanji” movies were a turning point in her career and she is hopeful that the makers will plan to come up with a third movie in the franchise someday.

Iseman featured as the social media savvy Bethany Walker in 2017’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Next Level” and its 2019 sequel “Jumanji: The Next Level”.

The original movie was a reboot of Robin Williams’ classic 1995 movie “Jumanji”.

The actor said her career took a whole new direction after she starred in the franchise alongside the likes of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan.

“That movie just completely changed my life and I’m so grateful for everyone behind it. And there’s still hope that maybe we’ll do another one.

“I don’t know, especially with the pandemic and the whole theatre situation right now, but I love all those people so much and I kind of owe them everything, Iseman told PTI in a roundtable interview on Zoom.

Prior to the hit franchise, she appeared on the series Modern Family and Henry Danger , and later starred in horror films like Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween and Annabelle Comes Home .

Iseman currently features in teen horror series “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and she said the show continues the trend of her being part of projects that are fresh takes on stories told earlier.

“It ( Jumanji’) was the first scary franchise that we decided to remake. And same thing was with the show. It was so great and totally reinventing it and making something different. So maybe this is becoming a trend for my career.”

“I Know What You Did Last Summer” is a contemporary adaptation of the 1973 novel by Lois Duncan and the 1997 American slasher film of the same name, about four young teens whose high school graduation partying takes a deadly turn when they kill someone in a car accident.

In the show, Iseman plays the roles of twin sisters — Allison and Lennon. To play the parts, she said it was essential to have a better understanding of the two characters.

“I’ve always wanted to play twins. The first thing was to make sure I had a clear idea of who these people were individually and their whole backstory and history and who they were as a little girl and really know them from the back of my hand.

“I do have to slip into that persona of wearing the face of the other… it came naturally and it was a time where it was okay to have flips.”

Actor Brianne Tiju, who stars as Margot on the show, said she was both excited and nervous about the show

“I was so nervous. I guess in my head I never thought I would get this part and you talk to any actors who have been auditioning for a long time, you keep the expectations low because you get rejected all the time.

“But for this one when I got it, it was super exciting, nerve-wracking. But what calmed me down was I got to speak to Sarah Goodman about the show,” said Tiju, known for her roles in the MTV series Scream and Hulu series Light as a Feather .

Model-turned-actor Ashley Moore, who rose to fame on the E! series Model Squad , said she has been a huge fan of the original film and was thrilled about working on the series adaptation.

“I grew up watching it and when I was presented with the opportunity for this role, I was really excited to take it. Because I was such a huge fan of it, I couldn’t wait to film the series about it, Moore, who stars as Riley, Lennon’s friend, said.

It’s so iconic and has a huge fan base and people are so in love with this. It was very exciting for me, she added.

Actor-writer Ezekiel Goodman is hopeful the show will be able to strike a chord with the younger generation.

He stars in the show as Dylan, Allison’s love interest and Riley’s best friend.

“In a lot of ways, it’s a coming-of-age show. And so, I think that the process of young people finding out who they are, I would hope that the audience will be able to find little parts of themselves in each character.”

Written and executive produced by Sara Goodman, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” currently streams on Prime Video.

The show is produced by Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television. (PTI)