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Freddie Prinze, Jr. Called His First Director an 'A-hole' Who Gave 'Psychotic Notes'

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | March 15, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | March 15, 2023 |


I’m not trying to be a jerk here, but how many of you have heard of Freddie Prinze, Jr.? And how many of you have heard of director Jim Gillespie? Exactly. There’s a reason you probably haven’t heard of the latter, who directed Prinze, Jr. in 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer. It’s that he’s an asshole, and either that — or a lack of talent — quickly caught up with him because the biggest movie he made post-INWYDLS was the 2005 Venom, which made $800,000 at the box office. That was better than the 2003 Stallone movie Eye See You, which only made $80,000. How do you make a movie starring Sylvester Stallone that makes less than the craft services budget?

I suspect, based on Prinze, Jr.’s description of him, that Gillespie was not particularly well-liked and probably did not elicit great performances.

“I’ll give the man this, I think his name is Jim, he made no bones about it,” Prinze Jr. said on the horror movie podcast, That Was Pretty Scary, via Variety. “There was no passive aggressiveness — which I hate — he was very direct in the fact that, ‘I don’t want you in this movie.’ So when that’s your first job and you hear those words, it just wrecks you, man. It just wrecks you.”

Prinze Jr. said Gillespie gave him “psychotic notes” on set such as “don’t leave your mouth open [because] you look stupid when you do that.”

“That was the exact note, word for word, I’ll never forget it,” Prinze Jr. said. “And I’m like, I’m either gonna break down or I have to beat this guy’s ass. Like those were the only two options in my head. I remember Ryan [Phillippe] came up to me and was like, ‘Screw that guy, man. How many times did you audition for this movie?’ and I go, ‘Five times,’ he goes, ‘Yeah, you earned it. You didn’t get offered the role, you earned it.’”

Prinze Jr. said he nearly quit the movie because of Gillespie, adding, “It was a struggle to finish work every day. I was in pain every single day on that movie. However, it prepared me for this business in a way. I’m forever grateful to Jim for being such an asshole because I’ve never met one like that since…no other director I’ve met felt crossing those lines would be OK. I’ve been prepared for every lesser A-hole in the business.”

Interestingly, years later Gillespie gave an interview suggesting that he fought for Prinze, Jr., even after the studio rejected him, and Prinze, Jr. wanted to give up. “I stuck to my guns and eventually they went, ‘Yes.’” That’s some interesting revisionism.

For what it’s worth, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. are in talks to return for a sequel to I Know What You Did Last Summer. Jim Gillespie is not.

Source: That Was Pretty Scary via Variety

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