Robert Jayne talks to UK Tremors

Robert Jayne talks to UK Tremors
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We asked Robert Jayne, who plays Melvin in Tremors 1 and 3, some questions about his role in the movies and what the TV series has in store for us....

UK: Firstly, there has been some confusion over your name.

RJ: My name is Robert Jayne, but I went by the name Bobby Jacoby for most of my young professional life. My older brother Scott Jacoby enjoyed success as a young actor and was awarded an Emmy for his work on the television movie “That Certain Summer”. Although we don’t share the same father, our mother kept the name “Jacoby” for all of my siblings to use professionally when she remarried and gave birth to her additional children, including myself. I decided to use my real name professionally around the age of twenty, and that’s why I am credited as “Bobby Jacoby” in the first movie but “Robert Jayne” in the third movie and television series.

UK: 1. How did you get the part of Melvin in Tremors?
RJ: I was working on the film Meet the Applegates and the first assistant director was preparing to begin work on Tremors following the end of the production. He told me about the part of Melvin, and suggested I meet with Ron Underwood. As soon as I got back to Los Angeles, my agent arranged a meeting for Tremors and I was asked to do the part. Ironically, it was one of the easiest auditions of my career and yet turned out to be the most rewarding.
UK:2. What can you remember about working on the first film?

RJ: I remember it being a challenging shoot because we were out in the desert, but I also remember it being fun. I think the best part was watching the production team make the worms come to life. Everyday it seemed there were different versions of the worms depending on what part of the worm they were to film that day.

UK: 3. Was it fun playing such an obnoxious character?

RJ: Absolutely. The only problem is sometimes people think that’s how you are in real life. I remember going to a test screening for Tremors, where the producers get feedback from the audience to gauge how the movie is being received, and every time I came on the screen these two girls who were sitting behind me kept saying they hoped I would get eaten. It was pretty funny because they didn’t know I was in front of them.

UK: 4. How about staring with people like Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon?
RJ: I have done a lot of parts with stars, and it’s still always strange that first time you meet someone who you’ve been watching on screen. I am a big fan of both those guys, and they are really great people. That’s probably my favorite thing about being involved with the Tremors projects. Everyone is really great and down to earth, and I think it all starts with Ron and the producers. They are just such great people and they always bring in great people that you want to be around and spend time with. Besides, now I win all of the “Kevin Bacon Degree of Separation” contests.

UK: 5. How does it feel reprising your role in Tremors 3?
RJ: It has been one of my favorite roles to do so far in my career. I was so excited to see everyone again and to be part of something that started so long ago. I think Brent [Maddock] and Steve [Wilson] did a great job bringing everyone back. I really enjoy the real estate vulture spin they put on “Melvin”. He may have grown up, but he’s still a little “sh_t”.

UK: 6. What was it like returning to an old character?

RJ: It was almost like playing a new character because of how long ago it was, as well as how much I’ve grown up since then.

UK: 7. Is it the same working on the TV series as on the films?
RJ: It is an odd feeling to stroll into the town of Perfection for the third time but in a different location. When you are filming television as opposed to a film, the pace is a lot quicker. We only have eight days to shoot an episode, so you can imagine how fast we have to move.

UK: 8. Can you tell us anything about the show?
RJ: I just finished filming the first episode, and I was very happy with the how the writers approached turning into a series. I think the fans will be very happy with the special effects and the tone of the show. There are a few new characters that will be introduced, as well as some new twists with “El Blanco”. Unfortunately Charlotte Stewart will not be returning as “Nancy” because of prior working commitments, but fans will be happy to know that the role in great hands. “Melvin” is continuing to try and develop the valley as well as just annoy the heck out of “Burt”.

UK: 9. What does your Tremors future hold?
RJ: The producers have told me that “Melvin” will be a recurring character on the show. That means that I will pop up from time to time and be a pain in the butt for everyone in town, especially “Burt”. I hope to be on as much as possible because I just love being part of the show. I guess it’s up to the fans and the producers, as well as the story lines that have been created. If Tremors continues into a second season though, I would definitely love to continue to be part of it.

UK: Any more info you can divulge?
RJ: I know that the fourth installment of Tremors is being planned and that Michael Gross will be a part of it. Nancy Roberts has become part of the writing team and I think it’s an awesome addition. Burt is as crazy as ever, and there is a new nemesis to Perfection residents.
UK Tremors thanks Robert for the time he spent on this article. Did you play a part in any of the Tremors movies or TV episodes? If so we would love to hear from you

Tremors 3: Back To Perfection is distributed by MCA/Universal Home Video, Inc. TM and Copyright © 2001 Stampede Entertainment.