Judd Nelson

Cabin by the Lake (USA Network)


When you look out at a lake, what do you see? Calm water? Loons? After you see Cabin by the Lake, from the creators of I Know What Your Did Last Summer, you will never look at a lake the same way again. Judd Nelson stars in this thriller as Stanley, a screenwriter, who while researching a project on serial killers, becomes a serial killer. But this serial killer has an unusual M.O.. He kidnaps young woman and plants them underwater. When one of his victims escapes, Stanley is discovered. Or is he? MSN Live chatted with Cabin by the Lake star Judd Nelson about his his latest role.


Digital Dish Diva says:

Welcome to MSN Live. Our guest tonight is actor, Judd Nelson. Nelson is currently starring in the USA Network Original Movie, "Cabin by the Lake," premiering tonight at 9pm ET/PT. Judd Nelson stars as Stanley, a successful Hollywood screenwriter who conducts research for his script about a serial killer by actually becoming one. After three successful seasons as a series regular on NBC's "Suddenly Susan," Nelson returned to television to star in the remake of the 1946 Warner Bros. classic "The Spiral Staircase" for Fox and in "Mr. Rock n' Roll: The Alan Freed Story" for NBC. He previously had starring roles in the television movies "Billionaire Boys Club" and "Hiroshima," and also had a memorable role in an installment of "Tales From The Crypt." Nelson recently completed a starring role in "Suspect Behavior" for ABC's The Wonderful World of Disney. One of Nelson's very first feature film roles was in the critically acclaimed "Fandango" with Kevin Costner. He soon rocketed to stardom after memorable roles in "The Breakfast Club" and "St. Elmo's Fire." Additional film credits include "Steel," "Airheads," "New Jack City," "The Dark Backward," "From the Hip," and "Every Breath" (which he also co-wrote). His most recent starring role was in "Light it Up," opposite Forest Whitaker and Vanessa Williams. He recently completed filming Endsville, a "mockumentary" about a religious cult in New York who are awaiting the end of the world directed by Academy Award-nominee Steven Cantor. He also recently finished a role in "The Cure for Boredom" as an arrogant hit man for hire who goes on the run with his partner after they take out a mob boss. Along with partner Steve Bing, Nelson has co-written and is currently developing the feature Guys Without Lives, a movie based on true stories published in the "National Lampoon." An accomplished actor on stage, Nelson has performed in numerous productions, including the off-Broadway play "Carnal Knowledge," regional productions of Lyle Kessler's "Orphans and Wrestlers" (along with Sarah Jessica Parker), and the Los Angeles Theater Company production of "The Seagull."

Digital Dish Diva says: Judd, great to have you here tonight. Thanks for coming!

Judd Nelson says: Hello people who are afraid of light!

Digital Dish Diva says: Well, our first question tonight comes from Missy25 who says: Hi Judd! I have followed your work since you started. I am intrigued by your choice to play a serial killer in this movie. Can you tell us about this film that premieres tonight and why you chose this part?

Judd Nelson says: I like the fact that you've been a fan of me since the beginning. You are 25. So you were nine when you started following me with "The Breakfast Club" and have maintained your fanship. I'm very grateful. Thank you. It's a story about a screenwriter who is writing a teenage slasher movie. He experiences writers' block, and feels he can't solve the problems unless he does what the lead character he's writing does.

Digital Dish Diva says: fishface says: It looks like there is a lot of underwater filming in this movie. Was that ever scary? Are you a good swimmer? Where was this filmed?

Judd Nelson says: I am a good swimmer. It was not scary, it was part of the reason why I wanted to do it. We shot in Vancouver, the lake water was as cold as anything I've ever been in. The close-up work in the pool was fun!

Digital Dish Diva says: candace says: I have a 12 year old. Is this movie going to scare her?

Judd Nelson says: A 12 year old should be told about the movie, but probably shouldn't watch it. They should think about the movie for years and years and years and when they're 18, they should be shown a tape. (laughs)

Digital Dish Diva says: "KJ 19" Asks: How does it feel to play the role of a serial killer?

Judd Nelson says: Well, I believe doesn't fancy himself a serial killer. He probably thinks he is A) A hero or (B) A regular guy going about his business. Stanley, the guy I play, falls into B. A regular guy going about his business as a regular guy as a screenwriter. As far as these people who have to be sacrificed, I blame my agent.

Digital Dish Diva says: cooper says: How did you prepare for this film?

Judd Nelson says: I ate a lot of peyote and stared at myself in the mirror until I didn't know who I was looking at, and then I screamed, "Roll camera!"

Digital Dish Diva says: JTRIS Asks: What was the most intense role that played and why?

Judd Nelson says: The most intense role I ever played was the character in "The Dark Backward." I had extensive special effects makeup, so my day was about 18 hours long. It was intense because of sleep deprivation.

Digital Dish Diva says: becca Asks: What would you do if you didn't act for a living?

Judd Nelson says: I would be the Commissioner of Major League Baseball after having won the gold medal in the Olympic marathon 12 years in a row. (laughs)

Digital Dish Diva says: halo says: I heard you were at the Super Bowl. What did you think?

Judd Nelson says: It was Super. All the human-interest stories added great texture to the event. I'm glad it was a close game.

Digital Dish Diva says: layla296 Asks: How long was the makeup session itself?

Judd Nelson says: On "The Dark Backward," for the full arm, 4 hours, and then everyone else would show up for work. 1 hour to remove it.

Digital Dish Diva says: redhead Asks: How did you approach your role as "serial killer" was it hard coming back down after such an intense role?

Judd Nelson says: I think it's important to work in a way that doesn't violate the working processes of the other workers. If you take your onscreen persona off screen, you make other people's jobs tougher. That's not my style.

Judd Nelson says: I'm so full of sh**. (laughs)

Digital Dish Diva says: getalife says: Here's a good question. When you are sitting in the makeup and hair chair, what do you do to keep yourself busy? Do you play Gameboy? Read?

Judd Nelson says: My time in hair and makeup when I'm not in a special effects type project, is less than 10 minutes. So, I focus on the first scene up for the day.

Digital Dish Diva says: jordancosta says: Hey Judd. What were you known for in high school? Class Clown? Most likely to succeed?

Judd Nelson says: Excellent bonging ability.

Digital Dish Diva says: april4682 Asks: How do you feel about the different turns your career has made?

Judd Nelson says: I think of the term "career" as a retrospective term as in, let's look back over the career of Spencer Tracy. I believe it's impossible to anticipate the reaction to one's work, so I focus on the immediate job at hand.

Digital Dish Diva says: Lady_Maine Asks: You seem to have a really good sense of humor, how do you keep such a good attitude? We miss you up here in Maine, we used to see you in the Old Port.

Judd Nelson says: I love Maine. I'm glad to hear from Maine. It's time to cut my mane. I'm a lion. But seriously, anyone from Maine, it's ok if we leave the state as long as we return each season.

Digital Dish Diva says: happy1 says: Did you every dream that you would go so far in the show business world, when you were filming "The Breakfast Club"?

Judd Nelson says: No. My dreams primarily as a youth were sports-related. I always assumed I'd win Wimbledon, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup and every Olympic medal. That was my dream. Needless to say, I've come up a little short!

Digital Dish Diva says: Mogul says: Do you plan on going to the hockey Allstar game?

Judd Nelson says: I plan on PLAYING in the hockey Allstar game. (laughs)

Digital Dish Diva says: NKPS Asks: Have you ever done an independent film? Would you ever?

Judd Nelson says: I have done a number of independent films and hopefully I'll continue to do more. There are two in the can that I've done—"Endsville," a mockumentary about a religious cult in upstate NY and "The Cure for Boredom," about a hit man who finds out his partner is gay. I don't know when they'll be released, but they're funny. (laughs)

Digital Dish Diva says: horsegirl says: Did you do Sundance this year?

Judd Nelson says: I have danced often in the sunlight. I don't need a festival to get naked.

Digital Dish Diva says: choomX3 Asks: Did you ever take acting lessons, if so where, and for how long?

Judd Nelson says: I studied for two years with Stella Adler in NYC.

 Digital Dish Diva says: max says: O.K, so you are the ultimate power of the world for the next 60 minutes. What do you do?

Judd Nelson says: I immediately enact a law in Congress. The Neon Law. If your establishment is closed, let's say McDonald's/Burger King, TURN OFF YOUR DAMN NEON LIGHTS. Don't make me leave the freeway because you KEPT THE DAMN NEON LIGHTS ON, FAKING ME OUT. My 60 minutes of world control will result in the Neon Law, and people all over the globe will be better off.

Digital Dish Diva says: bonfire says: Did your role in "Relentless" help you to get into this character? That was an excellent role you played, btw.

Judd Nelson says: Thank you. I enjoyed doing "Relentless," but every role is very different from every other one. "Relentless" never crossed my mind while preparing for "Cabin by the Lake."

Digital Dish Diva says: becca Asks: Do you like to get on your computer and just chat like this?

Judd Nelson says: I like my computer as much as John Glenn likes anti-gravity. (laughs)

Digital Dish Diva says: clayhands says: Would you ever want a cabin by the lake after this movie?

Judd Nelson says: Absolutely. I'm the damn hero!

Digital Dish Diva says: PrincessJeanie says: Which role do you most identified with and which role did you like the best?

Judd Nelson says: The role I most identify with is Charles Foster Cain in "Citizen Kane," and yes, I'd like my newspapers back.

Digital Dish Diva says: foxycrim says: If you could be in a movie with any actor who would it be and why? What role would you like to play?

Judd Nelson says: I have no singular favorites. It's more tonal. But I bet I'd work with anyone on a good story.

Digital Dish Diva says: Fuchsia Asks: When would you say that it would be to late for one to pursue a dream?

Judd Nelson says: It is never too late to pursue your dream. Never ever. Never ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. If you can draw a breath, you can pursue your dream. Let no one stop you. Let no one trick you. And make sure you don't trick yourself.

Digital Dish Diva says: kosher says: So, do you still want to win an Olympic medal?

Judd Nelson says: Absolutely. In marathon. If you win the decathlon, everyone says you're the best athlete on the planet. I want the marathon. No matter who you are, how long you chase me. I GET AWAY!

Digital Dish Diva says: sparkle Asks: How long did it take to film "Cabin by the Lake"? Was it fun or just wet?

Judd Nelson says: "Cabin by the Lake" took four weeks, which was a very short schedule for such an enterprising production. It was a blast, Po Chih Leong, the director, was the best director I've worked with. And it's my fault, MY fault, if I don't work with him again.

Digital Dish Diva says: missfanNC Asks: You've played a wide variety of roles throughout your career. What is different about "Cabin by the Lake"?

Judd Nelson says: I believe that every project, no matter how similar, "Armageddon" or "Deep Impact," every movie may have similar ideas but different execution. This movie is dark, yet tongue-in-cheek. Violent, but under-played. It may not be for the littlest of kids, but your kids that can tell you what they're thinking-- they're ready.

Digital Dish Diva says: breakfastclub says: Hi Judd. You have done theatre, television and film. Which do you prefer?

Judd Nelson says: Theater. It's the medium that when all is said and done is left up to the actors to tell the story.

Digital Dish Diva says: Switch Asks: Hi, Judd, I am a big fan of your work. I wanted to know, did you ever have any negative encouragement or doubt by anyone when you decided to become an actor? If so, how did you handle it, and is there any advice you can give to me?

Judd Nelson says: I had a tremendous amount of knuckleheads telling me their opinions. The key is to quickly realize that you're hearing opinions from KNUCKLEHEADS. It's a public profession like politics or athletics, people will say many things. But like a duck in the water not concerned about the rain, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Digital Dish Diva says: prettyboy says: I saw "The Breakfast Club" this weekend dubbed in Spanish. Have you seen this? It's wild. What did you think?

Judd Nelson says: I have not seen it. I am sorry that I have not. I hope they gave me a good voice.

Digital Dish Diva says: SleeplessInColorado says: Do you keep in touch with your Bratpack friends still?

Judd Nelson says: Gary Coleman keeps avoiding me, but I know I'll track him down.

Digital Dish Diva says: ladyfyrfyter Asks: Hi Judd, do you have any big plans for the future and what are they?

Judd Nelson says: Other than arson? Just thinking about you, Ladyfyrfyter, I'm throwing my lit cigarette into a pile of cats. Please help them. (laughs)

Digital Dish Diva says: Ladyunicorn says: What do you have planned next? Do you plan on doing another T.V. series any time soon?

Judd Nelson says: I believe the next thing I'll do is directing a short film for Showtime that I've written that takes place in a corner of a boxing ring.

Digital Dish Diva says: max Asks: Here's an odd question, say you come upon two people having an argument about who is cooler. One of them picks you, while the other says spider man. What do you do?

Judd Nelson says: I side with the person who picked Spiderman. Peter Parker RULZ. J. J. Jamison is delirious. Andre Risen is delusional.

Digital Dish Diva says: JuddNelsonFan Asks: Hello Mr. Nelson. You are the best. So cool. Keep up the Great Work. You have quite an array of characters to your credits.

Judd Nelson says: Thank you.

Digital Dish Diva says: ChocoCookie Asks: I'm sorry I can't remember the man's name, but you were on Suddenly Susan with a costar that committed suicide. Were you close to him and what does that do to a cast when such a tragedy strikes?

Judd Nelson says: His name was David Strickland. He was my friend. When he hurt himself, I had no interest in doing the show any more. A sitcom for me is light and airy. Like actor camp. All our inside jokes came through David. He was the mortar that held the bricks together. When he left us, the show, for me, was dark. I wish them the best. I had a great time working with all of them. But I had to leave. Again, his name is David Strickland.

Digital Dish Diva says: bamagirl Asks: Have to say Mr. Nelson, you play an excellent villain, you are really into the characters that you play. What's your next adventure? Keep up the good work. Glad to have talked to ya.

Judd Nelson says: My next adventure is to hijack the Space Shuttle. Go to the moon. And whack a driver better than those silly astronauts.

Digital Dish Diva says: ladynascar Asks: Hey Judd! I have loved growing up with you. I was wondering who inspires you the most in your acting and in your personal life?

Judd Nelson says: My biggest inspiration has been my mother and father. My hero is my dad. My family keeps me grounded. And I'm glad that they love me.

Digital Dish Diva says: sasha says: Judd, do you have a website. I love your work and I would like to be aware of what projects you will be working on in the future.

Judd Nelson says: Thank you. I do not have a website. Someone tried to sell me my name a couple of years ago. I was horrified. I thought my parents gave me my name. I didn't know I had to pay a perfect stranger to buy it back. As it stands now, I will NEVER have a website until that man comes to my house and allows my dog to eat his esophagus or trachea or both upper aortas.

Digital Dish Diva says: Judd, it's been a pleasure having you as our guest tonight. I know our time is up. Please come back anytime! Please tune in to "Cabin by the Lake" tonight at 9pm ET/PT on the USA Network.

Judd Nelson says: Thank you all for your questions, and if I had a third arm, I would have answered faster and I would have made the Earth spin less fast. Time would have gone slower, and I might have answered two or three more.

©MSN Live. Edited for clarity.