By Tim Nasson
The first time I sat down with and interviewed Devon Sawa was exactly twenty years ago, a half a lifetime ago for the 41 year old actor, at the press junket in Los Angeles for the movie Idle Hands. In that film, a teenage slacker’s (Sawa’s) right hand becomes possessed with murderous intent. While the film became somewhat of a sleeper hit, it was the 2000 film Final Destination that most horror film movie lovers might best remember him for. Idle Hands was released in theaters in 1999 and took in just over $4 million at the U.S. box office. Final Destination took in $53 million in the U.S. and over $110 million, worldwide.
However, to date, his most well known role is that of Stan in the Eminem video of the same name. And that role almost didn’t happen. “My agent tried to talk me out of that,” Sawa said, “telling me that Eminem was not someone who appealed to most people and that the video wouldn’t be popular. I am glad that I didn’t listen to him.”
At the moment, Sawa can be seen kicking ass, Sylvester Stallone’s ass, mind you, in the latest Escape Plan movie from Lionsgate. Escape Plan: The Extractors, the third in the franchise, which launched in 2013, is now on Home Video.
“I grew up watching Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Bruce Willis in movies like The Terminator, Rocky and Rambo, and Die Hard and never thought I would end up playing the bad guy that gets to kick one of their asses,” he exclaims.
But just how did a lanky teenager who got his start on the big screen in the 1994 movie Little Giants end up getting buff enough to take on one of the action icons of all time?
“I took a break from acting for a few years. And got older. I noticed a little bit of belly fat and took up boxing for fitness,” he explains. “I did it as a lifestyle change, not only to get in better shape physically, but also mentally,” says Sawa. “And then my wife and I traveled around [Asia] for a while and I got into mixed martial arts. Little did I know that getting in better shape and learning mixed martial arts would help me get a role that pits me against one of the greatest action stars of all time.”
Devon Sawa Has Idle Hands No More