Watch: Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Eric Olsen have some ‘Thing’ to discuss

This was a tough one for me.

When I don’t like a film, I don’t blame the actors.  I think actors have a tough gig, and when you’re making a name for yourself, you take the work that’s offered to you, and you try to do it well.  Most actors have little or no control over the material that they’re given to perform, and all they can do is try to find some truth in every scene and do their work as well as possible.

Walking into the press day for the new prequel to John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” I found myself in the awkward position of really liking the cast and really disliking the movie, and I didn’t want to make that the focus of these conversations.  I view it like this… in an interview, I’m giving the filmmakers or the cast a chance to make their case for the work they’ve done.  In my review, I can respond to that case they’ve made.  My job is not to make these people uncomfortable or to walk in and attack them over their work.

Besides, I’ve interviewed Mary Elizabeth Winstead several times now, and aside from being stone-cold adorable, she’s also a really sharp and interesting person, a good conversation wrapped in a charming package.  I certainly wasn’t looking to ambush her, and I was curious about the process on this film.  The interviews took place on the Halloween Horror Nights site at Universal Studios, where there’s a “Thing” maze this year.  The Sunday afternoon I was there, it was sweltering outside, and they had put Winstead in the same room as her co-star, Eric Christian Olsen, because the tent she was originally in didn’t have working air conditioning.

Yeah, I know… seeing people sweat during interviews about “The Thing” just sounds all sorts of backwards, right?

In the end, I enjoyed the chat with them, and I’ll have a full review of the film a little later this week.  I’ve also got one more interview to share with you, featuring an actor who has built not one but two rabid fanbases with his work on cult favorite TV shows over the years.

“The Thing” opens this Friday in theaters everywhere.