Ser’Darius Blain is back as Fridge for another go in the world of Jumanji in the upcoming sequel to the 2017 film “Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle.” Blain chatted with The Knockturnal about returning to the series for “Jumanji: The Next Level,” and well as taking on the portrayal of a real-life historical character and more.
The Knockturnal: Can you talk about reprising your role from Welcome to The Jungle, how has your character grown from that film to this one?
Ser’Darius Blain: Yeah definitely, I think from the first film to the second Fridge has grown in terms of knowing who he is now and coming to make life decisions about what he wants to do going forward and not necessarily living life according to other people’s standards or expectations or what they want for him. He’s also really really into his relationship with his friends and he realizes that they are really there for him in his corner. He doesn’t worry about what other people think in terms of who his friends are. In the first one he really didn’t want to be Spencer’s friend but now he’s fully giving in to his relationship with Spencer and Martha etc.
The Knockturnal: What initially drew you to your character?
Ser’Darius Blain: He’s just got a big heart. He’s like a Jolly Green Giant who just happens to be a big teddy bear at the same time even though he acts like he’s tough on his exterior. So that really kind of resonates with me because it’s similar to me in many ways in real life.
The Knockturnal: What was the experience like this time compared to filming the prior film?
Ser’Darius Blain: Everyone’s relationships are so much stronger now because we know each other. So we gave each other freedom and opportunity to play. Not only that but everyone has grown as an actor too. Coming back on this second one Madison Iseman she’s always been great but she’s had a [stunning] career for the last two years since the last one came out and so I just see how much fun she’s having on set now. Same thing with Morgan Turner. You know Alex Wolff is one of my closest friends so I’ve had the opportunity to watch him grow as well. He’s one of my favorite actors ever I think he’s gonna win an Oscar before he turns 30. It was just really great getting the chance to get the band back together again. Jake our director really trusts us now as well, not that that he didn’t in the first place. But he really believes in his trust for us and just kind of let us have fun let us play around and find new things find new gags, new jokes and lean into the heart of the story as well.
The Knockturnal: Can you talk about some funny moments that happened offset with having actors such as the Rock, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black around?
Ser’Darius Blain: Honestly on this one I didn’t get to hang out with the other cast too much but we get to see it all in public, the gags between him [Kevin] and The Rock they are just ridiculous. Their friendship has grown as well and the shenanigans they do, getting into each others Instagram stories filming at the same time and constantly letting each other cutting each other down it’s pretty hilarious. Especially in real life The Rock’s 6’5 280 pounds of steel, Kevin’s 5’3 140 pounds. The shenanigans are hilarious. And of all the people Jack [Black] ends up being kind of the mediator which is kind of hilarious because he’s a nut himself, and Karen’s just tagging along for the ride watching the shenanigans laughing her butt off. So I taught it was cool seeing people who are on that level and are that funny don’t take themselves too seriously. So it gives me something to look forward to,look up to and aspire too as well.
The Knockturnal: So you guys filmed in a variety of locations such as Calgary, what has been your favorite location to film at?
Ser’Darius Blain: The younger cast we shot in Atlanta and we shot partially in Hawaii so obviously Hawaii’s gonna be the favorite for anybody who’s ever been to Diamond Head in Honolulu it’s paradise it looks like heaven on Earth. But I do not regret not going to Calgary with them because it was literally an ice fortress out there. I saw footage and everything and was talking to producers while they were out there, they were freezing their butts off. So I’m glad I didn’t have to go and do that part.
The Knockturnal: What would you say are the rules for surviving Jumanji?
Ser’Darius Blain: You gotta have eyes in the back of your head. Just keep your eyes open, stay in communication nothing is as what it seems, so always be careful and watch your step and always listen to the animals for sure.
The Knockturnal: Can you talk a little about starring in Bolden and what it was like playing a real life person in portraying Willie Cornish.
Ser’Darius Blain: Bolden was a cool experience because I got an opportunity to play a historical figure that really existed. And not only that it was a period piece and I love the fact that they stayed true to all the wardrobe and we had to grow our hair out for six months and we had authentic mustaches and shirts with detachable collars the same way they did in 1908 New Orleans. So getting the chance to submerge ourselves in traditional New Orleanian culture was really gratifying to feel that much history on a film set.
The Knockturnal: What else can we expect from you?
Ser’Darius Blain: I have a film coming out called The Last Full Measure on January 24th with Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Ed Harris, Christopher Plummer and it’s about the bloodiest day in the Vietnam War and a pararescue jumper who came down and rescued 66 people in one day called William Pitsenbarger. I’m really excited for everybody to get to see this film. It’s really gritty. It’s a beautiful story about unity and brotherhood and heroism at the end of the day. So I’m excited.