Freddie Prinze Jr Reveals How His First Acting Job Almost Made Him Quit Forever

Freddie Prinze Jr. shared on his new podcast that the director of I Know What You Did Last Summer was so mean to him that the actor almost walked off and never acted again.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

freddie prinze jr.

I Know What You Did Last Summer may be an enjoyable movie for the rest of us, but Freddie Prinze Jr. did not enjoy his time making it. The actor launched a new horror movie podcast called That Was Pretty Scary and talked to TooFab about the podcast while also touching on his career in Hollywood (via Variety). Apparently, director  Jim Gillespie was “an a**hole” to Prinze Jr., and he almost quit the movie because “It was a struggle to finish work every day.”

Freddie Prinze Jr. detailed some of his alleged experiences with Gillespie, saying the director would give him notes like “don’t leave your mouth open [because] you look stupid when you do that.” Allegedly, the conflict between Prinze Jr. and Gillespie stemmed from the fact that Gillespie didn’t want him in the role of Ray Bronson and wanted to cast Jeremy Sisto instead, but the studio and screenwriter wanted Prinze Jr.

Interestingly, in a 2017 interview that Gillespie gave to DigitalSpy, the director said that he was the one who wanted Freddie Prinze Jr. in the role. So there is some conflicting version of events here, meaning it’s tough to say which situation is true. Gillespie has yet to comment on Prinze Jr’s statements, so there may be more to this story in the future.

One of the most surprising revelations from Freddie Prinze Jr.’s interview was when he almost wanted to fight Gillespie over a stunt gone wrong. According to Prinze Jr, he had a near-death experience when they were shooting the scene where his character jumped from a speedboat to a fishing boat to rescue Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character. Prinze said the scene was shot in the Atlantic Ocean, and the water was choppy from the speedboats and weather conditions that his boat was flipped over with the still-running propellor passing right over his head.

freddie prinze jr.
Freddie Prinze Jr in She’s All That

Prinze Jr. also alleges that he was told the stunt coordinator approved the stunt but found out later that the coordinator was sent home to avoid paying him overtime. Prinze Jr. went on to say that he expected Gillespie would apologize, but he scolded him for “wrecking the shot” instead, causing Prinze Jr. to go to his trailer and consider quitting the business altogether. He said that he was talked out of quitting by the producer and that a stunt person performed the stunt instead.

Despite all of this, Freddie Prinze Jr. said that he was thankful he stayed in the movie because it helped to launch his career, and it’s where he met his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar. Prinze Jr. would go on to star in films like She’s All That and Scooby-Doo. He would also go on to have a solid voice acting career, playing Kanan Jareus in the Star Wars: Rebels series and Lt. James Vega in Mass Effect 3, amongst other roles.

Freddie Prinze Jr. might even return to the role that started it all, as he is rumored to be rebooting I Know What You Did Last Summer with co-star Jennifer Love Hewitt. Director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson is rumored to be attached, with Leah McKendrick writing the script and Neal H. Moritz returning as producer. We’ll have to wait and see if that reboot comes to fruition, but it seems unlikely that Gillespie will be involved based on this.