B.L. You were
really great in The Core and I understand that you spent
a lot of time preparing for your role.
D.J. Q. This is actually the first time that I ever had to do prep
for a movie, which is an interesting thing in itself because I primarily
have a teen comedy background and you don't have to prepare
for that. You were a teenager once, you remember.
B.L. Who wouldn't like
to have the chance to relive their teen years and get paid!
D.J. Q. Exactly! But for The Core, I spent about two weeks
in a computer-style boot camp going to Paramount every day talking
to these technicians that they hired to teach me about what was
going on. I spoke to a number of people who have gone to jail for
hacking and now work for the government. So it was really interesting
to understand the full scope of what was going on and it's
kind of terrifying: the more I learned, the less I really wanted
to know how vulnerable you are every time you want to log on to
B.L. Do you think after working
with these people that you could actually log on and send something
to everyone on the Internet at the same time?
D.J.Q. I do know how to hack one Internet server. I could get into
someone's account if I wanted to and they taught me how to
do that. It's fairly easy but it's not smart. Unless
you have a firewall in your computer or things to divert the path
they can find you immediately if you do it. I do have a certain
amount of know-how that I did not have before.
B.L. So are you a little
bit more cautious now when you go on the Internet?
D.J. Q. I was right after I made the movie because I thought wow,
I buy so much stuff online but they told me, you almost have to
be targeted and even then it's hard because they do put up
things that when you type in your credit card numbers it comes up
as little dots instead of your numbers. I mean they can be decoded
but it's so difficult and it is traceable. Who really has
time for that kind of stuff?
B.L. In playing this character
you've gone from playing the nerdy high school guy to somebody
who ends up helping to save the world. How was that?
D.J. Q. As I get older it's just logical that I am now being offered
"big boy" roles and I've become a grown-up! I am
just fortunate that I haven't been pigeonholed in a genre
and I have been able to move on past that. I'm really lucky
and I truly appreciate every opportunity I have been given in this
B.L. There's no question
that Road Trip was your big breakout film that started
to get you jobs. You even started to model for Prada! Did you enjoy
your modeling career?
D.J. Q. No, it's ridiculous. I really didn't enjoy it.
I lucked into that Prada job and I mostly shot for a British magazine.
I thought that it was cool and they paid me a couple of grand and
it was fun. But I realized that people are so phony. They are like
two inches from your face and they are saying all of this derogatory
stuff about you and then trying to tell you how you should look.
In the modeling world people will just say anything right to your
face and what do you do? I hated it.
B.L. You are doing so well
with your career; you have even started co-producing some projects,
where would you like to see your career go? What is in the cards
for D.J. Qualls?
D.J. Well I would really like to executive produce my own movies.
Like I said earlier, I am such a control freak that I would know
that if something fails miserably it would be my fault. I don't
want it to fail of course, but at least I know that I tried. I really
put everything that I have into a movie and I feel like when I do
something, especially as personal as The New Guy, because
it was my movie and I know that I would be blamed if it was horrible
and if it didn't do well. I am just happy that I made something
for somebody. It's a great feeling. I have really come to
understand producing a lot over the last few years and it helps
me when I am in movies that I am not producing because it helps
me understand some of the decisions that are being made.
B.L. Do you want to direct?
D.J. No, my actors would hate me. I see other actors who want to
be directors and you know that they are at home at night reading
those lines, looking in the mirror thinking how the lines should
sound. It's funny; I remember the director of The New
Guy (Ed Decter) did that to me. Ed is like a Jewish guy from
New Jersey and I am Southern Baptist. He would say the lines and
I would argue with him because he wants me to say it like him and
I turned to him and said, "Ed, I am not Jewish—no matter
how many times I say that line that way it's going to sound
ridiculous coming out of this head!"