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Day Shift Director J.J. Perry On How Vital Jamie Foxx And Dave Franco Were As Collaborators - Exclusive

The vampire movie sub-genre just got a big infusion of fresh blood with the release of director J.J. Perry's "Day Shift." New on Netflix, the action-horror-comedy combines the wildly inventive fight stylings of the "John Wick" movies with the physical comedy of the "Evil Dead" films, except the bad guys in "Day Shift" aren't Deadites but malevolent vampires reminiscent of "Bram Stoker's Dracula."

Jamie Foxx stars in "Day Shift" as Bud Jablonski, who seemingly cleans pools for a living but is really a highly skilled vampire hunter. Struggling to keep up his financial obligations to his estranged wife, Jocelyn (Meagan Good), to care for their daughter, Paige (Zion Broadnax), Bud seeks bigger paydays by applying for reinstatement to the international union of vampire hunters. Previously kicked out of the union for continually breaking the rules, Bud is allowed back in on a probationary basis only if he allows a nerdish union rep, Seth (Dave Franco), to tag along on his hunting endeavors. Seth is instructed to report every one of Bud's union violations to his boss, Ralph (Eric Lange), but that's going to be a problem since the vampire hunter is going to have to break a lot of rules to defeat the seemingly invincible bloodsucker Audrey (Karla Souza) and her minions.

A stunt veteran of more than 30 years, Perry was confident that he could handle the action part of "Day Shift" — especially since his longtime friend, collaborator, and "John Wick" trilogy director Chad Stahelski was producing the film. There were other aspects of "Day Shift," though, where Perry admitted he needed some help, and luckily he got what he was looking for once he cast Jamie Foxx and Dave Franco.

Perry relied on Foxx and Franco to beef up the comedy in Day Shift

With his extensive stunt experience and his longtime affinity for horror films, J.J. Perry knew he had two of the three bases covered for "Day Shift." Luckily, when Jamie Foxx and Dave Franco signed on to star in the film, Perry could breathe a sigh of relief knowing the veteran actors could both bring the funny to the movie in a big way.

"Man, part of being [a] good director, in my opinion, is being able to lead, follow, or stay out of the way. The comedy worried me. I was a little intimidated by the comedy. I think I'm funny, but I don't know if anyone else thinks I'm funny," J.J. Perry told Looper in an exclusive interview. "As soon as I cast Jamie Foxx, I immediately exhaled. I was like, 'Okay, cool. I got a good starting pitcher.' When I sat through the read-through with Dave Franco and Jamie Foxx — we did a big cast read-through on Zoom — we were all texting immediately because Dave came throwing in heat. It was collaborating, absolutely."

Perry said part of the success of the comedy in the film was the freedom to allow Foxx and Franco to do their own thing once they met the script's obligations. "I would roll really long takes," Perry recalled. "We would do what was on the page first. I have an obligation to the company I work for to shoot the script, but I would say, 'Okay, we're still rolling. Let's keep it going,' and let them riff and riff and riff. A lot of the gold that we got came out of doing long takes like that."

Also starring Snoop Dogg as Bud's fellow vampire hunter Big John, "Day Shift" is streaming exclusively on Netflix.