Actress Alexandra Daddario takes on one of horror’s biggest bad-asses, Leatherface, in Texas Chainsaw 3D, opening in theaters January 4, 2013, and spoke with the star who has previously appeared in the horror film Bereavement and shows such as White Collar and Parenthood. While we didn’t connect with Daddario while on the set of the new Chainsaw, we did, however, speak to her via phone about her character.
Daddario plays young woman named Heather who learns that she has inherited a Texas estate from a grandmother she never knew she had. After embarking on a road trip with friends to uncover her roots, she finds she is the sole owner of a lavish, isolated Victorian mansion. But her newfound wealth comes at a price as she stumbles upon a horror that awaits her in the mansion’s dank cellars. Head inside for more!
Shock Till You Drop: How did you wind up ultimately landing the role? If you auditioned, did they have you do anything unique during the reading?
Alexandra Daddario: I did audition, I had a couple of auditions. They were aware of who I was and wanted me to come in and read which was great because it always works in your favor when someone is familiar with your work. They gave me the role which was exciting. I think taking on a movie like this and being able to be a part of it was nerve-wracking, but I’m grateful for being a part of this franchise.
Shock: And what were your first impressions of the script? What appealed to you?
Daddario: I thought it was great that there was so much touched on regarding the history of Texas Chainsaw and the original film and the original story. We have Gunnar Hansen and Marilyn Burns in the film and, I think, for fans the past history is not ignored, in fact it’s the central idea behind the film, and I like that.
Shock: How does your character differ from the series’ past heroines?
Daddario: I think my character has a great evolution through the film. It’s fun because you get to see the change in her and see her become – as she learns more about what’s going on in the story – a different person.
Shock: The director is not really known for horror – do you think having a vision that was outside of the genre made it more interesting?
Daddario: Well, I think he was great because he directed an action type film so that made him great with the pacing and the action. That makes the movie scary because there are scenes that will completely knock everyone’s socks off. Just the way they’re shot and edited, they’re suspenseful and scary.
Shock: Take me on the first day you had to work opposite Leatherface, or the actor, himself… Often, a director likes to keep his villain away from the actors during shooting until they’re in front of the camera. Was that the case?
Daddario: I was sitting on set one day and we were about two weeks into filming. I was sitting next to him for what felt like a bit, but I was like, I don’t know this guy at all, but I’ve been working with him for two weeks. There was definitely a separation between us and Dan [Yeager], I’m sure it wasn’t on his part, but that helped keep him scarier to me. I did another horror film a few years ago and the villain in that, the actor, said he chose to keep some distance for that same reason.
Shock: What do you personally get spooked out by the more, the supernatural or films like Texas Chainsaw? The real stuff?
Daddario: Real life. I get very easily frightened. Horror films are very effective to me, they have an impact on me. I think that real life things scare me a lot more.
Shock: Were there any scenes in this film that rattled you so much during filming that you took that feeling home with you?
Daddario: Yeah, you spend days and days crying, screaming and being chased, even though you are not in any danger, you trick yourself into thinking you are. So there would be days I’d go back to the hotel room and I’d just be sitting there trying to sleep and for whatever reason you feel off. You trick your body into thinking there’s something wrong. And I think that’s what is interesting about being an actress as well. In that way, I did bring it home sometimes and towards the end of the shoot, it got more difficult. But that’s what being an actor is all about.
Shock: Out of the masks Leatherface wears in the film, which one creeped you out the most?
Daddario: I think they were all pretty creepy but there was one [on the teaser poster] on the bottom left I thought was scary. I really liked that poster, I thought it was effective.