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October 2006

By Brad Balfour

October 6, 2006

Who know what beautiful brunette Jordana Brewster will pop up in next. She made her mark in "The Fast and The Furious and then a lesbian secret agent in " D.E.B.S." Now she leaps into the horror genre as Chrissie--the almost heroine of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning"--a prequel to the longstanding series

"Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is an enduring horror institution first created by Tobe Hooper in 1974--a real B-film classic, raw and unabashedly exploitative--a true gore escapade. This original spawned a series and various docs about the film but nothing had the power of the original. Then producer Michael Bay formed a production company and decided one of his first productions would be a sort of remake of the original--this one directed by Marcus Nispel and starring Jessica Biel.

Now this prequel tries to establish the origins of the murderous slasher family incorporating some of the actual story of the real killers who inspired the first film and some send-ups of the characters that have been established in cinematic canon--to the like and greater dislike of the hardcore fans.

You've really explored a range of genres now, going from a lesbian to this horror. Do you have a fascination for these genres?

Jordana Brewster: I obviously don't plot anything out [career-wise]. It depends on the script and what phase in my life I'm at at that point. I was a fan of the 2003 movie and loved the look of it; I loved Jessica Biel's performance in it. I really like the production company, Platinum Dunes, and I met with producers Andrew [Form] and Brad [Fuller] like two years before the prequel came up so I really wanted to be a part of it so it just kind of happened.

After "The Faculty," did you ever think you would go back to doing another horror film?

JB: "The Faculty" was kind of science fictiony and to me it was more of a Robert Rodriguez film so I never thought of it as a genre film so I was totally open to do a horror film. I was excited to do one.

Were you disappointed that you didn't have the body count that Jessica Biel had--she had a bit more of a body count in terms of killings.

JB: Yeah but we had more torture scenes. I think we get a little more gory. We get really violent. Have you seen it?


JB: Well it's really violent. So I think we do okay.

What do you watch when you go to the movies?

JB: The last thing I saw was "Hollywoodland"--I really loved that. Then I saw "Little Miss Sunshine" and I loved that, so I see a bunch of different things.

Have there been any horror films that have been in your list of favorite films?

JB: I loved "The Others," "The Ring," "The Shining," and I loved "Twin Peaks." That was a series though, and it was the first one that really traumatized me. It was so freaky. So those are some of my favorites.

Were there any that really scared you?

JB: "Twin Peaks."

Why did it scare you?

JB: The blue nails, I just remember the blue nails when they found her body. Stuff like that. And then the rapist. I lived in New York when I was little and I slept in a bunk bed. My sister slept on the bottom and I slept on the top and I kept seeing for some reason the guy--I can't remember his name but he had a specific name--and he was the rapist and he had these muddy boots and I kept thinking that he was coming out of my closet and I would see the top of his head at the top of my bunk bed and that kept freaking me out. So humans freak me out more than monsters and ghosts.

So humans freak you out more than monsters so, is there a range of humans that scare you?

JB: Serial killers, sociopaths, those are at the top of my list, oddly enough.

Have you run into a few in your recent history?

JB: No, luckily, no.

Just in your bad dates.

JB: I've been lucky, yeah. [laughter]

Do you psyche yourself up for an intense scene like when you're under the cutting table?

JB: Yeah, but I didn't have to make anything up, I just took what was in front of me. I just drew from what was in the script, and I was working with a really good actor. [Matthew] Bomer [he plays older brother Eric] went to Carnegie Mellon and was really generous---it was great working with him.

How generous was Andrew Bryniarski--who plays the chainsaw killer Leatherface?

JB: Andrew. Yeah, he's an odd one. He plays heavy metal on set, and I wanted to stay away from him. Because I didn't want to befriend him and then have to act as if I was scared of him. So I was glad he was an oddball.

There would have been no befriending him.

JB: I don't think so. He's a weird guy and he takes his role seriously and definitely inhabits his character on and off screen. So it was easy to act like I was scared of him.

Was there any kind of research necessary for this role did you just use the script?

JB: No just the script, and creating backstory yourself by talking to Matthew who played my boyfriend and talking to the director beforehand about where we wanted to go and we watched "Silence of the Lambs" and "Alien--movies with strong female performances.

So you've seen the first one, right?

JB: Of course, yeah.

Was it important to make sure that she wasn't a cliche where she was the lead girl that makes stupid decisions?

JB: You can't act a character unless you believe what you're doing, I think, because if you don't believe it, you fix it, in the script. Because otherwise, if you don't buy it, you're not going to do it, hopefully. So whenever we didn't buy something we were all like, wait a second, we're not going to be able to sell this, so I do see it now--like the moment where I'm like, wait a second, would I really do that? But I think it's so immediate when someone's screaming and you think you're gonna help them, so I do buy it--I do understand why she made the choices she made.

I think my biggest concern with a horror film is not over-acting. Because it's so easy to be like [unconvincing scream] you know, to over do it and over-scream, and then I was afraid--Oh my god, what if I can't cry by the 20th take. What if they screw this up and I can't cry anymore, they're going to be pissed at me. That's what you start worrying about. But then once you do it, you're not worried anymore. So it's like breaking it in.

With the ending--you know what's going to happen, or you didn't know. Some directors like to set it up so you don't know your own endings. So you really are surprised.

JB: Yeah, nobody knew.

So you didn't know, the producers and director just made a decision to do two different ends?

JB: I think they were always trying to figure it out. We also ran out of time so the ending was--the last day of shooting was a night shoot and we were shooting at like five o'clock in the morning and we knew that we were going so quickly that it was going to suck. [laughter] Because we were shooting and I remember that light was coming up, and we knew that we weren't going to be able to sell it. So we knew we'd be back in Texas in a couple of months.

Did you get bruised at all during the filming--you broke your ankle?

JB: Oh, I've gotten the question that I broke my ankle on set and I didn't. So I'm thinking where that could have come from. I would always wrap my ankles before I ran because I was running in these cowboy boots and you can twist your ankle when you're running because of all the rocky terrain in Texas. But that's the only place I think that it could have come from. That's really weird.

How much physical preparation did you have to do for all the running?

JB: I run anyway so, I got made fun of, because I usually run on a treadmill so I use my arms and so I was using my arms and they were like you look like a marathon runner so they were like you have to flail and they're like no, it still looks stupid. So I got critiqued for my running all the time, which was really embarrassing. So that required a little preparation. But that was like, gait, I guess, you could call it.

You did it all yourself with no stuntwoman?

JB: No there was a stuntwoman. There was an awesome stuntwoman for the window stuff and for the getting-pulled-out-of-the-bag, whipped by Leatherface with the hair. I couldn't do that.

Did you get bruised at all though?

JB: Oh yeah, because you're always on the ground and I was always sneaking around and I was always on my elbows and knees too.

You just mentioned that, hoping that "Texas" will come out. that you will have your pick. That's a plan.

JB: That's true, that's kind of a plan.

Most likely, this film will make you some more money.

JB: I guess I turn down more than I [should]--I'm not totally random in terms of what I do. I guess because I took off so much time for school, I don't want to do the wrong thing. Because I was so choosy then, why not be choosy now? But Now I really miss working, I really do, so I don't know. But I don't love one specific genre.

After you had the big hit with "The Fast and the Furious," that's when you pulled back and went to school?

JB: Well it's weird. I went to school and then I actually shot "The Fast and the Furious" over summer at school, and then it came out. So I was kind of lucky.

And then you went back to school after you were done with promotions and all that, and then after that, you did mostly smaller films.

JB: Yeah, well, "Annapolis" didn't make money. So I guess it was a smaller film.

It wasn't meant to be?

JB: It was not meant to be a small film. But "Nearing Grace" and "D.E.B.S." were smaller films, but again, "Nearing Grace" was just a good script, so that's why I chose to do that one.

What have you done since Nearing Grace?

JB: I haven't done much, I'm just waiting for this to hopefully make money so that I can have my pick. Yeah, just waiting.

You have talked about have your own production company. Is that something you want to do, where you can not only pick your own credits but generate them?

JB: Yeah, I'd love to be able to have that power. That'd be awesome.

How have you applied you school knowledge?

JB: Well, with scripts I think. I mean, it just makes you choosier in terms of characters and character development.

What have you been doing since the film wrapped in your down time?

JB: Well I take an acting class at a place called the Lost Studio that I really really love. And that's in L.A. and I got a dog--a little lab.

Well that's only two hours out of the day though.

JB: Um, well no. The acting class is really intense. And the name of my dog is Ella.

Does it like the cat? Did it see your cat?

JB: No, the cat's in New York.

You have to split your time between the cat and the dog.

JB: Yes, I do.







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