by Tom Landy
On September 12th, 2012, I was invited by the fine folks at Universal Studios to spend the afternoon down on the set of 'Curse of Chucky' -- the sixth movie in the 'Child's Play' horror franchise that was filming locally here in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada.
During the visit, we (myself and the handful of other media present) were first treated to a quickie "5¢ tour" of the house set. Instead of using an actual house, it was constructed inside the studio warehouse, basically consisting of four inner house walls including one with a fireplace -- which will more than likely seem like an actual home through movie magic, of course.
We also got to hang out for a bit with Tony Gardner -- the lead puppeteer for the film, who showed us an assortment of Chucky heads on display. Each were in various stages of battle damage, and Tony even demonstrated how some of their inner mechanisms worked. Man, if you thought Chucky was creepy in the movies, you should see the little bastard up close and personal!
After that, each of us we were given the opportunity to privately interview a few of the stars on hand and now we have finally been green lit to share them with you. The following interview spotlights actress Fiona Dourif -- the daughter of cult character actor Brad Dourif -- who shares some insight as to what it was like making 'Curse of Chucky,' working with her father, and more.
HDD: Hi Fiona. Thanks for doing this for us. Have you ever been to Winnipeg before?
Fiona: I have never been to Winnipeg before. I have never seen the flat, flat prairie for as long as the eyes can see. I've never seen it. I've been to Vancouver and Quebec, but never here in Winnipeg. And Winnipeg's great, I like Winnipeg. It's got surprisingly a lot of good restaurants. I'm enjoying the food and it's very accessible. And the people are great. The people are so, so nice.
HDD: 'Curse of Chucky' is the sixth film in the 'Chucky" franchise. Can you tell us a little bit about the story and the character that you play?
Fiona: Sure. This movie is a throwback to the original and it's making Chucky scary again. This is truly a horror film. It's not a campy comedy at all. And I play a girl who is sort of trapped in this very difficult family dynamic with a high maintenance mother that she has to take care of, and a difficult sister, and she's disabled and she's trying to get her life together. Chucky is delivered in the beginning of the film and sort of chaos ensues with her and the entire family.
HDD: Do you find it to be a challenge playing a wheelchair-bound character?
Fiona: This is the second film that I've done playing a paraplegic and the main thing, you know, I think that people are people -- whether they are in a wheelchair or not. And you just want to sort of do it justice. You know? I don't think the wheelchair defines my character. I think it's something that she deals with. She has also been in a wheelchair since birth. The character that I played in the last movie became paraplegic and it was called 'After the Fall' and it was about... that. And I really tried to give that, do that justice. You know and as much as I could do it was kind of, a terrible movie, but... (Laughs).
HDD: Has Chucky ever given you nightmares? Given your lifelong association with, you know...
Fiona: Right... Right. Chucky... Chucky has indirectly given me nightmares, yes. I wasn't allowed to watch the films when I was a kid. But I walked in on my dad screaming bloody murder as he was being burned alive in the ADR booth -- and that gave me nightmares. Watching that, seeing that gave me nightmares, for sure. Yeah, I'm like, you know, I'm kinda like a spooky baby, I have to be careful what horror movies I watch because I get truly scared. It's pretty embarrassing. (Laughs).
HDD: How was it getting to work with your father (Brad) again?
Fiona: I would say that this feels like the first time I've ever worked with my dad. I worked with my dad briefly in 'Deadwood,' but I was "Whore #3" so it didn't really (laughs), I mean, it was great and I was so happy for the opportunity, but it didn't quite feel like... I also, we also had no scenes together. This has been, um, the whole family -- nepotism element has given it this very surreal quality where I'm on set and my dad's there so it feels like this kind of family adventure and not Fiona Dourif going off to do a film. So "surreal" (laughs), surreal is the answer and he's very supportive. He's a great, he's a really, really great dad. It's been great so far and I just hope I do it justice.
HDD: Is there a favorite genre that you prefer for acting?
Fiona: I probably am gearing more towards straight dramas. I would say Paul Thomas Anderson is probably my favorite director. Horror is pretty fun to do, just because the stakes are so high that you get to do things you wouldn't do otherwise, like I was screaming hysterical murder, you know? Which is fun. When it gets in, like hour, you know, 16, it kind of (laughs) gets a little old, maybe, but I would say that. Comedy is hard. Comedy's hard, but fun to do.
HDD: You've also appeared as Casey in a number of episodes of 'True Blood.' What was it like working on that show?
Fiona: 'True Blood' was fantastic to work on. They had a lot of time and a lot of money and a huuuge loyal fanbase. So they really got to kind of like work with all the characters and figure out what they wanted. I also worked with Fiona Shaw who I saw (inaudible) and who I just think is a great, powerful, and amazing actress. Also, she was clearly the lead in that season and there's very few other "Fionas" so after like eight months on the show I just stopped responding to my name in like every situation because they would call for Fiona so much and it was never for me. It was like "Fiona! Fiona!" (turns head) Oh? Oh right, yes. So that happened. (Laughs).
HDD: Finally, do have anything lined up for after 'Curse of Chucky'? Or anything that's already completed that we should be on the lookout for?
Fiona: I appear in 'The Master' which is coming out, a Paul Thomas Anderson film that's coming out, um, and I, yes, I just shot, I just shot one small movie, the title I think is still in working order. And then there's another film that I'm shooting when I get back that's -- oh what is the title of it oh my god -- I think that title was kind of in working -- oh it was called 'Gutshot Straight' and it's with Sylvester Stallone and AnnaLynne McCord and the lead actor -- his name is escaping me but he's great -- and I believe in that script. I think that script is good and could be a very good movie.
HDD: Great, thank you Fiona.
Fiona: Sure, thanks. (Smiles).
Up next, we be checking in with Chucky himself -- Brad Dourif -- so be sure to stay tuned!
- Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
- Curse of Chucky (Blu-ray)