Jessica Biel ('Texas Chainsaw Massacre')
'Bloody Hell! It's Jessica!'
Born in Ely, Minnesota and raised in Boulder, Colorado it would seem natural for Jessica Biel to play the classic girl next door roles. However, this star, who began her career in teen model prints after being discovered at the 1994 IMTA Convention, has struggled to break out of the confines of the 'good girl' persona. Her breakthrough came when she was cast in Aaron Spelling's WB production, '7th Heaven' (1996) as Mary Camden. Although she gained considerable attention for her work on the show, she became increasingly frustrated with her role, blaming her saintly image for the loss of a leading role in 'American Beauty' (1999) to Thora Birch.
Feeling her character in the series was limiting her film career, despite a role in the acclaimed drama 'Ulee's Gold' (1997), Biel attempted to get out of her contract. When the producers refused, Biel turned to Gear Magazine where she posed nude; the controversial cover and photo spread resulted in her leaving the television series by mutual consent.
Unfortunately, Biel's film career did not take off as quickly and roles in such fodder as both 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' (1998) and 'Summer Catch' (2001) were where it was at until last years "break-out" role as Lara Holleran in Lions Gates' 'Rules of Attraction.' She also still frequently appears as a guest on '7th Heaven'!.
With her latest movie project 'Blade: Trinity' currently filming, we sat down with her on the set of her current in-the-cinema project, the remake of 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'.
This new, 'fresh' version of the origial 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' seems rather more like a "re-imagining" as opposed to a simple remake. Is this the way that it was perceived to you also? "Yeah, that's about right. It definitely stands on its own two feet and is very different from the original. It's modernized, it's stylized, it's unique."
In what context do you see this movie? "I kind of look at it as a psychological, emotional thriller. It's definitely a re-imagining. It's a beautiful twist to a really horrific tale," she smiles.
What's been the most drastic "change" in this new verison to your mind? "Well, I had a problem with the original. In the original, you don't care about the victims and most of them don't even like each other anyway! And so you're watching it and you're like, "Well, just die then!" Because the only person that I was remotely interested in was the main girl and she was awesome! And you really care about her. But everyone else was like, whatever. That's why we worked so hard. I'm telling you, we re-wrote so much stuff from the the original script."
And, luckily for all us die-hard gore fans, you don't go down the comedic 'Scream' road movie/plot wise! "Yeah, we don't do it at all," she laughs. "I mean, we have some fun moments where as characters we laugh. You know, there's something that happens and it's a joke, it's funny, but it's not at all campy. We really worked hard to just make it realistic so you're riveted to the screen. Even when it gets really terrifying and you wanna leave the theater, you're just drawn in because the characters are so strong."
Tell me more about your character, Erin "It was really important for me to make this character not a victim. Even though she is, she is a victim of circumstance and of this crazy person who's after her and her friends. But she's a survivor, and she's a strong, smart woman. She's smart, and that's the one thing about her. She makes moves that save her life, and people do die, but she gets out of there because she uses her brain, she uses her brawn, she works it, and she moves it. She doesn't give up and doesn't do something stupid like run upstairs and trip!," she laughs again.
Oh yeah, the dreaded and oh-so-cheesy "trip" scene that comes in ALL these movies! "Yeah, I know and so if there was a trip in the script, I said, "You know, no tripping." And if we trip, then we trip and we get back up and we keep moving. And that's what it's gonna be, because that wouldn't happen in real life!," she smiles broadly whilst shrugging her shoulders.
Interviewed by Frank Burrows for Exclusive Magazine
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