Interview with Andrew Bryniarski


One day, I received and e-mail from Andrew, who had visited my site and granted me this interview.

A couple of days later, we chatted by phone.

Below is an interview with Andrew conducted via e-mail.  Please read further below this interview for my own comments about our personal conversation.


Well Tim, I see you have a very comprehensive and wonderful site. I can also see you take this very seriously so I will try to be as informative for our fans as possible.  I tend to be very forthright ,so remember; YOU ASKED.

Since you are fans and I'm feeling your grass roots, I'm not going to give a safe "Hollywood "interview.  Maybe you will get a better feel for me. Let's talk Texas. (b.t.w.) I love the fan art.  So here it goes- in order from your list of very good questions-

Can you tell us about your previous works?
About my previous work; I have been acting for 15 yrs., besides I see you have a good deal of it listed on your site already, so lets just talk about all things "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and the future.

We heard that they had picked another actor before yourself to portray Leatherface. Can you elaborate on what happened?
It is true.  I will keep it simple. Originally I asked Michael Bay if I could play LEATHERFACE the same week it was announced he was making the movie.  We had worked together on Pearl Harbor and stayed friendly. Shortly thereafter the casting people called my people and we started talking, it looked very good. Enter Marcus Nispell.  You see I guess I had figured Michael would be a very hands on producer ie; another director.  I was wrong.  The movie would be shot completely true to Marcus' vision.  Marcus wanted the biggest guy.  Later we find out some guy lied about his size and physical ability in a big way. They hired the wrong guy and then on day one, scene one, take one, he is hospitalized/disabled by the intensity of work and is fired. By now they needed help...and I was raring to roar. I was then asked if I could/would still like to fly to Austin.  I told Marcus "Don't worry "I'm your man, I was born to wear the mask!"  I meant it.  He knew it.  That's that.

Have you seen the TCM series before there was even talk about making this remake?
Of the series I will say this; The original must always be separated from the sequels as it is a true classic horror film.  The others are truly classic horrible films (yes all three).  T.C.M(1974) was a film with tremendous ambition, heart and guts (take it as you will) as well, it had that original (golden) premise and was made by guerrilla filmmakers with a dream and no money.  Passion and talent rule. The others were embarrassing even to watch,  not as a horror fan but as a movie fan.  In a word, disappointing.  Watching them it seemed as if the film makes either didn't care or it was just beyond them to capture the magic. Highlights being Dennis Hopper from 2.,the saw from 3,and NOTHING @all from 4.

We know that some familiar faces were involved with the remake. Such as Daniel Pearle for the cinematography, Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel. Were there any other original cast or crew members that you got to meet while shooting the movie?
Lets talk about Daniel Pearl.  He is a very prolific/experienced/ professional now.  He was always avantgarde but he has been @ it now for three decades and like Marcus has done a huge number of cutting edge commercial projects.  Things you would never associate with either one, but it was them making it rock. One of my earliest impressions from this experience is exchange:

Me - "How are we doing?''

Daniel - "Your'e the best leatherface ever and I'm not doing the same shit I did 30 yrs ago!  It's gonna be fu**in great."

Well, there ya have it.  Works for me. Unfortunately I have not yet had the privilege of meeting either Tobe or Kim. Their involvement is our movie was limited to licensing Michael Bay their Original character/story rights.  In our movie the basic original premise is theirs, but it is our original screenplay based on their premise that makes our version/story as unique as it is familiar...but not too. I would really like to sit and talk w /Tobe now that it's over and my appreciation is so much deeper then when I first saw that scratchy, over-watched, over-rented grainy old film of his.  I feel a certain kinship for sure.  I have also never met Gunnar, though I feel his grumpy bear vibe.  I hope he can lighten up and find peace with our film.  He is LEATHERFACE, just now SO AM I. We made it as an homage to the original team.  I hope they feel the love.

Tell us about your experience making the movie. The hours, the work, etc.
Everyone involved in this movie suffered for this labor of love.  Make no mistake. That's a really important one for me to address because this cast and crew earned it all.  Starting with my complete personal/professional respect and hopefully ending with a place in cinema history and the record books.  These comments I do not make lightly.  I give them high praise. This is a tough business, (cry me a river) but this film almost failed once a day.  There wasn't a lot of business cash advance loans around to always save us either.  See that's how it is with the great one's, they command great fees in time, talent and resources, the piper must be paid.  Making great movies is about solving great problems and making good decisions.  Experience/Intelligence then guides the passionate to the achievement of worthy goals. Sometimes though, the Movie Gods are your only hope. The hours...arghhhhhhhhh! The conditions wouldn't want to bake all day in my fat suit. The, "Let's help me forget now, how many times I felt I risked my life for... The work.....Constantly challenging, Immensely rewarding, always worth it and then some. That's the price of being a physical action junkie I guess.  (I did all my own stunts, and liked it.  A lot.  I HONESTLY don't believe another person could have finished this particular movie as leatherface.  It was just too demanding.  But I like it that way, gimmie some mo- pressure.

How did you study for the part of Leatherface? Did you take notes from the original movie or any of the sequels? What inspired you most into creating the character?
I watched the original until I figured I had Gunnar's take on it down.  I was looking forward to the ending saw dance shot early on,  I was squealing like a wounded pig in the shower etc.. etc...Then I read our script and realized I HAD SO MUCH MORE COOL STUFF TO DO.  Then I found out that Gunnar never made a single pig noise, that they brought pigs in and looped it.  Then @ some point I decided just to own it myself.  This character was just too cool and way too important to play based solely on another [person's] interpretation of the role, even it's originator.  I approach my work as a character actor, as an artist.  My canvas at hand, my colors are true and bold. In the process I think we have painted a new horror masterpiece. Gunnar's performance will always be a great classic. My Leatherface is MUCH scarier though as he comes from a very real, very dark psyche. It became an intense character study.  I went to the darkest place in my mind, stuff I don't even feel as a person, but I can feel as human.  Primordial EVIL urging demented redemption through a reign of murder, torment and terror. EVIL is as EVIL does.  (Thank you Forrest Gump).  My deranged killer is not at all sympathetic.  I did not play him for his likeability.  You would not ask why??  You better not look back...You better just run your ass off, or it's like "Oh my f***ing GOD." The difference is you will scream for the kids to live in this one, they need the help not the killer.  IT'S JUST NOT FUN OR FUNNY.

Who's LEATHERFACE is better???  Me or Gunnar??  I see it like this...I'm sure Christopher Lee never felt like any lesser a Dracula than Bela Lugosi when he wore the cape. I will say this though; Gunnar was to a wild boar what I am to a grizzly.

Were there any moments that you felt were “over the top” or perhaps you felt the shooting was going too far with violence?
I don't think like that.  I don't gauge or judge violence,  I JUST METE IT OUT. It's not my job to value judge and Over the top puts em outta the park!!! Safety is always a PARAMOUNT concern that is always monitored and that is no joke.  I watch judiciously for the safety of those I pretend to kill, and many dear and dedicated people watch my ass so I can get lost in my muse and pretend to be detached, deranged and psycho safely.  After all "It's all fun... until somebody gets hurt."

What was it like to work with the talented crew?
The Saw Crew is Family. Marcus is PURE GENIUS, Jessica is BEAUTIFUL, Michael is A GREAT BRUCKHEIMER-ESQUE PRODUCER.  The crew was great & the cast is talented, I would work with any of them again on anything. Nuff said.

Previously, Gunnar Hansen has expressed the problems in wearing his mask while handling a live chainsaw. Did the costume ever pose a problem for you? And was the chainsaw “doctored” at any time during the film for safety’s sake?
Yeah, the live chainsaw in the mask thing sucks.  I have one mask in the film that's made from silicone instead of latex.  That one doesn't breathe at all & sucks bigtime. I am also in quite a suit to bulk me up.  I typically weigh about 265 lbs@6'5.  I let myself go to near 300 for the role by eating brisket and white bread.  That,+ the fact the action moves a lot faster in our version, it was challenging especially doing my own stunts.  With the suit on I look&feel about 420lbs.I swear MORE THAN ONCE I PRAYED I wouldn't die on the next take.  This stuff is not that unusual in my career.  One day though I had to institute the 103* RULE. If my core body temp rose to 103* or more we were done for the day.  That happened a few times but we still couldn't stop.  Everyone has to draw their own line. I'm dedicated, I'm good yeah, but Shit can kill you. One day in the suit I drank(72) 12 oz. bottles of water without peeing. Now that what I call starting to get rough.  The chainsaw weighs about 35lbs.and is a big bitch to swing at times.  It is handled by special effects and a special safety team@all times when it it is not in my hands.

So there do you feel better?  Did I mention, breathing all that chainsaw smoke sucks (it smokes a lot on full trigger, but is the only way to go for effect.) We have all kinds of effects chainsaws for different purposes.  It's when I've got a live one running and I'm asked to involve another actor or to swipe it @the end of a full run two inches from camera. I tell you, ask some of our cameramen about those skid marks.  Ha Ha! I wouldn't trade it for a desk though.

Do you consider yourself a horror fan?  Even before taking part in this film?
I am a true horror fan.  My mother is a librarian and the first book I ever owned was called "Heros of the Horrors" and I have it to this day.  Do you think it means something???  I LOVE THE NEW HORROR MOVEMENT AWAY FROM CHEESEY CAMP BACK TO PURE TERROR.  I love Tom Savini's Maniac.  I love Re-Animator, ALIEN. I love that there are all these new companies like Platinum Dunes, Sam Rami's Ghost House films, The rebirth of Hammer.  I love Rob Zombie just for being so cool.

What are some of your interests outside of acting?
In the real world I'm not so scary.  (I give @ the office.)  The diametric opposition of Leatherface even.  Go figure- I am married to a florist in Hollywood.  (Now I can feel your fear, but wait...), We rescue animals and so far have 3 pomeranians (Harley, David & Son), an Amazon parrot, two old cats, box turtles and four giant African land tortoises. I also enjoy being outdoors in the sun and surf, boxing and other types of physical activity when I'm not reading or sleeping.

Tell us about your future projects.
The future is coming into focus right about now and like Earnest & Julio Gallo, "I will sell no whine before it's time.  I like action and comedy so look for more of that and, "I do have a high concept/relatively low budget horror film that I would like to produce and possibly star in called ECO that is getting HOT.

Are you afraid of being typecast into the horror genre?
Of course not.  The horror genre is just getting fresh and new again, I COULD PLAY IN THIS SANDBOX FOR A LONG TIME.  There is just so much I want to do. I am terrified of anymore football films though. I have turned down a few believe it or not...but I hear they are making "The Longest Yard" here we go again, that's my phone ringing.  Oh well never say never. Anyway, I'm proud of this movie. I promise you wont soon forget it.

Humbly- Andrew Bryniarski Long live CHRISTOPHER LEE! -Thanks Tim, I'll still give ya a call tonight.  See what you think, anything else, etc....

Thank you Andrew!  Until next time.

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