Scream Queen

"I get scared very, very easily," Alexandra Daddario says, "so I'm not someone who seeks out horror films. But, when I got Texas Chainsaw 3D, I watched some absolutely incredible horror films. One of them was the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre(1974), which I saw for the first time, and it's just an amazing, amazing movie.

"I can appreciate how well made some of these films are, like The Silence of the Lambs(1991) and The Shining (1980), and how great they are," she continues, "but horror isn't what I usually watch. I don't like that feeling of being frightened, which I know some people enjoy. I enjoy making the films, but not watching them."

Actually, making them can be pretty tough too. Daddario admits that Texas Chainsaw 3D was particularly gruelling.

"You're working yourself up to a level of complete hysteria," the actress says, "so you have to go to very dark places in your mind sometimes, and you have to stay there. Even if, rationally, you know you're OK, you're tricking yourself up, tricking your body into thinking that there's something really wrong going on, especially if you're running and you're out of breath and hysterical.

"You start to feel very weird after a couple of days of doing that," Daddario says. "Sometimes something is going on around you that actually is a little scary, and that helps you get to where you need to be. The thing with doing horror is that you have to go to completely crazy places, and you can't be afraid to embarrass yourself. So you just have to lose it."

Now, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, some background is in order. Daddario is a 26-year-old actress best known for her role as Annabeth in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010). Her other credits include the horror film Bereavement (2010) and recurring roles on the television series All My Children (2002-2003), White Collar (2009-2011) and Parenthood(2012).

Texas Chainsaw 3D, which will open in the US on January 4, 2013, casts her as Heather Miller, a young woman who, after learning that she was adopted, treks to Texas with several of her friends in order to receive her inheritance. That inheritance? A stately mansion on a gated property. Unfortunately the past, in the form of the murderous, chainsaw-wielding Leatherface, is part of the package and history is ready to repeat itself.

"Heather turns out to be Leatherface's cousin, which is a pretty intense realisation for her to make," Daddario says. "She was never a normal, average girl, which you'll see from the start of the film, but it's what she does with that information that's so interesting. There's an evolution there that I liked playing.

"It's great to be a part of this iconic franchise and related to such an iconic horror character," she adds. "For fans of the series, it's a direct sequel to the original. There are so many nods to the original movie that those fans will get a lot out of it. Gunnar Hansen and Marilyn Burns, from the original, are both in our film. There are some shots that are similar and certain items and story elements that are similar.

"It's also just a really fun ride, and very scary." she says.

Ian Spelling /The New York Times News Service


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