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EXCLUSIVE – Olwen Fouéré talks Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) was released on Netflix on Friday to polarising reviews and has become the most talked-about horror films of the year so far.

It wasn’t just Leatherface who returned, initial final girl Sally Hardesty also returned, this time portrayed by Olwen Fouere.

In an exclusive, we caught up with Olwen to talk all about Sally’s return to the Chainsaw series.

What can you tell us about the audition process for Texas Chainsaw Massacre?
I was offered the role of Sally Hardesty by the first directors Ryan and Andy Toohill. I had worked with Ryan before and we had wanted to work together again. So I didn’t audition for that role – although bizarrely, months beforehand, I was asked to selftape for an entirely different role which I wasn’t interested in.

How much background were you given about Sally beforehand?
Only what pertained to the first film and the fact that she had since become a Texas Ranger and was a bit of a recluse.

Were you surprised that the character of Sally was never brought back in previous sequels?
I didn’t see any of the other sequels but on reflection, yes, it is surprising. On the other hand, there is something right about her return at this point in time. She deserves it.

Given the time that has passed between the original film and this one, I guess we will get some semblance of what her life has been like since the original massacre?
A little, it is implied rather than told.

Besides Marilyn Burns, were there any characters you took nuances from for 2022’s Sally?
I thought a lot about the 1974 film and of what was going on at the darkest levels of it. I think that probably informed my performance. My appearance in the film is fairly brief so I just worked as much as possible with her being, her presence, what she carries with her, what is unsaid, and also what she represents. She is in many ways the archetypal cowboy of the movie, single-minded in her conviction, who will stop at nothing until she has carried out a long-awaited revenge killing.

What can you tell us about her relationship with Leatherface heading into this film?
It is significant that she has never seen his face. I think he is not really a person to her, he is more like a force that she has spent fifty years needing to confront and do battle with, to the death.

Without giving much away, were you part of elaborate action sequences?
Yes, I had quite a lot of action sequences. I enjoyed training for my stunts and I became best friends with our armourer.

Did the change of directors affect you or the narrative of the film?
Yes, it affected everybody and I am sure the Toohills would have made quite a different film. That said, I got on very well with David Blue Garcia who is an immensely gifted and collaborative film maker. I highly receommend hs first feature “Tejano” which he wrote, directed, shot and produced.

What can you tell us about Mark Burnham’s Leatherface?
He’s big and tall and quiet with a strong presence. Again, because I never saw his face on set, and he never speaks to Sally, sometimes I didn’t know if I was battling with him or his stuntman!

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has had many opportunities to evolve over the years, what makes this sequel different?
I really can’t comment on that, not having seen any of the sequels to the original 1974 film. I think the original is a brilliantly twisted masterpiece. When I first saw it in the seventies, I was pretty dismissive of it as just another slasher movie. Viewing it now, over forty years later, it seems more like an arthouse movie, almost like watching an avant garde performance piece.

Do you think there is scope to continue the series beyond this film?
There is always scope. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has clearly created an entire mythology. And perhaps Sally isn’t really dead…

Texas Chainsaw Massacre is available now on Netflix.

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