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Elsie Fisher Talks Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Favorite Horror Movies, And More – Exclusive Interview

Elsie Fisher Talks Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Favorite Horror Movies, And More – Exclusive Interview

The following article contains spoilers for “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

Elsie Fisher may not even be in her 20s yet, but she already has an extensive filmography any actor would be proud to have. Her career began in 2009 with some television roles, but she quickly landed the part of Agnes in “Despicable Me” and its sequel. However, most audiences probably recognize her most for her breakout live-action role as Kayla Day in “Eighth Grade.” Written and directed by comedy prodigy Bo Burnham, Fisher exemplified the horrors of trying to find your place in the modern, tech-savvy age where everyone feels the need to be on their phones at all times.

For her latest project, Fisher is tackling a very real and more literal horror in Netflix’s “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” She plays Lila, the sister of influencer Melody (Sarah Yarkin). Along with some of her other influencer friends, Melody drags Lila to a small, rundown Texas town in the hopes of revitalizing it. Lila would rather be anywhere else, and that’s before Leatherface shows up and starts running a chainsaw through people.

Elsie Fisher spoke exclusively to Looper about her most recent project and what it was like to step into the realm of horror. She also shares some of her personal favorite horror movies, and there are some modern classics in there that prove what exceptional taste she has.

Elsie Fisher on horror and the scariest thing to film in Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Were you a big fan of horror movies before getting cast in “Texas Chainsaw?”

Yeah, especially [for] the last couple of years, I’ve really enjoyed the genre and especially the new stuff that’s been coming out that subverts a lot of classic tropes and is very inventive and interesting.

Do you have some favorite horror movies of all time?

I really love John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” I think that’s really brilliant and going back to some of the newer stuff that’s coming out, I think Jordan Peele’s fantastic. I loved “Us,” “Get Out,” [and] also Ari Aster, you know? “Hereditary,” love it. 

Were there any scenes in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” that were like genuinely frightening to film?

There’s one point near the end of the movie where I go in to shoot Leatherface and save Melody, and then my gun totally fails. I look like an idiot, and I’m running. After that, when I’m running away from him, the chainsaw that they had on set [may have been] a real chainsaw, or at least had very realistic sounding noises.

We had four different chainsaws, I think. There was a plastic one, one with just chains, one with just sounds, and then a real one. That was pretty terrifying. Everyone knew exactly what they were doing, thankfully. No one got hurt, and I never felt like I was going to get hurt, but that’s instincts kick in. You’re like, “Oh crap. That’s a chainsaw.” It was a lot fun.

What's scarier? Puberty or chainsaws?

How many of your own stunts did you get to do?

Honestly, quite a few. Thankfully, I don’t think I had anything that was risky or super crazy, but I was in the water for a lot of the stuff at the end, and that was pretty fun to do. There was a lot of being on the asphalt and rolling around. I got to do a lot of stuff, and that was very cool to be able to put in my repertoire now and be like, “Hey, I can do stunts.”

So, the water scene in “Texas Chainsaw” versus the pool party in “Eighth Grade,” which water situation is scarier?

Oof, I don’t know. The pool party’s pretty freaking scary, dude. The only part of the pool in “Texas Chainsaw” that’s a little more frightening is that icky water. Oh my God. It has crap in it. I think the actual water we shot in was clean. Hopefully, I didn’t get any eye infections, but it’s always a fear for me.

While we’re on the subject of “Eighth Grade,” “Eighth Grade” dealt with like social media impacting youth. In “Texas Chainsaw,” many of the characters are influencers. What’s your personal relationship with social media like?

I grew up on the internet, [which includes] the struggle of being a teenager or a person and having all of the knowledge in the world, ever, in the palm of your hand. Nowadays, I try to have a very distant relationship. I mainly just use my Twitter, and it’s for really terrible stream of consciousness, like comedy stuff. That’s about the most I’m willing to do right now.

Having fun while filming

Was there anything you and your castmates did to lighten the mood while filming?

Yeah. There were a lot of goofs and gags behind the scenes, trying to keep each other sane while shooting. We shot in Bulgaria, actually, and there was a lot of really good food in that country. There was a lot of good eating on our off-set days. That really kept everyone going.

What was the best thing you ate in Bulgaria?

There were a bunch of Italian restaurants that were super good, especially because we were so close to Italy. There’s also this Japanese restaurant, actually, that was the iconic restaurant of the trip, and [had] amazing seafood.

If you could join any horror franchise next following “Texas Chainsaw,” what would you choose?

Ooh. Man, I don’t know what franchise, [but] I know that I want to be the bad guy next time. I want to be the freaky thing, you know? I could be the next Babadook or something.

The future of Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Your character ends up being the final girl. Are there any directions you’d like to see her go for a potential sequel?

Yeah. I always say that I want to leave the franchise alone for like 50 years and then come back and have this movie come out, and it’s Lila, and she’s really old, and she’s picking up all these hobbies. She’s been in therapy, and has a family, and it’s this super beautiful groundbreaking dramedy film. It’s amazing, and then 60 minutes in, Leatherface comes in … and kills everyone.

Are there any actors or directors you’d love to work with in the future?

I watched “Red Rocket” recently, and I love Sean Baker so much, and I would love to work with him. Truly though, I’ve had very pleasant experiences on set, and everyone I’ve worked with has totally been the best, so working more makes me happy.

What would be your dream role?

I don’t know about specific roles, but I think some sort of HBO dramedy show would be lots of fun where you get to stick with a cast for a couple years and do silly stuff.

Can you talk about any of the upcoming projects you have?

Yeah, totally. I’m in this film called “Family Squares” directed by Stephanie Laing, which is a really beautiful film about dealing with the loss of a family member during the pandemic. I also have another horror film that should be coming out I think this year called “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” based on the book of the same name by Grady Hendrix, and that’s also super cool.

Do you think your time with “Texas Chainsaw” helped prepare you for “My Best Friend’s Exorcism?”

I think so. It’s different facets of horror. “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” is a little more comedy, horror, drama, whatever. I went straight from “Texas” to doing that, so I got to stay in that mindset for a while.

The new “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is now streaming on Netflix.

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