If you’ve seen the trailer for Texas Chainsaw 3D, which opens Friday, then you’ve seen Alexandra Daddario hide in a coffin to evade a psycho killer. And if you think that’s not frightening, you’re wrong.
“That’s a very scary thing to think about, being trapped in a coffin,” says Daddario, 26, in town recently to promote the film — a sequel to 1974’s gritty Texas Chainsaw Massacre. “And it’s scary to shoot.”
The new film takes place decades after the first murders. A young woman (Daddario) travels to Texas to claim an inheritance — and meets up with a chainsaw-wielding lunatic instead.
A veteran of such films as P ercy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Hall Pass and such TV series as White Collar and Parenthood, Daddario was thrilled to work with some of the original film’s actors — including Gunnar Hansen, who played everybody’s 1970s nightmare, Leatherface.
“It was an honor, really, to have them want to be part of this film,” she says.
Had you seen the original movie before accepting the role?
I had not ... but I watched it in preparation when I booked the part. I was blown away. It’s totally creepy, made by locals on a shoestring budget. [Director Tobe Hooper] had a vision for what he wanted to do. The first scene is such a terrifying sequence, and it just gets scarier from there. You can see why Leatherface is so iconic.
Do you need to see the original before watching this movie?
There are so many nods to the original story. That’s really exciting for people who are familiar with the first movie. But it definitely stands on its own.
You are also part of the “Percy Jackson” franchise. Do you try to seek out such different roles?
I’ve been lucky to do a variety of different roles. I’ve worked with the Farrellys and Chris Columbus on the Percy Jackson movies, which I love being a part of. I really like playing strong characters. But doing horror films, I find it stretches you as an actor. You reach a level of emotion you would never reach in real life. You reach a level of hysteria you would never imagine.
Did you have to practice screaming?
I had done a horror film five or six years ago, and I got a lot of practice then. Basically reaching that level of fear and hysteria will bring you as far as you need to be, at least as far as screaming goes. You can’t really fake it.
Are you a fan of scary movies?
Yes, but I get scared so easily! I love The Shining, Silence of the Lambs. I remember my father took me to see Pitch Black, and I had nightmares from that movie for years and years.
So after starring in a movie like “Texas Chainsaw 3D,” you’re still afraid to watch scary movies?
Yes! When I watched the original movie I would watch it, then put it on pause and take a breather. ... With this film, I know what’s happening, and I’m in it, but when we saw it we were screaming and laughing. We were scared by it! That was sort of cool. The way it’s edited and the way it’s put together, with the CGI, it’s a different kind of scary from the fear you have while filming.