[Interview] Zackary Arthur & Teo Briones for CHUCKY

[Interview] Zachary Arthur & Teo Briones for CHUCKY
Courtesy SYFY
In the new television series CHUCKY, an idyllic American town is thrown into chaos after a vintage ‘Good Guy’ doll turns up at a suburban yard sale. Soon, everyone must grapple with a series of horrifying murders that begin to expose the town’s deep hypocrisies and hidden secrets. Meanwhile, friends and foes from Chucky’s past creep back into his world and threaten to expose the truth behind his mysterious origins as a seemingly ordinary child who somehow became this notorious monster.

Recently, Nightmarish Conjurings took part in the roundtable press junket for CHUCKY and spoke with actors Zackary Arthur and Teo Briones, who play Jake Wheeler and Junior Wheeler, respectively, cousins who have more than a strained relationship. During our chat, we discussed everything from their introduction to the Child’s Play universe to working with Don Mancini and wrapping up with what it was like to work with Devon Sawa.

Thank you both so much for speaking with me today. Can you tell us your relationship with CHUCKY? Were you a fan prior to getting the role?

Teo Briones: Before getting hired, I had actually never seen any of the CHUCKY movies. Som when I found out I got the job, I decided to go back and watch the movies and I fell in love with the franchise. I now see why it’s such a huge thing and why the fans are so amazing and passionate. Super super excited to be a part of the CHUCKY family.

Zackary Arthur: My parents never let me watch rated R movies growing up. So, I never really got the chance to watch CHUCKY movies when I was younger. When I found out that I was going to be on the show, I instantly binged all of the Child’s Play movies in like two days and I don’t regret anything. It makes it so surreal to be here now.

(l-r) Teo Briones as Junior Wheeler, Zackary Arthur as Jake Wheeler — (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/SYFY)

Considering he created the mass-murdering doll, how was it working so closely alongside Don Mancini?

Zackary Arthur: Don’s great. Just a really great guy and especially because he created this series, he knows exactly what he wants and it’s very helpful to us actors when directors know exactly what they want, it helps us out. Overall, just a great guy. I don’t think there’s a single person on set who can say that they don’t like him.

Teo Briones: The other thing I love about Don is like Zack said, he really knows what he wants and he knows how to get it out of his actors, how to get it out of the camera people. He just had a great overall mindset for CHUCKY. He’s a genius and amazing to work with.

In the series, Devon Sawa plays the role of both Jake and Junior’s dad. How was it working so closely with him on this project?

Zackary Arthur: Because I had a lot of emotional scenes and Teo does too later, he was a really great actor and scene partner to work off of. He made it easy to act with him on a scene.

Teo Briones: With Devon Sawa, before the interviews, I had to remember, okay, which one is Logan and which one is Lucas? Logan’s my dad and Lucas is Jake’s dad [Laughs]. It was very cool and interesting. The dinner scene at Jake’s house (which takes place in episode 1), was super interesting to see because he played both characters. Seeing him go from Lucas and then to Logan was really, really cool. And only a really, really amazing talented actor would be able to pull that off, so really, really fortunate that Devin was cast in that role. Plus, he’s a great guy.

New episodes of CHUCKY arrive every Tuesday night at 10 pm ET on the SYFY and USA Network. For more on the series, check out our review here.

Shannon McGrew
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