[Interview] Fiona Dourif for CHUCKY

[Interview] Fiona Dourif 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’ Shannon McGrew had the immense pleasure of speaking with actor Fiona Dourif, who has reprised her role as Nica Pierce. During our chat, we discussed everything from transitioning the Child’s Play franchise into the television realm to portraying a young Charles Lee Ray, and reuniting with Jennifer Tilly onscreen.

Up until now, the Child’s Play franchise has been strictly movies. How has it been transitioning into a Chucky TV series?

Fiona Dourif: It’s all the same people so it felt like we got a little bit more money and a little bit more time [and] a bigger story. I was really excited that it was centered around kids, cause I think that’s where Chucky thrives. There’s something creepier when you put him up against the innocence of a buddy in person who’s discovering who they are. I thought it was a great decision. It’s this continuation of this fun fucking rollercoaster we get to go on.

You’ve worked with your dad, Brad Dourif, and voice of Chucky, in the past on the series, “Deadwood,” as well as two of the Child’s Play films, Curse of Chucky and Cult of Chucky. How was it reuniting with him and the rest of the team for the Chucky series? 

Fiona Dourif: It’s always been a family affair. It feels like this fun lottery that was somehow put in my lap 10 years ago made by people that I trust and love, and that people end up liking. I had so much more to do this time that I couldn’t be afraid of because it was so big. I had to make really strong choices and throw myself in there. I get more confidence each time I do this, so this time sort of felt like a victory lap.

Pictured in this screengrab: (l-r) Jennifer Tilly as Tiffany, Fiona Dourif as Nica Pierce — (Photo by: SYFY/USA Network)

In CHUCKY, we meet a younger Charles Lee Ray and what’s funny about that is I had no idea it was you playing that character. I truly thought they found another actor that looked exactly like your dad, so my mind was blown when I realized it was you. That being said, how was it transforming into the infamous Charles Lee Ray? 

Fiona Dourif: I had some interesting moments when [the prosthetics] were first put on my face [Laughs]. My dad was really into physics when he was in his forties and fifties and used to read all these physics textbooks. And you know how you slowly become your parents in ways that you don’t realize? I remember they were putting the prosthetics on and… I listen to a lot of podcasts and I was listening to [physicist] Frank Wilczek being interviewed by Sam Harris – it’s all physics for the layman, I don’t know anything about physics. Then at the end of the [application], I looked in the mirror for the first time and they did such a good job that I looked like him. I realized I was listening to this [podcast] that my dad would have listened to and I had this crisis moment [Laughs]. I remember having to leave and I was like, who are we? Are we ever our own person? Are we actually slaves to genetics? I tried to sit down and write about it and I did but the essay ended up being a little too personal to publish. But, people have been saying [I look like him] my whole life and I don’t really see it. I feel like our bone structure is the same and from the eyes up it’s the same.

Not only do you play a younger Charles Lee Ray but you also reprise your role as Nica Pierce. We last saw Nica in Cult of Chucky, where she was possessed by Chucky’s soul and was reunited with Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly). When we first see Nica/Chucky in the new series, they’re getting pretty hot and heavy with Tiffany. What was it like to work so closely with Jennifer Tilly on these projects? 

Fiona Dourif:  So, in Cult of Chucky we kissed, which was like a few years ago, but that was filmed in Winnipeg in the dead of winter. It was negative 45 degrees when I walked out in a coat and kissed Jennifer Tilly. The team was worried that I was going to get frostbite in 10 seconds because I was walking in heels with no socks, so I don’t even remember anything [from that experience]. When we were in the bed [for our episode in CHUCKY], it sort of felt like the first time for me [Laughs]. And I was like, oh, we have chemistry. I liked kissing Jennifer Tilly. I really like her as a person. She’s generous, interesting, funny, and cool. [She’s] had this crazy life and so I wanted to make out with her, which is great.

Who doesn’t want to make out with Jennifer Tilly? That’s the real question we should be asking. As much as I hate to do this, I must wrap things up, so my last question for you is what’s the most exciting aspect of being in this series? 

Fiona Dourif: This is my favorite iteration of Chucky since the first [film]. I think it works on so many levels. You get to really care about these kids. Everybody takes a turn that I think is quite unexpected, and it just gets so fucking crazy by the end. I am deeply proud of it. I’ve also been even more proud and shocked at the response from it. It turns out that it’s quite popular. People really like it, and a lot of people are watching it. My social media has been blowing up [Laughs]. It’s just been really fun. There’s something about Chucky, there’s something about that character, he’s just having so much fun and he’s clever. That’s all Don [Mancini] man. He’s the spark behind all of it. It’s got a lot of heart and it’s got a lot of fun.

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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