Monday, May 4, 2009
If you're a horror fan, which i'm sure you are if you've found your way here today, the image of young Pam in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre being lifted up by the masked Leatherface and then stuck onto the business end of a meat hook will probably never leave your mind for as long as you live. It's one of the most gruesome and memorable scenes in all of horror history and I am proud to bring you today an exclusive chat I recently had with Pam herself, Teri McMinn!
What originally began as a small column for Benevolent Street, where I would ask familiar faces in the horror genre about their favorite horror convention memories (which sadly never came to fruition), has turned into a bit of an online friendship with Ms. McMinn and as far as horror celebs go, she's just about the nicest i've ever had the pleasure of speaking with. For years, McMinn stayed away from the spotlight, very rarely agreeing to interviews, and only recently "came out" and embraced her role in the iconic horror film which makes this interview all the more special to me. So before we get to it, thank you once again Teri McMinn for being so cool and we're all incredibly happy that you have finally come 'off the hook', so to speak!
For many years, you shied away from the whole Texas Chainsaw Massacre thing. Why was that and looking back, do you wish you had embraced it sooner?
The short answer to your question would be: no. People had been asking me to 'come out' for the last 20 years. In 2006 I met with someone about an interview for the 4 set DVD release. I knew I couldn't do it. I was busy managing a hotel and frankly, I loved my anonymity. For the past 20 years, I was deeply involved in other business ventures that were quite satisfying and very rewarding, both personally and professionally. If one has several talents, not to pursue those would have been unhealthy, and seems rather stupid. I had always been drawn to art and design of all sorts. Interior design, floral design, seeing beauty, plus I had a natural instinct for business. These talents simply had to come out of me or I would have burst. I flew freely by the seat of my pants. Doors opened for me in these areas and I had many devoted fans of both my Event Planning and later my Floral Designs. I think taking different paths and being constantly creative has made me a more interesting person. It made me more diverse and certainly, I know I am a more well rounded individual. 'Coming out', now, at this point in my life, has been the perfect time... for me. I am loving it!
Can you tell me a little bit about your first horror convention experience?
In March 2008, I joined the entire cast for a reunion at Monster Mania in Cherry Hill, NJ. I had been told I had a lot of fans who wanted to meet me, but I wasn't prepared for just how many there were! I soon began to see them lined up for autographs and to get pictures with me. It was a big surprise and quite overwhelming. I signed for 4 consecutive days. We also had our first Q and A, which was so much fun. Getting together and seeing the cast at our first welcoming party, then later our first dinner, was a rich experience I will not forget.
What is your most favorite on set memory from Chainsaw?
Believe it or not, filming my death scenes. That's where I really got to show my teeth and have an integral part in how they were played. Tobe, Daniel, Gunnar, and I worked very closely together in these to get them right. Until my death scenes, there was so much idle time, miserable heat, waiting and waiting, sometimes all day to get to your scenes. As an actor you just want to be working, feel useful, and involved. At night I was playing the lead in a terrific play with a great cast, where I was on stage for almost the entire show, and getting standing ovations every night. That's fun! I'd go directly from our set and right to the theater. So, with the exception of the day we shot me fighting off Leatherface, all day long, after which I had to cancel my performance in the stage show, doing the porch, chicken room, freezer, and meat hook scenes was a joy for me. Such stuff is a young actor's dream!
And how about your least favorite memory?
Without question the van scenes. I never felt any of us really connected in those. I never liked our ensemble, me, anything. Ed was good! It was around 100 degrees outside. Because of noise, the windows had to be up and no AC. You've got Allen, Marilyn, Paul, Bill, me, Tobe, Ted, Daniel, and later Ed all sweating profusely, and squashed in a hot tin box. When they would open the doors, we would sort of just all fall out and breathe. We really dreaded getting back inside. We shot those for several days.
The red shorts....where are they now?!
Ah, yes, the red shorts! No,sadly I lost them and the swimsuit somewhere along my merry way. Where, I will never remember. Too bad! A nice down payment on something, huh? My usual response is: Can you spell E-B-A-Y?
Have you seen the Chainsaw remake? If so, what did you think?
I did see part of the last one. Daniel's camera work is beautiful, but it's very hard for me to watch... as a lover of beauty and all.
Where are we gonna see Teri McMinn next? Will you be making your return to movies anytime soon? Are you currently working on anything?
I've been approached by several Indie directors and am looking at their projects, but I'll only do something I think is right for me. I will also continue to make occasional personal appearances for my loving fans.
Any regrets, Teri?
Yes.. definitely... not sleeping with Kevin Costner when I had the chance!
Be sure to check Teri out on the recently released Texas Chainsaw Massacre Blu-ray, in an exclusive interview featurette, and you can also keep up with her over on her offical MySpace page!