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Arrow in the HeadOur New York "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" interview spree ends today with the lovely Jessica Biel charming everybody's pants off. Veteran of films like "The Rules of Attraction", that puke-inducing TV show "7th Heaven" and that crappy Freddy Prinze Jr. movie "Summer Catch", I like to call Miss Biel the "PR Queen". She's obviously used to being interviewed and it showed in her demeanor. Calm, collected and answering stupid questions about her personal life without blinking, Miss Biel came across as a kool chickadee who knows the game and how to play it. Once more, this was part of a roundtable with other journalists asking away. Here's hot to trot Biel talking Texas Chainsaw, "Blade 3" and beyond!! WELCOME TO THE GENRE BABY!


(note: the writing in yellow was my interior monologue at the time)

What was it about this project that appealed to you?

JB: I really liked the script and I loved meeting with Marcus. He had such a different idea as to what this could be and what he wanted it to be. I just didnít expect what he wound up saying and that was the big attraction for me.

Did you see the original?

JB: I think when I was younger, pieces of it, I didnít really remember it. I saw it before we shot this one though.

Did you have any makeup at all?

JB: Not much, of course we had foundation and stuff like that but I wore tinted Chap Stick and mascara. By lunch, it was all gone.

Was it real sweat or did they spray you?

JB: It was both. They did spray us, but we were all sweaty anyways. A lot of it was real.

So how emotionally taxing was the shoot? Did you cry yourself to sleep at night?

JB: That was one thing I did not do, I cried so much during the day, I would just go home and pass out. I didnít dream, I didnít have nightmares, it was so taxing. I just remember, every day, my eyes, my eyelids, I looked like I was in a boxing match. My lips were swollen, my eyelids were swollen. I just cried all day long, it was like being pre-menstrual for a month at a time (sounds like me after reading a Maltin review)

I know that you attend University, what is it like to juggle school with your acting career?

JB: I'm actually not at University at the moment. Iím taking a break, it was so hard to be involved with both. It was like 6 hours of traveling to go and audition and to come back on time for an American History test. It was crazy.

You think you might want to go back and finish up?

JB: Yes, definitely.

Were you studying theatre?

JB: No, I was just taking a lot of core classes to get my credits out of the way and just trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I was pretty sure I didnít want to do a film or theatre major, I already feel I know so much about it, Iím sure it would be incredibly interesting to analyze a film, but I think Iíd be more interested in art history or religion or something. Something thatís very different from anything Iíve done so far.

Did the physicality of this movie prepare you for "Blade 3"?

JB: Yeah, I guess it did. I did a lot of running in this movie. For "Blade 3", Iíve been training like a maniac, itís so much more physically demanding than Texas Chainsaw Massacre was.

Do you find that knowing martial arts makes you feel sexy?

JB: You feel incredibly strong, I feel confident. Iím like somebody screw with me, I will ďsavateĒ you in the head, kick you in the shin so fast and slit your throat with my credit card (you can slit my throat any day hun). I know all these things now, Iím being thought self-defense and just so you know ladies, you can slit somebodyís throat with a credit card if you need to. Which I didnít know till a few days ago.

You learned that from working on Blade?

JB:  Well, itís this man Iím working with Chuck Jefferies, heís this amazing martial arts artist. Whatís cool about Blade is that Iím not learning just one art, he has experience in like 100 techniques of different martial arts, boxing and street fighting. Itís not going to be anything like "Crouching Tiger", nobody is like suspended in the air. This is back to old school fighting techniques. Iím just kicking people in the head all the time.

How is it working with Wesley Snipes?

JB: Iíve only worked one day on "Blade 3" so far, Iíve just been training for like a month and a half. My first day was with Wes, I didnít have any dialogue but heís really cool, heís kind of more of a reserved person than I wouldíve expected, but heís really funny and heís kind of coming out of his shell. Heís really nice. Iím getting along with him.

Do you have any super powers besides the fighting?

JB:  No super powers. Iím completely human, Iím just very badass. I am an archer so Iíve been working with this compound bow for the last month and a half. Thatís my signature weapon.

Do you have a cool outfit?

JB: Yes, I have a cool outfit but it's not very Blade...Iím not in leather pants or shirt, and Iím very much more like casual. I have all these different outfits, but the outfit I like the best is this cool black work-out stretch pants and a cool brown leather vest and Iím wearing like a sports bra (man, she has nice lips!) Iím really dressed for the part because there is no way you can go out in a wonder bra and do this.

How does it feel to be the lead on "Blade 3"? Even though itís an ensemble, youíre a centerpiece.

JB: It's nerve-wracking. I always feel that I got myself into something that I donít think Iíll be able to do as well as I want to do. Itís always a concern when you start something with a huge budget and people expecting all kinds of great stuff. It was kind of nice with Texas since nobody expected anything. I feel a lot of pressure to look right, physically to make this character believable and realistic, that she can kick these people in the head. And if this movie turns out great, Blade/Wesley would be kind of passing the torch to Ryan (Ryan Reynolds) and I. If itís good, there might be a possibility of a spin-off and thatís a little scary. Itís like "Oh my God, more pressure!" But itís also exciting...Iím not at all complaining about it, Iím having a great time. Thatís another thing about the martial arts, itís really fun, it is so fun, every day, instead of having long crying scenes or dialogue scenes, Iím just fighting with cool stunt people and weíre creating this great action. Itís nothing like Iíve ever done before.

Which scenes in Texas did you feel were the more physically hard ones to do?

JB: I guess the obvious answer was the running. But you know what it really was? The most physical scene in Texas for me was dragging Tucker around. He was into it, it was so good, he literally let himself be dragged and he might look like heís doesnít weight a lot, but heís heavy and I dragged him many many times for many many takes. After that, my muscles were burning. That was a really hard scene.

Did you ever feel that Erin was responding in a way that you, Jessica, would not have?

JB: Yeah, I always wonder if me Jess wouldnít just freeze. I think Erinís brain is working a lot quicker than mine would have. I think I just wouldíve froze. And I hope I wouldnít leave my friends. I donít know, I might have just taken off.  I like to think that I would make the same choices that she made. She did a pretty good job.

You made your on-screen debut on "7th Heaven" which is a family show and then you moved on to "The Rules of Attraction" which was a little edgier, then "Texas Chainsaw" which is a lot edgier. Was that deliberate? Are you trying to break out of that wholesome image and target an audience closer to you, like a college-aged crowd?

JB: I donít want to break away from any image (so what was that nude magazine spread all about?), "7th Heaven" has been wonderful to me. The only thing they ever gave me was a strong character, a normal girl that makes mistakes like every other kid makes, but who was still smart and an athlete. I think that image is a really great image. It was never a conscious choice (I don't buy it). When "Rules of Attraction" came along I met with Roger (Avary) and he was amazing and I thought I have to be part of this. When "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" came along and I met with Marcus, I thought I have to be part of this. It was never like "Okay, Rules of Attraction Iíll look hot, sexy and older or Texas now Iím strong and cool", it was never to get away from an image (liar...), it just sort of happened. Also, as you get older, your tastes change, you never think it's going to happen. I remember being 15 and thinking Iím going to read ďSeventeenĒ forever. I remember thinking that and I donít even own a subscription to Seventeen anymore (liar...).  

Arenít you doing guest appearances on the show now? (they're talking about "7th Heaven", man, I loathe that show...BARFFF!)

JB: Iím doing like three or four.

Is it because of your acting career, you used to be a regular?

JB: Warner Brothers and Spelling are being so gracious in allowing me to come in and out. Theyíll call me and say we have a great episode, do you want to be a part of it? Iíll look at my schedule and say "Yeah, I would, thank you so much". Theyíre allowing me to do other things and be part of the family at the same time. Itís so awesome.

Whatís a wild night out for you?

JB: A wild night out? Mmmmm, I do like to go out, but Iím much more of a home-body so my wild nights out would probably be boring (man...she's good at lying...straight face and all!) I guess it would be going out with a group of friends, having dinnerÖ

Getting "Punkíd"!!

JB: Getting Punkíd and getting really confused.

Do you prefer working more on TV or film?

JB: I think that I might change my feeling about that, but right now, Iím really enjoying working on film. Iím enjoying the process of really getting to know a character, making up a back-story and knowing that I will be part of this characterís life for like 3 months. I like really diving into it and the process is so slow, different from TV. I expected to get on set and fly through 8 pages like we do in "7th Heaven", but we go through only 2 sometimes. I also like the process of having 15 takes, trying so many different ways to say something, stopping production to talk to the director for two hours because you can. I really am enjoying that for the moment.

What would you talk about for 2 hours?

JB: For Texas, for example, even though I didnít have the time or the money, Eric and I stopped Marcus one day, trying to fix the problemÖI donít think people know this, if Iím supposed to say thisÖI donít think it mattersÖ Erin was originally pregnant in this movie. Through a lot of this movie I went through having to deal with having this child, it was like she literally just found out, obviously you couldnít see anything. There was a scene where we get to the Mill, we donít know what to do and itís like "By the way, itís your baby" or something like that. Then we get into the mill, and that thing comes out of the closet and we get scared. It didnít make sense. "By the way, weíre pregnant and then oops, itís a raccoon". Of course itís all cut out now. We talked about it for two hours and Marcus was really peeved because the sun was perfect and the clouds were beautiful and we were talking about the storyline. (man, she has nice eyes!)

How did you make it all make sense?

JB: We added this walk and some lines. I donít think it really worked anyways.

For a film like this, is there research that can be done?

JB: Yeah, definitely. I used the original a little bit, but not necessarily to research my character. I already had an idea as to what I wanted to do with her. This was to see what happened in the original that I didnít like what I thought we could improve upon and what I thought that was great and if there was a vibe that we were to keep.

What didnít you like?

JB: There was no character development. I didnít care about anybody at all. I was watching it saying ďDie alreadyĒ! The only interesting character was the main girl who I thought was really good, especially when she gets alone. The other characters I didnít know them, I couldnít relate to them and thatís what I wanted to change in our film. Cause people are only going to like this movie if they like the characters and want them to stay alive.

Whatís your take when you see yourself on TV or on screen? What goes through your mind?

JB: Iím pretty critical. I mean, Iím analyzing a lot of the time. I need to see the complete version 3 or 4 times before I could just let it go and just watch it as a whole and stop watching myself and saying stuff like ďI hated that line!Ē. I do that all the time.

Are you signed on for a sequel? If they want to do a sequel, do you have to do it?

JB: For Blade?

No, Texas.

JB: Texas, no. I donít think thereís anything about sequels in our contracts.

Would you do one if they asked you?

JB: No, I donít think so. I have a problem with sequels (I guess, Blade 3 is all good though...), and yes, now Iím doing a third, of course. I have a problem doing a sequel for this movie, itís just not needed. Why? Itís the same story again? To make more money ? It would be done just for a commercial payoff, it wouldnít be done as an acting piece. And the sequels that have been done from the original, I personally really think they stink.

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