You can’t keep a good guy down. Cult of Chucky, the seventh installment of the undying Child’s Play franchise is out now and picks up where Curse of Chucky left off. In that film, our favorite maniacal, red-headed doll showed up on the doorstep of the very unlucky Pierce family residence, thanks to the delivery of a mysterious package. It wasn’t long before Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif) exacted some long overdue revenge and wiped everyone out, except for the paraplegic Nica (Fiona Dourif), who ended up getting blamed for the murders and hauled off to a looney bin. Fast forward four years, we find Nica under the care of a sleazy psychiatrist named Dr. Folley (Michael Therriault) who has her convinced that Chucky was all in her head. It’s not long before Chucky makes his way to the mental institution to prove Dr. Folley’s theory oh so wrong. The bodies soon start to pile up, and Nica must, once again, survive the blood-drenched night.
2013’s Curse of Chucky may have been actress Fiona Dourif’s first acting gig in a Chucky movie, but Chucky has actually been part of her life since she was seven years old. In case you haven’t put the two last names together, Fiona is the real-life daughter of legendary character actor Brad Dourif, who not only has voiced the titular killer doll since 1988, but has also played Chucky’s human counterpart, Charles Lee Ray, in the original film as well as in flashbacks in some of the sequels that followed. This pretty much makes her the true seed of Chucky.
During Playboy Managing Editor Gil Macias’s Cult of Chucky set visit, we ran into the 36-year-old actress as the cast and crew were taking a break. We talked to her about what it was like having Chucky as a father, being on set with Jennifer Tilly and embracing the “Scream Queen” label.
Do you feel a strong personal connection with the franchise since its basically been around you your entire life?
I really do. I have never been able to watch the movies as an outside audience. When I got the opportunity to audition for Curse of Chucky, I put more pressure on myself than for any project that I’ve ever auditioned for, just because, you know, it’s part of my identity. I was kind of a dork in high school and the coolest thing about me was that my dad was Chucky. And I remember the boys—“Your dad’s Chucky!“ So yeah, I’m really grateful to be a part of it. And I’m not just saying that. It sometimes feels surreal.
Did you ever see yourself starring in one of the movies years down the road?
Never saw it coming, no. I used to work in documentaries in my early twenties, and yeah, I mean, even when I was cast in Curse, and making it, and then for a year after, it still felt surreal. Because it very much felt like picking up a torch.
When you’re the female star of a major horror franchise in Hollywood, that scream queen label seems to get slapped on you pretty quickly, especially after you make a sequel or two.
Yeah, that kind of happened a while ago.
How do you feel about that label?
I started to get offers for horror movies after I did Curse and it got reviewed really well. So that was happening for a couple years. I love the genre, especially a movie like this, which is kind of meticulous and smart. [Director] Don Mancini is not lazy. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to branch out. I’m on a television show that is not horror at all, and I’m in a Gus Van Sant miniseries called When We Rise. It’s a straight-up drama. So it hasn’t pigeonholed me so far.
Some embrace the label and have lucrative careers in the genre. Danielle Harris is a great example. And horror fans tend to be very loyal and dedicated.
The cool thing about horror—it feels like an outsider’s way to find their identity. I really felt like an outsider my whole life, so I feel grateful to be a part of that. There’s an enthusiasm about this franchise that is very real. I just only hope that I can do it justice. I’m on a kind of sci-fi show that I feel like has the same thing. It’s like, people really revel in these genres. And hell yeah, I’ll keep it, keep it going for as long as I can.
In Cult of Chucky, we last saw Nica being rolled off to an insane asylum. Did Don Mancini get your input on where to take the character next?
Don and I met during Curse of Chucky. I think I met him a couple times when I was a kid, but I didn’t fully remember. But we became very close friends, actually. So we spent quite a bit of time socially together, and I definitely gave my input, whether asked or not, in the creation of the script. So it’s been around for, you know, a year and a half or what-not. We pick up with Nica four years after I’ve been blamed for my whole family’s death, and I’ve been convinced that Chucky is not alive and that I’ve killed everybody.
Nica was sort of like striving for a family unity at the beginning of Curse of Chucky; here you meet me and she’s full of self-loathing. There’s not much for somebody who’s been sentenced to life in an insane asylum. So her prospects are pretty dark.
It seems like three storylines are clashing in this one. You’ve got Andy’s storyline, Nica’s storyline and then Jennifer Tilly’s.
Cult of Chucky is in the same tone as Curse and as the first three. But we’ve added in elements from the different mythologies of the past 30 years in a way that is cohesive. It’s not just a throwback. It’s taking the characters to new places. And it is really cool working with Jennifer. She improvs really, really well. And you never know what she’s going to do in a way that’s really exciting. She’s also really funny and really cool. You don’t always get that with people who are really famous. Yeah, hats off.
If they do an eighth movie, are you there?
Yeah, hell yeah. I’ll do Chucky movies until I die.
*Read Playboy’s interview with Jennifer Tilly here.*
Cult of Chucky is available on VOD, Blu-ray and DVD on October 3rd. For information on where to purchase, visit Universal’s official website.