Erica Leerhsen — free-spirited Pepper in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (R, 98 mins., 2003, New Line) — screams so convincingly during her screen test (on the bonus disc) that we just had to call her up to make sure she was all right.
You’re going nuts, and then when you hear ”Cut!” you sit back and laugh. It’s diabolical!
I just went with it. The producers told me it was actually a combination of the screaming and the laughing that got me the part, because it seemed so sick.
What’s getting mangled by a chain saw like?
I’ve honestly never felt more scared for my life than filming that scene. You go there emotionally — I’m dead! But that was my favorite moment of the whole movie.
Your costar Jonathan Tucker has a nastier alternate death on the DVD. Did you originally have a gorier send-off?
No, [producer] Michael Bay said, She’s a sweet character, no one wants to see her get killed. Our remake avoided directly misogynistic things — like butchering women.