Interview with Jennifer Tilly - Aviva - Berlin Online Magazin und Informationsportal für Frauen Women + Work im Februar 2023 - Beitrag vom 17.05.2005

Interview with Jennifer Tilly
Julia Richter

Last december the actress visited Berlin to promote her new movie "Chucky´s Baby" that will be shown at the cinemas in march 2005. AVIVA-Berlin had a conversation with the female leads.

In the fifth movie of the Chucky horror series supposed to be made a movie of the murdering doll legend who died a few years ago. Unfortunately, Chucky and his wife Tiffany are brought back from the dead - through their peaceable child Glen, who never knew who his bloodthirsty parents were and longs for a happy family. But Glen´s hope for love and security gets destroyed as his parents get rolling on a new spree of murderous mayhem in Hollywood. Conflicts are inevitable as Tiffany wants to change her life to carry out her duties as an exemplary mother. Jennifer Tilly, who also does the voice of Tiffany. is playing herself as the actress in the movie about the Chucky-legend. Star-struck Tiffany is enthusiastic about her favourite actress playing in a movie who shows the life of her notorious husband Chucky and herself. Very soon Jennifer Tilly becomes an unwitting hostess to this family in different ways ...

AVIVA-Berlin: Why did you choose to play in the movie "Chucky´s Baby"?
Jennifer Tilly: I had a role in "Bride of Chucky", the movie before "Chucky´s Baby". Don Mancini, the writer and director, decided that the reason why it was so successful was because I was in it as a person. So when he started making "Chucky´s Baby" he wanted me in it as a person again. He came up with the idea that they are making a movie of the Chucky-legend in which I would play myself. When he told me about his plans I just thought that it would be really funny and interesting to play myself.

AVIVA-Berlin: How was the making of "Chucky´s Baby" for you?
Jennifer Tilly: The character of Tiffany is very real to me when I´m doing her, but when I was in the movie myself I didn´t take it as seriously as I would if I was working with Scorsese for example. When I did the scenes where I have to scream or cry I was doing combi-screaming or combi-crying. Don Mancini said: "Jennifer, you have to be real." and I answered: "Well, but these are dolls I´m playing with." This movie was sometimes emotional grueling on me, because when I have a dramatic scene in a movie I only like to do it once or twice because it takes a lot out of you. But in this movie we worked with dolls which is like working with children or animals. It doesn´t matter how good you are if the filming with the dolls lead to poor results you have to do it all over again.

AVIVA-Berlin: Nevertheless, if Don Mancini is planning on making another sequel would you like to be in it?
Jennifer Tilly: Definitely! We had so much fun shooting this and Don is a very good friend of mine. If he wrote another Chucky movie and if he wanted me to be in it - for sure I would be in it. Even if this isn´t the case - certainly I would be in it as the voice of the doll "Tiffany" which is really fun to do.

AVIVA-Berlin: You said about "Chucky´s Baby" that it was a heart-warming story. What is heart-warming to you in this movie?
Jennifer Tilly: I think that Glen, the little doll with the struggle to find his identity, is a very sweet character - not at the end of course, but I was saying it is a heart-warming story because it is about a child finding his real family. The interesting dynamism in this movie is the conflict between Chucky and his wife Tiffany. She wants him to behave lady-like and to become an idol for their child, but Chucky instead wants to make a man out of him. That is something many people can relate to.

AVIVA-Berlin: First and foremost "Chucky´s Baby" isn´t a bloody horror movie to you?
Jennifer Tilly: A lot of people said to me that Chucky was very scary to them when they were kids, but I think now nobody is scared of Chucky anymore. Over the years he transmogrified into this easy-going killer-doll. After the last movie someone said to me "No one is scared of Chucky - he is so eighties" and I think that is true. I don´t know anybody who would be frightened. I´m watching it and just enjoy the artists work. When I look at a scene I don´t see the pain Chuckys victims are going through - I see the great job the special effects did on the movie.

AVIVA-Berlin: Were you afraid of horror movies when you were a child?
Jennifer Tilly: When I was a kid we weren´t allowed to see anything that had violence in it. My parents were hippies and therefore we only watched Shakespeare movies which were actually pretty bloody. When I grew up I had a boyfriend who liked the godfather movies and was playing them constantly. They are very violent and I was realising that I was missing a lot by totally avoiding violent movies.

AVIVA-Berlin: When you were a child you were the one of your siblings who was always telling stories and a family entertainer.
Jennifer Tilly: Yes, that´s true. I think it´s because we didn´t have television and were a big family. We lived way out in the country - two miles away from the nearest group of houses and so we always came up with games. I would read about them in books and said: "We will play this new game now and these are the roles." Or I wrote games and made everybody be in them. We also played fantasy games. I remember my sister and me living in a chicken house for a week because we pretended to be peasant girls. The family house was the palace in which we had to work for the prince. I was surprised that our parents didn´t say: "Why are the girls living in the chicken house?" Well, we let our imagination run wild.

AVIVA-Berlin: Do you think that this has influenced your career as an actress?
Jennifer Tilly: As we weren´t allowed to see many movies they were very special to me and I always wanted to become a part of it. I was asking myself: How can I be like the person on the screen? That had something to do with my career for sure.

AVIVA-Berlin: As a teenager and twen you wrote articles for magazines and won writing competitions. Would you like to continue with writing and start another career as a writer?
Jennifer Tilly: As you get older it becomes harder and harder to watch yourself on the screen. I see myself up there and sometimes I´m doing really good acting but as time goes by you are not as cute anymore as you used to be. Everyone has a mental image of themselves and my mental image of myself is ten years younger and ten pounds skinnier. Sometimes when you see yourself in a movie you think: "Uh, that´s not me - that´s somebody else!" To me it is important that I have something creative to fall back on if I quit acting . Lately, I have been writing articles for magazines and I really, really enjoyed it. Being a writer would be another creative career for me in which I don´t depend on my looks and I´m more flexible. I am starting to think about where I want to live. I don´t want to stay in Los Angeles for the rest of my life and would like to buy a house in Santa Fe or to go back to Canada where I am from.

More information about the movie "Chucky´s Baby".

Jennifer Tilly
was born September 16, 1958, in Harbor City, California. Her parents got divorced when she was 6. When her mother Pat Tilly remarried, she took Jennifer, her 3 siblings, and her 3 stepsiblings to British Columbia, Canada.
At 17, she began to study theater at St. Stephen´s College in Missouri. In order to help pay for her tuition, she contributed articles to magazines and earned money by winning Honorable Mentions in writing competitions.
After guest appearances on Remington Steele, Cheers, bit parts in films such as Moving Violations, Inside Out, Remote Control, He´s My Girl, and Rented Lips and roles in Let It Ride and Far From Home, Jennifer was finally recognized for her role as auditioning singer Blanche "Monica" Moran in 1989´s The Fabulous Baker Boys.
In 1993 she won the Theater World Award for her portrayal in the theater production of One Shoe Off and one year later she delighted as Olive Neal in Woody Allen´s Bullets Over Broadway. She appeared in Made in America, as a bisexual girlfriend in the erotic film Bound, with Jim Carrey in Liar Liar and in Relax... It´s Just Sex and Hoods.
These movies were followed by The Bride of Chucky where Jennifer played the wife of the killer doll, Chucky.
from 1984 to 1991, Jennifer was married to Simpsons´ producer, Sam Simon.

Women + Work

Beitrag vom 17.05.2005