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Quint makes out with Leatherface's Sister and tells how she was!

I swear, this is the last CHAINSAW REMAKE related interview from this seaman! I can't promise Mr. Beaks is all through with interviews, but I give my word that this is the last CHAINSAW interview coming out me.

This is a short interview with Heather Kafka, a local (Austin) actress who has been playing bit parts in everything from Austin Stories to WHERE THE HEART IS, who has now landed the role as Henrietta, the creepy no-eyebrowed sister of one Mr. Leatherface. I have a feeling you'll be hearing a lot more from Ms. Kafka in the future.

Without any further ado, here's the interview!

QUINT: TELL ME ABOUT THE AUDITION PROCESS THAT LED TO YOU BEING CAST IN "CHAINSAW"

HEATHER KAFKA: My agent called and said Beth Sepko wanted to see me for the role of Henrietta. Described as "late 30's, a frumpy large sized mother hen type," naturally I thought he had finally lost his mind or was just that desperate for any chance at his 15%. When I got the sides, it read things like "she plops her massive body down in the chair against the door and says, "'so there, nobody is coming through here now.'" It was almost impossible for me to find those tiny clues the writer leaves the actor on the page since a lot of it was about size, which I don't have. Without any bridge from my skin to the way she was written, I knew I'd have to completely fabricate her in my own mind. So, I went to Savers, bought some cheap terrycloth bathrobe and a pair of slippers, which I then dragged through the mud a few times. Once I put it on, I didn't take it off for three days. I literally locked myself in the house, walked around with a teacup in my hand and went crazy. It was on day three of complete madness that I inexplicably went into the bathroom and took a razor to my eyebrows. I shaved 'em right off my face. The hollowness staring back at me was the Henrietta I was looking for - she was not a total monster - but without all the normal features of a human face, she was not quite right either. (I was also completely fucking insane! Doing this before I'd even had a call-back! Turned out, there was some debate over whether eyebrows would grow back or not. - oh well - they did.)

After viewing my audition tape, Marcus liked what I had created so much that he nearly completely abandoned his original vision. This is essentially where the Tea Lady came from. She was never in the script, but he still wanted that big motherly presence in the trailer. So he hired Kathy Lamkin to sit in the lazy boy and repeat things I would say, like some creepy parrot.

On a negative note, they refused to give me the whole script. I've still not read it to this day. Rumor was, they were worried about Harry getting a hold of it. I didn't even know I was Leatherface's sister until the make-up lady told me on my first day of shooting. I knew I had a baby that wasn't mine but had no idea where it came from or why. So I just made up my own reasons for why I did the things I did, and made the most powerful choices I could think of.

QUINT: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE ORIGINAL FILM?

HEATHER KAFKA: I had never seen it. I'm one of those weirdo actors who's hardly seen any of the movies you would expect. Growing up, I was scared shitless by "Friday the 13th" and so completely fucked up by Michael Meyers and Freddy Krueger, that I pretty much never saw another scary movie again; except "The Shining." So, for research, I rented it and a documentary on the making of it. I think it was a Wednesday night or something, my husband was at work, and I watched it alone in my bedroom. By the end of it I was so totally disturbed and exhausted...I felt like I needed a bath...and maybe for my mom to walk in with a tray of milk and warm cookies. To me, that first killing, is one of those all-time, top-ten scariest moments in film history. There's absolutely no scary music, no build-up, the timing is all weird, it's in the middle of the most beautiful day and fucking out of nowhere that metal door slides open and here comes I don't know what with a fucking hammer. No chase, no trip and fall - just hello guy, you're dead, come back to my lair. I absolutely loved it! And after watching the documentary, I was overwhelmed with pride. My own Austin roots now tangled with a classic cinematic legacy and I was a Chainsaw Family Member! How fucking cool is that!

QUINT: WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH R. LEE ERMEY AND THE REST OF THE CAST?

HEATHER KAFKA: I really enjoyed working with Jessica Biel. Her instincts are keen and her discipline is in reality, which I appreciate. She bawled her absolute guts out in that trailer scene for at least a couple of hours. We broke for lunch (around midnight) had some sushi and some great entertainment to celebrate it being one of the final nights of shooting, and then went right back to that damn trailer scene, where she got herself right back to bawling her guts out. Her puffy red eyes and swollen face are real. Class act.

R. Lee was classic. The best way to describe R. Lee? It's 3:00 in the morning - we're shooting outside the Cele store where a water truck is absolutely dumping rain onto Ermy as he slowly walks around the semi, gun drawn looking for it's driver. He must've done 3 or 4 takes...wearing head to toe polyester. In between takes he would walk into the Cele store, saunter up to the bar, light a cigarette and start telling some story. He'd stand there, gabbin' away, in a puddle of his own water pouring off his suit and never even so much as ask for a towel - cool as shit. He absolutely loves what he does.

QUINT: THE CRAZY STORIES SURROUNDING THE DIRECTOR (NISPEL) ARE WIDELY KNOWN. HOW WAS IT WORKING WITH HIM? DID HE LIVE UP TO HIS REPUTATION?

HEATHER KAFKA: He absolutely lived up to his reputation. He's an oddity, no doubt. But he's totally passionate about his vision and I dig that. Some people find that difficult. I may have been luckier than some in that regard. Our relationship was unique. I had created a character, and he loved it, so there was no need for compromise on either of our parts. Basically, I showed up with Henrietta and he put her in his environment. I felt quite free to do what I needed to do.

QUINT: YOU ALSO GOT A ROLE IN THE CURRENTLY FILMING LUKE WILSON FLICK. CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE FILM AND WHO YOU PLAY?

HEATHER KAFKA: Luke Wilson plays "Wendell Baker," a loveable loser of sorts. He falls for Doreen, played by Eva Mendes, goes to jail, loses Doreen and wants to get her back. I play Marianne, her friend from work and I'm not Wendell's biggest fan. But that's just one part of the story. After getting out of jail, Wendell lands a job in a retirement hotel that's doing some shady business. It also stars Owen Wilson, Seymour Cassel and Harry Dean Stanton. Personally, I loved the script. It's got that great Wilson Bros. super subtle humor with just the right touches of real heart. In a way, it feels a little like an extension of "Bottle Rocket." If it all comes together well, I think it will be fucking hilarious. Although I do worry about ending up on the chopping block with this one. If you're struggling for time and need to make cuts, my scenes could be candidates. But they liked what we got in the can, so...fingers crossed.

QUINT: WHAT KIND OF ROLES ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? MORE GENRE STUFF?

HEATHER KAFKA: Oh, I've got lofty goals, Quint. I've been on a mission to become a legend since my earliest memory. I want to be Al Pacino for fuck's sake. I want at least one Oscar winning performance, I want to be working when I'm Meryl Streep's age, and one of those 'everybody likes you' stars on the Boulevard wouldn't be so bad. I'm finding that I'm something of a dramatic / character actress and that suits me just dandy. I want the meaty stuff. The powerhouse roles and the memorable characters. No pretty girl shit. This horror movie stuff is all new for me and it's been an absolute blast. I'd do more horror for sure - so long as I'm not on the "screaming girl" end.

QUINT: WHAT DO YOU HAVE COMING UP?

HEATHER KAFKA: I've got a short horror film called "Blind" directed by Aaron Morgan, coming on the scene. In November, I spawn the A.I. version of me in a video game called DeusEx: The Invisible War, where I give you the voice of "Billie Adams." Linklater's HBO pilot, "$5.15 an Hour" should be starting up again soon which I'm hoping I'm still in consideration for. And I continue to work on finishing my own film called "Waiting for Superman." Something of a "Stranger Than Paradise" meets "The Wizard of Oz." Watch the trailer at www.waitingforsuperman.com I think AICN readers might just dig it.

QUINT: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE DIRTY JOKE?

HEATHER KAFKA: Most of my favorite jokes are all racist or dead baby jokes, which scares the bejeezus out of my shy, English husband. But for "dirty" it's a tie, between an old classic of mine:

"Why is Mickey divorcing Minnie?...because she's fuckin' Goofy." And How do you get a sorority girl to go down on you?...dip it in Ranch.

There you have it, squirts. Hope you enjoyed the interview. I'll be back soon with an early review of one of the best Christmas films since A CHRISTMAST STORY. 'Til that day, this Quint bidding you all a fond farewell and adieu.

-Quint

email: Email Quint here! He takes good pitchers!!!

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 16, 2003, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Heather Kafka... what a great name

    by Stanley Spector

    Now all I have to do is find somone named Clara Nietzsche, and my life will be complete.

  • Oct. 16, 2003, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Second?

    by Archduke_Chocula

    TCM's trailer gave me the shivers, especially when watching it at 3 a.m. and when you live next to a graveyard.........yikes.

  • Oct. 16, 2003, 8:02 p.m. CST

    heather is one cool lady

    by chrisluby

    Man, I was so impresed with Heather last november when she was shooting this feature "one shot" I was a production assistant and I doubt she even would remember me, cause I was just doing work mostly with the key grip but man, out of everyone on that cast she just stood out. I was thinkig man thats an actress. Shes awesome, and going places. And Blind the movie she mentioned is really directed by Kristopher Aaron McGuffy, not aaron morgan, unless hes changing his name. Anyways, heather is cool.

  • Oct. 16, 2003, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Heather's family character was creepy as hell

    by Kraken

    Saw TCM at the screening in November and her character had to be one of the most disturbing. When she says "the baby is" line, oh man... She's a great actress and a great person on top of that. A rare mix. Great interview Heather!

  • Oct. 16, 2003, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Bruce Campbell > The World

    by JoeMammaRawks

    Yep

  • Oct. 16, 2003, 11:01 p.m. CST

    Is she the fat chick in the trailer who goes, "My my my?"

    by Pvt. Duke

    Now that is one sexy bitch.

  • Oct. 16, 2003, 11:07 p.m. CST

    no!

    by chrisluby

    No heather is the skinny girl that is like hes just a sweet little boy. Heather is no where near discribed as "the fat lady" shes in fact not that. Shes one cool lady.

  • Oct. 17, 2003, 12:53 a.m. CST

    No, the fat chick saying, "My my my" is....

    by Durendal

    Harry doing his cameo. They just shaved him, gave him a little makeup, and presto!

  • Oct. 17, 2003, 1:18 a.m. CST

    The Curse of The Bambino Lives!

    by Hal2814

    IN YOUR FACE, BOSTON! HAHAHAHAHAHA! (oh, and just for the record, I think that a remake of texas chainsaw massacre is a bad idea.) PEDRO IS A PUNK-ASS LOSER! YANKS WIN 39th A.L. PENNANT! AARON BOONE JOINS BUCKY DENT IN THE PANTHEON OF YANKEE HEROES! (life is good!)

  • Oct. 17, 2003, 9:04 a.m. CST

    What does Heather Kafka look like with eyebrows? Well....

    by domino_geek

    ... check out her file at: http://www.actorsclearinghouse.com/oncam/female/heatherkafka.html

  • Oct. 17, 2003, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Oh, so THAT'S her

    by Pvt. Duke

    She definitely seems like a cool chick. Not that she couldn't have been cool if she was the "my my my" fat lady. In fact, it's pretty much common knowledge that a much higher percentage of big broads are cool, as opposed to the hot ones who'll just end up giving you a fucking headache. I'm venting; sorry.

  • Oct. 17, 2003, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Go Marlins

    by super Cucaracha

    By the way, everybody hates the Yankees except for the people in New York...what happened to your Knicks? and before I get hate threats from people in NYC, I want to let you know that I love New York!

  • Oct. 17, 2003, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Cannibal Nun

    by super Cucaracha

    that's some funny shit and I also happen to agree. Fat chicks give good head also. They can suck a basketball through a garden hose! Man! they can sure swallow!

  • Oct. 18, 2003, 2:45 a.m. CST

    Man, she was such a babe in Austin Stories!

    by Creamery Butter

    and so damn creepy and not babelike in TCM. Good on ya, gal!