Halloween is fast approaching, so all this week, Yahoo Movies will be talking to stars who scared us silly in classic horror movies. Go here to read our complete Halloween coverage.
“Best workout ever.” That’s the first thought that came into Renée Zellweger’s mind when we brought up the 1994 slasher flick Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. “Live chainsaw — that’s some motivation to get running! Fast!”
The fourth film in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series, The Next Generation found Leatherface (Robert Jacks) making prom night truly unforgettable for four Lone Star State teenagers. Originally titled The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the film was rereleased in 1997 after the profiles of future Oscar winners Zellweger and co-star Matthew McConaughey had both risen.
Like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre from 1974, which is considered one of the most successful independent films of all time, Next Generation was a low-budget affair. “We all shared a tiny Winnebago that belonged to the producer of the film,” she recalled. “Makeup was [in] the front seat, and then there was a table in the middle for hair, and then there was a tiny little curtain back by the bathroom, that’s where you put your prom dress and flower on.”
Two years before her breakout in Jerry Maguire, it was also a major stepping-stone in Zellweger’s career. “I was so grateful, and I was so excited. I had done a little bit here, a little bit there, but nobody had ever trusted me with a role before to carry a film.”
Still, she’s not sure it was all done entirely by the books. “It was ridiculous. How we pulled that off, I have no idea. I’m sure none of it was legal… But what an experience. It was kamikaze filmmaking.”
Zellweger, who recently starred in the sequel Bridget Jones’s Baby, can currently be seen in the courtroom thriller The Whole Truth. Watch our full Role Recall interview with her: