The horror of Chucky isn’t just the killer doll. Sometimes just working with the Chucky puppet can be murder. The show’s stars Bjorgvin Arnarson and Chucky Season 2 cast member Bella Higginbotham revealed some of the mishaps that sometimes occur filming scenes with Chucky.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet participated in roundtable interviews with Arnarson and Higginbotham. They shared what really happens behind the scenes with Chucky. Chucky Season 2 airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on SYFY and USA Network.
Chucky doesn’t always remember his lines
Brad Dourif has been the voice of Chucky since Child’s Play. However, it’s animatronic puppeteers’ job to make his mouth form the words Dourif says. That doesn’t always go according to plan.
“When I first had to work with the doll, it was a little bit awkward only because the robot glitched sometimes and didn’t say its line,” Arnarson said. “But after I got into it, it was pretty easy to know when it’s going to say its line, wait a second, and let it do its thing. It’s a nice little pattern rhythm to hit it.”
Sometimes they have already recorded Dourif’s lines, F bombs and all. If he hasn’t recorded yet, somebody else will speak Chucky’s lines for the human actors in the scene.
“The mouth moves around, there’s dialogue on set,” Arnarson said. “Sometimes there’s an audio file they already have or someone just says it.”
Bella Higginbotham was surprised to meet Chucky on the season 2 set
As the new Chucky Season 2 cast member, Higginbotham didn’t know what to expect from the doll. She assumed visual effects would add him in later, but she got to work with Chucky physically, and puppeteers Gord Robertson and Pamela Iveta.
“I was definitely expecting there to be a lot more CGI,” Higginbotham said. “I fully thought that that would be most of what we would be doing but no. It was not that. With the puppeteers, they do such a wonderful job making Chucky real and it’s very uncanny. It’s really awesome and it’s really easy to ignore them. I hate to say this about Gord and Pam but they make Chucky so real that that’s what their focus is on, the cute terrifying little doll.”
They remove the puppeteers before the show airs
Robertson and Iveta wear either all black or all green suits while they maneuver Chucky. That way, visual effects can edit them out of the shot. But Chucky is really there on the set.
“Usually the puppeteers, we always call them ninjas or green men,” Arnarson said. “They’re always wearing all black or all green depending on what they need to do. It’s kind of not really hard because they stay almost out of the way so you’re focusing on Chucky’s face. They never really cover his face. You can just look at that. It’s always fun because one of the puppeteers, Gord, he’s always there mumbling the lines so I can hear it. So it helps me I can hear it in real time. To me it’s not too bad.”
So, it takes a village to bring Chucky to life. But the final effect is seamless. That’s why Chucky has lasted over 30 years.