[Interview] Caroline Williams Talks ‘Texas Chainsaw’, ‘Renfield’, Halloween, and More

Caroline Williams tells us that she shot a lot more for Renfield than we see in the final cut of the film, currently in theaters, and while she’s more than at home in a Dracula movie, having previously shared the screen with the likes of Leatherface, Michael Myers, and Victor Crowley, it’s two recent indie films that she is the most proud of after appearing some of the biggest franchises in horror, as we learned in a recent conversation.

Speaking over Zoom earlier this week, Caroline talked about the legacy of her character Stretch in director Tobe Hooper’s 1986 sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2. She tells HDN, “They’re auditioning 450 women from across the U.S. Tobe wanted somebody from Texas. I had the chance to go to Austin for the audition. I knew I had to make an impression. I go screaming down the casting office hallway, I burst into the room, I pulled the chairs out from under Tobe and Kid, and backed into the corner saying, ‘They live on fear, they live on fear,’ because those were the only lines on the audition material. There wasn’t much else to do. And that’s how I got cast. 

“It pays to be bold. If you’re an actor, it pays to be bold. It feels very scary. You don’t want to take chances. ‘Keep it small.’ You hear all the chat from people, and if you’re an actor, you have to quiet the chat sometimes and go with your instinct. And you can’t be afraid of making a fool of yourself. You’re going to make a fool of yourself six ways from Sunday anyway in one thing or another, because that’s the nature of the job.. That’s the nature of being an actor.”  

In our candid interview, Caroline recalls her meeting with Lou Perryman, who played L.G. in Chainsaw 2.

On Stretch’s legacy, she said, “It will always be that way, partly because the film’s constantly finding a new audience. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre will always be Horror 101. It will always be one the very first films that people see when they begin embracing horror, and it inevitably leads you to Tobe’s next film, which is Chainsaw 2. So she will always be the key character that I’m most identified with, and one of the characters that I’m the most like, being a Texas girl and stuff like that. I didn’t have to do a lot of acting for that film.”

On her Halloween International Film Festival award winning performance in Ten Minutes to Midnight, directed by Erik Bloomquist and written by his brother Carson Bloomquist, Williams said, “The thing that’s a hallmark of an Erik Bloomquist film and Carson Bloomquist film – the brothers, they’re of one mind. They’ve got a mind-meld. They’re Megamind. They finish each others sentences – the quality is head and shoulders above anything that you’re going to read.

“Across the board, there wasn’t an element that wasn’t of the highest quality. And that will spoil you. That will spoil you rotten. Before I did Ten Minutes to Midnight, I did another exceptionally high quality film that was written and directed by Graham Denman called Greenlight. Both of these films are up on Tubi, and, once again, of the highest quality. 

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve only spent $25,ooo or $50,000 on a film. I’ve been in movies that were $150,000 to $200,000, and were absolute steaming piles of dog shit that I wish I could take back, but you can’t, you’re stuck with it. But these filmmakers are true visionaries. They have the gift for being able to tell stories on film. Those are easily the two movies, before Renfield and before some of the TV stuff I’ve done, those are the two films that I’m the proudest of.”

Williams also appears in Renfield, currently in theaters, as a lawyer for Ben Schwartz’s  gangster character Teddy Lobo, and she confirms that additional scenes were filmed that did not make the theatrical cut. “My scenes were all in the police station with Ben Schwartz and Awkwafina, Obviously I had a great time. I got to where fantastic clothes. It was just a fantastic time. I was there for eight days, four days off for Mardi Gras, so I got a paid Mardi Gras vacation.

“And I have very strong scenes in the film, it’s just unfortunately that storyline didn’t go with the test audiences. The test audiences want to see – if you’ve got Nick Cage as Dracula, they want to see Nick Cage as Dracula. Let’s not do all the mafia and all the other stuff. So, sadly, a lot of my stuff was edited. But I will be honest, there were bigger actors than me whose roles disappeared entirely. This was a tough one for a lot of actors. That can be discouraging.

“But I’m still very proud of my look and my attitude. I wanted play a sassy southern lawyer, (director Chris) McKay said go with it. You know, and he gave us time. The luxury of a big studio picture is you have time, and we had the luxury of time, and got to play and enjoy the process.”

Caroline talks more about working with Awkwafina and Ben Shwartz in our full interview, and if course we also discussed celebrating Halloween, to which Williams confirms that it is her favorite holiday, as well as her memories of working on Tales of Halloween, Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, and much more.

You can watch our full exclusive video interview with Caroline Williams below, premiering at 10:31 a.m. EST on Friday, April 21.

[Read our original 2013 interview with Caroline Williams here.]

Watch more exclusive interviews here!

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Matt Artz

Founded Halloween Daily News in 2012 and the Halloween International Film Festival in 2016. Professional writer/journalist/photographer since 2000.