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Jennifer Tilly on Her ‘Chucky’ Future, RHOBH Cameo, Turning Down ‘SATC’

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Jennifer Tilly on Her 'Chucky' Future, RHOBH Cameo, Turning Down 'SATC'

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers from “Final Destination,” the season 3 finale of Syfy/USA Network’s “Chucky,” available to stream the next day on Peacock.

For the first time in twenty years, Jennifer Tilly doesn’t have to refer to herself in the third person when she talks about “Chucky.”

Since 1998’s ‘Bride of Chucky’, 65-year-old Tilly has fluently mastered the increasingly bizarre mythology of Don Mancini’s killer puppet franchise. In that film, she played Tiffany, Chucky’s human, serial-killing girlfriend, who has her soul transported into a doll bride. She died at the end of the film, but that didn’t stop Mancini from resurrecting her in 2004’s “Seed of Chucky,” when Tiffany’s soul was put into the body of her favorite actress, Jennifer Tilly. Since then, Tilly has been navigating the meta minefield of playing Tiffany in Jennifer Tilly Drag.

But in the Season 3 finale of Syfy/USA Network’s follow-up series “Chucky,” after two decades of playfully destroying Tilly’s career and reputation, Chucky warned his estranged wife that the world will never stop looking for the most wanted actress in the world. world. So Tiffany finally exorcises her soul from her human body and puts it back into the plastic body of a doll, courtesy of the original doll maker (played by camp king John Waters). As Tiffany presumably leaves behind the soulless corpse of her favorite actress and companion of twenty years, it’s a bittersweet moment for Tilly – even if there is one thing she’s looking forward to.

“I have to say I’m a little relieved that twenty years of Tiffany in Jennifer Tilly’s body and making fun of her floundering career are over,” says Tilly. Variety. “I loved it. It was so funny and satirical, but I think we took it as far as we could. And Don Mancini, in the twenty years I’ve known him, always knows when to leave a party. So I’m very excited and interested to see what’s next.”

Jennifer Tilly as Tiffany in ‘Chucky’.
SYFY

This should mean that Tilly is officially done playing in the world of “Chucky,” right? Think again.

“I love ‘Chucky’ so much, and I would be devastated if a ‘Chucky’ ever existed without me,” says Tilly. ‘But I don’t think that will be the case, because Don sees me as his good luck charm. And he likes my character. And no one ever dies in this story. When Don loves people, he likes to bring them back. So maybe he wants me to play Tiffany’s sister or something. You know Tiffany has a sister she hates too, right?

Stranger things have happened to Tilly in this franchise than turning up as someone’s long-lost sister. Let’s not forget that Tiffany, as a doll, gave birth to her and Chucky’s non-binary doll child named GG, who transported each half of their male and female identifying souls into human twin babies. Now GG, knowing the full extent of their parents’ depravities, once again occupies the same doll body as they travel the world and fight their dark impulses. So yeah, nothing is off limits in ‘Chucky’.

After season 3, Tilly is grateful for what she was able to do in her final days as Tiffany in human form. Leading up to the finale, Jennifer Tilly was on death row due to Tiffany’s most recent crime spree. But when she was strapped to the table for her lethal injection, her magical voodoo influence on the guards helped her break free at the last minute.

Tilly calls herself ‘lazy’ when it comes to acting these days, and hopes for the fewest lines in an episode – as long as she’s in them, of course. But Tiffany facing her mortality demanded a lot from Tilly.

“I look at the script and think, ‘Oh no, I’m crying!’” she says. “When she completes the green mile, she has to cry for a long time. And look, I can cry! I’m a good actress. But I’d rather make a smart remark, throw a cigarette on the ground and stump it out with my high heel. Can’t anyone else cry?”

The Green Mile Walk was also just the beginning. Waiting for Tiffany in the observation room of her execution was Nica (Fiona Dourif), the quadruple amputee whom Tiffany has loved and mutilated in equal measure since the beginning of the series. Season 3 was split into two parts when the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes halted production in Vancouver last summer, which Tilly says gave Mancini time to reconsider this final exchange between Tiffany and Nica.

“Originally, Nica comes to the death chamber and basically tells Tiffany to burn in hell,” says Tilly. “You know, Nica’s standard refrain. But then Don wrote this beautiful speech for her instead, which brings out the compassion that Tiffany loves in Nica and the love that Nica can’t help but have for Tiffany. He felt compelled to let Nica tell Tiffany the only thing she needed to hear: that GG sends their love and that Tiffany was a good mother.

That unusually heartwarming moment is interrupted when Nica sees Tiffany escape again in a bloody and physical prison break that surprised even Tilly.

“I have to say I had on my tight-fitting dress, my push-up bra, I put on knee pads under my dress and I’m walking on wet cement in my six-inch heels while the bullets bounce,” says Tilly. “Then we did a stunt where the actor I was with grabbed me and pulled me to the ground, and I thought, ‘This is not what I thought I would be doing when I was sixty.’ It’s like the best job in the world.”

Shane Mahood/SYFY

Tilly credits Mancini for never treating her as if she has aged beyond the action. She likens it to watching the “Sex and the City” sequel series, “And Just Like That,” and being shocked that the main characters, despite being only in their 50s, had to deal with things like broken hips. She didn’t want that for Tiffany.

“Don doesn’t do that to me,” she says. “He sees Tiffany as almost the same age as she was 25 years ago when I first played her, so he doesn’t write Jennifer Tilly as a grandmother. He told me that he doesn’t see any reason why I can’t keep doing the same things I’ve been doing for the past 25 years, and I love him for that.

Ironically, Tilly says she met “Sex and the City” creator Darren Star when the series first premiered in the late 1990s and he offered her to write a role on the show. But back then, watching TV was considered a death blow to your film career.

“I told Darren I wanted to be a movie star,” she says. “I didn’t want to do television because you couldn’t do both back then. But looking back, “Sex and the City” was such a groundbreaking TV show, and I think maybe I shouldn’t have been so eager to draw a line in the sand. But it would be nice to be on ‘And Just Like That’ now, but without a hip replacement.”

Until that offer comes through (and it should), Tilly is already dreaming about the next decades of her time with Chucky. She wants to be part of the franchise “until I’m 90,” she says, and Mancini already says she wants to bring more of her friends back. In season 2, a special dinner episode reunited Tilly with her “Bound” costars Gina Gershon and Joe Pantoliano, as well as her sister Meg Tilly and her friend Sutton Stracke.

Stracke made her acting debut in the episode and in turn Tilly visited her friend for a few episodes on the most recent season of ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’, where Stracke has appeared since 2020. Tilly jokes that she was “miscast as the lovable best friend” brought in to grill Sutton about her dating life. “I was the Barbara Walters of the episode,” Tilly says with a laugh, noting that it was a challenge because she prefers to be the center of attention. But as a diehard fan of “RHOBH,” she was just happy to be there.

“It was really fun when I was on the show,” she says. “I just shot a few episodes as a favor to Sutton because he came on ‘Chucky.’ But it was super fun and a thrill for me. I’m a super fan. I thought, ‘Oh my God, here I am meeting all these ladies that I’ve been watching for fourteen years.’ Sometimes reality is stranger than real fiction.”

Tilly says Mancini wants to bring Stracke – and her sister Meg, who killed Tiffany last season – back for more episodes. But before all that can happen, fans will have to wait and see where Tilly herself fits into the show, should season 4 be picked up.

If nothing else, she will continue to refer to Tiffany as a doll, an obvious affection that Tilly can easily access because, as she says, Tiffany “has those little plastic lungs.” It’s the little details like that that keep Tilly coming back.

“Tiffany is and always has been a fantastic character to play,” she says. “She is glamorous and campy, and, as this season shows, vulnerable and compassionate. Who would have thought?”