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Interview with April Burril aka Chainsaw Sally                          July 8, 2008

Chainsaw Sally

April Burril is an actress and scream queen most famous for her role as the chainsaw wielding defender of all that is proper, Chainsaw Sally in the film of the same name. You can find out more about April’s current projects on her website chainsawsally.com or on her myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/chainsawsally

Film Apocalypse recently had the pleasure of interviewing April for the site.  Here's what she had to say:

FA: Chainsaw Sally is one of the best horror movie characters to come out in years! Was Chainsaw Sally created for the film or had the character existed prior to the film?

AB: First, thanks for saying so! In answer to your question, the character came first. She was created as a web horror-hostess kind of thing, primarily to drum up interest for our live stage show, “Silver Scream”. I did reviews, and interviews, and various other goofy entertaining things as well on the ‘sally site, and eventually – completely unexpectedly – Sally started gaining a following all her own. After we finished the filmed version of “Silver Scream” and were looking for a next film project, a Chainsaw Sally movie was the natural choice.

FA: ‘Chainsaw Sally’ (the film) really seems to have taken off in the Indi film underground. I know that you work mostly with Jimmy O and Forbidden Pictures, but has the role of Chainsaw Sally led to other interesting projects or film offers outside of Forbidden Pictures? 

AB: Occasionally I get asked to be in other projects, but my life already being so full – job, family, forbidden pictures work – I don’t often have time to do much else. I have, however, made a couple of cameo appearances – one in Happy Cloud Pictures’ “Feast of Flesh” (I get to play an ass-kickin’ vampire hooker – woohoo!), and an appearance as a Canadian waitress in the dark comedy “Corpus Christi” by Dead Filler Productions.

Photo by Jimmy O

FA: It looked like it would have been a lot of fun to be a part such a crazy film. Are there any funny stories that you can tell about the making of 'Chainsaw Sally'? 

AB: It was actually several years ago when we filmed... I know we had a great time, especially when I got to work with Alec Joseph (Ruby), who is absolutely hilarious both on and off camera. I do remember being amused by how sickened our cinematographer was after watching the death of the Ice Cream Girl. It’s not often someone actually has to leave the room out of disgust. :)

FA: Did you have as much fun making this movie as it seemed or were there difficulties behind the camera that made it a chore? 

AB: Nope, it was awesome. It wasn’t easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. Plus, I was pregnant during filming, so I got tired pretty easily and was probably not as sweet to everybody as I usually try to be. Still, it was fun. Lots of rolling on the ground with laughter moments.

FA: Chainsaw Sally also features Gunner Hansen (the original Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre.) How did he become involved in the film and what was it like working with the original chainsaw wielding maniac? 

AB: We got to know Gunnar a few months prior to the movie when he emailed me after a friend of his directed him to the Sally website. I think I almost passed out when I got that email – I was so excited! 
A true fan-girl moment. Eventually, Jimmy in his ‘unafraid-to-talk-to-anyone’ way, contacted him – 
mostly to approach him with the idea of being in the Sally film, but also to give me a nice surprise by having him congratulate me on the pregnancy (we’d been trying for awhile... Jimmy and I, that is, not Gunnar and I... )

FA: Since ‘Chainsaw Sally”, you’ve been working on a new film called “The Good Sisters.” Can you tell us anything about this project or is it too early to discuss? 

AB: Not too early at all. We just wrapped up principal photography. Now all that’s left are a couple of pick-up scenes and then editing, editing, editing...
The film itself stars myself and the infamous Debbie Rochon as two sisters who are witches (not nice witches, either). The plot centers around their growing paranoia as they begin to view their neighbors – and one neighbor in particular – as a society of witch hunters that they have been fleeing for much of their lives. What’s interesting about this film is that it is not clear on whether they are right in their fear or if they are just jumping at shadows. It’s got a very “Rosemary’s Baby” feel to it and is much more serious than anything else I’ve done. The filming was a great experience. I really got to push myself, acting-wise.

FA: I have read that there may be a Chainsaw Sally 2. Is that true and if so, when will work begin on the film? 

AB: Yes, it’s written and pretty much cast. All we need now is the funding.

Photo by Jimmy O

FA: What is the best thing about being an actress?

AB: The best thing is really the same thing that I love about any art (or sex, for that matter), that I participate in: when the world drops away and you can lose yourself in what you’re doing.

FA: What is the worst thing about being an actress?

AB: The time I have to take away from my kids. That’s frustrating.

FA: I’ve seen that you sometimes make personal appearances at stores or conventions. Do you enjoy these? How often do you do these kinds appearances?

AB: I do enjoy them – as long as there’s not a bunch in a row (again, the time away from the kids issue...). It can be a little tiring to sit in a crowded noisy room all day, but everyone I’ve met so far is so fun – both fans and newcomers - that it totally makes it worth it. I’ve met a lot of neat people, many of whom have become good friends, at the cons.

FA: Do you see yourself as being different in your private life from what people might expect if they only knew you by your public image? 

AB: Well... depends on what public image you’re talking about. Anyone who’s met me in person (usually at a con), has seen the real me. I don’t act any differently. Most of the “Sally” character is me, or at least one facet of my personality. Those who haven’t seen me personally might be surprised by my domestic side... I can cook, as it turns out, and I enjoy being a mom. And they might be surprised that it’s actually hard to get me angry. I’m a very type B person, quite laid back. However, once I am actually deep-down mad... short of murder and cannibalism, I have a lot in common with Sally.

FA: Are you often recognized when you’re in public?

AB: No, thank god.

FA: Outside of acting, what are some of your other hobbies and interests? 

AB: Art in all its forms: visual (paint, draw, digital, etc), singing, dancing, instruments.. , I read A LOT – constantly actually, I like hanging out in the woods when I get the chance (rare these days), and I’ve been learning Jiu Jitsu, which is a total hoot.

FA: If you were going to a Halloween party this year, what would your ideal costume be? 

AB: I could never pick one ideal costume. That’s always the problem – which one do I feel like this year? (yes, I dress up EVERY year – no matter how last minute it ends up). I like being scary and I like being pretty (and sometimes both). Haven’t done funny yet... maybe this’ll be the year.

Photo by Jimmy O

FA: What does the future hold for April Burril? 

AB: Right now, we’re finishing up some scenes for “The Good Sisters” (stars Debbie Rochon and myself), and after that, we’ve decided to try our hand at a webtv dark comedy sitcom: The Chainsaw Sally Show. I’m really looking forward to it. Jimmy’s already started the first episode’s script and so far, it looks like a lot of gory messy violent fun.

FA: Since I run a horror movie review website, I’m obviously a big fan of horror movies. For my final question, I’d like to ask what are some of your favorite Horror movies? 

AB: Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1971), The Exorcist, Return of the Living Dead, Motel Hell, Halloween, 2000 Maniacs, The Wizard of Gore, Rise Bloodhunter, American Psycho, Hannibal, The Shining (Kubrick’s and the mini-series), Salem’s Lot (the mini-series),... you know, I could go on, but let’s not clutter up too much page space... you get the idea.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! I wish you the best of luck with your future projects!