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An Interview with Alec Joseph Print E-mail
Written by Elaine Lamkin   
Saturday, 27 August 2005

As Chainsaw Sally’s outrageous and gender-confused little brother, Ruby, 24-year old Alec Joseph seems poised to join his “big sister”, April Burril, as a new horror icon.  He will even have a doll or should that be called “action figure”.  Nah, Ruby would call it a “doll” and dress it up accordingly with lots of glitter and feather boas.  Severed Cinema recently had the opportunity to speak with Alec and he was every bit as funny as his alter ego.

So, what is The Alec Joseph Story?

Well, I was born in Baltimore where everyone else in “Chainsaw Sally” seems to have ended up.  I have studied dance since the age of 7 and have been performing in some capacity ever since then.  Currently, I live in Port Richey, Florida where I spending time with my family and attending nursing school, as I want to be an RN.  I’m also a musician, playing the guitar, the bass, keyboard and cello.

How did you become a part of the “Chainsaw Sally” family?

When I was 18, I tried out for JimmyO’s and Jimmy Taylor’s stageplay “Silver Scream” as a dancer.  It was amazing!  I was airbrushed black and white and the effect was so incredible.  That was in 1998 or so.  I did the play on and off for a few years along with another play the Jimmy's did called “Attack of the Killer Space Vultures from Planet X”.  In that one I played both a vulture and a gay bartender.  Then, when Jimmy did the film version of “Silver Scream” in 2002, I was asked to be a part of that and it was just a natural progression to “Sally”.  Especially when JimmyO said he had written the part of “Ruby” especially for me.

Tell us a little about “Ruby”.

Well, Ruby and his sister Sally witness the murder of their parents at Christmas when they are both very young and after burying them, Sally and Ruby go off and live in a nearby, decrepit trailer.  Ruby has no male influence in his life, just Sally, so he’s a little confused and the two of them wear whatever happens to be available which for Ruby is usually something sparkly or gold lame.  All Ruby knows is what Sally tells him and what he sees on TV, which is usually tuned to Count Gore de Vole’s horror movies.  He’s the “woman of the house” as Sally goes out and works and Ruby stays home and cooks dinner.

How did JimmyO describe Ruby to you when he first told you about the part?

He said he wrote Ruby as a drunk, 18-year old version of me with the volume turned WAY up.  I love that!

How did it feel the first time you actually played Ruby?  With all the makeup and costumes?

Well, April and I did our own costumes so that was fun but I was SO nervous about how I was going to “be” Ruby.  But as soon as I got that makeup on, everything just fell into place

Where DID you find all the stuff Ruby wears?

(laughs) A lot of that stuff was either mine or came from friends of mine, like the shorts that say “Bite Me” on the butt.  And April and I would check out thrift stores or Goodwill.  You would be surprised what you can find at places like that!

Did you have a favorite ensemble that Ruby wore?

Probably the gold leather dress with the glittery red platform shoes that had little plastic cowboy spurs on them, if you look closely.  And all the boas.

What was it like working with Gunnar Hansen and Herschell Gordon Lewis? 

I didn’t get to meet Gunnar until after the film, at a Chiller con.  And Herschell I didn’t get to meet at all.  Boo!

Do you have any favorite moments from the movie?  Any scenes you really enjoyed doing?

Probably the scene where Sally and Ruby have kidnapped the mayor and have 2 hours before their horror movies come on TV in which to torture him.  First goes one foot and Sally says something about, “Well, we still have one hour and fifty-four minutes to go”.  Plus, I get to look straight into the camera, as that’s the mayor point of view, and talk to him.  Lots of fun!

I didn’t realize April Burril was pregnant during the film until I talked with JimmyO.  How did that affect shooting?

We shot most of the movie in October 2003 but had to go back for some more scenes in March of 2004.  April had her daughter in April of 2004 so if you look very carefully, you can tell she’s pretty pregnant in the scene where we drag the “groceries”, which was actually Jimmy Taylor, off of our front porch.  Also, I had to do a reshoot on what HAD to be the coldest day ever.  It was in February of 2004 and it was the scene where Ruby is spying on Steve Kellerman and goes running to the house’s cellar.


What can you tell us about the next “Chainsaw Sally”?

All I know right now is that we hope to start shooting in April of 2006 and it will be much more violent.  The people from Toe Tag Pictures will be doing our SFX makeup.  We will also have some of the cast from the original “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” in the movie – Gunnar will be back as Ruby and Sally’s Uncle Ed and Marilyn Burns, Ed Neal and John Dugan will all have parts.  Suzy Lorraine will reappear in an interesting capacity.  I cannot wait to get those platform shoes back on!

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