Jerrod Carmichael
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How Hellraiser Was Brought to Life For a Modern, Queer Audience

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Hulu's highly-anticipated, new Hellraiser film is finally here, and after taking inspiration from Clive Barker's original 1987 movie of the same name, as well as his novella The Hellbound Heart, it's exactly the type of modern, queer, inclusive storytelling we hope the horror genre keeps seeing more of!

Out got the chance to speak to the cast and crew of the film, including Jamie Clayton (the fan-favorite Sense8 alum and the first trans actress to play the beloved, villainous Cenboite named Pinhead), director David Bruckner, Adam Faison, Drew Starkey, Odessa A'Zion, Goran Višnjić, and Brandon Flynn. 

"Lots of conversations with David about what The Priest's intentions were and why she was doing what she was doing and what she would be thinking or feeling at any certain moment," Clayton told Out about making the Pinhead character, one of horror's most iconic, her own. "David was really generous with his time, of which he had none because he was working every single day.

She continued:

"He scheduled many Zooms with me so that we could talk about the scenes as we were shooting them and breaking them down line-by-line and what the intentions were. And then the makeup, of course helped. Getting into the makeup and the costume and the whole thing. Then once I would get onto set, I was really just living in The Priest's, well of emotion and sensuality and sorrow and all of those things. We had moments where we could play on set with different takes, doing completely different things to try to figure out what was reading on screen and what worked and what they thought looked beautiful and terrifying at the same time. There isn't a lot of movement that's achievable once the prosthetic is completely glued on and with the contacts completely covering my eyes. Luckily I had an incredible incredible director holding my hand and guiding me the whole way, and we got there together."

"You look back at that time period, and there were constraints there in terms of representation and who could play what," Bruckner says when asked about paying homage to the queer legacy of the original '80s film. "Some of, that was very much coded in the narrative in different ways. I think it just seemed really obvious to us going into this that we would be really really open in terms of casting, not just our cast but also our crew, and that we'd be really missing out if we didn't include everybody in a Hellraiser movie, you know? We did our best with that and I hope some of that resonates with the viewers in some ways and that they're seeing that presence in the film."

Hellraiser is now streaming on Hulu.

RELATED | A Femme Pinhead in Hellraiser Is More Accurate to Original Books

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