Updated: Nov 15, 2019
Caroline Williams made a huge impact with horror fans with her portrayal of DJ Vanita "Stretch" Brock, in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Her ability to show the vulnerability of the character and convey the terror of someone being tormented by not only a chainsaw-wielding behemoth of a man, but also his maniacal brother as they invade the radio station where she works, was, and is a fantastic performance.
She brought a realistic portrayal of someone experiencing an unimaginably terrifying situation and a natural progression to her character as it culminated in her facing down one of her aggressors with a chainsaw that she ripped from the desiccated arms of a corpse.
Since then she has starred in numerous films including genre flicks such as Rob Zombie's Halloween 2, Adam Green's Hatchet 3 and Eric England's Contracted.
More recently, Caroline is in the newly released Slayer: The Repentless Killogy and if your a fan of Slayer and/or horror icons such as Caroline Williams, then you really should check it out.
Here at ReelHorrorShow, we were lucky to speak with Caroline and ask her a few questions.
Your first acting role was in 1975 in Smile. What first drew you to acting?
My first acting role was not in Smile, one of IMDB's many errors. I became attracted to acting during the early '80's in Houston, at the suggestion of some of the TV and commercial directors in the market during that time. Urban Cowboy had come to town to shoot and acting schools and agencies proliferated.
Your breakout role was in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. How did that come about and were you familiar with the previous film?
I was familiar with the original film and how seminal it was to horror genre fans. I had a shot at auditioning and made a singular impression that has been recounted a thousand times. When Tobe Hooper and L.M. "Kit" Carson began casting for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2 (1986), the sequel to Hooper's iconic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), they discovered me as I ran screaming down the hallway of the casting office. I burst into the room, pulled the chairs from beneath the duo and played the brief dialogue, while huddled in a corner. In that often told moment, I won the role from 440 actresses from both coasts.
What was it like getting to work with horror master, Tobe Hooper and an acting legend like Dennis Hopper?
I loved my time on set with both gentlemen. Tobe was immersed in guiding TCM2 and editing ‘Invaders From Mars’ at the time and it didn't leave much opportunity to get to know him better, as I would in future. But Dennis was primary in my education acting for the camera. He was a world of knowledge about art, culture, music and acting. My first intense experience having a mentor. He was a gem and he taught me little improvisations and thought experiments that I use to this day.
Your performance in Texas Chainsaw is intense, to say the least. What preparation did you have to do to get in the mindset of someone who is going through such a traumatic time?
I had L.M. Kit Carson on set at all times and I made use of him! I love having access to the writer, during the pre-production process and during production, if it's available. He gave me everything I ever needed. Plus I loved the athleticism of the role, the kinetic energy and constant movement were perfect for my personality.
We read that you were technically playing the character of Stretch in Hatchet 3. If true, whose idea was this and how did you find revisiting the role?
I believe it was the inspiration of Adam Green, who is one of the best writers around in any genre. He always had an insatiable curiosity about everything and I think he took Stretch to her next, natural place. The dialogue and scenes were priceless. I have a jailhouse scene with Danielle [Harris] that is essentially exposition, but he made the story sing. What a talent he is!
If you were offered the opportunity to reprise the role of Stretch in a subsequent Texas Chainsaw movie, would it be something you would be interested in?
I don't know. This would require an imaginative script and Tom Savini to direct. Nobody else knows the movie as well, or could direct the suspense and action accordingly. Tom is someone I would love to work for again.
Your work on such films as Hatchet 3, Texas Chainsaw 2, Halloween 2, and Contracted has seen you, welcomed into the hearts of genre fans (such as ourselves) as a Scream Queen icon. How do you feel about this title?
It's just fan shorthand and affectionate in intent. I'll take anything!
Conventions have become immensely popular over the years as a means for genre fans to meet their screen heroes. Do you enjoy attending Cons and meeting fans?
I love the convention experience. We're all one big family, in a way. most convention crowds are aspiring actors, writers, directors, SFX artists, composers, retailers, etc. That's how we find each other sometimes and where new projects are conceived and are born.
Do you have any convention appearances in the near future? Maybe a UK appearance? (subtle hint)
Would love to conquer the UK! I've never been invited to a con over the pond. Would love to attend. . .
Do you have any plans to work with Adam Green or Rob Zombie again?
Not so far. If they have something I would be ideal for, they will probably contact me.
Your calendar looks pretty full regarding upcoming movies. What do you enjoy doing when you find a little free time?
I've had so much free time that I'm ready to stay busy for a while. My work is my passion and I want more !
You have a few producers credits to your name. Have you ever considered moving behind the camera to direct a project?
The producer credits are mostly vanity titles, or revenue enhancements if I'm taking less money than my quote (dirty little producer secret!). Directing is the most intense job in movies, not sure that I want to work that hard.
Is there anybody in the horror genre that you haven’t had the opportunity to work with that you would like to?
Our genre is so rich in talent that virtually anyone would be fantastic!
Who would play you in the movie biopic of your life?
I haven't the slightest idea!
Thanks to Caroline for taking the time to answer our questions.
You can find Caroline Williams on social media
You can also keep up to date at her website: https://www.carolinewilliamsactress.com/
We recently reviewed Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and you can find that here on the website: https://www.reelhorrorshow.co.uk/post/classic-movie-review-7-the-texas-chainsaw-massacre-2-1986