Texas Chainsaw - Poster, Dan Yeager
Texas Chainsaw - Poster: 'Leatherface" (Dan Yeager) ©2013 Lionsgate

Texas Chainsaw 3D continues the legendary story of the homicidal Sawyer family, picking up where Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic left off, with their house being surrounded by a vigilante mob determined to kill every last member of the family… but do they really succeed?

Years later, a young woman named Heather (Alexandra Daddario) learns she has inherited a Texas estate from a grandmother she never knew she had. When she visits it with her friends they have no idea what horror awaits them in the basement of the premises.

Dan Yeager takes on the role of the terrifying Leatherface in the movie who, armed with a chainsaw, is a formidable foe.

Texas Chainsaw – Leatherface (Dan Yeager) ©2013 Lionsgate, photo by Justin Lubin

I read you met Gunner Hansen, who created the role of Leatherface. What was that like?

I met Gunner in the Sawyer house that we built, which was absolutely surreal. I’ve been a big fan of the movies since I saw the first one at a drive-in in Las Vegas in 1981, and always loved Leatherface.

When I met Gunner I told him right up front that I’d studied what he did in great detail. I’d seen it 100 times, and I went back watched it even more. I used to enjoy falling asleep to it.

I told him I studied him and I did everything I could to rip him off as unapologetically as I could!

How did you go about working with a real chainsaw?

Texas Chainsaw – Leatherface (Dan Yeager) ©2013 Lionsgate, photo by Justin Lubin

I got to Louisiana a week before production was scheduled to begin and we were rehearsing everything.

One of the grips said to me, ‘This is my third Texas Chainsaw movie, and it’s the first one I’ve seen a real chainsaw used. I think it adds a dimension that you can’t fake, and so we had tremendous safety rules.

The guy who was authorized to take the chainsaw from me (after a take) wasn’t allowed to take it until I told him it was okay. So I turned it off and raised my hand, because it’s hard to talk in the mask.

I read where you felt powerful by being faceless. Can you describe that?

Texas Chainsaw – Poster: ‘Leatherface” (Dan Yeager) ©2013 Lionsgate

There is a lot of safety in being hidden. You’re always aware of your physical superiority in any situation.

If there’s a room full of people, and one of them is Leatherface, you want to be Leatherface. There’s power in that. And the saw is no small tool for that.

I still remember shooting the first scene where I got to chase somebody with the saw.

They put that saw in my hands and said, ‘Start it up,’ and then the directive was, ‘Go chase that girl like you want to kill her,’ It’s empowering.

What were you like in between takes, did you stay in character?

I did pretty much keep to myself, and it seemed natural. Especially the scenes with the girls, I don’t think I ever spoke to any other actor while wearing the mask.

As an actor it’s good to have that trigger, to have something visual to grab onto and go into your emotion state. I’d just put on the mask, ‘Don’t talk to me.’ The mask guys and girl were the only ones I ever talked to while wearing the mask.

Dan was asked what Gunner Hansen thought of his performance – click here for his reply



Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter. More by Judy Sloane