How Jessica Biel Survived The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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One of the scariest movies of the 2000s is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a remake of the classic 1980s horror film of the same name.

This film introduced the concept to an entirely new generation of fans of the genre, but it also gave an irrevocable boost to actress Jessica Biel‘s career.

Jessica Biel attends the "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" Hollywood premiereJessica Biel attends the “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” Hollywood premiere at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, on October 15, 2003 (Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock)

Though Biel had been steadily working in Hollywood beforehand, this movie catapulted her to new levels of fame and set her on a path that would include more spooky projects. Let’s review this film and discuss what it did for Biel’s career.

Jessica Biel’s Career Background

Jessica Biel’s career began in the mid-90s when she was just a teenager, and she landed a role in 1996 that would change her life forever.

Biel was cast as Mary Camden in the hit television show 7th Heaven. The show was wholesome and sweet, but it also addressed some of the tougher issues that American families face.

Jessica Biel as Mary Camden and Beverley Mitchell as Lucy Camden in the American family drama television series 7th HeavenJessica Biel as Mary Camden and Beverley Mitchell as Lucy Camden in the American family drama television series 7th Heaven (Credit: CBS Paramount Network Television)

Biel’s role in 7th Heaven turned her into a bona fide actress, and opened her up for further roles in Hollywood, helping her to eventually launch a successful movie career.

Prior to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Biel was in a few movies, including Summer Catch, which she starred in alongside Freddie Prinze Jr.

Jessica Biel’s Role in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Jessica Biel played Erin Hardesty in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a woman with a troubled past and survival skills she picked up along the way.

Trouble seems to follow Erin wherever she goes, and her boyfriend, friends, and anyone who is associated with her seems to befall unfortunate fates, often in the form of a gruesome death.

Jessica Biel as Erin Hardesty and Erica Leerhsen as Pepper in the 2003 American slasher film The Texas Chainsaw MassacreJessica Biel as Erin Hardesty and Erica Leerhsen as Pepper in the 2003 American slasher film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Credit: New Line Cinema)

Erin spends the majority of the movie trying to escape the villain, Leatherface, and eventually is successful in her pursuit.

Inside Her Casting

Although Biel had displayed her acting talent on 7th Heaven, prior to her role in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, she hadn’t had many starring film roles.

To secure her spot in the film, it was imperative that Biel nail her screen test, and she did just that.

Biel took to Instagram to show her millions of followers a behind-the-scenes look at her screen test, which proves that she was the perfect casting choice.

Jessica Biel was 20 years old when filming Texas Chain Saw Massacre in Texas during the summer of 2002Jessica Biel was 20 years old when filming Texas Chain Saw Massacre in Texas during the summer of 2002 (Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock)

The video features Biel acting out a couple of scenes, including one where she is lying on the floor and desperately begging for help, unfortunately to no avail.

The footage shows that Biel really made her role as Erin Hardesty into what it was. The film wouldn’t have been quite as iconic without her.

Alternate Endings

The film ends with Jessica Biel‘s character, Erin Hardesty, narrowly escaping death via chainsaw at the hands of Leatherface. The film, however, could have ended differently.

One of the alternate endings featured Erin years later being interviewed by a reporter in an insane asylum. In it, she reveals that she believes Leatherface is still alive, and he is later shown out-running authorities.

Jessica Biel was praised for her performance as Erin in The Texas Chainsaw MassacreJessica Biel was praised for her performance as Erin in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Credit: New Line Cinema)

A second alternate ending was predicated on Erin‘s pregnancy, which did not make it into the film script. In this alternate ending, Erin gives birth while hiding from Leatherface, but the baby’s cries reveal their location.

Although it’s fun to read and imagine these alternate endings, we are happy with the movie as written.

3 Other Actresses Considered for the Role

It’s hard to imagine Erin Hardesty being played by anyone other than Jessica Biel, but the film could have had a much different feel had one of the other contenders been cast.

Here are some of the women we could have seen as Erin Hardesty:

1. Katie Holmes

While she is best known for her former marriage to Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes has had a successful acting career of her own, one that was catapulted thanks to her role in the team drama Dawson’s Creek.

Holmes was considered for the role of Erin Hardesty but obviously lost out to Jessica Biel. She starred in two other films the year that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released.

2. Jessica Alba

Another contender for the role was Jessica Alba. Though now she does not act as much due to the success of her business, The Honest Company, Alba was one of the biggest actresses of the 2000s, starring in films like Fantastic Four and Sin City.

Jessica Alba was considered for the role of Erin in The Texas Chain Saw MassacreJessica Alba was considered for the role of Erin in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock)

While she didn’t star in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, another one of her major films, the dance film Honey, was released the same year.

3. Kirsten Dunst

Another popular actress considered for Biel’s role was Kirsten Dunst. Dunst was a very active and popular actress at the time due to her roles in popular movies like Bring It On and Spider-Man.

The same year that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released, Dunst’s popular film Mona Lisa Smile came out.

Film Trivia

The film has lots of interesting trivia behind it:

Andrew Bryniarski, the actor who played Leatherface, approached Michael Bay, one of the film’s producers, and asked to be cast in the film.

Erica Leerhsen, the actress who played Pepper, screamed so loudly during her own screen test that others feared a woman was being attacked and reported it to the police.

Erica Leerhsen as Pepper and Mike Vogel as Andy in The Texas Chainsaw MassacreErica Leerhsen as Pepper and Mike Vogel as Andy in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Credit: New Line Cinema)

One scene features a possum, and it took many shots to film because the actors found the animal to be cute, not scary.

Andrew Bryniarski stuck to a strict and intense diet, only eating brisket and white bread, to gain enough weight for the role. At the time of filming, he weighed almost 300 pounds.

Jessica Biel’s Career After the Film

After starring in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jessica Biel continued her successful career.

Some of her popular projects following the horror film were Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and guest roles in various television shows. Biel also starred in The Sinner, for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.

Biel is still very active in the entertainment industry and has another miniseries called Candy set to premiere soon. Thanks to her role in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jessica Biel has enjoyed a fruitful acting career.

Jessica Biel shows off her diamond bib necklace by Tiffany & Co. Jessica Biel shows off her diamond bib necklace by Tiffany & Co. (Credit: Ivan Nikolov / WENN)

Jessica Biel probably didn’t get to keep the diamonds, but she definitely looked like a queen for a night thanks to the exclusive right to some serious jewelry.

In April 2016, the Stealth actress was seen sporting a diamond bib necklace and cuff at the Tiffany & Co. Blue Book Gala in New York.

Jessica Biel in a white The Row ‘Ikeda‘ cold-shoulder dress at the Tiffany & Co. Blue Book GalaJessica Biel in a white The Row ‘Ikeda‘ cold-shoulder dress at the Tiffany & Co. Blue Book Gala held at the Cunard Building in New York on April 15, 2016 (Credit: Ivan Nikolov / WENN)

Jessica wore a gorgeous halter dress from the Olsen twins’ first clothing label, The Row, which she paired with the popular Christian Louboutin ‘So Kate’ pumps in soft gray leather.

The Tiffany & Co. jewelry looked like it was a part of her neckline, which helped create a more unified look.

Jessica Biel shows off her feet in Christian Louboutin "So Kate" pumps in soft gray leatherJessica Biel shows off her feet in Christian Louboutin “So Kate” pumps in soft gray leather (Credit: Ivan Nikolov / WENN)

Jessica has always been a huge brand advocate for Tiffany & Co., stating that the jewelry allows her to feel sexy, feminine, and strong.

Jessica Biel poses with Reese Witherspoon, Diane Kruger, and Naomi Watts with their Tiffany & Co. diamondsJessica Biel poses with Reese Witherspoon, Diane Kruger, and Naomi Watts with their Tiffany & Co. diamonds (Credit: Ivan Nikolov / WENN)

With a child, a newly-opened restaurant, and the paparazzi to deal with every day, we’re pretty sure she meant what she said.

You can order Jessica’s Christian Louboutin “So Kate” pumps in black and white versions at Nordstrom, Matches Fashion, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Mytheresa.

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