Happy Birthday: Gunnar Hansen (1947–2015

Gunnar Hansen  (1947–2015).jpgGunnar Hansen (1947–2015

Born: March 4, 1947 in Reykjavik, Iceland
Died: November 7, 2015 (age 68) in Northeast Harbor, Maine, USA

During the filming of the dinner scene towards the end of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Gunnar’s character Leatherface was supposed to cut the finger of Marilyn Burns’ character with a knife. Gunnar was having trouble working the fake-blood dispenser and was very fatigued by the heat and long hours of doing take after take, so unbeknown to everyone but him and Marilyn, he simply cut her for real, which is the take used in the film.

[on the character of Leatherface] They defined the character for me as someone who was severely mentally retarded and severely mentally disturbed. The idea was that there was really nothing behind the mask and that’s how the character was created. You could never unmask him like Darth Vader, because if you were to take the mask off there would be nothing there. That is why you see him wearing different masks at different times. That is how he presented himself, but killing was the only thing he knew.

Acting had never been what I intended to do. I moved back to Maine and decided to get serious about writing. This had always been my main interest, something I always wanted to focus my work on. I moved to a village on an island on the coast, where I figured I could hit those keys.



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