For the actors, working with the puppets was a lesson in patience. Any interaction where the puppets had to deal with picking things up, whether it was a pillow, a knife or a chocolate chip cookie, could take many, many hours to set up and many more to shoot.
"I had absolutely no idea the amount of time and tedious work that it takes to get a puppet to light a cigarette," marvels Nick Stabile. "The doll has to have the right eye line for the camera, their head has to be turned just so, their arms and everything else has to be moving just right. And the crew and the puppeteers are so diligent, their willingness to spend seven, eight hours getting one of the dolls to complete a maneuver just amazed me! Me, I would just go back to my trailer and watch videos for eight hours."
Katherine Heigl says that she initially found acting with Chucky a little daunting. "I mean, what could I possibly relate this to?" I had never in my life had any kind of experience that I could relate back to a killing doll," states Heigl. "And even though sometimes you just want to burst out in laughter at the absurdity of the situation, you have to look like youre taking it seriously or no one else will, so you just have to pull out all the invisible angers and hates and feelings that there is no image for but that are there anyway and make them Chucky."
On a lighter note, Jennifer Tilly found working with Chucky a refreshing change of pace from her usual co-stars. "The good thing about acting with a puppet is that they never get into your light, and they never try to upstage you by ad-libbing because their lines are already done," laughs Tilly. "I love to ad-lib and improvise and throw stuff in, but I hate it when another actor does it and throws me off balance. With Chucky, you never have to worry about things like that."
As technology has evolved over the years, so has Chucky, and the dolls used in Bride of Chucky are indisputably the most sophisticated yet. One innovation that Yagher is particularly pleased with is the evolution of the dolls skin. In the previous Childs Play movies, Chuckys skin was made of foam latex, a material that although very lightweight and pliable, had an opaque color to it and had to be painted in a way that made it very difficult to light. In constructing the dolls for Bride of Chucky, Yagher experimented with a number of materials to make their skin appear even more life-like, eventually settling on a combination of silicone and foam latex. Explains Yagher, "By combining the foam latex with a thin layer of silicone, the dolls skin has a much more translucent look to it which looks much better cosmetically. The light absorbs into the skin and doesnt bounce back in an opaque manner which made the DP (Peter Pau) very happy because he could light the dolls in the same way he would light a human actor, and the puppeteers happy because it was easy to maintain."