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Tobin Bell on Saw IV

Published June 28, 2007 in Movie News
By Fred Topel | Image property of Lionsgate.
Saw III Poster Saw III
Most fans would not want to see a Saw movie without Tobin Bell as the Jigsaw killer. But we also don't want to see something stupid like Jigsaw's twin brother. Tobin Bell promises that his reappearance in Saw IV will be explained in the first scene, but we'll have to wait until then. Otherwise, Bell is happy to discuss the themes, such as can Jigsaw's mission be redeemed after failing in Saw III?

Tobin Bell on His Saw IV Appearance


"He's not able to save anyone," said Bell. "That's not what he does. People have to save themselves. He's not able to do that and he's expressed that very clearly. If you are bent on a particular course than the matter of what, she says it very clearly. She says, 'Fix me. Fix me, motherf***er. If you're so great.'"

Bell promises a "tremendous ending" that will blow people away, just like the ending of Saw I still blows away new viewers. "It blows me away and when I read the script, I didn't anticipate that moment at all, when I read it on the page. I was totally caught by surprise. 'I thought if they shoot this well, it'll be a splendid moment. This is worth doing, just for this moment.' But what sold the moment was Leigh Whannell's reaction to that moment. His reaction is just fabulous, the expression on his face, trying to mirror what I think most of the viewers were feeling. We did that in one take, by the way. That's what happens when you're making a film for a million dollars. You don't waste a lot of time. But worked hard because there would have been a long setup, reset, to refix this prosthetic. We did not want to go through that again so we wanted to get it in one take."



Though Jigsaw has been a lot, the core of his character remains the same. "In my perspective, that guy was a guy in a bed in Saw III who's dealing with Amanda in front of him, the same way as a guy in a bed in my house or your house would be dealing with Amanda, with a girl. I don't view him as some sort of strange diabolical insane person. That's not his view of himself, so why should I approach him that way? The script will inexorably lead me to perform the deeds that are appropriate, but I don't need to play that. What I need to play is something that informs that on some level. I think that creates different rhythms. I think it creates different space, special relations in terms of the story. It gives you a place to rest from the mayhem and the murder that's going on out here."

With Leigh Whannell stepping back from the screenwriting process, Jigsaw is now in the hands of new writers. Bell is bittersweet about the new developments. "They captured his voice, they write good dialogue. I miss Leigh's concepts. A lot of the concepts, for example the material in Saw II about survival of the fittest, which I think is a very important aspect of Jigsaw's character. I think he feels this world, we have 100,000 years of survival of the fittest, and that's all gone to hell. It's now survival of the mediocre. All you have to do is be able to lie and cheat and be hypocritical and do it well, and you're going to get by. That's one of the things that annoys him and drives him. People who climb over the bodies of others to advance themselves. That's one of Leigh Whannell's concepts. When I was doing Saw II, I came up with 130 things that disturb this guy. Disturbs him. And there's a whole laundry list of complaints about the world, like we all have. If you knew the exact moment of your own death, how would you live your life differently? That was Leigh's."

Jigsaw will return, somehow, this Halloween.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Lionsgate.
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