Chucky's Zackary Arthur and Teo Briones Discuss the Killer Doll's Legacy

Chucky has been a horror icon for decades. While the serial killer-turned-doll got his start in the late '80s, the deadly Good Guy Doll is back and terrorizing this generation of teens in a new SyFy television series. This time he's found a friend in Jake Webber (Zackary Arthur) and torments plenty of new characters along the way, including Teo Briones' Junior Webber.

Ahead of Chucky's small screen debut, CBR sat with Arthur and Briones during a round table discussion about the show with other press outlets. The Chucky stars teased their characters' evolutions. While not much could be revealed due to spoilers, both actors acknowledged that their characters and their relationship are shaped by the events surrounding Chucky.

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"One thing I think this show deals with very well are the problems in the real world," Arthur said. "I feel like a lot of people can empathize with Jake because he's coming into his sexuality and bullied because of that. His dad does not support him. I feel like a lot of people may be going through that. I hope they empathize with the show.'"

Arthur also looked back at how difficult filming these scenes were and contemplated how someone could end as either a victim or abuser or a bit of both. Briones also had thoughts about Chucky's depiction of bullying, as it looked into the lives of the bullied and bullies.

"Like Jr. and Lexy -- two of the main bullies in the show, we also get to see what their life at home is like, and we get to see a little bit inside their mind and why they do the things they do," Briones said. "If you are going through bullying and you've watched the show, maybe you can use that to realize for some reason this person is bullying me, but they're probably doing that because they have problems of their own. Maybe you can try to sympathize with them. Maybe that's how you can get to the root of the problem and help that person, and maybe that person will stop bullying you."

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Even Chucky has a perspective on bullying, picking up on how Jake is being excluded. As Arthur pointed out, this makes him an easy target for the Good Guy Doll, thus corrupting Arthur. Chucky also brought a lot of weight to the series because of his legacy; although, everyone's history with this iconic horror legend differed. "I had never seen the Chucky movies before getting hired," Briones said. "When I found out that I got the job, I decided to go back and watch all the movies, and that definitely helped prepare me for this show. The old movies are great. I love them. They're some of my favorite horror movies ever made."

"When I was growing up, I was never really allowed to watch rated R horror movies, but the people that did get to when I was younger, those were the cool kids who got to watch Chucky," Arthur said. "When I auditioned for the role, I actually binged the Child's Play series in like two days. They're funnier than I expected them to be."

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Regardless of what each actors' history was with Chucky, they both knew the importance and legacy of this franchise. "You could ask anyone on the street if they know Chucky, the killer doll. 99 percent of the time, they're gonna say yeah," Arthur said. "It was  a little nerve-wracking, especially the first day on set, but as we carried on through the show, it got easier and easier to do, and it just became a regular job, but the good thing about acting is that it's never really a job because we're doing what you love."

"I don't think I really realized the weight of the legacy until about halfway through filming," Briones said. "Then I realized how humongous this franchise is and how passionate the fans are, and it definitely made me a little more nervous and scared that I'm not doing a good job... But then it also made me super excited because now this is in TV format instead of movies. We get to say a lot more with our characters and the story. It gave me a really good sense of accomplishment when we finished the show and also when we got to see little sneak peeks of the show. I feel like we're doing the fans proud. I hope everyone likes it."

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Caitlin Chappell (510 Articles Published)

Caitlin Sinclair Chappell is a writer turned editor at CBR. What started as a love for comics, film and television turned into a career after graduating with honors from Lewis & Clark College. Along with her work for CBR, she edits the in-development comic series Half-Dragon, and she read her short story, "The Kabbalist and the Golem," at the 2021 National Queer Arts Festival. Beyond writing and editing, she was the Film School Director at River Way Ranch Camp and the Assistant Director on the play Famous. She can be contacted at [email protected], and her social is @comiccookbook.

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