From the title alone of this interview, you might be a little confused as to what part of Chucky the TV series is “important.” It’s a show about a doll possessed by a serial killer known as Charles Lee Ray. Oh, and we can’t forget his insatiable need to possess someone and get back to a human body and not this 3′ 1″ doll with vibrant red hair. But Chucky is so much more than that.
Just as important as Chucky are the people he’s terrorizing. And their stories (yes, even Lexi’s) are important parts of a narrative geared towards those growing up in this day and age. Because it might be easier for some people than others to make it through the day. But there are still those kids that are like Jake Wheeler (Zackary Arthur) and need someone to stand up for them and tell their stories.
Mancini has been directing since he was a kid, experimenting with camera work at a young age because he wanted to create. “It’s stuff that I did as a kid, experimenting with the camera and locking it off. I would have my sisters do Bewitched things. Like they would snap and disappear. It was nice that none of that nonsense from my childhood was wasted. It finally paid off in season 2 of Chucky.”
That payoff also comes in the form of the queer relationships, bonds, and journeys of our characters. And for Mancini, working on Chucky was a way of giving himself the kind of show and content that he didn’t have growing up. Because sometimes when the world around us acknowledges us, we feel like we belong. In Mancini’s words, “As a teen horror fan, I so wished that I could have seen some representation for myself, watching this stuff. So it’s great to be…it’s great that the world has evolved that we can do this now. And we can do it fairly casually, which is awesome.”
That’s why Jake and Devon’s (Bjorgvin Arnarson) romance is so important to Mancini. It’s an opportunity to have those conversations and honor experiences. He went on to say, “I was so excited that the Jake and Devon romance worked as well it did and that fans responded very positively. So I wanted to continue that relationship and I wanted to be personal with it and honor some of my own experiences.”
And in season 2 of Chucky, we see these two young men, who Mancini relates and who LGBTQ+ viewers will also connect with, going through something new: the clash of faith and being their true selves. Mancini explained it, “One of the struggles that young gay people often have is tension with their faith. And as a kid that was raised Catholic I certainly had that, officials waving their fingers at me, telling me that I was bad and going to hell. And I wanted to look at what that’s like for a gay kid or two gay kids in a relationship, in a budding romance.”
See? Chucky the TV series has depth. (Which, if you haven’t watched, now is the time.)
Lachlan Watson, who will play both Glen and Glenda, is also an important part of using Chucky the TV series to tell important stories. According to Mancini, “Working with Lachlan Watson, who plays both Glen and Glenda, that was a blast to do. They’re completely amazing in those roles.” He continued by saying that he hopes the queer and trans audiences watching will connect with these two new characters. “I hope that our queer audience, our trans audience, will really love these characters and the performances that Lachlan gave as these characters.”
But Mancini wasn’t the only person we spoke to when it came to the stories being told on the Chucky TV series and their importance. We also spoke with Alyvia Alyn Lind, who plays Lexy Cross, and Bella Higginbotham, who plays Nadine in season 2. Because just like Jake goes on a journey, they do too. And someone watching will connect with them, making it all worthwhile.
When Chucky started off in season one (this might be bold to say) but Lexy was just as much of a villain as the doll terrorizing everyone. Sure, she wasn’t killing anyone, but she was destroying spirits with a quick barb of a line. Iconic but also savage, honestly. By the time season 1 ended, she was a changed young woman. But season 2 is pushing that even further.
According to Lind, “Lexy has changed completely [in season 2]. She is no longer the character we found in the first season. She’s completely transformed into a much more compassionate and feeling person. She’s just trying to protect the people around her and trying to cope with the trauma that she’s endured in any way possible.”
Personally, it’s characters like Lexy’s that are my favorite. They transform and blossom into something new and unexpected. And before you know it you kind of don’t hate characters like this anymore and want them to survive. Thank you, Mancini, and the great writing on Chucky the TV series.
Adding to this collection of unique and interesting characters on Chucky is newcomer Bella Higginbotham who plays Nadine. And like everyone else, she’s got a story worth telling that adds to the overall story aka trying to take Chucky down.
Higginbotham said, “Nadine’s kleptomania, it’s probably my favorite character trait. It’s unexpected. And Nadine trying to deal with it through confessionals and turning to the Lord is very interesting to me because she definitely treats confessionals as therapy.”
Altogether, Don Mancini has helped create a world that tells stories about people who desire to be seen, go through hardship, and are just trying to make it through their day while surviving a killer doll that wants to wipe them off the face of the Earth. And that is why it’s important to tell these stories and why you should be watching Chucky in the first place.
Chucky the TV series premieres Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 9pm ET.