The actress also spills on Chris Rock riffing on set, playing a total boss and her idea for Hermione's return to "Riverdale."
Marisol Nichols took a break from dodging The Black Hood and Gargoyle King on "Riverdale" to take on another twisted adversary in "Spiral: From the Book of Saw."
Taking place in the world of the "Saw" films but revolving around a copycat killer instead of John Kramer himself, Nichols plays police Captain Angie Garza, the take-no-prisoners boss of Chris Rock's Detective Ezekiel "Zeke" Banks. As her precinct investigates a new case of grisly, trap-filled murders, it becomes apparent that the killer is targeting corrupt cops -- and any of them could be next.
TooFab caught up with Nichols ahead of the film's release, where she opened up about her personal feelings about horror movies and the previous "Saw" films in general, the franchise's signature traps and what it's really like to work opposite Rock on a film like this.
Coming into this, I know you are a huge horror fan, but how much of a Saw fan were you? Because even among those who love horror, Saw isn't for everyone.
I was somewhat of a fan. I had seen the first movie and was familiar with the others, but wasn't rushing to the theater. That was a bit much, that was a bit much for me.
When you got the role, did you go back and watch the others or were you happy this was kind of a different take and you could start fresh?
I thought about it and then I was like, uh, maybe not. This is starting fresh, this is a new chapter and it's even a different Jigsaw copycat, we've already leaked that. I wanted to do this in a new unit in time and start fresh. So no, I didn't!
You have quite a few scenes with Chris Rock in this, he brings something completely different to the franchise, there's a lot more comedy this time which I think is very, very welcome. A lot of it seems like he's riffing on the set, how much was scripted and did you have to keep up with him at all?
He's riffing on the set [laughs]. There were some scenes that I was like, oh no, that was written and it just comes across as riffing. That's how good that guy is, by the way. In other moments, he's just riffing, which I love, that's the greatest to be able to go back and forth and do that and improv. He's great, it's awesome.
Can you talk a little about your character. Reading through the press notes, Max said you were intimidating on set because you're such a boss in this role. How fun was that to tap into?
I loved it, are you kidding? I loved it. She had to be strong, she had to be capable, otherwise who's going to buy her as controlling all these guys. They'll rip each other to shreds if she's not there. She had to be commanding, she had to be fair, she had to be respected and that's it. It was how it had to be to get it done. I was saying, even off set, the actors would be like, 'Morning, Cap!'
For any Saw movie, we need to talk a little about the traps. No spoilers, but maybe generally, did any of them evolve from script to screen?
Without giving away spoilers ... yes, one of the traps definitely changed. I thought one thing was gonna happen and another thing was changed to something else. I was like, okay, fine, they know their deal, that's their deal and I'm just gonna show up and do my job. But what's interesting is when you're reading the traps in the script ... and then you see it and you're like, that's insane. That's nuts! Nuts! So it was really fun as a fan to be like, 'That's a trap, that's so cool' and how many people would kill to see this up close, that kind of fun stuff.
When it does come time to film those scenes, for anyone in the cast, does everyone want to be around to see it happen? Are you allowed?
I didn't realize it, but yeah, it's a thing. It's like, we're filming the trap on Tuesday. We're filming so-and-sos trap on Friday. There's an enthusiasm, like a little kid in the candy store, it's amazing.
It's like a badge of honor to be put in one of Jigsaw's traps.
Completely. It's a whole thing.
Before doing this, what kind of horror movies were you into, what were your favorites?
Exorcist is my all time favorite. The Ring, phenomenal movie. Seven, Silence of the Lambs. There's this great Japanese horror film called The Eye. I went and saw the American, eh, and then I went and saw the original. So good! I like movies like that, that just stay with you and freak you out to your core.
We are big Riverdale fans with TooFab. Where are you with the series? I know you were out, then you were back in, now you're doing Housewives of New York. What's going on with Hermione?
I mean, she's filming Housewives of New York. I'm assuming she's having this fabulous romance she's hiding from Hiram and Veronica. I'm just gonna throw that out there into the universe. I'm welcome back anytime. Roberto and I talk, I'm balancing a lot of projects right now. I start another film on Saturday for Lionsgate, I've got a TV show coming out.
"Spiral: From the Book os Saw" rips into theaters on May 14.