Chester Bennington is best known as one of the lead singers of rock band Linkin Park, but this Friday, his fans and movie audiences will see him in a new way -- a man at the mercy of the killer Jigsaw in "Saw 3D."
The "Saw" movies, as horror film fans will tell you, have been splashing blood across movie screens every Halloween going back to 2004, with their tale of a killer who locks people in elaborate contraptions that, eventually, could kill them.
Bennington has been a big fan of the franchise that brings not just horror but a psychological drama to movie screens as Jigsaw's victims try to escape. So, it's easy to understand that for him, being trapped in one of the murder machines was more thrilling than horrifying.
"I'm not allowed to say much about the scene, but it was a lot of fun to do," Bennington told Reuters of the four days he spent shooting it. "I spent about seven to eight hours a day getting in and out of makeup."
Bennington can reveal, however, that he is not the only one forced to play Jigsaw's deadly game of survival. "What makes this particular trap unique is how complex it is," Bennington said. "There are multiple people involved in this trap, which is very atypical for Jigsaw."
Bennington said he is so enamored of the "Saw" flicks that he has been known to take a break in the middle of a Linkin Park tour just to go a theater and catch a screening. "The guys in the band laugh at me because my wife and I are so enthusiastic," said the 34 year-old.
When the film's producer, Mark Burg, moved next door to one of his bandmates and was told of the singer's obsession, he was invited to appear in the trap. "If they had asked me to just show up and watch them shoot I would have done it," he said. He also contributed a song, "Condemned," from his Linkin Park side project Dead by Sunrise to the "Saw 3D" soundtrack.
Bennington hopes the role leads to other acting offers, as long as it does not interfere with his music. He previously appeared on screen in the 2006 thriller "Crank" and was given one line dialogue in his role as a methamphetamine addict. He returned for last year's sequel.
"When I was younger, I did a lot of theater and was actually training myself to become an actor, taking courses in TV and film," he said. "I traveled in a theater group during the summer in between school and performed in different places around the country."
His career outlook took a turn, he said, when he discovered he could write songs and sing. "That became more exciting to me than hoping to go to an (audition) cattle call and get discovered," said Bennington. "I'd get instant gratification just by playing in a club."
His job choice proved to be a good one. Last month, Linkin Park topped the Billboard 200 album chart for the fourth time in its career with a new album, "A Thousand Suns." A concert tour underway in Europe forced Bennington to miss the "Saw 3D" world premiere in Los Angeles.
"I would have loved to have been there," he said. "But if missing the premiere means I'm playing for a crowd of 40,000 people somewhere in Europe, it's a pretty good trade-off."
(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)
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