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Brad Dourif Reveals the One Suprising Thing That Guides His Chucky Performance

A 35-year veteran of the franchise, the legendary Chucky actor says every version of the killer doll has been “delightful.” 

By Grace Jidoun

We can’t imagine Chucky without actor Brad Dourif to keep his evil flame flickering, and in the horror television series on SYFY and USA Network, the iconic killer doll has gotten even more entertaining — and plain old bonkers. While Dourif is legendary as the voice of Chucky, Season 3 brought a thrilling surprise for fans. The actor return in front of the camera to reprise his on-screen role as Charles Lee Ray. The many sadistic laughs, evil smirks, and comedic moments make us think Chucky — and Dourif — truly enjoy what they do.

How to Watch

Watch Chucky on SYFY. Stream from the beginning on Peacock.

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Recently, SYFY WIRE caught up to Dourif, and he shared insight into the “mind” of a serial killer doll and how he felt about being back on camera in Season 3.

Brad Dourif's Secret to Playing Chucky

Chucky smiles murderously while holding a weapon above his head in Chucky 303.

Dourif has voiced Chucky since the franchise's inception with Child’s Play in 1988. While mostly retired as an actor, he always makes an exception for the killer doll, appearing for the first time on-screen in over a decade in Chucky Season 3. The actor recently sat down with SYFY WIRE and we had to ask, after 35 years, what guides Dourif’s approach to playing Chucky?

“'Chucky loves his job' is the number one lesson I learned. I probably started out feeling a little too serious,” he explained before revealing his secret to hitting the right notes of humor and sheer evil that keep us coming back to the show again and again.

“It took a long time for it to dawn on me that, basically, it’s all play. No matter how serious it is or how much pain is involved, it’s still play. And if you don’t play, you can’t really do it.”

Brad Dourif’s exciting return as Charles Lee Ray

Charles Lee Ray cackles near an American flag and candles in Chucky Episode 307.

In his long career, Dourif portrayed Gríma Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings and received an Oscar nomination as Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. But Chucky holds a special place in his heart, and after a decade-long break from acting, getting back into character was easier than he expected.

“I was a little nervous up until I started doing it,” he admitted to SYFY WIRE. “And then all of a sudden, I relax and bam, everything comes to me and I can play it,” he said.

Dourif added: “The thing is, Chucky has to be loose and he loves his job. So, that’s what I did.”

Do Brad Dourif and Fiona Dourif have a favorite version of Chucky?

Caroline Cross (Carina Battrick) and Chucky read a book together in Chucky 303.

For Brad, Chucky is a family tradition. His daughter Fiona has been with the franchise for over a decade, first appearing as Nica in 2013’s Curse of Chucky. They’ve both seen the evil doll through thick and thin, from Chucky in peak form to a dying and withered old doll. When asked if they have a favorite version, Fiona jumped in with her favorite from Season 2.

“I have to answer the question because Good Chucky is hilarious… I love Good Chucky and then I think Brando, no?”

Dourif, on the other hand, is less committal: “I don’t have one because they keep changing, and when they change, it’s delightful,” he said, adding, “I can’t wait for the next, which incidentally if we wind up doing it, it’s going to be the best yet. I don’t get that excited that often, but boy, this thing could be great.”

Catch new episodes of Chucky on USA Network and SYFY and catch up on past episodes on Peacock.


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