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Fiona Dourif on the Challenges of Playing Nica Pierce: “I Keep Losing Body Parts”

The actress sees the doomed heroine as the “final girl” in Chucky, and we’re here for it.

By Grace Jidoun

Fiona Dourif has enjoyed terrifying success in the Chucky franchise and is considered just as essential to the canon as, well, the killer doll himself, who is voiced by her real-life dad, Brad Dourif. Throughout her two Chucky movies and the TV series on SYFY and USA Network, she’s played Nica Pierce, who was born a paraplegic and has undergone some brutal physical transformations at the hands of the evil doll and his deranged girlfriend, Tiffany Valentine (Jennifer Tilly).

When SYFY WIRE recently sat down with Fiona for an interview, one of our first questions we were dying to know was: How does she navigate the sheer physicality of her role as Nica as time goes on? For those unfamiliar, throughout her various dealings with Chucky and Tiffany, Nica lost both legs and both arms. But that doesn't stop her.

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“Well, it’s gotten more limited. Is that what you mean?" Dourif joked when asked about physically playing Nica. "I kept losing body parts, so now I have very few to work with." 

Whether she throws herself out of a wheelchair, drags herself across the floor to help Chucky’s next victim, or operates a gun with a metal hand, Dourif inhabits a highly challenging role — and in a way that doesn’t diminish her character’s fierceness.

“I’ve never thought of Nica as disabled, though she is,” said Dourif. “I think it was really important to portray somebody who was a hero in her own right and a 'final girl' and not defined by the wheelchair. At this point, she is on a mission for revenge and a life worth living, and that’s what drives her.”

What happened to Nica Pierce?

Welcome Back Nica

For a quick refresher, fans were first introduced to Dourif in 2013’s Curse of Chucky, where she’s beyond physically adept as a paraplegic. Restricted to a wheelchair, Nica was still able to chop Chucky’s head off with the blunt side of an axe (the indestructible doll just popped his head back on, unfortunately).

We next see Dourif in 2017’s Cult of Chucky. Her character is wrongfully diagnosed as a schizophrenic and trapped in a mental hospital where a few “Good Guy” Chucky dolls are used as misguided therapeutic tools. Of course, they’re “alive” and consulting on the sly. Having learned to split his soul into multiple vessels, Chucky casts a spell on Nica, transferring his soul to her, which gives her the miraculous ability to walk when Chucky possesses her.

But by the end of Season 1 of the SYFY and USA Network series, Nica experiences the most extreme physical restriction possible. Chucky’s girlfriend, Tiffany has grown to prefer Nica over the raging trash-talking doll, and has kept her captive for a year. But Nica is still possessed by a piece of Chucky's soul, and Tiffany renders her limbless as a precaution. After decapitating Chucky (we know how that goes), Tiffany knocks out Nica with a sedative, an amputates her arms and legs.

In Season 2, Tiffany’s twin children, Glen and Glenda (both portrayed by Lachlan Watson), break with evil family tradition and help Nica escape and acquire metal arms.

“In terms of the physicality, at this point, I’m a very expensive character,” Dourif told SYFY WIRE. “I can’t move very much, and I have to be on a green screen, and I have these contraptions that were made by MindWarp effects out of Toronto, who do an incredible job."

Tackling a character like Nica is not for the faint of heart — but Dourif is taking it all in stride. “She’s very fun to play. Expensive, but fun.”

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

Stephanie Gomulka contributed to this report.

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