Jamie Clayton – who plays ‘The Priest’ in the new Hellraiser movie – has revealed that wearing the Pinhead prosthetics was so mentally and physically challenging that it gave her panic attacks.
Jamie Clayton had the toughest job on Hellraiser 2022 as she had to step into Doug Bradley’s sizeable shoes. Bradley played the character that fans christened Pinhead across multiple Hellraiser movies, where he truly made the monster his own.
But Clayton’s version of The Priest is very different, and was greeted with rapturous applause when the film premiered at Fantastic Fest in Texas this week.
After the screening, Clayton appeared on stage and was asked what it was like trying to bring something new to the iconic character.
Pinhead panic attacks
Speaking of her collaboration with director David Bruckner, Clayton said: “It was really David and I – lots of conversations we had over Zoom while we were in Serbia. Even during the casting process – once I got the role, he was so generous with the ideas that he had, and his dreams and hopes and desires for what this version of The Priest would be.
“Then once we got to Serbia, I did my first screen-test and got to feel it out – the suffocation and the beauty of everything that it was. We talked about the hunger and the desire – it’s all there in the beautiful words.
“There were moments – the first couple of times I was filming, David would run up to me and say ‘That’s it, you’ve found her, it’s working.’ And I was like ‘OK, do that more.’
“It just happened in this beautiful, organic way, through the creative process. It was a f**king dream come true. It was so much fun for me. And such a f**king challenge. And so exhausting and mentally challenging and physically challenging, and a couple of panic attacks.”
Bruckner then confirmed that, adding: “It’s a lot of prosthetics to wear and not freak out. People lose their mind and start tearing the suit off.”
Replacing Doug Bradley in Hellraiser
The director then addressed the way they approached replacing Doug Bradley in the film, which Bruckner considered to be an impossible task…
“How can you reproduce Doug Bradley? It can’t be done. And that’s so much of what Hellraiser has always been, to all of us. So from the get-go, Jamie understood that this had to be her own thing.
“I didn’t know how we were going to do that until I saw her working with the words, and from that moment onwards, it’s like, there’s an avenue here. There’s a path. And it’s different, it’s sensual, it’s sultry, it’s curious, it’s revealing of The Priest’s desires, and it felt like that was something that I hadn’t seen before.”