As far as horror films are concerned, ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ franchise’s Leatherface is one of the most iconic and influential characters of all time. The cannibalistic mass murderer, who wears human skin masks, inspired several horror and slasher film characters from its first appearance in Tobe Hooper’s 1974 film ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.’
From Gunnar Hansen and Bill Johnson to Andrew Bryniarski and Dan Yeager, multiple actors portray the character in the film franchise. David Blue Garcia’s Netflix film ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ offers another enthralling Leatherface as well. If you are curious about the actor behind the human skin mask in Garcia’s 2022 film, we have got you covered!
Who Plays Leatherface?
Mark Burnham plays Leatherface in ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ Based in Los Angeles, California, Burnham began his career in theatre. He trained in MET Theatre and was the founding member of the MET Theatre Workshop. In the 1990s, Burnham was part of the guest cast of numerous television shows that include ‘Sunset Beach,’ ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ and ‘The Magnificent Seven.’ In the 2010s, he collaborated with filmmaker Quentin Dupieux for ‘Wrong,’ ‘Wrong Cops,’ and ‘Reality.’ Burnham’s performance in ‘Lowlife’ as Teddy “Bear” Haynes earned him attention prior to his portrayal of Leatherface.
Since the 2022 film is a direct sequel and a fitting tribute to the 1974 film, the creative heads behind the film were disappointed about the demise of Gunnar Hansen, who portrays Leatherface in the original film. “Gunnar Hansen passed away. If Gunnar had been alive, I’m pretty sure he would have played [the part],” Fede Álvarez, co-writer of the story of the film, said to EW.
Álvarez and others started a vigorous search to find an actor who can possibly fill the shoes of the late Hansen. Their search ended in Burnham. “[…] so we were trying to find someone that could have been Gunnar today. We tried to find the best next thing. When [Burnham] showed up, we definitely felt like, ‘This is the guy.’ He had all the physicality we needed from him on camera. He has such an imposing figure,” Álvarez added to EW.
As Álvarez said, Burnham’s imposing physicality and physical stature enhance the screen-presence of Leatherface. The actor’s physical features also make Garcia’s Leatherface version a standout among other Leatherface portrayals. As an actor, Burnham had to deal with certain challenges to portray Leatherface impeccably. The actor had to do justice to Leatherface’s age in a physical sense and the murderer’s unaged wrath and monstrosity at the same time. He incorporates both the features brilliantly in his portrayal to deliver a remarkable and memorable Leatherface.