FORMALLY trained actor Tobin Bell has empathy for even demented killers. At least one, anyway. Jigsaw, the psychotic mastermind he plays in the "Saw" movies, will be back in time for Halloween in "Saw III," opening Oct. 27, and Bell is delighted.
"I always try to remain on the character's side," says Bell, who spent 28 lean years working in theater in New York, much of that time at the Actors Studio. With Jigsaw, he's hit the jackpot. The first movie was made for $1.2 million in 2004, and the franchise has since grossed more than $250 million worldwide.
"He's a technician and a philosopher," Bell generously says of the film's sadistic killer. "But he obviously takes things to an extreme."
With his frosty blue stare and cropped white hair, the 59-year-old Bell fits the character-actor bill well. And despite his theater training -- and not watching horror movies himself ("I don't like being scared in the theater") -- Bell doesn't disdain the genre.