Interview: Mandela Van Peebles Talks His Role in Jigsaw


We’re only 10 days away from Jigsaw, which marks the return of the Saw franchise! To celebrate the upcoming release, we’ve got an interview with star Mandela Van Peebles, who plays the character “Mitch” in the film. You can read everything below!

Tobin Bell, Mandela Van Peebles, Laura Vandervoort (interview), Brittany Allen, Callum Keith Rennie, Matt Passmore, Hannah Emily Anderson, Josiah Black, Shaquan Lewis, Michael Boisvert, and James Gomez star.

Brothers Peter and Michael Spierig (Daybreakers, Predestination) direct from a script by Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfiner (Piranha 3D, Piranha 3DD, Sorority Row).

Jigsaw has been rated R for “grisly bloody violence and torture.” It comes out October 27th, just in time for Halloween!

Dread Central: In the Saw films, characters are often multi-dimensional, appearing friendly one minute and then evil the next. What can you tell me about your character, Mitch?

Mandela Van Peebles: Keeping with the traditions of past Saw films, Jigsaw definitely keeps the audience alert and engaged. I think they do a great job of that by often leaving the key character’s motivations and morals ambiguous to the audience. The characters are not always as black and white as they are in other horror films. There is a lot more grey area. I think this characteristic has contributed to the Saw franchise becoming so widespread and popular.

DC: The Saw franchise is known for being extreme and quite vicious. Did you have any trepidations joining the cast of such a series?

MVP: I’m a big fan of horror movies so all and all I was super excited about joining the cast of Jigsaw. It’s been 7 years since the last Saw movie, so I was really pumped to see how far the special effects and set design have come in that amount of time. Actually being on set and experiencing the traps first-hand was a really cool experience, and I am excited to relive the fun on October 27th.

DC: Jigsaw is your first horror film. What was the experience like for you?

MVP: I love trying new things, and I am always looking for ways to challenge myself while continuing to develop my craft. The opportunity to work on my first horror film, especially in a franchise of this caliber, was a humbling experience. It forced me to push myself physically and emotionally. In my everyday life I don’t raise my voice much so I was nervous I wasn’t going to get the scream right — definitely took me a week or two of practicing in the shower or car to feel prepared.

DC: The 8th entry in the franchise, Jigsaw is said to be a departure from the series in terms of its presentation and how it plays out. How do you think fans should approach this film?

MVP: I think it’s important for fans to approach Jigsaw with an open mind, for them to be ready for new and exciting surprises. That being said the elements that audience members have come to love about the franchise are also riddled throughout Jigsaw. Simply put, everything that has made Saw what it is today is still there, however the presentation is new and plot full of unexpected surprises.

DC: What’s next for you?

MVP: I just plan on continuing to grow in different facets of the industry, while challenging myself by not only acting but producing, writing, and directing as well. I’m constantly creating and educating myself on the business side because I think being well rounded is key to being successful in this industry.

Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one man: John Kramer. But how can this be? The man known as Jigsaw has been dead for over a decade. Or has an apprentice picked up the mantle of Jigsaw, perhaps even someone inside the investigation?

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