Jamie Clayton is ready to scare you silly this Halloween season. The 44-year-old actress is playing the evil supernatural being Pinhead in the reimagining of the 1987 horror classic Hellraiser, whose trailer dropped on Wednesday (October 5). The role was first played by Doug Bradley in Clive Barker‘s original film, which was based on Barker’s own novella The Hellbound Heart, where humans solve an evil puzzle box to summon Cenobites, the extra-dimensional creatures led by Pinhead, who thrives on pain and pleasure.
While we patiently wait for the movie to drop on Hulu on October 7, let’s take a closer look at Jamie, who is the first woman to ever play Pinhead. Keep reading to find out all about her, below.
Where is Jamie from and when did she transition?
Jamie was born on January 15, 1978 in San Diego. She began to transition into a woman in 2003 and landed the role of a trans character on Netflix’ Sense8 in 2014. “Playing a trans-character on a show being shepherded by Lana Wachowski, I knew I would be protected and represented in a way that trans people have never been represented before on TV,” Jamie said at the Television Critics’ Association’s summer press tour in 2015, per The Wrap.
She started as a makeup artist
Before she turned to acting, Jamie started her career as a makeup artist. In 2010, she played the role of a makeup artist on the reality makeover show TRANSform Me, which aired on VH1 Television, which prompted her to start chasing her new dream of acting.
Jamie appeared nude in Sense8
Jamie is best known for starring as Nomi Marks in the Netflix original series Sense8, where she played a trans woman computer hacker living in San Francisco. In the second season of the sci-fi drama, Jamie strips down to her birthday suit with the equally nude Freema Agyeman, who plays her girlfriend Amanita.
She stayed in character as Pinhead while on set
“I’m not Method per se, but I was in character from the moment I would leave the makeup trailer,” Jamie explained to EW. “Walking on set was funny. I’m very used to walking on set and everybody being like, ‘Hi!’ and I’m like, ‘Hi!’ On this, now, I walk on set, and I’m really quiet, and I’m like, ‘Don’t you f—king talk to me.’”
She also said he felt the need to stay in character while there were breaks in filming because playing Pinhead is “a heavy place to go.” She added, “So to go that deep, you can’t just come back when they’re resetting a shot and have a sip of Schweppes Bitter Lemon and then go back in. I had to just stay there.”
The Hellraiser director said Jamie was “scary as hell” in her audition
Keeping in character may have helped Jamie land the role, as she certainly impressed the movie’s director during her audition. “She was scary as hell!” David Bruckner told EW. “Honestly, it was the most frightening read that I had seen by a mile. Also, Doug’s performance is so iconic and so incredible and nuanced in all its own ways, we knew that we couldn’t rip it off. We needed a different voice, and we didn’t know what that was.”
He went on to say the casting department looked at many prospects to play Pinhead, but they kept coming back to Jamie because of her unique take on the character. “From the beginning, Jamie had this sensuality; she was expressing the desires of the [character] in a way that she was revealing yourself more, and there was intrigue and curiosity, and she didn’t outwardly try to intimidate so much as be this kind of silky evil presence. Like, she’s sexy, I’m drawn to her, she’s beautiful, yet at any given moment, she might throw chains at my head.”