Andrew Bryniarski is an American former body builder and actor popularly known for playing the role of Leatherface in the remake of ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ and ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning’. His acting career was a chance happening when a talent scout spotted him when he was on a vacation to meet a friend in Hollywood. Bryniarski cleared the screen test for Joel Silver. He debuted with blink and miss roles in the 1990 film ‘Dragonfight’ and the 1991 movie ‘Necessary Roughness’. Bryniarski’s big break came through when he landed a role in the 1991 film ‘Hudson Hawk’ costarring Bruce Willis and James Coburn. Following the success of ‘Hudson Hawk’, he appeared in various big budget Hollywood movies mostly portraying the roles of villain or an anti-hero. His other noteworthy movies include ‘Batman Returns’, ‘Pearl Harbor’ and ‘Scooby Doo’. He is majorly into various outdoor activities such as horse riding and mountain climbing with strict regime of gym workouts and yoga practice for a healthy lifestyle. The actor was involved in an ugly war of words on social media for supposedly mocking the death of Gunnar Hansen on his social media profile. There was a charge of misdemeanor and animal cruelty against Bryniarski in 2012.
Childhood & Early Life
Andrew Bryniarski was born on 13th of February 1969 in Pennsylvania, US. His father is of Polish descent while his mother was a staff member in a school. He is an alumnus of North Penn High School in Pennsylvania, the school where his mother worked as a staff member.
During his growing up years, he was mostly into bodybuilding and other outdoor sports. A chance meeting with a talent scout during a summer vacation to Hollywood provided him with an opportunity to explore acting as a career.
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Andrew Bryniarski made his acting debut in 1990 with a small role of a spectator in a bar in the movie ‘Dragonfight’ followed by the role Wyatt Beaudry in the 1991 movie ‘Necessary Roughness’.
In 1991, he portrayed Butterfinger in the acclaimed movie ‘Hudson Hawk’ alongside Bruce Willis. The Michael Lehmann directed movie nearly established the body builder as a Hollywood actor.
His role in ‘Hudson Hawk’ got him noticed by Tim Burton, who cast him as Charles "Chip" Shreck in the popular movie ‘Batman Returns’ in 1992. He followed his newly found success with other famous movies such as ‘The Program’ in 1993, ‘Street Fighter’ in 1994, ‘Higher Learning’ in 1995, ‘Any Given Sunday’ in 1999, ‘Pearl Harbor’ in 2001 and ‘Scooby Doo’ in 2002, amongst others.
In 2003, he landed a role to portray Thomas "Leatherface" Hewitt in the remake of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. The character, famously played by Gunnar Hansen in the original, went to Bryniarski when Hansen refused to reprise the role in the remake. Bryniarski reprised the character of Leatherface in the 2006 prequel ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.’
Over the years, he has worked alongside established actors such as James Woods, Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Halle Berry. He has also worked with Hong Kong’s leading actors such as Hark Tsui and Woo-Ping Yuen.
Andrew Bryniarski appeared in the 2003 made for television movie ‘44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shoot-Out’ as Larry Eugene Phillips Jr. The movie created several new records with highly positive reviews.
He also made several guest appearances on television appearing in small but significant roles in the 1993 show ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’, ‘Firefly’ and ‘Without a Trace’ in 2002, Without a Trace, and ‘Burn Notice’in 2007.
Andrew Bryniarski featured in ‘It List’ of 100 creative personalities in Hollywood published by Entertainment Weekly in 2003.
Personal Life & Legacy
Andrew Bryniarski lives with his girlfriend Jennifer Abram in Santa Monica and owns a RV in the city.
According to his own account, he loves spending time at home with his pets and claims that he rears a yellow-headed Amazon parrot, three Pomeranians, two cats, four giant African sulcatas and two Eastern box turtles.
The Santa Monica police arrested him and his girlfriend in 2012 on the charges of misdemeanor and cruelty to animals for keeping around 25 starving Pomeranians in his street-parked mobile home.
The actor claimed that he had an agreement with a local animal rescue center to enable his RV as a mobile home for the dogs. The center confirmed the claim and the actor was later acquitted of all charges.
Bryniarski was involved in a bitter social media war with fans when he posted an insensitive remark on his Facebook page following the death of Gunnar Hansen. He refuted the remarks of various fans in either equally or more abusive language.
Later, he ended the controversy stating that his comment had nothing to do with Hansen’s death, that fans read too much into an innocent comment and that he actually hates an issue made out of someone’s death.