Danny Glover Drew Tobin Bell To Joining The Original Saw

It's hard to imagine anyone other than Tobin Bell as John Kramer in the "Saw" series. While the films vary in quality and have greatly evolved since James Wan and Leigh Whannell completely changed the horror landscape when they released the original film back in 2004, Tobin Bell's Jigsaw has been the beating, bleeding heart of the franchise from the very start. Bell's professional acting career spans nearly five decades, but his turn as Kramer/Jigsaw is inarguably his most identifiable role. 

According to a 2017 interview with Den of Geek, when Bell first met with Wan, he had read the script and provided a few notes on the character, but was cast almost immediately. Bell found the story compelling and Wan clearly made a good impression. Still, the real enticing factor for him was getting the opportunity to work alongside Danny Glover, who had already been cast as Detective David Tapp.

Tapp was a homicide detective working on the string of Jigsaw murders, investigating the deaths of Cecil Adams (the body in the razor wire cage), Seth Baxter (cut in half by the swinging pendulum), Paul Leahy (another razor wire cage), Mark Wilson (covered in flammable jelly and burned by a candle), and met with the survivor of the reverse bear trap, Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith). This meant that Tapp's entire goal was to track down Bell's Kramer, and he even helped give him his nickname of Jigsaw.

Waiting for Godot for horror

Glover was certainly the driving force behind Bell's agreeing to take on the role, but Whannell's script certainly did some heavy lifting. "I thought that three guys locked in a room was, like ... no one was making films about three guys locked in a room," said Bell. "And it threw to 'Waiting For Godot,' for me, on some level." Bell also admitted to being blown away by the ending of the film, which to this day has helped separate it from the rest of the "torture-porn" sequels that followed. "I thought, if they shoot this well, it could be one of those really shocking moments in film, that, if you do one of those, in an entire career, it's great."

Bell said the ending reminded him a lot of the John Turturro film "Five Corners," a crime drama that sees Turturro's character perform an equally shocking act. "John Turturro throws his mother out of the kitchen window, quite out of the f****** blue, and I was like, 'What!', you know?" Bell continued, "If you ever have a chance, see that film, because that moment is like ... you don't expect it, at all, and I like when there are very unexpected things in films." 

Fortunately, the "Saw" team pulled it off, and the film became one of the best horror movies of all time.