Cindy Morgan is best known as “Lacey Underall” in “Caddyshack”, and “Yori” in “Tron”. This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of “Caddyshack” and the return of “Tron” with its upcoming sequel “Tron: Legacy”. Movie Mikes had a chance to talk with Cindy about her road to becoming an actress and her experiences working on those films.
Mike Gencarelli: You went from Catholic school girl to Lacey Underall in “Caddyshack”, tell us about that journey?
Cindy Morgan: From Catholic school to “Caddyshack” went this way, I was going to go to the Illinois Institute of Technology which is the mid-west version of MIT. I was accepted in and I wanted to be an engineer like my dad. The year I went, the school had four girls and all guys. I was fixed up for my prom and all I did was study, I said I can’t do this. I made a hard left turn and went to Northern Illinois University. My professor told me one day that I should get into communications. I remember my first time trying it because my whole body went numb. But after that I took everything as a challenge. I spent five years in broadcasting. I was either working in radio or television. If I was on the radio, I was a disc jockey and was FCC licensed sound engineer. On TV, when I did the weather I had not a clue what I was talking about but I had good ratings. From there I ended up doing The Morning Drive radio show in Chicago. I need some more money though so I asked to do more commercials and they told me they weren’t going to put me on camera. I said “the hell with you guys, I am going to LA”. They told me I wouldn’t get a job. I told them I will have a billboard on Sunset in one year. I had one in eight months. After getting a commercial for Irish Springs, I got a theatrical agent got the script for “Caddyshack”. Did you know how much that film was ad libbed? Rodney (Dangerfield) was running through a scene bug-eyed like a comedic juggernaut. Ted Knight kept getting angry. Chevy Chase and Bill Murray threw in their lines. It was crazy. When I finally saw it, it was like watching home movies of a family picnic. But the thing is we were really having a good time.
Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about working on “Caddyshack”? Any stories?
Cindy Morgan: It was fun but also a big challenge. When that camera rolls it was even playing field. I was playing a strong character going head to head against these guys. The first scene I shot was the high dive and I can’t dive and can barely swim. I climbed up to the board and set the whole shot and they cut to the real diver. My second shot was the nude scene. It was explained to me and understood it. The night before though one of the producers told me they are going to send a Playboy photographer down to shoot the scene. I told them I couldn’t do it. But the next day there was the photographer. I wouldn’t let him on set and the producer said he was taking away my paid ads and my billing and told me I would never work again. So they did. Nobody knows I was in “Caddyshack”, they know Lacey Underall. I know that I did the right thing though.
Mike Gencarelli: Switching from “Caddyshack” to “Tron”, two totally different roles how did you feel?
Cindy Morgan: It was very different actors. Very different people. Working in Florida with the “Caddyshack” crew was a very different experience then working on the studio lot for Disney. “Caddyshack” was “Animal House” on the golf course. With Disney everything was frame by frame and had word by word laid out. It was a whole different deal. I loved working with Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner. It was a ground breaking film. When we shot it, it was just a huge empty warehouse. None of the graphics were behind us. The reality we were going to find in these things were in each others eyes. That is all I can say. I am really got I did that film.
MG: What was it like working on the film “Tron”, was it a difficult shoot?
CM: Difficult in a lot of ways. They had specific storyboards and scenes laid out. This was the first time that CGI was ever done. The studio suits were roaming around the sets. With my character in “Tron”, I had to make certain adjustments so I could play her as real as I could. One line I choked on and the audience knows it. I went to the director and said I cannot say this line. The director also happened to be the writer so the line stayed in the movie. The line was “Oh Tron, I knew there was circuit build that could hold you” and the audience laughs every time.
MG: How did you feel when you saw “Tron” for the first time as a finished product?
CM: In the real world I was fine. In the computer world the dialogue was very tough. The graphics were gorgeous though. But as a whole I didn’t know if it would play to a wide audience. I knew it had a special niche. As it turns out that niche kept it alive and it grew and grew. The reality was there because the actors believed it and they were in it 100%.
MG: Give us a hint do you think we will get a chance to see “Yori” return in “Tron Legacy” or maybe its possible sequel?
CM: I think any number of things in possible because the bottom line Mike, it is science-fiction. Anything is possible. They shot footage of me when I was in San Francisco doing promotion. The producers working the viral campaign are all young men. They are paying very cool attention to the internet and what the fans are saying. There is even a ‘Yori Lives’ campaign going on but it is all up to the fans.