Becca Tobin reflects on her role in “Glee”

Becca Tobin joined the cast of Fox’s “Glee” this season playing the role of Kitty. Media Mikes had a chance to ask her a few questions about her role and also her work with Bullyville.com.

Mike Gencarelli: How has joining the cast of Glee changed your life?
Becca Tobin: I was living in New York for the last eight years, and moved to Los Angeles for the show, so that has been the biggest change. Joining a television show has also been a big transition from live theatre, and I love it! I have also made a lot of new friends among the cast and crew, and feel very fortunate that they all welcomed me with open arms.

MG: What do you think makes Glee such a successful show?
BT: The way that Glee celebrates the underdog is one of the big reasons it has been so successful. It also touches on so many relevant issues that kids face in every high school all over the world. And we can’t ignore how brilliantly Glee incorporates singing and dancing into a television show!

MG: Are we ever going to see a softer side of your character Kitty?
BT: Eventually we will see a softer side of Kitty. After all, she is human. When it comes down to it, Kitty is like most high school mean girls… extremely insecure.

MG: You recently became the female spokesperson for BullyVille.com, an anti-bullying website, why did you choose to do this?
BT: I chose to work with BullyVille.com, because anti-bullying is a cause that I strongly support. I know first hand what it’s like to be bullied in high school, and how it can really take a toll on your self-esteem.
BullyVille.com is an amazing website for kids to visit and talk about their personal experiences with bullying. By visiting the site, people can feel like they aren’t alone, and that it will get better.

David Lloyd reflects on his work illustrating “V for Vendetta” graphic novel

David Lloyd is known best for his work illustrating “V for Vendetta” graphic novel and working with Alan Moore.  David recently attending the 2012 New York Comic Con to promote this latest project called “Aces Weekly”, which is an exclusively weekly comic art magazine.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with David about his work on “V for Vendetta”, how it is still relevant today and his inspiration.

Mike Gencarelli: Where did you pull the inspiration for your illustrations on the “V for Vendetta”?
David Lloyd: If you mean the look of the character – the idea of making him a kind of resurrection of Guy Fawkes — it’s because it fit into what we needed for the character beyond his basic form as an urban guerrilla fighting a fascist tyranny. We needed a colorful eccentric look because that’s what makes attractive and fascinating characters in most mainstream comics. And he was a character branded a villain by history who was, however, a hero to his cause as many branded as villains by history were. A good man and a bad man at once. If you mean the style of the art – it was a simple choice because of the subject – it was about a stark, bleak future, so I chose a stark, bleak style of art. But it was influenced by seeing Jim Steranko’s Chandler and the work of someone who was a great inspiration to me and a friend who actually helped me on some of V – Tony Weare – a master of light and shade.

MG: You worked with Alan Moore on “Doctor Who” prior to this, how was the collaboration in comparison on “V for Vendetta”?
DL: Well, the difference was that we had full control and we could do what we liked on Vendetta, whereas the Doc Who mag stuff was work for hire. But our working relationship was as good. We were on the same wavelength creatively – influenced by many of the same books, tv, movies. And V was also produced at a very slow pace in the early days – 6-8 pages a month = allowing us time to experiment, think, talk, plan and have creative accidents that made it a very organic object, not planned out from the beginning but made up as we went along – like good jazz : )

MG: V is such an iconic character; if there is ever a comic convention he is always present. Why do you think he resonates so much with the fans?
DL: A colorful and admirable fighter for freedom against the tyranny of cultural and political oppression and repression who also happens to be a mad genius. It’s not rocket science… : ) Alan produced something very profound as well as a great adventure. It’s a classic of great storytelling with an important message for everyone – hang onto your individuality at all costs.

MG: How do you feel that the story was translated into the 2007 film?
DL: I see it as another version. In an ideal world it would have been nice for it to be exactly as the original, but a Hollywood movie has so many needs to fulfill – I’m glad it was as good as it was. There are great performances in it and it’s a powerful movie, and the Washowski bros and James McTiegue did a great job that in other hands could have been disastrous. And most importantly the central message of the book is right in there and has been spread to a much wider audience than might ever have heard it via the graphic novel alone.

MG: How do you feel that the comic genre is changing with now digital being so popular?
DL: Depends what is done with it. It’ll change depending on what the audience for them decide they want out of the techniques being used on them. I don’t like motion comics as we understand the term but I’m sure something creative and aesthetically satisfying can be done with the medium and some kind of movement. The digital comics myself and Bambos Georgiou, my collaborator on the project, are presenting via Aces Weekly are not digital in any sense other than they’re just fantastic art and storytelling on screen instead of the page. And they look beautiful and jewel-like!

MG: Who are some of your mentors and favorite artists?
DL: I was given a little book called The Observers Book of Painting, which had reproductions of the great masters. One of them was Turner’s ‘ Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus ‘ , which I managed to get a print of, and which remained on my bedroom wall for years – even during the ‘ film poster wallpaper ‘ period of my teenage years. It was the atmosphere made from light, that impressed me most with Turner – and Rembrandt was on the same team. Then Millais for his extraordinary photo-realist work allied to amazing lighting effects, Geoff Campion – he drew ‘ Texas Jack’ in one the English weeklies, Steve Dowling, who created the newspaper strip ‘ Garth ‘ – the first British superhero ( not Marvelman ), Giles – an English political cartoonist, whose work was an extraordinary blend of the realistic and the cartoony, George Woodbridge and Jack Davis in Mad magazine – loved their work so much, of daffy dogs and gunfighters, that I did tracings of them and hung them on the wall ; little, b/w reprints of US comic book stories, packaged in the UK under the titles – ‘ Mystic’ and ‘ Spellbound ‘, Wally Wood, Orson Welles, H.G.Wells, Ray Harryhausen – ‘ The 7th Voyage of Sinbad ‘, Ron Embleton, Rod Serling, Ian Fleming, Mickey Spillane, Robert McGinnis, Josh Kirby – who painted covers for a series of sf paperbacks ( some time before he did Pratchett stuff ) including some for… Ray Bradbury ; then there was Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Robert Sheckley, H.P.Lovecraft, Don Medford, Don Siegel, Alfred Hitchcock, Boris Sagal, Terence Fisher, Ron Cobb – of Famous Monsters of Filmland, Frank Frazetta, John Burns, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Frank Bellamy, Al Williamson, the EC crowd, Tony Weare, the early Warren crowd, Gray Morrow, Toth, Torres, Jim Steranko. Steve Ditko astounded me with his work on Amazing Adult Fantasy, which was the most consistently powerful, individualistic and atmospheric comic book work I’d seen to that date. I tried to draw like Ditko. I tried to draw folds in clothing like he did, but couldn’t because I knew practically nothing about the way people were put together at that time. At around the same period, I saw the work of the great English strip illustrator, Ron Embleton, on the first series of Wrath of the Gods – as I mentioned earlier – a centre spread in Boy’s World, in which the use of black shadow, expert pen work, and rich colors, collaborated with faultless draughtsmanship, to produce the single most impressive piece of work I have ever seen in this area of craft.  Amazing Spiderman appeared then. Then the Fantastic Four and Kirby/Lee – those fantastic, overblown, revolutionary, soap opera-style epics that had to be tracked down issue by issue through the various stores in my neighborhood  cos we had unreliable distribution of US comic books in England. Dr Strange. The EC guys came after that through the Ballantine books – you know the names – and not just the smooth guys. Al Feldstein’s work looked like he cut it out of pieces of wood – but it was extraordinary. Then I got the early Warrens. Even better. Bigger. More of it. FRAZETTA. UNBELIEVABLE COVERS. Blazing Combat. Gray Morrow on ‘ The Long View ‘. REED CRANDALL. ALEX TOTH. Too much. But not enough. Never enough. Then, when I was at the studio, I saw a newspaper strip called ‘ The Seekers ‘, which was drawn by a guy called John Burns. I thought he was American cos I didn’t think an English artist could draw in such a smooth, cool way – like Alex Raymond but with more realism. He took risks which worked – he drew water solid black, and minimalised it into a design element. He was totally in control. A master. Tony Weare was drawing another newspaper strip – a western called ‘ Matt Marriott ‘ – which was all done with one brush, it seemed, and looked lazy but wasn’t, and largely depended on shadow for delineation of figures and objects. All of all of that, and more I could list, helped me.

MG: Do you feel that your style has changed over the years?
DL: Well, other than from early days of learning, no. But then I don’t think I have a style that is a fixed thing to grow or not. I’ve chosen different ways of drawing using different tools on many subjects that demanded a variety of approaches. Sure there’s a core personality to it and to me as a creator – but a set ‘ style ‘ ? I don’t think so – though of course because I’m known principally for V many folks think of me in that context and no other.

MG: Tell us about your recent work with Aces Weekly?
DL: An EXCLUSIVELY digital weekly comic art magazine – not previewed for print – which I am publishing. You get this and only get this by subscribing and it’s delivered to you at the touch of a button every week to iPad, tablet and any computer anywhere as long as you’re connected to the net. It has up to 30 pages including extras of story and art every week featuring 6 continuing stories that run through 7 issues making a volume of up to 210 pages. And it’s a steal at just $9.99 for 7 weeks of some of the finest talent in comic art from me, Steve Bissette, John McCrea, Phil Hester, David Hitchcock, Mark Wheatley, Yishan Li, Bill Sienkiewicz, Colleen Doran, Herb Trimpe, Dylan Teague… and many more. We go straight from the creator to the buyer. No expenses on printing, distribution, warehousing, retail, and no barriers to sale. We have an international team of creators and we can sell internationally to anyone reading English. But we’re new and we need lots of subscriptions to thrive. So please help us spread the word : )

Colin Wilson reflects on 25 years with the band “The Australian Pink Floyd Show”

Colin Wilson is the bassist for the cover band, “The Australian Pink Floyd Show”.  2012 marks the 25th anniversary with the band, who perform over 100 shows a year all over the world. The band has recently released their  Blu-ray/DVD of their current “Exposed in the Light” and are planning a big tour for  2013 called “Eclipsed By The Moon” to celebrate the 40th anniversary of “Dark Side of the Moon”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Colin about 25 years with the band and the bands work of constantly trying to improve their skill in order to master the work of Pink Floyd.

Mike Gencarelli: This year marks 20 years with “The Australian Pink Floyd Show”; how do you feel the band has evolved in that time?
Colin Wilson: Wow, well it has evolved incredibly. We started off very small, literally getting together on weekends and trying to learn songs. We are just trying to learn how to do Pink Floyd well. We did some small shows around Australia, like pubs and clubs. As the years have gone on, we have constantly re-invested into it. Every time we could we would get two extra lights or a bigger projector screen, things like that. We just kept putting back into the band. Now, as you said 20+ years later, we tour worldwide and doing over 100 shows a year. It is a really big full-scale production and it is the same sort of production now that you would expect to see with a mainstream band.

MG: After all these years, do you still have to put work into mastering the songs?
CW: Some aspects of it come easier just because of how much we are doing it. We don’t have any real long periods off. The longest we have away is two months over Christmas and you don’t forget everything in those two months. As far as playing the music goes, it is definitely getting a bit easier since all the hard work is done. But we never sort of rest on that. We are always trying to fine-tune and improve ourselves. We still listen to the music today and hear little subtleties that we might have missed.

MG: How does it feel to be called “The Best Tribute Band in the World”?
CW: It is funny for us. We are one of the first tribute bands. When we started up in Australia, in the end of the 80’s and early 90’s there were a lot of tribute bands forming mainly because a lot of the mainstream bands weren’t making it out there to tour. So there was definitely a need for people to do this since the fans wanted to hear it and the real band weren’t coming out. So we were one of the first and then definitely one of the first to take it overseas from Australia. When we got to the UK in the early 90’s, there were maybe 2 or 3 other tribute bands around but not many. I would say within the first 2 or 3 years of us being in the UK, the whole scene suddenly blew up and there were tribute bands everywhere. I guess we have stood the test of time since most of those early bands are long-gone. I guess that is due to the fact that we keep trying to improve ourselves every year and why we’re referred to as the best one around. It is incredibly gratifying to us when we get reviews like that and hear things like that.

MG: What is your biggest challenging having to cover two very different styles of Roger Waters and Guy Pratt?
CW: Song by song is not very challenging. The biggest challenge really is doing a song by one of them and then the very next song doing the other. You have to treat each one in a song by song basis and getting into the feel and groove of that song in the blink of an eye between the songs. And because I have been doing it for so long it just sort of happens for me. Hopefully it is working and I am able to do that effectively.

MG: What do you do to keep it fresh when performing these songs live each tour?
CW: Well, there are 10 musicians in the band and every one of them are complete professionals and each one of them approaches this in that way. We also all get on great as well. We are like a team. If one person doesn’t do their job, it sort of lets us all down. In some ways, we try and impress each other every night. It is a challenge but we are the kind of people that like that challenge. We try to do it right every night and send the audience away with big smiles on their faces. That is the mindset that we have and how we keep it fresh. Most importantly, we still enjoy doing it after all these years.

MG: What songs really hits home with you when performing live?
CW: Me personally, I love the songs from the “Animals” album. That’s probably my favorite with “Dark Side of the Moon” in a close second. On “Animals”, the tracks are very deep with a lot of aspects that you have to remember. They are quite long songs with many different passages. You have to be completely absorbed to play them and do them justice. So I really enjoy those. Also it has to be any of the songs that get an amazing reaction from the audience. Like every night we play “Another Brick in the Wall”, we get this fantastic buzz because the audience gets on their feet with that song.

MG: Tell us about your encounters with the actual members of Pink Floyd?
CW: Going way back to 1994/1995, David Gilmour came to see us play and met with us after the show. We got to talk with him for a while and he was really into what we were doing. We had played some songs that he himself haven’t heard, let alone played, in a long time. He was really encouraging and positive about that. He has seen us a few times since then when we come along to London. We sort of got his unofficial endorsement. We played at his 50th birthday party in London, which was incredible. It was amazing for us as a band and gave us that extra bit of credibility that maybe we needed with some of the more skeptical Floyd fans. Also Nick Mason, in the recent years, has said a lot of nice things about us in the press. We have a nice unofficial connection with them. We know that they are sort of watching us through the one eye kind of aspect. It is a nice relationship. We are not out having BBQ’s each weekend but we do have a nice distant relationship with them.

MG: Tell us about the newly released Blu-ray/DVD, “Exposed in the Light”?
CW: This is something that when we started out we weren’t sure if people would be interested in recordings of us doing Floyd stuff. But evidentially they are. Fans were always telling us they want to take something home and watch it and share with friends that couldn’t make it to the shows. We did one last year that was a double DVD that was recorded in Hammersmith in London. The first disc was the show and the second was a documentary on the band, which was really great. This time we released a concert from this year’s tour “Exposed in the Light”. We actually filmed it all ourselves with HD cameras. What we did was set up the cameras in different positions every night, so we ended up with something like 20 different camera angles. Then that was all edited together to make what looks like a huge camera shoot. It has come out absolutely amazing. In between the songs, we have got some great behind-the-scenes footage. It is a nice little package and it has this really great HD quality concert footage with all the different angles. You get to see a lot of the show from various different positions. We are very excited about that.

MG: Tell what we can expect from the 2013 tour “Eclipsed By The Moon”?
CW: It is the 40th anniversary of “Dark Side of the Moon” in 2013, so it is very exciting. 10 years ago, we did the 30th anniversary which was incredibly successful. We are looking this time around to maybe do something different with it. We are not 100% certain just yet how we are going to approach it. Whether we do the whole thing in its entirety or if we mix it up a bit. We are also looking into different things to project on the screen during it and really make it and event. One thing that I can guarantee is that it will be a big celebration of “Dark Side of the Moon”. I think there are a lot of Pink Floyd fans out there that are really on the edge of their seat waiting for this tour. It starts February of next year in the UK. So it is going to be great.

 

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IronE Singleton reflects on his role of T-Dog in AMC’s “The Walking Dead”

IronE Singleton is known best for his role of T-Dog in AMC’s “The Walking Dead”. His character has been a key aspect of the show for the last three seasons, until his recent demise in the fourth episode of the third season. Media Mikes had a chance to reflect with IronE about his role on the show and what we can expect next.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you prepared for shooting your death scene?
IronE Singleton: Mentally, I had a lot of time to prepare because I got word about a month in advance. So I was ready to do that. Plus, when I originally signed on it was only for two maybe three episodes and I ended up lasting three seasons. As far as the physicality was concerned, I had to wear a prosthetic. They put me this pasty stuff on me and let it dry on me for like an hour. Once it dried they cracked it off and that is what they used when the zombies were biting me and pulling out all the guts and veins etc. They were pulling from the prosthetic.

MG: I am a big horror fan and I cringed with your neck scene.
IS: Yeah, I hear that a lot. During one interview I had recently, one guy said he was eating his pizza and he had to stop eating since he almost hurled. People say they can’t eat when they watch this show. They love it but they can’t eat.

MG: What has been your highlight working on “The Walking Dead”?
IS: I have a two and a quarter season highlight reel. Every day was total bliss. Every day was something that I will relish for the rest of my life. I had great times throughout. I honestly did not have one bad day on set. It is hard for me to pin point because every day was like that. I would look forward to going in to work, getting the handshakes, the hugs and kisses. That is what I did everyday for two and a quarter seasons.

MG: Are you surprised with the fans reaction to your character T-Dog?
IS: It is a bit overwhelming. In a good way – in a great way! The amount of support and love that T-Dog is getting showered with is unbelievable. Let’s just say it has been a very emotional week for me since the episode has aired, to say the least. When I did “The Talking Dead” after my final episode, I had to choke back the tears. I am just taken back by all the love from fans, not just in the US but all over the world.

MG: What is it about “The Walking Dead” and it killing off key characters each season?
IS: It is so similar to real life though. When people die you don’t expect them to die unless they have a terminal illness. You just don’t see it coming. That is what happens on “The Walking Dead”. That is the stuff that grabs you the most.

MG: I was hoping for a T-Dog vs. Merle showdown this season.
IS: I think you and millions of others were waiting on that. Ever since the rooftop scene, where T-Dog dropped that key, people were talking about us meeting up again. It would have been great TV.

MG: What season was the most challenging for you?
IS: Season one…we are going to go with the rooftop scene. Oh my goodness, it was like 107 degrees but with humidity it was like 115-120 degrees. I almost fainted a few times and that is something that I don’t do. Having played football for 15 years, I have never come close. So there I was on this rooftop about to pass out, I was thinking “Man that is a big wuss move” [laughs]. Season 2 also was rough with the highway scene, where I cut myself and we had to do that twice. That was also a big one for me, as well as the well-walker scene.

MG: What do you got line-up next in the cards?
IS: I’ve got a project with Neve Campbell called “Sworn to Silence”. I play a small town cop, who was once a former army ranger. He moves to a small Amish community and him and Neve’s characters are out searching for a serial killer. This is based on a best-selling novel by Linda Castillo. I also have another movie “A Box for Rob” that is currently making its way around the festival circuit. I am also working on an autobiography, which I am currently searching for a title. It is related to my life coming from the projects and making it all the way to Hollywood. I am co-writing that Juliette Terzieff, she is the founder of The Zombie Survival Crew. We are halfway done with it and it is currently slated to be published in February 2013. Lastly, I have my song “We Are the Walking Dead”, which is available to purchase on my website: www.ironesingleton.com.

Ryan Cartwright reflects on season 2 of Syfy’s “Alphas”

Ryan Cartwright is known best for his role of Gary Bell on Syfy’s “Alphas”. The show just wrapped up its second season, with a very shocking ending. The show has not been picked up for a third season as of yet, so if you want more “Alphas”, make yourself heard! Ryan took out sometime to chat with Media Mikes again, read our season 1 wrap-up here, to chat about this season and his upcoming guest starring role on “The Big Bang Theory” and what he is currently playing on his XBOX 360.

Mike Gencarelli: Now having played the role of Gary for two seasons in “Alphas”, how does season two for you compare to the first?
Ryan Cartwright: I have found that he has become a lot more isolated and on his own. He is a kindred spirit with now dead Anna and her message. He doesn’t really trust Dr. Rosen or anyone anymore. He probably loves them in his heart but doesn’t trust them. He sees that everyone has their own motives. They are going against what he believes is the purest belief of the Alphas from Dr. Rosen’s original message. So it is just a lot more isolated but also a bit more confident as well. He seems to have come in his own this past season.

MG: The finale left us all in shock with Gary being the last man standing, any insight into what happened?
RC: I don’t know. They always end them on these cliffhangers and I don’t know what they are planning…if and when we come back. I was just glad to be the only one standing [laughs]. You can’t kill the autistic kid. You just can’t.

MG: Have there been any talks at all if a third season is in the cards?
RC: It is down to the viewing figures, which I think we’re pretty solid throughout. It was difficult going up again Monday Night Football every week. I think we did pretty well. They are going to sit down now and go some market research and see what people think. So it is up to the money guys.

MG: Your character definitely dealt with a lot more issues like the death of Anna, your mother’s hospitalization etc; how did you prepare for this emotional aspects?
RC: I think with Gary it is more of a technical approach. He doesn’t show emotions the same as everyone else. I think the most emotional he has gotten was when Anna died. It was more tearing up from frustration. With his mum being ill, he understands it but it doesn’t affect him emotionally. He is just dealing with the circumstances. Just the technicalities of what that means and he can’t help but kind of think about himself and stay in the first person with it. It is hard for him to see others point-of-view. I think it just harbors back to the research I have done and just filtering it through that.

MG: You mentioned last time we spoke about the research you did for the role, did you find you had to do anymore research for this season?
RC: I really did enough to begin with. I felt that the character was then about to speak for himself. I think he successfully did that the first season and now has come into his own. I just went with what I had already created and all of the writers and producers were on the same page. It was just keeping that character’s continuity in these situations.

MG: Do you have a favorite experience or episode from season two?
RC: There was one were we all went out to the forest called “Alphaville”. That was pretty fun. It was a nice change from being at the studio. It was like a big camping trip for the cast. That is the one that I remember the most but it was also the biggest change for us not being in the studio.

MG: We recently spoke Summer Glau and we need to get a campaign going to get her as series regular.
RC: Yeah! She was in this season for a fair amount of episodes. It is up to the producers and where they want to take it. I think it is that line between what people what and what they want and then what they want. It will come down to creativity rubbing up against monetary things.

MG: Tell us about your guest starring role on “The Big Bang Theory” this November?
RC: What it was is that the creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady really like “Alphas”. They are big fans of the show. I wasn’t sure if I would like it but it was great. I am not sure if they are going to call me back and continue the storyline. To be honest though, I don’t do much in it. They got me in for the role of Cole and I am suppose to play this British intimidating person that Johnny Galecki’s character Leonard is jealous that he is going to steals Penny’s intentions. I haven’t done live studio since I was back in England, which I did a fair bit there. “Alphas” is hard work but this was fun and easy. It was also right around the corner from me, so I just hoped on the bus.

MG: Hopefully you can come back. We need to get a twitter campaign going for that as well.
RC: I would love to. I only got to do a little bit but I really wanted to do more. Once you experience the audience clapping live, you get just want to do it again. Yes, those Twitter campaigns always succeed [laughs].

MG: Last time we spoke you said you are fans of video games, what are you currently playing?
RC: I just got “Dishonored”, which is amazing. “Assassins Creed III” is about to come out. As well as “Halo 4”, so boys and I are going to go crazy for that. Zack Pen, the creator of “Alphas”, is taking us down to Microsoft for a big gaming party there. It will probably just be us getting our asses handed to us by the Microsoft employees.

Robert Z’Dar reflects on the cult status of the “Maniac Cop” series

Robert Z’Dar is known best for playing the role of Matt Cordell in the cult series “Maniac Cop”. Robert took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about his films and also what he is currently working on.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you reflect on the cult status of the “Maniac Cop” series?
Robert Z’Dar: It’s been amazing. When the first 2 films were released here in the states theatrically it was great. Going to places like the airport people would know who I was but they didn’t know my name. It was kind of funny. They would say “there’s that guy”. I still sign a lot of autographs these days. We got introduced to a whole generation recently that loves the films. Over the last 3 years this whole new cult following has been established.

MG: Can you tell us any stories from the production of the films?
RZ: While we were working on “Maniac Cop 2” I was on set the first day of shooting and we were in thiswarehouse. I was reading while the other cast was eating because I couldn’t really talk or anything as a slit hadn’t been cut into the mouth of my makeup. Robert Davi goes over and says that he doesn’t think there’s a hole in mouth and that they should probably feed the maniac because he looked like he was going to kill somebody. I go over mumbling asking if they are going to cut a hole in my mouth or was I going to have to kill them. Everyone started laughing and the makeup crew came over and gave me a slit so I could eat and talk.

MG: Were you approached to do a 4th film?
RZ: Yes, they wanted me to do a 4th one however I can’t do all the same stunts I used to be able to do. I did all my own stuff except for the burn scenes in the first films. I had been with the American Stunt Association for about 15 years. That’s probably why I am so banged up now. I have two metal hips and now they want to give me a metal shoulder. As I was about to do the film I was diagnosed with neck cancer. I was given about a 35% chance to live. I did a lot of praying prior to my treatments and everything went really well. The doctor couldn’t believe how well I have healed. As of right now I am cancer free. I am getting back in to shape and I have a bunch of movies that I am ready to start work on.

MG: What are your thoughts on the proposed “Maniac Cop” remake?
RZ: Everybody wants so much money for the rights. Greed has gotten the best of a lot of people and that’s the reason why there haven’t been more films in the series.

MG: What do you like most about working in the horror genre?
RZ: I have done 4 or 5 horror films. I seem to play a lot of bad guys. Over the past 5 years or so I have gotten some really great roles in some independent films. There is one called “Precious Mettle” which is in the process of securing financing. The film is a great dramatic, who done it? type film. I play a firefighter whose buddy is killed. It has a number of twists and turns. The cast is made up of quite a few well known old school actors.

MG: What do you think has been your most challenging role to
date?
RZ: Every movie I do I try to pull something that will showcase my craft while at the same time entertaining people. However my biggest challenge was beating cancer.

MG: What other things do you have going on?
RZ: I did a film called “Drummer for the Mob” which was produced by Bruce Koehler. The film has some great locations that are old mob type places. William Forsythe is in the film and he is just such a great actor. That film should be coming out sometime in the fall of this year. I also have one called “Ring of Fire” that is in the works as well. There is just a bunch of stuff going on right now. I really love my work.

Madison Lintz reflects working on “The Walking Dead”

Madison Lintz is known best for her role of Sophia in “The Walking Dead”.  Her character was turned into a zombie in the end of the second season in one of the most epic episodes to date.  Media Mikes had a chance to reflect with Madison on her role and the fans reaction to the show.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about what was your reaction when you found out you were being turned to zombie in season two of “The Walking Dead”?
Madison Lintz: It was a mixed reaction. As an actor, your job is to serve the story and I knew this outcome for Sophia would be the best way to do that. On the other hand, as Madison, I was sad to leave my Walking Dead family. I’ll always cherish them as my first tv family and no other experience has lived up to it yet.

MG: How long did the make-up process take for that episode?
ML: It was about a 2 hour process each time we had to do it.

MG: How long did that scene take to shoot?
ML: It took one full entire day. They shot everything they could without me, before bringing me onto the set, and even then they brought me out and hid me from the cast so that their reactions could be even more genuine when they did see Sophia come out of the barn.

MG: What would you say was the highlight of playing Sophia?
ML: I would say the highlight was being a part of one of the best shows on television at this moment. That doesn’t happen every day, if ever, and I was very fortunate. I think I’m a bit spoiled now! It was also an incredible learning experience and made me see how fun a career in acting could be. The people were amazing and working with such talented actors was priceless. It’s only helped me to further my career so I’m grateful to Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd always for giving me this opportunity. I owe them dinner for sure!

MG: How can you reflect on the fans reactions to your character?
ML: It’s been very touching. No matter where I go, I have people coming up to me saying that they were crying on their couch as they watched. Or screaming, “Nooooooooooo!” Grown men tell me that this was the one scene that actually “broke them”. It’s pretty satisfying. And encouraging. To know that you were believable enough in the role to affect people’s mood for days or even weeks is so crazy!

MG: Besides your own, who is your favorite character on the show?
ML: I’m sure it’s no secret that it was Norman Reedus! I just love him and he was so nice to me. So if you are his current girlfriend, he’s lying to you. I’m his favorite! No, I’m kidding. I especially enjoyed working with him, Steven, and Melissa McBride. But everyone was super.

MG: What do you have planned upcoming?
ML: This past month, I had a movie called “After” that was in theatres. It’s a psychological thriller. On Christmas Day, you can see me in “Parental Guidance”, a family film starring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler and one of my good friends, Bailee Madison. I shot a pilot for ABC which did not end up getting picked up so back to the drawing board! Story of an actresses life, right?

John Billingsley talks about role in “Trade of Innocents” and reflects on “Star Trek: Enterprise”

John Billingsley is known best for his role of Doctor Phlox on “Star Trek: Enterprise”. He also co-stars in the recent “Trade of Innocents”, playing the sleazy Malcolm Eddery. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with John about his various roles and what has been his most rewarding role.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you got involved with the film “Trade of Innocents”
John Billingsley: It was a pretty standard audition process. The scene I did was one that ended up not making it into the final cut of the film. When we were working on it I had a strange suspicion that the scene might not make it in to the film. After meeting with the directed I heard back about a month later that I had gotten the part.

MG: How did you prepare to play such a sleazy guy, Malcolm Eddery?
JB: I have played more than my share of creeps, child molesters and psychotics through the years. I hate to say it wasn’t an extraordinary stretch for me to play this role. Ultimately anytime you are playing a character that is bent you really aren’t doing anything much other than saying what their particular obsession or interest is. Everyone has an obsessive nature so all you have to do is stretch the envelope a little bit.

MG: The film was shot on location, tell us about your experience?
JB: That was great! I had never been to Bangkok before. It was a fascinating city that has this strange blend of first worldism and third worldism. There were high rise buildings mixed in with small run downhouses. My role gave me quite a bit of down time. I would generally shoot a day then have some time off. I had a chance to explore the entire city. I am a big fan of cities and getting to see how they work. They have a really interesting transportation system there that is also pretty cheap.

MG: How can you reflect looking back on your experience playing Doctor Phlox on “Star Trek: Enterprise” and how it compares to your following work?
JB: My role in “Star Trek” is probably the closest role I have had to myself. He was an even keeled person with a fair amount of philosophical attachment. Except for the rubber head in many respect that role was probably the most comfortable I have ever been. After playing that role for 4 years I wasn’t too bereft when it went off the air.

MG: How was it returning to “True Blood” this season as the Coroner?
JB: Surprising! The role was never particularly dimensional in any way but I did like the paycheck. They were nice people to work for. My character disappeared sometime in the 3rd season so I was pleasantly surprised when they contacted me. I was a little puzzled in a way as they brought me back but didn’t necessarily use me. I have a feeling that there may have been a back story there. I kind of thought my character was going to be the guy behind the Obama killings. When I went in for the first wardrobe fitting they wanted to fit me for camouflage gear. I asked them what it was about and they told me I was going to be involved with a terrorist group later in the year. Somewhere along the line they must have changed their mind. I was a little disappointed. I did get a death scene though.

MG: Looking at your career to date, what would you say has been your most rewarding role?
JB: The most fun/challenging role was probably one that no one ever saw. I did a play called “The Seagull” in Seattle which was great. Movie wise I did a film with Denzel Washington called “Out of Time” which was also great. I liked being on “The Nine” as well. The lady who played my wife on that show is actually my wife. Each thing you do offers its own particular reward. In the end I have to pick “Star Trek” as it lasted the longest. That role changed my life.

 

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Robert Englund chats about new film “Lake Placid: The Final Chapter” and reflects on playing Freddy Krueger

Robert Englund is known best for his iconic role of Freddy Krueger in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series.  Robert is such a legend in the horror genre.  He is co-starring in Syfy’s “Lake Placid: The Final Chapter”, which airs on September 29th.  Robert took out some time to chat about the film and reflect on his career and his alter ego Freddy Krueger.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with “Lake Placid: The Final Chapter”?
Robert Englund: Well, I’ve been involved with the SyFy channel several times over the years. I’ve pitched projects to them and recently I just pitched a reality show to them, and I’ve done TV movies for them. Every boy has to fight his giant snake, his killer bees, and when they called me to fight giant alligators, I signed up. I was at a premiere for a film in Barcelona with my wife and all I had was a tuxedo, and a dress suit, and a couple of shirts, and a couple of pairs of underwear when I got the call for Lake Placid. So I went directly from Barcelona, with hardly any luggage, to Sofia, Bulgaria. And there is a lake just outside the capital of Bulgaria, that’s exactly like, it’s the exact same kind of geological features as Maine. It’s got that rocky shoreline and the exact same kind of pine trees. It’s amazing, I thought I was – I was looking around for lobster rolls it looked so much like Maine. I showed up and there was the lovely Elisabeth Rohm, who I had a crush on since the first time I saw her, you know, in court on Law and Order. And Yancy Butler, who I’ve known – not known, but I’ve run into over the years at Comic-Con and things because she had such a huge fan boy following with Witchblade, and we just all got to work. We worked real hard, real long days, because we were losing Indian Summer. We had a little bit of Indian Summer in the beginning, and it started getting pretty cold. We were all on the water all the time. Because that’s where the gators are, but yeah, it was really fun, you know, and the coincidence was when I got there and got picked up at the airport. It was guys I’d worked for years ago, you know, in a giant snake movie. So now they have a big huge studio, over there in Eastern Europe, and they’re doing real well. In fact they shooting, Expendables right when we were wrapping, Expendables 2 came in and used a lot of our crew towards the end. So things are hopping in Romania.

MG: Tell us about shooting this film, was it difficult on a low budget?
RE: Well, yes and no. What you have to understand is, if you’re shooting in Detroit or you’re shooting in Louisiana. Or you’re shooting in New Mexico, you know, you get these great tax rebates. And the same thing happens in Europe. Sometimes it’s just because it’s so beautiful there and you get this enhanced production value. And even though we had to pay to fly everybody over there, there’s already a huge studio and production company in Sofia, Bulgaria. They’d been shooting a couple of Lake Placids there. So you get a big bang for your buck, which is nice. So you work hard and there is that problem of language with the foreign crew that you’re dealing with. And also just explaining yourself, or your taste, or trying to describe what you might require in terms of wardrobe or something. Because sometimes idioms can get convoluted. And so you’re always dealing with that, but I’ve done a lot of movies in Europe now. So I’m kind of an old hand at that. I did a giant snake movie with these guys years ago. And even they had realized that Anaconda had a huge fan base, you know, the J-Lo film. And they already, a low budget version that we’re doing, they had a better snake effect than the movie Anaconda. Because that’s how fast and how quickly the technology grows in CGI and animation right now. If you watch a movie like Starship Troopers now, with my friend Casper Van Diem, you know, it looks old fashioned now. You can actually see the same bug getting shot, that they’ve used over and over again. Because CGI was so expensive back then. It’s kind of like the old cowboy movies where you see the same Indian getting shot off a horse as he circles the wagon train. And they show it like maybe 2 minutes later in the sequence as if we haven’t seen that before. Because they only had that stunt twice, and they use it again later in the movie. And it’s like, “Wait a minute, I saw that Indian get shot. I saw that fall, I saw him get his ankle caught in the stirrup and get dragged. I remember that.” And it’s the same thing with old CGI now, you see the repetition shots where they used them. Or you can kind of see where the mat just flips and continues the same foreground action in the background, slightly out of focus. Because they didn’t have enough soldiers in Troy that day. And so when I do these new movies, if I’m doing a SyFy channel movie with killer bees or giant alligators. It looks better than the last giant alligator in a feature film, you know, because that’s one of the reasons they do it. Because they figured out a better way to do it. And even though the movie may be less expensive, and a little exploitative, many times you’re actually getting a better effect.

MG: If Jim Bickerman crossed paths with Freddy, what would his first words be to him? And if Freddy crossed paths with Jim, what would he think of him?
RE: Well, Jim Bickerman is a pretty ornery guy. And he obviously would have to meet Freddy in his dreams, and I think Jim Bickerman’s dreams are probably pretty strange. He’s a dirty old man that Jim Bickerman, as you saw in the film. So there’s probably some point where Jim Bickerman like of, they both like them teenage girls. They’re bad boys. So I’m sure that Jim Bickerman, before Freddy killed him would want to join forces with Freddy. Maybe Freddy could turn Jim Bickerman and the two of them could work together. I don’t know if it would be Bickerman versus Krueger. Freddy is always going to win, and once you fall asleep Freddy gets the drop on you.

MG: Throughout your career has there been anything that has given you nightmares or maybe something that you are scared of?
RE: Nothing really scares me. When I did the first Nightmare film, I mean there’s films that scare me, I just even got a jolt the other night watching Cabin in the Woods. And I remember the original Alien got me several times, and I was a grown up when I saw that, and I dragged my poor father to see it. But now, when I was in the makeup for the original Freddy, I fell asleep, we were shooting nights. And I fell asleep trying to get a nap and the AD banged on the door and said, “Mr. Englund hurry up we’re going to try and get this shot before the sun comes up.” And I sat up, and I forgot, this was during the first film, forgetting I was in this make-up. I sat up with, you know, that kind of bad breath you have after a little nap, and I rolled off of my cot in my little tiny, you know, honey wagon dressing room. And there in the recesses, in the forced perspective of my make-up mirror, opposite my bunk, surrounded by dim light bulbs – make-up light bulbs, that had been cranked down on the dimmer. I saw this old bald man with scars and burns all over him looking back at me. I kind of went, “Oh geez.” And I put my hand on my head and so did he. So it became this sort of nightmarish Marx brothers routine. And it literally took me about the count of 5 or 6 to kind of come out of that semi-conscious state you’re in when you wake up real fast. And, you know, when you’re fighting for the alarm clock. That kind of moment of time. I was very disoriented. The point of this story is that moment, looking into the mirror, which I recovered from in 5 to 6 seconds, but that moment, I can remember it like it was yesterday. And occasionally, and I don’t want to like guilt the lily here, but occasionally that does enter into my subconscious and it does get into a dream, or it comes in as a random image that’s still stored in my brain somewhere. Because it was so disorienting. There’s that funny distancing of where I was sitting, and then the mirror 2 or 3 feet from me. And then in an equally far back and deep in the mirror Freddy, looking back at Robert. Because I was Robert obviously. But that really was a strange moment, and it was so early in the film experience for me, of horror films. I had been doing a lot of very normal fair up until then, except for science fiction. That really did disorient me, and it did stay with me, and do a little kind of a – I think there’s a definite crease in my gray matter that makes a home for that image.

MG: With you being a horror icon and legend; Do you ever kind of feel pressured to hold up that title? How would you feel that the genre has changed over the years for you?
RE: Well I get a lot of scripts, in fact, as I’m talking to you right now I’m behind one script at least. And there is one that I have to download and print out. But, I don’t like feel a pressure. The back of my mind, I’m always looking. I’m trying to help out right now with a project, I did a cult film a couple of years ago called Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. That’s really a great, smart film. And so I – the sequel script to that is just phenomenal. It’s the second best sequel script of something I’ve done I’ve seen in a long, long time. There was a great one years ago for a great contemporary spinoff of Phantom of the Opera. I had done a Phantom of the Opera over in Europe and the follow-up script – the reason I did the original was because the follow-up script was so strong and interesting and really great contemporary version of an extension of the Phantom of the Opera legend and myth. But this one, you know, so I’m always kind of looking Mike. I’ve always got one eye peeking or one ear open for something that I want to do in horror. That’s different, or that I just think – even if it’s derivative is really strong. And also because I get – to be honest with you, when I do a genre piece I get a bigger pay day. Than if I’m just guest starring on, you know, Criminal Minds or Hawaii Five-0, or Bones or something. Then I’m just Robert Englund, character actor again. And when I do my little horror movies like Inkubus, that I brought out last Halloween on DVD, when I do my little down and dirty horror movies I’m getting more money. Or when I got over to Europe to play a Prince in some strange cult film in Spain or something, it’s a nice payday for me. So I do make an effort to do one or two a year, just on an economic level let alone. But I’m always looking, I’m always looking for that new one. I spent a year and a half in Italy scouting locations, and casting, and talking to Christopher Lee, and Donald Sutherland, for a project back in 2006/2007 that did not come to fruition. And that was very disappointing for me, you know, that takes a lot out of you when you get to be my age, spending a year of your life. I’m obviously turning down other projects if I’m trying to develop something. So, you kind of have to be careful. So I just now see the stuff that’s sent to me. I’m not really developing it on my own. But I am always checking the stuff that’s sent to me and trying to keep current on that.

MG: Looking back at your iconic role of Freddy Krueger, have you ever regretting taking this role?
RE: No, I’ve never regretted taking the role or my association with the great Wes Craven, and the success it brought me. You know, both economic and career success. Now, am I somewhat funneled into genre films, yes I am. I’ve done, I’ve done, I think I’m about to do, I’m about to start my 77th movie. Feature length film. And I think literally if you added up all my horror movies I think it’s less than 20. So horror movies less than 20, there’s another 55 films that I’ve done. Now, a couple of those are sci-fi, some of them are thrillers, you know, some of them are a little bit fantasy. But most of them are just other movies that I’ve done. And, or TV movies. I’ve done a lot of quality TV movies as well. So they’re not really out and out horror. So, but the thing that I’ve been telling people that this happy accident for me is the fact that after I got out of the make-up and I got enough baggage and enough reputation that I’ve sort of become like a surrogate Vincent Price, a surrogate Klaus Kinski. A go to guy for those roles, and somebody has to do that and you know, we don’t really have a Cary Grant, or a Steve McQueen anymore. But if I can kind of fit into Vincent Price’s loafers, or Klaus Kinski’s boots a little bit. Even if it’s a low budget genre film, which both of those gentlemen did a lot of. I can remember seeing Dr. Phibes, you know, (unintelligible) the day it came out. I’m happy to be that guy. I do a lot of other things. Tomorrow I go to work on a little send-up spoof on workaholics for comedy central. And I’ve been guest starring on all of the top 10 shows in the last year. You know, I’ve been on Criminal Minds, and Bones, and Hawaii Five-0 doing just guest starring on those, doing normal roles. So, it’s fun for me to do these. And I’ll be honest with you guys, I get paid better. If I do a horror movie or a science fiction movie, I get paid more because I fill the seats. Especially in certain countries, I can still open a movie, for instance, in Spain and Italy, and even in Germany to a degree. So that, there’s enough genre fans there, and they’ve been fans long enough. And as long as our sort of early Comic-Con fans, that that’s just another benefit that I bring to the table.

MG: With people being so desensitized in films and horror. What would you say it takes to make a good scary movie these days?
RE: Well scary is subjective. I think there is room now for all different splits. Just like there is in music. You know, Lake Placid has some real jumps in it. Lake Placid 4, we’ve got some real jumps in it. And there’s something really primal. That’s about a part of the brain that goes back to when we were reptiles. It’s an instinct that we have. And there’s also a little something in us that makes us afraid of snakes, and afraid of spiders, and afraid of alligators, and crocodiles. And so those thrills come easy in ours. But there’s also room for the fun. There’s a certain amount of fun, I think, a little bit of undercurrent fun in a Lake Placid movie. I mean, we kill our teenagers, but there’s a little bit of fun in it too. I think there has to be room for all of these. I just saw a very clever movie last week on demand, with a cocktail in one hand and a cold pizza slice in the other, and my wife with her head in my lap. We watched The Cabin in the Woods and I really thought it was clever, and smart, and well-acted, and sexy. And it scared me, at least three or four times. It really got me, and I’m hard to get. Some things can be creepy though, there’s creepy scary. The great director Lucky McKee, very underrated. A film called May, he did a film called May that really is a creepy, creepy great film. So I like that too, you know, and sometimes I’m a little more distanced from films and I just love them for the actual film-making in them. And they may not scare me as much, but they may have a creepy factor too. The Brian DePalma film Sisters. That movie really kind of works on me. There’s something hypnotic about that film. Plus the split screen and the use of microfiche flashbacks in a dream sequence that was induced by drugs. There’s a really great, primal, primitive, early, kind of hallucinogenic hypnotizing quality to that. You know, you see that in old George Steven’s movies, and you see it even in classic films like Black Narcissus. Sometimes those movies become hypnotic. There’s something kind of hypnotic even in the recent Kirsten Dunst film Melancholia. But I like that, when that starts to happen to me in horror and science fiction, you know, I think Cameron can get into that. I’ve seen Cameron get into that before. I think especially in the Alien movies, there’s a point where there’s no dialogue for so long and time is suspended. And we hear the breathing. And I love that, that really, I love that disorienting, hypnotic quality of films. And that’s just as effective to me as horror or the cheap thrills scare. The William Castle lunge into frame, you know?

MG: I’m actually a huge fan of “Behind the Mask”. I’m actually a backer on the sequel. So I can’t wait for that to come out…
RE: Well I’m telling you, the script is phenomenal. Because it plays with the great pun that fans love of doppelgangers. So there’s actually actors playing us, the actors who played the parts in the original. Making a movie, about the story of the original. About Leslie Vernon and his tale. And we’ve been hired as technical advisors. And the whole project is being filmed by a Making of crew of a cable channel. So it’s a movie, within a movie, within a movie. And it’s all during the making of a movie, on the location of the movie. In the motel with all of the cast and the crew. And they start going down like ten little Indians. It’s really layered, and rich, and fun. And there’s a great gimmick with the actor they’re going to get to play, the actor, the Hollywood actor who will be playing Leslie Vernon. He gets to finally have a showdown with the real Leslie Vernon, which I think is fun. And you won’t know who he is, because he’s a method actor. He wears the mask for the whole movie, it’s really fun.

MG: What else do you have planned next?
RE: Tell people to look for me in Sanitarium with Malcolm McDowell, and John Glover, and Lou Diamond Phillips, and I’m off to shoot this, which is very kind of M. Night Shyamalan-ian. I’m going to be doing that next month, and yeah, and everybody tune in and check out. It’s really fun. Lake Placid 4, yeah. Freddy versus Yancy Butler. Thanks a lot.

Anthony Daniels reflects on his role of C3PO in the “Star Wars” saga

Anthony Daniels is known best for playing the role of droid C3PO in the “Star Wars” franchise. He is only the actor to act in all the original six films and all the following spin-offs. Anthony recently attending “Star Wars Celebration VI” in Orlando, Florida and took out some time to chat with Media Mikes and reflecting on his role in the “Star Wars” universe.

Mike Gencarelli: How does it feel to be the only actor to act in all of the original six films?
Anthony Daniels: It is very odd, because many people know that I didn’t want to be in the first “Star Wars” film and refused to meet George (Lucas). It is really weird to be the only actor to work on the set of all six movies. Cause I never wanted to work on a low budget sci-fi movie. So the rest is history after “Episode IV”, as it then became, fans just took George’s little film to heart and they ran with it. Then we made another and another one. It was really hard work. After being dressed up in that suit, it wasn’t something you wanted to do a second time. Then after those three films, all of the other spin-off projects happened. Suddenly you realized after 37 years, you are immensely proud of you are apart of something that is completely phenomenal. It took being the narrator of “Star Wars: In Concert” for me to really get “Star Wars”. I narrated the whole show from “Episode I” through “Episode VI” with no jiggling about on a stage with a symphony orchestra with specially edited clips being displayed on this HUGE screen. I have done it 151 times now and I think I am finally getting it right. The thing I like most about the concert is that the audience is live and you can see the audiences excitement and affection for a tiny bit for me, a huge amount for John William’s music and an enormous about for George’s films. You don’t get that time of energy in the studio. So, I have lived long enough to go through a time when I thought that “I shouldn’t be doing “Star Wars” stuff anymore” to thinking “Wow, am I lucky”.

MG: Tell us about working on the new series “Star Wars: Detours”?
AD: It is amazing. I had to keep that show a secret for about a year or so. Some of the scripts I recorded are absolutely hilarious. It was some much fun to do such a strange yet ridiculously humorous script with this character than talking about hyper-drive motivators which is very serious. So finally “Star Wars” is coming to a part of its life that people love it so much that you can poke fun, tease and humiliate in a friendly way. So there I am still being “C3PO, Human Cyborg Relations” (spoken in character) but allowing all sorts of variance to the storyline.

MG: When “Star Wars” has an event like “Star Wars Weekends” or “Star Wars Celebration” you are there; what do you enjoy most about still reflecting on these character after all these years?
AD: With an event like “Celebration”, you get to see all the people that love this. The word fan can be used rather rudely sometimes. I do not have a problem with fans, without them we wouldn’t have this “Star Wars” saga. Then you have the 501st, now the first time I saw then I thought “now that is a little weird, isn’t it?” Then I saw what I did, which was dressing up for a living…at least they do it for fun. They are such a phenomenal group of people literally around the world. They bring the movies off the screen to events. There is even a c3PO walking around this convention right now. It is such huge affection and I get to be a part of it.

MG: Since we are in FL, besides being in the films; how is it being immortalized in “Star Tours” at Hollywood Studios?
AD: Ok, there is the six movies, the radio series, the various cartoon series like “Droids and “Clone Wars”, there is the LEGO series, which I am about to record another movie for that this year, then of course there is “Star Tours”. We did that 20-something years ago and then came back to me about three years ago and said they were re-doing it. Tom Fitzgerald, the producer, told me all about the new story lines and that there was also another change they were making, which that C3PO was going to be the star. Well it was one of the toughest jobs that I have ever done. It took 2-3 days just recording the lines alone. Since they are all in high intensity, I was just exhausted. I literally spent the following day in bed literally from being exhausted. We also did some live filming for it also, so I was back in the suit for that. So then we get to go the ride and it was just “Wow”. For people that haven’t been on it, it has 54 variations, which is so clever. People ask “how can I get on stage in front of 25K people” and I saw I don’t know but I can. But then I do to Disney and ask how can you make things like that. They just saw it is kind of their jobs, so everyone has these jobs. So long after I am dead, that ride will be there will C3PO chirping away and being funny, bossy and silly still. And who knows maybe my foot print will also still be in front of the Chinese Theater (home of the “The Great Movie Ride”). Not long ago, I was in a deli in New York and they had the tin-man from “The Wizard of Oz” and I thought one day that would be me. The one thing about the business is that these characters are forever now and iconic. It is so big that you can’t compute it.

MG: What is your favorite character in the saga…and you can’t say C3PO?
AD: Well curiously [laughs], I have no problem saying that it is Darth Maul. He is a wonderful creation, whether it is that he was here and then left you wondering who was that strange creature. But I am sorry that Ray Park got chopped in half because not only was he was lovely guy but Darth Maul is just so purely evil that you can’t help but think “Oh that is kind of cute” [laughs]. You know Darth Vadar…Yeah Yeah Yeah. Boba Fett, no idea what that is about. There is nothing secret about Darth Maul. Well everyone has their favorites. Some people love Jar Jar Binks, the younger generation, who are usually under 10 years old. Some people like Ewoks for heaven sakes. [Note, Warwick Davis, who played Wicket the Ewok in “Return of the Jedi, was sitting right next to us during the interview]. Everyone has a following. So there we are. So it has recently occurring to me when I see 3-4 year old children in line in meet me and they are my future. In 10 years, they will be 15 and I will be….YEAHHHH. So it seems to be I see three generations and they younger generation is still going to be new to this series. What is lovely is that they are able to taker the whole of George’s sandbox and take it always into new directions.

 

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Erika Eleniak reflects on “Baywatch” and working with Jim Varney

When your first acting job is in one of the most popular movies ever made where do you go from there? For Erika Eleniak, you go straight to the top. At age 10 she appeared alongside Henry Thomas in Steven Spielberg’s classic “E.T.” As the girl Thomas’ character, Elliot, kisses in the classroom, Eleniak certainly made an impression on young film fans. As she got older she found work on television, often as the prospective love interest of such actors as Rick Schroeder on “Silver Spoons,” Scott Baio on “Charles in Charge” and John Stamos on “Full House.” In 1989 she began a two-plus season run as lifeguard Shauni McClain on the popular television series “Baywatch!” Three years later she broke out on the big screen as Playboy playmate Jordan Tate in the Steven Segal action hit “Under Siege.”

In the two decades since she has built a strong resume’ of work both on television (“Brooklyn South,” “Desperate Housewives”) and film (“The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Chasers”). Now the proud mother of a daughter, Ms. Eleniak continues to work steadily, currently adding the word “Author” to her resume. While appearing at the Con X KC convention she took time out to talk with Media Mikes.

Mike Smith: Your first screen role put you in one of the most beloved films of all time, “E.T.” Were you made aware of what the film was about? Did you get to read the entire script or just the pages for your scene?
Erika Eleniak: No. It was very secret. The whole thing from top to bottom was kept under wraps. We were given a different name – I was told the film was called “A Boys Life.” I was pretty much told it was about a boy and an alien. Nothing beyond that. There was no script really for me – we just did our thing. And that was it. There was no hanging out around the set.

MS: Did you shoot any additional scenes that weren’t used?
EE: Not any extra scenes but I do believe I had a line or two when Henry Thomas is trying to free the frogs in class. We were lab partners and I was doing the standard “what are you doing?” In fact, it may have been as simple AS “what are you doing, Elliot? Stop it. You’re going to get in trouble.” I’m pretty sure I had a line that definitely got cut.

MS: You left “Baywatch” at the beginning of season three. Were you surprised at the popularity of the show, especially around the world?
EE: Yes and no. I think everyone was in some way. When you think about the subject matter being shown to other parts of the world…shiny California while other parts of the world are freezing…that part is definitely not surprising as to why the show got such a warm welcome (laughs)…excuse the pun! But how can you ever foresee the success of a show before it happens? You really can’t. The way it all happened…going from being on NBC, which was a really conservative network, to syndication where you could do a lot more with necklines plunging…more eye candy. More of what it eventually became. I think it certainly evolved into itself. It was a work in progress that started out as something much different then where it ended up for sure. I would say that everyone was most happily surprised.

MS: I was very fortunate to have known Jim Varney. Do you have any special memories of working with him on “The Beverly Hillbillies?”
EE: I do! Whenever people ask me about Jim Varney I always have to say that he was one of the most soft-spoken and sweet gentlemen. It was such a loss for him to leave us as early as he did. The funny thing that I loved about Jim was that you could pick any topic on this planet…anything off the wall, and he could talk to you for 20 minutes about it. He was a walking encyclopedia. He was just so smart and it was baffling how much information he had about the most random things. He was incredible that way. Just fascinating. And one of my favorite memories was he and I sitting in the makeup trailer before work. We were just chatting. It was early in the morning and I remember just talking about how I had started a hope chest. I had always wanted children so I started a baby clothes collection and I mentioned that I had started to collect quotes. We were just talking. And about a year after the film wrapped I got this huge box in the mail. Jim had remembered our conversation…I barely did. As I said, it was just idle chatter…”how’s the weather,” that kind of thing. And Jim had sent me two handmade quilts. One was for a baby to put in my hope chest and one was for my quilt collection. He had asked a lady from his little home town in Tennessee to make these things by hand for me and send them to me. I was blown away. My God, that was just so thoughtful…I don’t have enough time in this conversation to tell you what a sweet man he was. And that quilt is still on my little girl’s bed in her bedroom.

MS: You’ve done a lot of work in both television and film. Do you have a preference?
EE: No. Just whatever is quality…whatever is a great role. I suppose now, because I have a six year old daughter, scheduling becomes so much more important. I have a child in school so whatever comes along scheduling is always the first thing I try to figure out. Sometimes the shorter the shoot the more complicated things can become. Is it a matter of getting someone to take her back and forth or if it’s a little bit longer do I pull her out of school, take her on set with me and do independent study with her? As for the medium, there’s no preference as long as it’s an amazing role. But where it does become more preferential is in the scheduling. Right now I have a couple of movies coming out. One was really just a cameo and it was a very short and sweet shoot. The other one was a much longer film shoot so she stayed on set with me with a nanny and did her school work there. It’s worked out really well so far. I love television and I love doing films. I will always love doing films. As long as it’s a great, interesting role I have no preference.

MS: Are you working on anything now?
EE: I just finished two films. One is called “Meant to Be” and I believe they’re going to release it in December. The film stars Della Reese and Michael Gross and Dean Cain and it’s a really very cool story with a great twist that was so appealing when I read the script. I also have a cameo in a Lifetime Channel movie called “Holiday Spin.” I love Lifetime. I really love the stories they tell. They tend to focus on relationships between people. Ralph Maccio is in it, though unfortunately I didn’t get to work with him. And I’m also in the middle of having a children’s book published. We’re in the artwork stage right now. It’s certainly a learning experience for me because I’m totally new to that world. There are layers and layers and layers to go through in the process and we’re just getting to the part of getting the artwork accomplished between myself and the illustrator and the publisher. So I’ve got a few things in the pot!

James Tolkan reflects work in “Top Gun” and the “Back to the Future” trilogy

In a career spanning six decades, James Tolkan has conquered every medium he’s ever attempted. While pursuing a career in music at college he auditioned for a school play on the advice of a friend who suggested performing in front of an audience would help him with his stage fright. Tolkan was cast in the lead and he hasn’t looked back. Though best known for his work in “Top Gun” and the “Back to the Future” trilogy, I knew him best for his theatre work. In 1984 Mr. Tolkan originated the role of quick-tempered real estate salesman Dave Moss in the Pulitzer Prize winning drama “Glengarry Glen Ross,” a role I myself played many years later. While preparing for his appearance at this weekend’s Con X Kansas City Convention Mr. Tolkan spoke to Media Mikes about Broadway, “Back to the Future” and his memories of directors Tony Scott and Sidney Lumet.

Mike Smith: I guess I’ll start with the standard first question: what led you to become an actor?
James Tolkan: Oh my gosh! It’s a really complicated answer. When I got out of the Navy I was totally lost. I went back to college where I majored in art and minored in music. I was studying singing. I was very nervous getting up in front of an audience so a friend of mine suggested I try out for a play so I could get used to being in front of an audience. So I tried out for a play and was cast in the lead. I was like, “hey, this is interesting.” So I did another play at the community theater and suddenly I became very interested in acting. I then went to the University of Iowa, which had a large theater department and it was there that I was “encouraged” to go to New York and study the Method with some of the great teachers. So in 1956 I got on a Greyhound bus in Iowa City with $75 in my pocket and I went to New York to become an actor. I didn’t know what I was getting into…I was a total hick. I got off the bus and I was scared to death. I went through all kinds of various jobs while I studied with Stella Adler. After the first year she gave me a full scholarship to study with her. And then I started working. The first play I auditioned for off-Broadway I was cast. A lot of casting people saw me and I started going from one play to another. I also wanted to study with Lee Strasberg, which I did for three years. Both teachers were very valuable…but very different. It’s been a great experience. I’m really just a New York actor. I’m a stage actor. And I said I was never going to Hollywood until Hollywood sends for me. And in 1984, while doing the David Mamet play, “Glengarry Glen Ross,” on Broadway, Robert Zemeckis called me and asked me to be in “Back to the Future.” Of course nob ody knew who Robert Zemeckis was back then but I said “ok” because this was my chance to go to Hollywood. So after a year on Broadway I went to Hollywood and did the movie. I stayed in California and did some television series. Then I did “Top Gun” and all of a sudden I’m a Hollywood actor! It’s been a wonderful odyssey and I’ve survived it all!

MS: You started your career in what is now referred to as the “golden age” of television. In your opinion, what’s the biggest difference in the way television shows are produced today versus then?
JT: Well, at that time, a lot of television was done live. It was live television. You go on and you do it and that’s it! Today everything is much more safe. The three camera comedies. You have a live audience and a controlled condition. And the writing is very different. The writers today are very bright and very…demanding. They don’t always know how to use actors.

MS: You understudied Robert Duvall in a couple of Broadway shows, including “Wait Until Dark.” Did you ever get to play “Wait Until Dark” villain Harry Roat on stage?
JT: I took over the role of the Longshoreman in Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge” from Robert Duvall on Broadway and played that part for many months. Then “Wait Until Dark” opened with Lee Remick. Two weeks into the run I get to the theater and there’s no Robert Duvall. The director tells me Duvall broke his hip riding horseback and I was on. I was ready and I went on and I played that part for two years. I played it for a year on Broadway with Lee Remick then I played it with Shirley Jones on a tour and then later with Barbara Bel Geddes. And the character was so dark. Believe me it was hard on one’s psyche to do that.

MS: I’m so glad you mentioned “Glengarry Glen Ross.” You originated the role of Moss on Broadway and I’ve actually played Moss in a production here in Kansas City.
JT: Really? Good for you. Isn’t that just a fantastic play? It was a great experience in my life. To work with David Mamet. We previewed in Chicago and it was a big hit there. Then we took it to New York where it was a huge hit. It was one of those shows where you know you held the audience the whole night in the palm of your hands. It’s getting ready to go back to Broadway this year with Al Pacino playing Shelly “The Machine” Levine.

MS: Really? Pacino was a great Ricky Roma in the movie. Of course he’s older now.
JT: Before the movie was made Sidney Lumet had the rights to the show and he called all of us to come in and have a reading up at his office. At the time Sidney wanted Pacino to play Shelly but Al insisted on playing Roma. The project fell through and the production ended up in someone else’s hands and Al got to play Roma.

MS: Which leads me to my next question. You were obviously a favorite of Sidney Lumet, having worked with him several times. As a director yourself did you pick up any tips from watching him work?
JT: If you want to learn about how to approach actors and acting on a film, work with Sidney Lumet! Of course it’s a little late now but he was so special…so wonderful. He made you feel like THIS is why you want to be an actor. He was just amazing. With most movies in Hollywood you get together just before you start shooting and sometimes it’s 20 takes…50 takes…whatever until everyone is comfortable with the scene. With Sidney it was three weeks of rehearsal. The first week you just sat around the table. He’d say, “OK, no acting…just talk.” It’s very simple. We’re just trying to relate and connect with each other. The second week we’d start getting up on our seats and playing the various scenes. The third week we’d run through the script in sequence like it’s a play and he’d would go off with the cinematographer setting up all of the shots. So when we got on the set everybody knew their job. You’d start shooting and he’d get everything in one or two takes. You were going home every day at four o’clock. It was like working with a master. He was just a wonderful, warm and brilliant person.

MS: Tony Scott, who directed you in “Top Gun,” recently passed away. Do you have any memories of him to share?
JT: He was such a regular guy…rough and ready. He was always smoking a cigar. He was a mountain climber and he rode motorcycles. He was quite different from Sidney Lumet but a very good man to work with. Sometimes he’d want to do a scene that wasn’t scheduled and I’d tell him I wasn’t ready and he’d just smile and say, “you can do it, James” and we’d get it done. He was very off the cuff and non-chalant. But at the same time intense, if that makes sense. I’m still stunned about how he passed. Why he would make that kind of choice is totally a mystery.

MS: Originally “Back to the Future” ended with the words THE END. Only when it was released on home video did the words TO BE CONTINUED appear. Were you aware while you were filming that there were three films planned?
JT: Oh no. The first film was a very small movie. Steven Spielberg at the time was more interested in another movie he was producing called “Goonies.” This was something that was really on the back burner. Nobody knew who Robert Zemeckis was. We were working for not a lot of money and had really tiny dressing rooms. Then that movie opened and it was an amazing success! Like they say, all of the planets had to have been aligned for that movie to be so successful. And right after that they said they were going to do a part two and part three. But when we finished filming part one there was no talk whatsoever of the sequels.

MS: Were you able to do any scenes with Eric Stoltz?
JT: I did. When I got to the set Eric was playing Marty. But after seven weeks of shooting they shut down the production. During the dailies the filmmakers discovered they were more interested in the characters AROUND Marty rather than Marty himself. And that’s when they decided they would wait for Michael J. Fox to wind up his television series and then start up production again. And believe me that was a very brave decision. If that didn’t work out you would never have heard of Robert Zemeckis or Bob Gale. I was told that when they shut down the production after seven weeks Eric Stoltz was in his dressing room and he commented, “well, they can’t fire me now.” And that very day he was fired. But that’s how it goes. It’s a crazy business. (NOTE: Michael J. Fox was the producer’s original choice to play Marty McFly but, due to his commitment to the television series “Family Ties” the studio went with Eric Stoltz. Due to many reasons, including those Mr. Tolkan mentioned, Stoltz was let go and Fox brought on, often fulfilling his television duties during the day and filming “BTTF” at night.)

MS: Are you working on anything now?
JT: No, I’m pretty much retired. I did do an HBO movie over the summer with Al Pacino and Helen Mirren about the trial of record producer Phil Spector. I play the judge. Again, it’s a David Mamet script which he also directed. He called me up and cast me. If someone calls me, I’ll do it. But right now I’m enjoying my life.

Ed Asner talks about new film “Let Go” and reflects on career

Even though Mike G. spoke with him last year (click here), I jumped at the chance to speak with one of my favorite actors, Ed Asner. Well known for his work on such series as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Lou Grant,” my favorite Asner performance showed a side of him that few people familiar with his comic chops would ever expect to see, that of the cruel father Axel Jordache in television’s first mini-series, “Rich Man, Poor Man.” His work earned him one of his seven Emmy Awards (out of a total of seventeen nominations to date). Two more personal reasons excited me about speaking with him: he was born here in Kansas City and one of my colleagues in the critic’s circle, Marie Asner, is married to Mr. Asner’s cousin, Harold. While promoting his new film, “Let Go,” Mr. Asner talked with Media Mikes about his love for acting, sequel talk regarding “UP” and his favorite characters.

Mike Smith: Fill us in on your character in “Let Go.”
Ed Asner: He’s an old con but very incompetent. If you remember “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight,” he’s the whole gang rolled up in one. But he’s a loveable old turkey – he has character, he has affection and love. He has a beautiful woman that he loves in the film that he stupidly does not pursue because his brother is pursuing her at the same time. He is constantly ignoring the gift horse that is being offered him in life and chooses the harder means of making a living and failing at it, which is choosing to be a stick up man. He’s pretty tragic but funny at the same time.

MS: You’ve won seven Emmys by portraying some of television’s most memorable characters. Obviously there’s Lou Grant, but you’ve also played Axel Jordache in “Rich Man, Poor Man,” Captain Davies in “Roots” among others. Do you have a favorite among them?
EA: I could not never deny the seven years of playing Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” It was a joy to share the power of that writing and to delight people with that writing and to be able to carve out a character to execute that writing. Those seven years are a precious package. In terms of one shot characters, the epiphany I had doing Axel Jordache…the feelings and respect I had for that character…that creature… in what I think is one of the most memorable mini-series in history…it gives me great joy to be identified with that man.

MS: Ernest Borgnine worked well into his 80’s because he still loved the process of acting. Is that what keeps you so busy? By my count you have no less than five projects in the works right now.
EA: Ten years ago I would have been happy to be doing just one of those. To have four or five in the can is certainly a pleasure. Acting is the air of my life. It’s my oxygen. Put me in the box if I can’t act.

MS: Any word on a sequel to “UP?”
EA: No. With each passing year “UP” continues to grow in people’s memories. I love the singularity and the fact that it remains a solitary gem all by itself.

MS: When are you coming home? We miss you here.
EA: I was home in June. I did my one man show as FDR for a fund raiser. Apparently you didn’t haul your ass out there, did you? (laughs)

MS: I did not. My son got married in June and to be honest I didn’t know you were in town. I’m going to have to scold Marie next time I see her for not telling me you were here!
EA: Give Marie a big fat kiss for me!

Marina Sirtis reflects on the 25th Anniversary of “Star Trek:” The Next Generation”

Marina Sirtis is best known for playing Deanna Troi in “Star Trek:” The Next Generation”.  The show is celebration its 25th Anniversary this year.  Marina took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about reflects on her role on the show and what makes this show so timeless.

Mike Gencarelli: “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is celebrating its 25th anniversary, what is your most fondest memory looking back?
Marina Sirtis: The best memories all circulates around my fellow thespians. They were the best bunch of people I ever worked with and became family. We just hit it off from the get-go and they are still my best friends. That was honestly the best part of the job.

MG: You attend many “Star Trek” conventions, what do you enjoy most about meeting fans?
MS: The great thing about going cons is getting to meet you fans. I think we have a very symbiotic relationship with our fans. We get as much out of them as they get out of us. I can’t tell you how many time people would come up with me and say “I become a psychologist because of you” and that is just what a compliment. I am an actress and I just played this part. It was a job [laughs]. I could have ended up on “Law & Order”, you know what I mean? To have some such an impact on people’s life is something that when I was studying at drama school never entered my consciousness.

MG: What do you think makes this series so timeless?
MS: The thing about it “Star Trek”, especially “TNG”, is probably one of the one shows that every generation of the family can watch together. I always used to say apart from The Weather Channel [laughs], it was the only real family show, since you can’t even watch the news anymore with kids. People always tell me it was family night for them and they used to order a pizza and sit around and watch “Star Trek”. Some people tell me that even with 25 years past, when they watch it now it brings back just great memories for them.

MG: How is it for you being know as the sex symbol of the entire show?
MS: Mike, I have to tell you I was a very ugly child. When I say this to people they don’t believe me. But I was have pictures to prove it [laughs]. I have to tell you a story, Mike. When my mother passed away, my sister-in-law called me and asked what I wanted out of her apartment and I just told her I wanted photos. She called me up a few night later hysterically laughing because she was going through the photos and told me she found the ones of me when I was young. This is what she tells me, “You were right Marina, you WERE really ugly!”. So to be regarded as a sex symbol, I am thrilled [laughs]. The little ugly girl inside of me is going “Woo Hoo!!”.

MG: I feel that season six was your characters strongest, including “Face of the Enemy”, can you reflect on your favorite season?
MS: I have to be honest, if you go back to the first season there was a lot of episodes that I wasn’t in. I was very worried, I was going to be written out. I knew the writers had created this character but didn’t really know what to do with her. She was an empath, so if she did her job right we had no storyline. Rather than deal with the situation, I was just written out of the episodes. Come the season one hiatus, which was very long due to the writers strike at the time, Jonathan Frakes got married to Genie Francis. We all went to the wedding and Gene Roddenberry was there also. He approached me at one point and said to me that he wanted to talk with in private. We stepped outside and he told me that the first show of season two is going to be a big episode for me and that I would be in fact opening the season. That meant more to me than anything. It was huge. So that was a very important season for me because they finally got her as a character. From there she just kept evolving.

MG: Did you have any creative control with your characters direction?
MS: Oh, no no no no [laughs]. I couldn’t change a word, none of us could.

MG: What you say was the most challenging aspect for you throughout the series?
MS: The biggest challenge was keeping Marina out of Troi. Marina is not a sweet as her [laughs]. She is not as sweet and not as nice. She is very temperamental, as well as loud and obnoxious. So that was definitely the biggest challenge for seven years. Sometimes though, I tried to sneak her in especially if Jonathan was directing [laughs].

MG: Did you ever keep any memorabilia or costumes from the show?
MS: I am pleading the 5th on that one. Draw your own conclusions [laughs].

MG: Have you ever considered writing a memoir for your experience on the series?
MS: Well I have thought of writing a memoir of my life, because I have had quite a fascinating life. I am one of those people that things just happen to [laughs]. I just have these adventures. As far as writing a book on our experiences on “Star Trek”, in the culture we live in now it is the bad behavior and the scandals that sell. There is not a publisher on the planet that wants to buy a book that tells the story of how we all loved each other [laughs].

MG: Have you had a chance to experience “Star Trek: TNG” on Blu-ray yet?
MS: I saw some of the first episode and it just looked amazing. It looks like we actually shot it last week. It is really great.

MG: I have been reading that fans have been requesting you to be on “Doctor Who”, what are your feelings?
MS: You know what, I would so love to be on “Doctor Who”. Sir Ian McKellen, who is one of our premiere actors on the planet, when he was asked what his ambitions where a few years ago, he said he wants to be a pantomime dame and he wants to be on “Coronation Street”, which is like the longest running show on the planet. Well he has managed to do both and that was really cool. So who knows? Anything is possible. There is a lot of things that I still want to do. Being Deanna for the rest of my life isn’t a problem, actually. But I don’t look like her anymore [laughs]. So I am just glad that it is that Deanna in HD and not me today [laughs].

MG: Tell us about what upcoming projects you are currently working on?
MS: Michael Dorn and I have been trying to get a romantic comedy off the ground for a couple of years now. Well, mostly Michael. It is going to star basically a bunch of “Star Trek” actors. It will be cool for the fans to see us star in something different. So it is a really cool project and he recently posted it through Kickstarter (click here) and it is called “Through The Fire”. Some of the things are pretty cool that you get for backing the film, llike getting to hang with us at a convention or a walk on role. So definitely check it out and spread the word. I also just did a movie based on a video game that doesn’t have a title yet but I am sure you will be hearing about it soon. Next year, I will be shooting a horror movie in Australia and also another possibly called “Shadows from the Sky”. So we have a lot of great projects coming up.

Linnea Quigley chats about 80’s horror and reflects on her cult classic roles

Linnea Quigley is known best for her scream queen roles in films like Trash from “The Return of the Living Dead” and “Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers”. She is the topic of focus in the new documentary “Screaming in High Heels: The Rise & Fall of the Scream Queen Era” along with Michelle Bauer and Brinke Stevens. Media Mikes had a chance to chat 80’s horror with Linnea and chatted about the dozen projects she has still yet to come.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how “Screaming in High Heels: The Rise & Fall of the Scream Queen Era” came about?
Linnea Quigley: It was amazing. I got a call and asked about being in the documentary. They flew me out to Los Angeles. It was Michelle (Bauer), Brinke (Stevens) and I. And I haven’t seen Michelle in forever. It was really great seeing everybody. I really liked Jason. I wasn’t sure it was going to be as big as it has been. It was on Chiller TV. I went to the premiere screening in Chicago. It is just a greatdocumentary. It gives so much information but in a few way.

MG: [laughs] Great. Better obviously than being called pimple face. I was really shy in my school years.
LQ: To be called, it was just amazing. It was just the ultimate honor to hear that. It is something you never think of but always wish for it. A lot of women say it’s degrading but if it happened to them, I am sure they wouldn’t say that [laughs].

MG: Trash from “The Return of the Living Dead” has to be one of the best characters in the genre, can you reflect looking back on the role?
LQ: Oh man, I loved being in that role. I was into the punk rock thing and I was in a band. My character is not like who I am personally, so it was fun to play her. When you are that age, you don’t think anything is every going to happen to you and talk about death. It was fun to play that sort of character.

MG: How long did the make-up take once you turned zombie?
LQ: With all the painting of me and everything, I would say a good six hours. I have had some longer ones as well. The hard part was trying to get that white off afterwards because it had to be waterproof. You can imagine going home at 6am in the morning and nothing gets this off. The producer had me sit in his really nice Jaguar and there is still makeup he still can’t get off this leather seat [laughs]

MG: 1988, brought some of your most unique titles films “Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers” and “Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama”, why do you feel these films are still loved by the fans?
LQ: For some reason, there are just some films that make an impact. They just had all the write qualities. They just came together with the right music and cast. You could’nt ever redo these films. It was just a special time. It was just the type of movie that never gets old.

MG: I always loved the idea of your “Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout”, how did that comes about?
LQ: We were on the set of “Murder Weapon” and Ken Hall and I just started talking about what a good workout it is to do a horror film. I had to swing this axe over and over again. We just started brainstorming and decided to do it. We got the financing and just did it. We are actually doing to be doing a commentary soon and re-released it on DVD. We have a lot of funny stories just from the two days it took to get it done.

MG: How do you feel about “Silent Night, Deadly Night” getting remade?
LQ: Oh I didn’t know it! I thought it was remade a bunch of times already lol. The second one is like the first one [laughs]. It is news to me though. I hate to say it but they are going to have to come up with something pretty good because that film has been stretched out thin.

MG: How do you feel that the horror genre changed over the years, especially with all the recent remakes?
LQ: The only remake that I have liked is “Piranha 3D”. The “Scream” and “Saw” franchises are all more for the gore factor then a real plot. The first ones are ok but then they just get very unrealistic. There is a huge difference between the “Sleepaway Camp” series and then the “Saw” series.

MG: Did you ever get to keep an our your outfits or props from your films?
LQ: Well, when I first started I never thought there was a need to keep things. I have somethings from “Return of the Living Dead”. I was promised my outfit from “Night of the Demons”, but never came through with it. A lot of the movies I’ve done, we had to supply our own wardrobe so I do have those things. I have an ensemble of clothes to wear. I have the top from The “Horror Workout” still and the G-String from “Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers”. It is kind of funny.

MG: Tell us what you have planned upcoming?
LQ: Yep, “Celluoid Bloodbath: More Prevues from Hell”comes out October 9th. They show trailers and I do little intros. That is really fun to watch to you like the older horror. “Cougar Cult” just got into Redbox. So I got to Redbox everyday and go “Oh…have you think this film” [laughs]. “Caesar and Otto’s Deadly Christmas” is coming out this Fall, it is really fun. Brinke and I are both in it and there are a bunch of great cameos, like Felissa Rose. Also I am suppose to do this movie called “The Trouble with Barry” later this month. I also just did this film where I have three age changes and a monster costume and that is called “Disciples”, which I also co-produced with Joe Hollow. I just did “Demonica”, which your gonna love this…it’s demons on skates. I did a short “Stella Buio”, which is getting really good reviews and going to the festivals. I also did a video for this band Sexcrement that Victor Bonacore directed, it is just so wild. On top of all that I’ve been doing some conventions. So it has been really amazing.