Flashback: She’s your dreamgirl: The Lisa Wilcox interview
Greeting’s my Grue-ling’s! Your Uncle Ani fell asleep the other day and went off to dreamland and guess who he ran into? Lisa Wilcox! Yup, Alice herself!
Since I had her there I thought I’d interview her about her famous role, her time on Star trek, as well as many of her upcoming projects.
Lemme tell ya, the woman is awesome! She’s funny, kind, and really appreciates her fan’s.
So kickback, close your eyes and join me and and Lisa in dreamland for a kickass interview. Don’t worry, she’ll protect us from Freddy…I hope.
Ani: Firstly, thank you, Lisa, for taking the time to allow us at gruemonkey.com to interview you. As a long time horror fan and fan of the Nightmare on Elm Street series, this opportunity is a dream come true. See what I did there? Dream? I said dream, nevermind. Clears throat So how did it all begin? How did Lisa Wilcox go from regular all-American gal to talented actress and horror icon?
Lisa: Well, I’d have to say acting found me! Two things happened. Back in Missouri I did a play “M*A*S*H” – yes like the TV show. There was actually a play. It was a comic relief role, Ms. Randazzle – the sexy secretary role. Yes, back then called a secretary. I’m doing my scene, 400 people in the audience, strutting in my high heels and pencil skirt. Lol and behold one of the stage footlights was not locked and my foot goes down into the footlight. My secretary notepad and pencil go flying and my strappy high heel is now imprisoned in the foot light. No injury incurred rest assured. I’m just stuck. Center stage of course. Behind the curtain, my scene was played on the proscenium, the actors realize something is going on. Hawkeye sticks his head out from the curtain and helps to untangle me from the very rude footlight. The actor who I am doing my scene with, my “boss” begins to improve. “Had a little too much to drink there Ms. Randazzle?” The confused audience is now laughing. I have been freed and pull myself together, pencil skirt and all then proceed with the scene. I am trying not to laugh! The next day at school, my status of being unknown has been completely reversed. In other words, the incident was the talk of the school. I rather liked the notoriety.
The second event happened when I was 16 years old. I went with a friend to his audition at the Buddy Ebsen Theatre in Newport Beach, Ca. My family had moved to California due to my father’s business. The producer of play asked me to audition. I was like…oh, no,no. I’m just here with my friend. I had my eyes on going into a medical career. After the third time she asked I finally said yes and landed the lead role. Even received Dramalogue Awards. No going back since then.
Ani: Now as every horror fan knows, unless they’ve been living under a rock, you played Alice in NOES 4 and 5. Alongside Heather Langenkamp’s Nancy, Alice is considered not only a fan favorite in the series but in horror in general. Ya know, because she rocks. You’ve stated before she is your favorite role you’ve played. Heather has stated before that after playing Nancy, she had a hard time distancing herself from the character due to the success of the film. Given how popular 4 and 5 were, did you ever feel you had that issue?
Lisa: Oh no. I did not have that issue. All kinds of opportunities appeared. Nightmare was very early in my career. Since Nightmare 4&5 I did all kinds of TV guest stars, recurring and regular roles. Even comedies like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures, the TV series for Fox. I worked on Knots Landing and Star Trek: The Next Generation, etc. I’m forever grateful for the doors that the role of Alice and the NOES series opened.
Ani: Does Lisa Wilcox have nightmares? If so, do you have a secret dream power? My dream power is the ability to be rejected by women in my dreams just as much as I am in real life.
Lisa: You are too funny! I have a recurring nightmare ever since I was a kid. I’m at the zoo and an ape abducts me through the bars and goes to the backdoor. The ape opens the door and we enter Planet of the Apes! My dream power is only that I sleep like a log.
Ani: What kind of preparation did you have to do to play Alice? And did you learn karate for Nightmare 4?
Lisa: Andras Jones, who plays Rick, and I were sent to only a day of karate school. We were fast learners. Seriously, we had fantastic stunt doubles. One of gals who did a lot of the church work was in the Olympics. I knew some gymnastics but she was freaking amazing! I was a natural blond and needed to go darker to fit the character better. So a rinse was put on my hair everyday. Lots of time in the hair and makeup chair I tell ya.
As far as my preparation as an actor for the role of Alice, I simply revisited my past in grade school and junior high. I was very shy, studious, a day dreamer and always the last one picked in gym class to play soccer or whatever. You get the picture. The scene in the diner when gorgeous Dan comes in with the cute cheerleader and I am longing for him was like my real life! It wasn’t until I went to Barbizon Modeling School one summer after we moved to California, that I gained confidence. The Barbizon thing came about because my sister and mom were leaving the house to check out Barbizon. I was like, well I want to go too. My sister always had confidence and a healthy 5”9” athletic figure. Anyway…I discovered this thing called makeup, clothes, and fashion. I even did a televised beauty pageant, California Golden Girls and was 1st runner-up. My self-esteem finally caught up to my intelligence as it were.
The other preparation involved keeping track of who died when because Alice takes on traits of her friends. We don’t film in sequential order of course so I marked every scene in my script as to who at that point had died to keep track of the traits I needed to blend in.
Ani: Which in your opinion is the better of the two Nightmare films. 4 or 5?
Lisa: Oh man. That’s like asking which of your children do you love most! Okay. I love both films for different reasons and the 2 films are quite different – like comparing apples and oranges. I would have to say Alice’s character arc in NOES4 was written so beautifully – from shy to powerhouse. It is an actor’s dream to play.
Ani: What are your thoughts about Robert Englund retiring from Freddy and a new actor playing the role? Many fan’s feel it can’t be done.
Lisa: I think that Robert has embodied the role of Freddy to the point that any other actor playing Freddy will just be disappointing, no matter how skilled the actor. Maybe in 50 years when we the cast are all dead and buried, then perhaps there would be a chance for a resurrection.
Ani: I am a big Star Trek fan. That pretty much means I spent my Saturday nights alone. You had a pretty nice role in the Next Generation episode “The Vengeance Factor” as Yuta. A very cool episode, though I’m kinda still pissed they vaporized you. Were you a fan of Star Trek prior to the role and how does it feel to have your own space on the Star Trek monopoly board? Yes, I know about that. Lonely Saturday nights, remember?
Lisa: It was an amazing experience to be on that set with the cast. I was secretly geeking. I’ve had some lonely Saturday nights too. Funny story…several years later I was looking to rent a house and found this adorable Spanish style. Turns out it was Patrick Stewart’s fiancés house and they lived there. When we met it was like Lisa? Patrick? Surreal as he is showing me the house –like how the gate works and the keys.
Ani: Now before you beamed aboard the Enterprise and kicked ass as Alice, you were a cheerleader, a Falcon, I believe. Of course, I refer to your first role in Gimme an F, though you probably hate me now for bringing that up, I love that flick. Pure 80’s camp and very under appreciated. Looking back, what are your thoughts on that film?
Lisa: I played a Demon, how apropos. I took a quarter off from UCLA to do that movie. Fantastic learning experience. Like how to get a girl to take off her shirt – just give her a 100 bucks. Oh producers! I didn’t succumb to the offers but you saw how things work. The good, the bad and the ugly. Anyway, I agree! Totally underrated. Maybe at an upcoming convention the promoter could dig it up and show it over the weekend. Ummm…I think I may suggest it to my agent.
Ani: If you could be in any horror film besides NOES, what would it be? Trick or Treating with Mikey Myers on Halloween? Camping with Jason in a Friday the 13th film?
Lisa: Camping for sure. I love camping and the great outdoors ;).
Ani: Whats your favorite horror movie?
Lisa: Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist are a tie.
Ani: You’re rumored to be a bit of a daredevil. A gal who prefers her characters action oriented and dangerous. In other words, the girl of my dreams… no pun intended… ok it was. Is it true? If so, have you ever done your own stunts?
Lisa: Sorry to break your heart but I am a total wimp. However, I was recently asked by Billy Butler, wrote and directing a film called Survivors, what I wanted my character to be like. I said I want to be badass Danny Trejo on a motorcycle flinging a machete around. I am ready to embrace my daring side at last!
Ani: I’ve read you have a role in William Froste, the upcoming horror film that features a ton of horror icons. Can you tell us a bit about your role?
Lisa: All I can say is that I play a nurse and have several scenes with the lead character. No spoiling.
Ani: Why do you hate your hands? They seem like lovely hands to me… uh… not that I’d know.
Lisa: My hands are always red. Drives me crazy. It runs in the family. It’s the Scottish in us.
Ani: You’ve played a lot of interesting roles. When all is said and done, what role do you feel will be your legacy and why?
Lisa: Inevitably it will be Alice of Nightmare On Elm. The worldwide recognition of the series can’t be denied. However, The fat lady hasn’t sung yet, as they say. I am going back into acting full time again so let’s see what happens.
Ani: What does Lisa Wilcox do in her spare time when she’s not battling dream maniacs?
Lisa: I play tennis and picked up golf this year. So fun. I am an AMC and FX whore. I’m on season 5 of Sons of Anarchy. They own me. Yes. I know..I’m a little behind. I also have an adorable miniature short hair Dachshund who will play ball until the cows come home. He is a rescue. I help feed the homeless up the street and participate with NAMI. Also, I’ll be signing up for those motorcycle lessons.
Ani: Anything else you want to promote?
Lisa: I did a film called Clinger and it was accepted at the Sundance/Slamdance film festival. I went to the festival for the first time. It will have a limited release in 3 cities. Premiers in Los Angeles, Nov. 12. Yea! Also Kickstarter project “Nightmares” with Lance Henrikson, Kane Hodder and more. Just did another film called Something Horrible with Tippy Hedren and filming coming up for William Froste. Star Trek fans! Rittenhouse is releasing a new trading card of my character Yuta. May have been released already? Heads up!
Ani: Thank you, Lisa, it’s totally been a pleasure and an honor to talk with you. I def look forward to your future horror endeavors!
Lisa: Thank you Ani! Oh, and please tell Grue to leave me alone and go back to the homeland – Planet of the Apes! The secret passageway is in the back of his uncle’s cage.
Ani: Damn’it I told him to back off! Sorry, he think’s if he hang’s out with you and wait’s till you fall asleep he’ll meet Freddy. GRUE!!!!