[continued from Part I]
The Terror Trap: Was it difficult to film the rat attack sequence in the movie theater in Deadly Eyes?
Lisa Langlois: Only in the sense that I was nervous about who the stunt coordinator was. I remember thinking about why it was so dangerous, about how people can get killed in a crowd running out of a venue.
At the time, I thought about that Rolling Stones concert where somebody was trampled.
TT: Let’s talk about your co-stars on Deadly Eyes. You got to work again with Lesleh Donaldson, but much closer than you had in Happy Birthday to Me. She played your best friend Martha here.
LL: Yes. And I was intimidated because I was thinking, “Am I going to be good enough opposite her?” Because she’s so good.
TT: We interviewed Lesleh some years ago and we always remember something in particular she said about you. She mentioned how beautiful you were in Deadly Eyes…
LL: Wow. That’s so nice to hear. And there I was wondering if I was going to be strong enough opposite her! I was supposed to be this confident alpha girlfriend and she was supposed to be more of a follower.
I remember thinking, I’ve got to come across with that energy, and yet I felt intimidated by her. Because she’s such a terrific actress.
TT: So the working relationship between you two was good?
LL: Oh, yeah. Really, really good.
TT: Did you two hang out, on or off the set at all?
LL: Not really. But that's only because I hadn’t moved to Toronto. I was still going to university. I would work and then drive back to school at McMaster University [in Hamilton]. So I didn’t really get to know the Toronto actors. I didn’t hang out with them. I just went to work. I didn’t date anybody there, any of the Toronto actors.
I guess I was kind of doing the Jodie Foster thing, who I’ve always wanted to meet and say, “Hey, my career got started because you were busy on another film…and we both got to work with Claude Chabrol and we both speak French.” I keep coming across people that know her so I think I’m getting closer to meeting her. (Laughs.)
TT: Any thoughts on Joseph Kelly, who portrayed your boyfriend Matt?
LL: Actually...this year, he directed his first film called Summer Eleven. It’s won all these awards on the family/children’s festival circuit. He’s going to China to promote it. It’s being released on DVD and it’s on Netflix. He cast me in a role and I didn’t have to audition, to play a homeless mother with two children. It’s getting great reviews. He took all his own money and made this film.
TT: That’s wonderful. He goes by the professional name Joseph Kell these days.
LL: Yes, and I should add that his wife Valerie Mahaffey, executive produced Summer Eleven along with him. You might know her from the series Northern Exposure.
TT: We'd like to ask you about the dogs in Deadly Eyes. We’re big animal people. The rats were Dachshunds in costumes and it’s been reported that one of them died during the filming. Were you aware of that?
LL: You know, that sounds familiar. It’s not something I remembered, but now that you mention it…
I just recall how cold it was outside and I was worried about their little paws.
TT: You brought up the wild west filmmaking in Canada at the time and perhaps that stuff wasn’t monitored like it should have been.
LL: I think you’re right.
TT: Moving on to Class of 1984. Just wow. Here, you played Patsy the Punk. A completely different character…as rotten-of-an-apple as you can get.
Was it fun to be vicious and terrorizing rather than terrorized?
LL: Well, it’s so much more interesting. Although understand, they brought me in to play the nice girl, Michael J. Fox’s girlfriend.
LL: Yeah, I went in and they told me they really saw me in that part. I said, “You know what? Would you just let me come back dressed and acting like the other character?” I explained that I grew up with four brothers. I’ve been around a lot of their friends and I’ve seen these kinds of tough people. I know how to do it. So I came back in, did the role and they loved it.
TT: You really stand out in that film. How much of your characterization was in the original script?
LL: I’ve gotta tell you...there was really not a lot of dialogue for me in that film. Everything that I did was improv and they kept it in the final cut.
That’s what I liked about the director, Mark Lester. He didn’t have an ego about you throwing a line in or some business. He loved it.
TT: What was the experience like for you making Class of 1984?
LL: Not good.
TT: For you or everybody?
TT: Why is that?
LL: Several reasons. One was that all the Canadians (not the Americans) got asked to work for scale. They said they would give us a buyout later because they didn’t really have the money to make this film. And then the movie became this big hit and none of us ever got paid any residuals for television or video, etc.
The extras really got mistreated. They hardly got paid. They got peanut butter and jam sandwiches. That scene where the girl takes her clothes off in front of the punks…that was really hard to do. It involved real acting for Tim Van Patton and me because she didn’t want to do that scene. She didn’t want to take her clothes off. She was shaking.
It reminded me of what happened to me in Phobia. You get intimidated and you don’t want to make waves. You’re young. You want people to like you. And they make it sound like it’s no big deal. That poor girl was literally shaking.
I remember it was so sad, my makeup artist was making her up and I was sitting next to her. She told the girl, “Don’t worry, I’ll make you up so that no one will recognize you.” And I thought, that’s NOT just the issue. It doesn’t matter whether someone can see your face...in front of everybody, you’re taking your clothes off!
TT: Yikes. That's not cool. Kind of makes it go from shooting an exploitation film to almost forced porn…
LL: Right. Timothy and I were talking about how uncomfortable we were with that. He said something to Mark because that guy was a gentleman. I just loved him.
TT: There’s an almost lascivious nature to your character Patsy in that scene with the naked girl…almost lesbianic…?
LL: That was an acting choice I made. Like I mentioned, I made the choices with Patsy because in the script she was just...standing there. That was one of my complaints. We had this really terrific stunt coordinator with Terry Leonard, and he never gave me anything to do in the fight scenes. Nothing.
I decided I would be this character who’s really perverted in that I got off on sex and violence. What I would do is, when they were beating people up, I would jump up and down, and dance around. And when someone had to take their clothes off, I would get excited.
That year, the logo for the Toronto Film Festival was the line from Being There: “I like to watch.” People were wearing pins with that expresssion printed on it. So in the scene you mentioned, I decided to throw in the line, “I like to watch.”
TT: Very cool.
LL: Tim was generally unhappy on this shoot. At the time, the movie was very violent. To me, it seemed so surreal and over-the-top and exaggerated because where I came from, I could never imagine kids behaving like that in school or having to go through metal detectors to get into class.
Again, it was the wild, wild west we talked about earlier. The punk rockers that were hired to be extras…they weren’t really extras, they were real punks.
TT: Did they cause any problems on the set?
LL: Well, for me personally, they knew I wasn’t a real punk rocker. I had my hair purple, pink and some other colors. So a) they knew I was an actor and not one of them, and b) they didn’t appreciate me wearing a dress. Several times, I had punk rocker women come up to me and say, “We’re gonna get you...”
TT: That’s awful!
LL: Mark really wanted reality. It would have made more sense for me to have a wig than to dye my hair all those colors anyway. It was hell getting my hair to look normal again.
But I was terrified. You won’t notice in the movie, but whenever there were big scenes like in a club or whatever, you wouldn’t see me. Because I would literally disappear.
TT: For your own safety…
LL: Yes. I was afraid. When they were slamming people, they were actually doing it. It was for real. They were really hitting each other. The punk extras got off on it.
TT: Lester has talked in documentaries about going out and finding these punks for the film.
LL: It wasn’t well thought out for the actors. It wasn’t taking care of us. I was afraid because I knew there was no protection on that set.
TT: Did the female punks consider you a poser?
LL: I think that would be the term you would use now. They just felt I was a fraud, I guess you would say.
We were embarrassed to be in that film and it ended up being this big, big hit. (Laughs). I was shocked. A boyfriend of mine was in Paris and saw this HUGE floor to ceiling poster with me and big breasts that they’d given me. (Laughs.)
TT: What did you think when you saw the finished product?
LL: I didn’t go see it for a long time. However, I remember my mother saying that it was the quintessential moment for her when she knew I had done a good job as an actress. Because she was in a theater watching it, and when I got killed at the end, the audience got up and cheered. It was a real memorable moment for her.
TT: Great! The audience was so engaged, they cheered.
LL: Although, honestly…I don’t think I’m killed. I think I survived.
TT: A car comes crashing down on your head! We’d have to side with the people who think you died. It’s pretty extreme.
LL: (Laughs.) Yeah, but it IS the movies. And I’m still talking.
TT: That’s true.
Back to something you mentioned earlier about metal detectors and violence in schools. It would seem that movies like Class of 1984 and Massacre at Central High almost foretold the future with what’s happened since. Columbine, etc.
LL: Sure. My son has already had two lockdowns at his elementary school and there was a drive-by shooting in front of it. So we’re there. It’s sad.
TT: That’s terrible. Class of 1984 was prescient in a way.
LL: It really is. I was amazed when I watched it recently at a screening. I really appreciated it because it had this documentary look to it…maybe due to the fact that it was so low-budget and grainy. I was impressed with how well Perry King did, because he too was so unhappy shooting that film - and yet he did such a good job.
Which reminds me, I had completely forgotten about the part where the gang members killed Roddy McDowall’s animal in the biology lab. That was horrible. That was really, really horrible. I watched it and just thought, “Oh, wow…”
But it was really great to act opposite Roddy in that movie.
TT: The scene where he has the gun pointed at you is quite a good moment.
LL: It was one of those things where you’re thinking, “Oh my God, I have this scene with Roddy McDowall…how am I going to do this?”
Roddy actually ended up writing a letter for me for my immigration to move to the United States. John Huston also wrote a letter for that.
TT: Nice! You have letters of reference from all these great people you worked with.
LL: Personally signed!
TT: Do you think Roddy was one of those people who was unhappy making this movie?
LL: I don’t know. Because the scene with the gun was really the only one I had with him. When there’s a big scene like that with lots of people, you don’t get any instant one on one time.
TT: We wanted to ask you about one of the most powerful, unnerving scenes in the movie. The sort of Clockwork Orange scene where the gang goes in and rapes Perry King’s wife. Was that difficult?
LL: So upsetting. I just saw it. Again, that was my idea to get a Polaroid camera and take a picture of it.
TT: That was a good idea. It’s certainly revolting!
LL: (Laughs.) It’s really revolting. And then to give the Polaroid of his raped wife to Perry at the event. It was also my idea to put my finger in my mouth…my middle finger…and summon him with it.
TT: Wow. What else?
LL: Well, I came up with the moment when Patsy, like a little juvenile delinquent, takes her finger and pushes it through a hole she makes with her index finger and thumb.
TT: You should be really proud of yourself, Lisa.
LL: (Laughs.) You know what? I had to find something to do because they never gave me any lines. In fact, before I thought of lines and things to do, my boyfriend suggested I wear a chain that makes noise. So whenever the audience would hear that chain, they would know that character is present. I thought that would never fly because the sound department wouldn't go for that.
TT: We have to say the choices you made are fantastic. We couldn’t take our eyes off you. Even in the scenes in which you aren’t necessarily supposed to be the focus of attention. There was a certain...unpredictability to your character that made us always want to watch you.
Was the “kissy kissy” thing your idea as well?
LL: Yes, that too.
Ironically, they gave me a Marilyn Monroe shirt to wear. I’m wearing a shirt with her face on it.
TT: Warhol's Marilyn.
LL: Right. And when I was asked my name, I thought Mark was going to tell me to say “Marilyn Monroe” and he didn’t. He wanted me to say “Elizabeth Taylor.” And so I just said it that other way to be obnoxious.
TT: And...it is!
LL: (Laughs.) I also really hated my makeup in Class of 1984 because in my mind, that was so not punk. The makeup artist that I had was this woman who was not a young person. Privately, I thought, "She doesn’t know what punk is." She kept bringing out all the glitter stuff and everything. It was so not the character.
TT: It's more New Wave than punk.
I don't know if you're aware of this but Stefan Arngrim, who played Drugstore, is directing now. He’s the brother of Alison Arngrim from Little House on the Prairie. He lives in Vancouver and he recently got in touch with me. During the whole shoot, he never said a word to me and I actually thought that he was the real thing…that he was a real punk rocker. I was sort of afraid of him.
TT: And he was probably a nice guy all along!
Any other anecdotes you'd care to share from the Class of 1984 shoot?
LL: You know how the first week you get new shoes, your feet are killing you?
LL: Well, they got me these really tall boots and they hadn’t been broken in. I was always like leaning on one foot up in the air and just limping. It was so painful to ever have to walk normally in that movie. On the poster, my foot is twisted to the side. They captured it! Because my foot was killing me.
TT: Oh, that’s funny!
LL: Something else you might find interesting. The original actor hired to play Barnyard was not Keith Knight. The other guy refused to shave his head for the role so Mark replaced him. But Keith managed to negotiate not shaving his head and just having a brush cut.
It ended up being great because Keith was wonderful in the role. I understand from the people who wrote Destroy All Movies that Keith passed away in 2007. I didn’t know that.
TT: Yes, we had heard about Keith's passing. He was also very good in My Bloody Valentine (1981). So sad.
Any parting shots on Class of 1984?
LL: I just really wish they had made a sequel. You know how people, after they’re real rebels, really hardcore, they swing back the other way?
LL: I said at the screening that actually what happens to Patsy is she grows up, reforms, and becomes a Republican. I wish I’d been in a sequel!
TT: That would have been hilarious! Patsy becomes Sarah Palin!
LL: (Laughs.) Exactly. Exactly!
TT: Wait. That's a more frightening premise than any horror movie…
Okay, let's play a game. We’ll throw out some titles to you that you made after Class of 1984 and just get your thoughts, your immediate responses. Whatever comes to your mind…
Let’s start with The Nest (1988).
LL: Well, I got offered to do The Fly 2 (1989), which would have been the third in my "Trilogy of Vermin" films. But I didn’t do it. Daphne Zuniga did it and I chose to do a play at the La Jolla Playhouse.
I had visions that The Nest would be like The Birds, and I was going to be Tippi Hedren. (Laughs.)
Coming fresh from Canada, I didn’t really know who Roger Corman was on The Nest. That shoot was a VERY unpleasant experience. Again, another film where they tried to get me to take my clothes off and I had it in my contract that I would have a bodysuit on. They didn’t have one available the day of the shoot, so I thought I would wear gaffer’s tape on my breasts for the scene.
TT: Did that work?
LL: They said, “Oh, we keep seeing the tape in the shower.” So I told them they were seeing too much anyway. The producer took me in the trailer and said, “I heard you’re being difficult about doing the nude scene. What’s your problem?” I said, “Look, I don’t have an issue with nude scenes. I don't. I did one for John Huston. But they’re not treating me fairly because you don’t have a bodysuit for me.” I had actually gotten the idea for gaffer’s tape from Phoebe Cates [in Fast Times at Ridgemont High].
TT: A lot of genre fans like The Nest. They think it’s fun. It's a sort of a gory throwback to the creature features of the 1950s.
LL: I can see that. I’m starting to be able to laugh at it. I have enough distance from that movie.
But I won't deny that when I first saw the poster for The Nest, I was really offended. I thought, who is that woman? It was the same woman from the Class of 1984 artwork. You know, with the big breasts.
She was wearing lingerie, which I didn’t wear in the movie. And she had curly hair, which I didn’t have either. She looked like she was being seduced by a giant cockroach, like she’s just an appetizer. I think as a woman, I was feeling really exploited. But now...I can laugh at it.
You know, this is a good point to give you some backstory. I had been molested as a child. I could never discuss this years ago…but now that we’ve had 25 years of Oprah, we can all talk about this stuff. And so we can help other people. I think that had that not happened to me in my life, I probably would have been more equipped to deal with these male authority figures in those kinds of situations.
For years, when I’d play the “girl next door,” I went in and I nailed auditions. And then once I got to the age where I was supposed to be seductive in scenes, to be sexy, and I'd have to go into an audition room filled with men, I would fall flat on my face. I’d self-destruct and get really nervous and stutter. I didn’t know what was wrong with me.
It was then that I went to a therapist and she explained that it was really much deeper. It wasn’t that I wasn’t a good actor.
TT: How recent was this?
LL: Not recent. I started seeing the therapist in the early '90s. That’s when I discovered what was going on…because I was just really self-destructing at auditions.
TT: Does that put a different spin on your performance in Phobia, because your character has such issues with being molested and/or raped?
LL: I didn’t make the connection then. Because I hadn’t come to terms with that in my life yet. I only came to terms with that and wrote a letter to my perpetrator when I was around thirty. I hadn’t done that work on myself yet when I made Phobia so I compartmentalized it. There was no sense-memory from my own experience in the way I played the character of Laura.
TT: Thank you for feeling comfortable enough with us to discuss such a personal story.
Thoughts on Transformations (1988)?
LL: I love that director, Jay Kamen. I loved working on that. It’s unfortunate they didn’t have a proper budget or a better script to make it what the director envisioned. He had what some of the legendary directors had, and I knew he would go far.
TT: Mindfield (1989) with Michael Ironfield.
LL: (Long pause.) Another difficult movie. I realize now what was difficult…because what I suspected was going on WAS going on.
TT: What’s that?
LL: I found out that Michael Ironside was very unhappy and had wanted to get the director fired, and me as well.
LL: He didn’t think that either the director or I were good. That we didn’t know what we were doing. I had a feeling.
Imagine doing a love scene with somebody that you know wants to have you fired. It's like the perfect thriller in itself. (Laughs.)
TT: Did he do anything weird like put garlic in his mouth?
LL: (Laughs.) No. All I thought of is...I have to do a good job here, and I flashed in my head to Richard Gere and Debra Winger and how they hated each other when they filmed An Officer and a Gentleman. But you would never know it. You have to be the consummate professional.
TT: That's right.
LL: It was also probably an even colder shoot than Deadly Eyes. We were in Montreal in that Olympic Stadium. I think it was the coldest I had ever been in my life!
LL: I had all the hopes in the world for Mindfield because I thought it was a very interesting story. In fact, it was based on a true story about the CIA experimenting on people in Canada. I had always wanted to have Jodie Foster’s career and do films that had underlying social messages.
So I thought, finally, I would get to do this. All the press on me was about the fact that I was finally going to play an adult role and move out of playing teenage ingénue parts. And I was playing opposite Michael Ironside.
I was also so thrilled to work with Christopher Plummer on that one. I hadn’t had that kind of thrill since waiting for Tony Curtis to arrive on the set of It Rained All Night the Day I Left in 1980.
TT: Were there any parts in your career that you didn’t take or missed out on?
LL: There’s these “flavors of the month” and then you end up going up against them. One was Kelly McGillis. I was up against her for a while and so I went in for Top Gun (1986). She got it. Then I was up for the supporting part…and Meg Ryan got that.
Another was the lead in No Small Affair, a role that went to Demi Moore. Jon Cryer came up to me once and said, “I have to tell you that you did the best reading and I told the producers that you should have gotten the part.”
TT: Is it true you were offered the role of Sarah in James Cameron’s The Terminator (1984)?
LL: Yes. What happened there was, I went in and I read for the part. I had another audition right after and I feel like I was more focused on that because it had much more dialogue. Anyway, I got called back and went to writer Gayle Anne Hurd’s house to read with Michael Biehn for James Cameron.
My agent at the time told me that Linda Hamilton had gotten the part but that Gayle Anne Hurd thought I had more charisma. I didn’t think anything of it because in the meantime, I got cast in The Slugger’s Wife with Hal Ashby, a director with whom I had always wanted to work. That was exciting because Quincy Jones was doing the music and I got to sing all these songs.
I started working on The Slugger’s Wife when my agent got a call saying that Linda Hamilton had sprained her ankle badly and they wanted to offer the part to me. But I was already shooting in Atlanta, Georgia. They said they were shooting in Florida and could I possibly do the two films? It was determined that there was no way I could do both pictures and that was the end of that. My agent said to me, “It’s okay, YOU got the better picture. That’s just a small movie with an unknown director and Arnold Schwarzenegger.”
And I replied no, that The Terminator had the better script and a better story.
TT: So they just waited for Linda's ankle to heal?
LL: Yes. They decided they’d wait for her because I wasn’t available.
Years later, I saw James Cameron when he was being honored at the Canadian Consulate. I didn’t know whether he would remember me or not, but I went up to him and said, “I’ve always wanted to tell you it was a disappointment to me that I couldn’t do your film because I had told my agent it was the better script." He turned to me and said, “Lisa, you haven’t aged at all. It’s okay that you didn’t do the film because otherwise, I would never have met Linda.” He ended up marrying her and I thought that was so wonderful.
TT: Were you asked to read for any roles in other Canadian horror productions such as My Bloody Valentine or Curtains?
LL: Yes, I was asked but I didn’t go in for them. Funny, but Lori Hallier (from My Bloody Valentine) was actually my stand-in on Happy Birthday to Me.
TT: Wow, really?
LL: Yeah, older directors like Lee Thompson really believed in stand-ins. It wasn’t an ego thing for actors. You would save time if you knew how to effectively use them. An actor could go and get their makeup and hair done, as the person stands in while they’re lighting.
TT: What do you think of the horror genre? Are you a fan?
LL: I am a fan. I’m much more into psychological thrillers than anything exploitative. I understand the fun of exploitation. I get it. But, just for the sake of seeing something over and over again, films like Rosemary’s Baby and The Shining are terrifying to me. Although movies like Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are a lot of fun. They’re escapism.
TT: Just curious: when you made Happy Birthday to Me, did you think that was exploitative, since it was a blood-filled slasher?
LL: No. Because that one had some intelligence to it thanks to Lee. Sure, it was taking advantage of the teen slasher movement, and Lee loved throwing the blood around. But at the same time, there was a great deal of craft in the way he directed it.
TT: The way the shots are executed in Happy Birthday to Me, it’s clear from the beginning that it was an upscale production. For example, near the beginning -- when the kids are leaving the pub, as they get in their cars to race -- there are some deep focus shots, split field diopter shots.
LL: Right. We didn’t have the higher budget you might have in the United States. But we had a really good director, crew and camera department.
TT: How would you respond to people who would view you as a Scream Queen?
LL: I think Jamie Lee Curtis is a Scream Queen. I’m just a… Scream Princess. I do embrace it all now because I’ve really come to like the people I meet who are into these movies.
I think the only time it might be difficult to embrace is if you're bad in a bad horror movie. If you're good in a good horror film, or even good in a bad one, it's much easier to accept.
TT: You made two Lifetime movies in recent years, The Perfect Marriage (2006) and Framed for Murder (2007). Thoughts on those?
LL: Both were produced by Tom Berry and Pierre David. I loved working on Framed for Murder. First of all, they had Montreal crews even though we shot in Ottawa. It was like working on a Claude Chabrol picture. It was a real picnic. Everybody was so social afterwards, like a family. Tom and Pierre use the same crews over and over again. I just adore working for them.
I think the producers got a big shock when I showed up for Framed For Murder when they saw me because I came in looking so radically different from the character I played in Perfect Marriage…where I had let myself go and gained weight. I had tried to look like a plain Jane, which is what the character called for. And then for Framed, I came looking more like the Actress. I think they were taken aback.
It’s on my reel now because I really prefer to play someone who is strong and survives. I wouldn’t be talking to you right now if I hadn’t because I’ve certainly had probably the litmus test of challenges in the last five years of my life. But I’ll be back. I’ve survived. I’m a survivor.
TT: Would you like to share?
LL: What happened to me is I’ve had a very challenging time. I really thought that when I decided to become a mom, I’d go back to work the day after I had my son. You always hear that hormones take over new mothers. And boy, do they. I thought, why would I hire someone to raise my son? I took several years off to be there for him. To be the stay-at-home mom. During those years, I relied on my husband financially, and literally the day I was back at work, I was served with divorce papers.
TT: Oh, that’s terrible.
LL: Yeah, it was. I got a couple of jobs during that period, including those Lifetime movies and a film about aliens called Fire Serpent. Tom Berry produced it. I was attracted to the role because I thought it would be like that Nicole Kidman film To Die For. I played this really opportunistic news anchorwoman. I don’t think they knew where to go with it because of things that were required on the technology side.
But I also had to start working outside of the industry. Then in 2008, when I was getting it together and finally making enough money and I thought I could pursue my career again, my son was hit by an SUV. He's had sixteen surgeries and he’s about to face his seventeenth.
TT: We’re so sorry to hear of this, Lisa.
LL: Thanks, guys. I became that Shirley MacLaine character in Terms of Endearment screaming, “It’s time for my son’s pain medication!” It’s been a real education for me as far as the U.S. medical system.
Even with two insurance carriers, I had Screen Actor’s Guild and his dad had Motion Picture, we still had incredible debt. Extraordinary debt. I always thought the problem with this country was that we needed health insurance for those who don’t have it. We need reform for the people who DO have it too.
TT: That’s right.
LL: So I’ve just got my career kick-started again. The last two films I did were films that were done by people who just knew me and offered me the roles.
TT: That would be Poe: Last Days of the Raven, and Summer Eleven?
LL: Yes. A lot of friends were telling me, “You can’t quit. We just have to get a campaign about you again so folks know who you are and you’re still out there.” I’m gonna get out there again.
TT: We’d love to help you anyway we can.
How is your son doing now?
LL: He’s running. Playing soccer. He’s got a slight limp when he gets tired. He has an upcoming surgery where they need to rebuild his heel again. That’s why he limps. He has no heel so he walks a little bit on the side of his foot.
TT: Here's hoping for a full recovery!
Who did you play in Poe?
LL: I played Jane Stanard, who was Poe’s life love. That was just offered to me. Like Joe Kell, director/writer/star Brent Fidler took his life savings to make the movie.
TT: What have you been up to more recently as far as your career?
LL: Well, I did something I really thought would be a great bookend for my career. It kind of broke my heart that it didn’t pan out the way I had envisioned it.
I got asked to audition for a show that was going on in Canada called Heartland, based on a series of children’s books. I get killed off and I thought, why would I go in for it? I was told there would be flashbacks to my character all the time -- like in the books. I believed it would be a wonderful steady job, and I would even move my son to Canada and give him a great pastoral upbringing.
But instead, it turned out that the way they handled my part is the other characters take my photograph and look at it and talk about me. It broke my heart because my role was a strong woman that I really liked. I was disappointed.
I’ve recently started working for Nathalie Gaulthier, who runs sort of a Cirque du Soleil for children called Le Petit Cirque. It's great. It’s more of a place where kids get empowered. She’s helped many people, adults, kids. One of the reaons I wanted to become an actor is because I wanted to lend my name to charitable organizations, and I'm definitely getting a fullfillment in my life by working with Nathalie. She had been a very successful agent in Canada and then Hollywood, and she remembered me.
TT: That sounds wonderful.
Thank you so much for speaking with us. Much luck and success in your career, and best wishes to you and your son.
LL: I truly enjoyed this. I have to tell you, I was lucky to have worked with some directors who were top-notch in my day. And as interviewers, you guys were really in that top-notch category today. You were really well prepared.
TT: Thank you so much. That means a lot to us.
Fans of Lisa can connect with her on her official Lisa Langlois Facebook page.