23 September 2014

[continued from Part I]

The Terror Trap: In many ways, Curtains is like two different movies stitched together. The Ciupka half and the Simpson half.

Lynne Griffin: I know. And the funny thing is, when I first saw it…I saw it in a movie house in New York City with about six other people...I was thinking, “Oh, dear, this doesn’t look good! There’s only six people in the audience.” (Laughs.) It was a matinee screening of it.

I was just really curious to see what had happened to it because it had been so long in the process of, first of all, being finished, and then being released.

I certainly think if you’re knowledgeable, and if you worked on it, you can see that two different hands were at work. That may have been one of the reasons it was problematic, putting it all together.

TT: Right.

Now, you’re the last person standing and as a result, you enjoy a good deal of screen time. Were you victim the most of having to come back for the re-shoots once Peter Simpson was displeased with the way things were going with Ciupka?

LG: Yeah. I had to come back and go after Samantha with the knife. That’s what we re-shot, the ending of it. Maybe the shot of Patti in the theatre with the dead bodies was part of the original shooting that wasn’t used? But I do remember we shot that new ending.

TT: You mean the scene in Stryker’s kitchen where you stab Eggar with the butcher knife?

LG: Right.

TT: So did that replace a different ending?

LG: It replaced the original ending. In the original ending, Samantha doesn’t die. She goes insane. Just like Patti.

TT: Okay.

Do you recall filming any more backstory to your character other than what we see in the released version?

LG: No…aside from my scene doing the standup routine, I don’t remember shooting anything else that was more backstory for Patti.

But boy, that was a LONG shoot for me. One of the most amazing things that I remember was working really, really, really long hours. My driver would take me home. I’d go in and make myself eat something, go to bed…and then the alarm would go off.

I remember the driver one morning coming to my door and I got in the car to drive to the set. On the radio, they announced that John Lennon had been shot the previous night.

TT: It must have been awful to go to work after hearing that.

LG: It was a horrendous day. For me personally, I took it in really deeply. That was a hard, hard day. But the work continues. Nothing stops work. You just keep going.

TT: Do you have any recollection of filming anything with Celine Lomez, who was replaced by Linda Thorson?

LG: Nope. None. It’s funny because I read about that in your Simpson interview and I thought, wow! Wow. I didn’t even know that.

TT: Simpson wasn’t happy with her English.

LG: Wild! I think there was a lot going on behind the scenes that I wasn’t even aware of on Curtains, to be honest.

TT: Simpson told us who was in the hag mask chasing Lesleh on the ice, one of the ice skaters. Just to confirm: you weren’t the person in the mask who went after Sandee Currie in the prophouse chase scene, correct?

LG: No, that was never me. I never, ever put on the hag mask to do those scenes. Somebody else always did those. I think they were partly trying to save money by not having it be me. But I LIKE those scenes in the movie. And I like that people THINK it’s me! (Laughs).

TT: We won’t tell!

LG: No, we won’t tell. (Laughs.)

TT: Would you say Curtains -- despite all its troubles -- was fun to film?

LG: Are you kidding? I had great fun! Patti was a great character. She had great spunk. And also because I knew I was the killer from the very get go. I knew that. So it was like, “You girls all think you’re gonna make it to the end!” (Laughs maniacally.)

Really, the women in Curtains were all terrific. I just loved Anne Ditchburn as a dancer. I thought she was so sweet to attempt that role. She had some difficulty, because acting wasn’t her first career.

But it was fun working with Anne and I was impressed that she wanted to do this. She was a very fragile creature. And she smoked unbelievably!

TT: Really?

LG: Yeah, she never ate and she smoked all the time.

Then you have a powerhouse like Linda Thorson, who was just a great lady and a wonderful actress. And Lesleh was a hoot. I always loved her. I mean, we were both so young at the time, she and I.

TT: You have a nice - albeit, brief - scene with Sandee in Stryker’s kitchen. As you know, Sandee passed away.

LG: Yes, that’s so sad.

You know, it’s funny. I had gotten an insurance commercial and Sandee had gotten one too. They were filming two different commercials. My mother got me the job and when they told me it was shooting in Venice, I thought they meant Venice, California. I was so thrilled to find out we were going to Italy to shoot!

Anyway, Sandee and I were both over in Italy doing these commercials. And I remember Sandee fell in love with our Italian driver! So we're supposed to get on the plane to come back home, and she says, “I’m not coming.” Just flat out, "I'm not going." She said she had fallen in love with “Roberto.” Or whatever his name was. And she was gonna live there and have Italian babies. We were like, “Sandee, are you crazy?!?” But she was great. I mean, that was like out of a movie itself.

TT: This would have been after Curtains?

LG: This was after, right.

TT: You’re saying she was a little impulsive?

LG: Well, as much as we all were in those days. I will admit, this guy of hers was very hot. I was kind of thinking…wow, I wish I could be like that!

TT: Okay, quick: John Vernon.

LG: Oh, there’s a real character for you. He was an iceberg AND a volcano.

TT: How do you mean?

LG: Well, that character of Jonathan Stryker was such a scary guy, right? Totally scary. And John was so lovely. I actually had worked with his daughter in Los Angeles on a miniseries called I’ll Take Manhattan. You kind of come full circle with different people.

But John was pretty scary and intimidating on the set. Also, because he had worked at Stratford and had a really great career in Canada as well.

TT: Simpson told us his role was patterned after Klaus Kinski.

LG: Yeah!

TT: He does come across that way. Brooding. Scary.

LG: I’ve worked with real-life directors like that. On stage, definitely, I’ve worked with directors like that. The casting couch was very prevalent in those days. There were many times when I was kind of coerced into hotel rooms with directors who said, “How much do you really want the part?”

TT: Oh, geez…

LG: And I’d go (with a British accent), “I’m a good girl I am!”

There would be people getting you on the floor in the audition room, wanting you to take your clothes off and stuff like that. It happened a lot back then. I think it’s harder now for the young actors than the young actresses.

TT: Do you think Vernon’s performance brought out an intimidation in your character?

LG: Sure.

During the course of my career, I've had some good times with impressive actors and directors. When I did Strange Brew, I had a scene with Max Von Sydow and I was going, “My God!” I had mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from James Coburn in a movie.

These people are intimidating and at the same time, you find they’re really lovely and dedicated actors. They’re fabulous to work with. As they say, it’s like playing with a better tennis player. Your game improves because of it.

TT: That's right.

We haven’t touched too much on Samantha Eggar yet…

LG: (Laughs.) Oh, I have a great Samantha Eggar story.

TT: Do tell!

LG: Early on, when we were having makeup and wardrobe tests, I was sitting in a chair and the makeup artist was working on me.

Samantha was sitting in another chair, and she had a woman with her who I believe was her personal assistant. Samantha and I were sitting side by side, and all of a sudden, the wardrobe woman comes in holding a few dresses to show Samantha.

The assistant was by her side and she said to Samantha, “So there’s this one, and that one, this one, and then there’s this one…” And by way of a response, Samantha’s eyebrow literally twitched. Twitched. Ever so slightly.

The assistant turned to the wardrobe person and said, “We don’t like ANY of those dresses.” And out they went. And out went the wardrobe woman with her tail tucked between her legs! I thought, “Oh-kayyy, this is going to be interesting!”

TT: Fasten your seatbelts! That’s a STAR.

LG: Yeah! One of my favorite movies was The Collector. So I was just in awe of being around her, because I thought that was an extraordinary picture with she and Terence Stamp. It still remains an incredible film that she made early in her career.

TT: She received an Academy Award nomination for that.

LG: That’s right. She was still extremely beautiful when we made Curtains.

TT: Well, one thing's for certain: that story you just told -- that kind of “Joan Crawford” attitude -- would seem to fit really well with the character of Samantha Sherwood.

LG: Oh, yeah. Very much so. She was someone who clearly is that generation older than all the young actresses that Stryker has brought to the audition. And she really feels she has to fight for something.

Living in this business as long as I have, now I know what that’s like. I understand it better now. When you’re kind of like, “Oh my God, am I too old for this part, and trying to hang on to that youthful beauty, and yet I’m a bit past it?” I think it’s kind of the Sunset Boulevard time when you’re thinking it’s time to face the music and you’re not gonna play the ingénue anymore. You’ve got to move on to the character roles.

I thought that part of Curtains was a really interesting subplot.

TT: Exactly.

Did Eggar strike you as being unhappy making this film?

LG: No...not really. But you never know when you come across working with someone who has had a really sensational, stellar career. This sort of ties into Olivia Hussey too. Because you go, now you’re making what ostensibly could be a ‘B’ horror movie in Canada with a bunch of pretty, young nubile actresses. How does that really make you feel? Are you feeling a bit like Gloria Swanson and thinking, "Is this what I’m reduced to now?"

I never really got that feeling from her…that she wasn’t happy to be there and making the film.

TT: She was called back for some re-shoots, however.

LG: Yes, and she happily came to do them. And happily agreed to be killed by me. (Laughs.) So I win! A win-win situation all the way around. For me, anyway.

TT: Do you remember any infighting between the cast or tension?

LG: Not that I recall. It’s funny now because so many of us have been around for a long time. I laugh when I go to auditions now. It’s all the same women that I was auditioning with when I was an ingénue. I look at them all and I go, “You’re all so talented. Why don’t we just flip a coin? Any one of us could play this part.”

One of the things that’s really hard is to form friendships with actresses who are auditioning in the same category with you, because you’re always vying and competitive with them. And I’ve always tried not to be that way.

Everybody’s got talent and sometimes, you’re going to get the part because you DO look like the director’s ex-wife, and sometimes you’re NOT going to get the part because you look like the director’s ex-wife. It’s a crapshoot.

I’ve literally had lunch with actresses thinking they might be friends with me and that we could continue a relationship after the job has ended. I was sitting in a restaurant once with one actress and I mentioned that I had an audition for something. Literally, she excused herself from the table and I found out later that she went and called her agent to try and get in on it.

This is why there are all these rumors that when you get a group of women together, that there will be backbiting and the cat claws are gonna come out. But some of my very best friends are actresses now and I try to avoid those situations.

That said, I really don’t remember any of that happening on Curtains. There weren’t many ensemble scenes there, anyway. I never felt that there was anybody going, “That bitch! She got the lead! She got the good part! She gets to live to the end and she’s gonna have more screen time than me!” So, no, I didn’t feel any of that when I was filming Curtains.

TT: What’s your favorite scene that you appear in and what’s your favorite moment in the film? Maybe they’re the same one?

LG: There’s a scene where I have a puppet and I’m talking dirty through it.

TT: The “you give great head” scene?

LG: Yeah! (Laughs.) I just like the fact that Patti didn’t take any of it too seriously. Although there IS that scene on the staircase with John where you realize that obviously she wanted the part as much as anybody else. And then by the end of the film, you think - boy, well, she REALLY wanted the role more than anyone else.

And I think, when I watch it again now, the wonderful scene at the table with the camera coming around, is still one of my favorites.

TT: You get properly introduced to the characters with that scene.

LG: Right. And I loved my HAIR in that scene. They did my hair really fabulous with this sort of part, and waves. I had never worn my hair like that. When I see it, I go WOW. That was really spectacular.

TT: Everyone is really pretty in the scene. It’s clear that special attention was paid to how everybody looked and was made up.

LG: Yeah, and making the most of our assets. Which mine, all my career, has always been my hair.

However, Lesleh recently said to me, “Some of us are even wearing our own clothes in the movie!” Where was the costume designer? That’s wild. One of the sweaters I wear was one that my mom made me. That’s in the film. Where was the money? Show me the money! (Laughs.)

TT: They were cutting corners.

You really didn’t get to work at all with Deborah Burgess in Curtains...

LG: No, but she’s remained a friend of mine and we have these great “women parties” that a mutual friend throws. Deborah is always at those parties. We get together and try not to talk about what we’re doing in our professional lives.

TT: That’s cool.

We want to jump back to some of your Shakespeare work for a moment. Shakespearean tragedies are really quite bloody, as were Greek tragedies.

Would you agree there’s a connection between an Elizabethan tragedy from the 1600s and horror movies?

LG: Oh, sure. If you look at Elizabethan audiences, they LOVED that kind of stuff. Back in those days, they had public hangings and public flayings. You look at that age and you realize they lusted for blood. Shakespeare wrote to that, definitely. He wrote to that sort of macabre element of the throngs that came to the Globe theatre, who wanted to see not only lovely, funny stuff, but also sheer bloodlust.

So yeah, I can see the connection. That bloodlust is what fuels horror films.

TT: Of all your stage work, what are your favorite three roles you’ve played?

LG: Well, I've played the nurse in Romeo and Juliet four times.

TT: You like that.

LG: Yeah, I do. That’s the kind of role that when I hit a certain age, I was born to play. I’ve done it with four different companies. Two in California and two here in Toronto.

I still use the nurse’s wonderful, long speech to Juliet and Lady Capulet as my audition monologue. I use it all the time. So that role ranks really high.

I played Maria in Twelfth Night not long ago, which was really great. It was set in New York in the 1930s, so I did it with an accent. It worked really well. It’s amazing how well Shakespeare works with a New York accent. (Laughs.)

TT: And a third one?

LG: Recently, I played the Countess in All’s Well That Ends Well. Such a lovely role. She’s pretty tough, which is good.

Those would be my three favorites at the time. More to come.

TT: Played Lady Macbeth?

LG: No, I haven’t. Not yet.

TT: Would you want to?

LG: Absolutely. It’s a great, great role. One of these days. It’s not over yet. (Laughs.)

TT: Any other Shakespeare roles?

LG: Let's see...I've done Lucetta in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. And besides Maria, I also played Viola in Twelfth Night. I've done Virgilia In Coriolanus, and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew, Ophelia in Hamlet...and oh yes, I played Flute/Thisbe in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Actually, this summer I'm directing some Shakespeare and that’s going to be fun. It’s with a group that’s making Shakespeare accessible to high school children. I get to choose what scenes we do. My theme is “Love Hurts” so I want to do the unconventional love scenes in his work.

TT: Sounds terrific.

You made a few other genre appearances besides Black Christmas and Curtains. Let's talk a bit about those.

Stephen King’s TV miniseries Storm of the Century (1999)?

LG: Well, I played Jane Kingsbury there, one of the residents of Little Tall Island who is killed by the evil Andre Linoge (played by Colm Feore). I believe I'm strangled, which is why I ended up frozen in a snowbank with my mouth wide open in a scream! Yikes!

But that one was fun. We filmed it in Maine. I liked King’s writing a lot. The great part was they made a life-sized version of me, because they didn’t want me to lie in the snow and freeze to death. At the end of the shooting, they asked me if I wanted to take it with me, and now I regret saying no.

I’m not really good with doing body casts. We had to do a full face and body cast.

TT: We can imagine how hard that is.

LG: Oh, yes…especially if you have any kind of slight fear of claustrophobia. I had it done in Toronto.

The face had to be with my mouth open like a scream. It was very uncomfortable. While I was completely encased in the plaster of paris, we were in someone’s garage and they left me. You have straws up your nose and it’s difficult to breathe.

Someone started banging like crazy on the door of this garage. I was terrified and I wanted to get out of there. They had just left me. Really, when you do something like that, there should be someone talking to you and holding your hand. Because if you freak out, the mask cracks and they have to do it over again.

TT: Did it crack?

LG: I was trying to keep calm but I cracked it and I actually split both sides of my mouth because I was trying to talk to them.

So then I had to have it redone in Los Angeles. I had to do the whole process again! But it went like a breeze and I wasn’t scared at all. The second one worked fine, but it really is a scary thing to have done, let me tell you.

TT: Were you able to meet King?

LG: No. I think this was around that time where he had the accident where he was hit by a car.

TT: You appeared in the sci-fi horror miniseries War of the Worlds (1988). What comes to mind?

LG: (Laughs.) I had to say this line that was really hard to say with a straight face. I’m kissing this guy. And he’s clearly an alien. I had to say, “Your lips are so cold…” It was a hard line to deliver without cracking up. That’s what I remember about War of the Worlds!

TT: Good enough!

How about the TV creature feature Bugs (2003)?

LG: Oh, Bugs! That was great. They actually had these huge mechanical bugs. They were operated like little cars. That was very cool.

TT: The series Odyssey 5 was more science fiction, correct?

LG: Yes, it was more science fiction. But the great thing is, it was directed by Peter Weller. He also starred in it. Peter was a fabulous taskmaster. In the olden days in L.A., I had actually screen-tested with him for Buckaroo Banzai. I didn’t get that part.

As a director, he was absolutely precise, and wanted lots and lots of action while you were talking. There were a lot of physical things that you had to marry with the dialogue. It was like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time.

TT: Let's talk a bit about some of your non-horror work, starting with the series Wind at My Back.

LG: I loved that one. I loved that show. Callie Cramp was one of the best-written characters ever. She was such a bitch. She owned a radio station, the newspaper, the hotel. She hated children. I fired Kathryn Greenwood over and over again. Callie thought she was a movie star, so I had the best costumes and the best hair and makeup people.

Some of the writing on that was wonderful. I loved working with those kids. It was too bad that they had to grow up so that we couldn’t keep doing it. That was the best five years. Callie was such a great antagonistic character. I loved her sassy comments about everything.

It’s on twice a day here, every day.

TT: Is that one of the roles you’re most proud of?

LG: Oh, yeah. Definitely. And the one where I looked the best. I just looked fabulous. Like a movie star. I loved that. They did cut my waist-length hair and dyed it red. They actually wanted me to peroxide my hair to make it look like Marilyn Monroe, but I thought that would be hideous. (Laughs.)

TT: Did you miss the long hair?

LG: You know how amputees dream of phantom legs?

TT: Yeah...

LG: Well, I had phantom hair dreams.

TT: You should have just worn a wig.

LG: Well, they didn’t want to wig me. They wanted it to be my own hair.

You know, I’ve remained with Callie Cramp’s hairdo the rest of my life. It’s actually way more fun to be a redhead. Then they know you’re gonna have a temper. (Laughs.)

TT: You’ve got that Maureen O’Hara thing going on?

LG: Exactly! I play a lot of Irish characters now.

TT: Well, you could always do a horror remake of Hunchback of Notre Dame and play Esmeralda.

LG: There you go!

TT: Give us some quick thoughts on Happy Town.

LG: Loved it! The best scripts in the world. Great directors. I thought the special effects were fantastic. That’s a WTF. What happened? I thought I was going to be on that series for a good five years. I was shocked when it was canceled.

TT: Do you think it was too weird for audiences?

LG: I don’t know. I think possibly that because they advertised it as “if you love Twin Peaks,” that might have been detrimental in the long run. They spent millions of dollars on that. We shot the pilot and then we had to replace Dean Winters because he was ill. We replaced him with Steven Weber. We shot sixteen days of re-shoots on the pilot alone before we went into shooting the series.

My favorite, favorite moment in that was getting to foxtrot with Sam Neill. He was just the most glorious person to work with.

But I think Happy Town was sort of buried. You’ve got to give a new series a chance. In Canada, they never even aired the last couple of episodes. I think they led people to believe it would be more horror and the first couple of episodes concentrated more on family drama.

TT: That's unfortunate.

Now, we ask this next question of everyone. Are you a horror fan yourself?

LG: Not of stuff in the last decade. Or maybe even the last couple of decades. I’m a big Hitchcock fan though. And a huge Roman Polanski fan. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) is one of the best ever.

There’s certainly movies that I love, like the old Wolf Man, Dracula, Frankenstein movies. When I was growing up, The Wolf Man (1941) was one of the scariest things to me.

And I did like things such as The Amityville Horror (1979). But the latest ones that are so gruesome, I can’t really go there. Like Saw 12, or whatever.

TT: We don’t care for those either.

LG: I like anything that has haunted houses in it. Even some of David Cronenberg’s films I like.

When I lived in Los Angeles, I actually bought John Carpenter and Adrienne Barbeau’s house. Which is really funny, because I knew Nancy Loomis, and there’s that whole connection there with her and her husband Tommy Lee Wallace.

In my time in L.A., that’s where I lived, on Wonderland Avenue in their house. It’s a cool house. Lovely. I lived there for about four or five years. Then I got a divorce. I was married to the Director of Photography of Strange Brew during that time, Steven Poster.

TT: Tell us about your husband Sean Sullivan.

LG: We met and fell in love while doing a play. It was called Voice of the Prairie.

There’s a very funny story about that play. You get together as actors in a stage company and you do a table read. The first day of rehearsal and the designers talk to you, and you do a table read. Usually, the stage manager is there and when you get to these parts in the play where it says “she screams” or “she hits him on the head” or “they kiss,” the stage manager reads it.

Sean was not originally cast in the play, but the actor who was cast…his agent decided to pull him out of it because it was pilot season in L.A. and he didn’t want him to do another stage play in San Diego. Sean was brought in and for me, it was totally love at first sight.

When we came to the part in the play where it said they kiss, I just hauled off and gave him a BIG wet one right there at the table read.

TT: Nice.

LG: Everyone in the room gasped and went, “My God, you don’t DO that.” But it was sealed for me from the first day.

TT: How long have you two been together now?

LG: Twenty-three years, and married for eighteen.

TT: Congratulations.

LG: Thank you!

Another little interesting sideline is when we did Voice of the Prairie at the Old Globe, Bob Clark saw it and he bought the rights to it. There were only three of us in the play and he took us and actually filmed it. I own a VHS copy of Bob Clark’s version of Voice of the Prairie.

TT: Now that is cool.

LG: He wanted to make a film version of it. And of course, never did.

A year ago, a theatre in San Diego actually asked me to direct the play. I directed it at North Coast Rep in Solana Beach a year ago with three other actors. Sean wrote the original music for it and helped me as the assistant director. We revisited the play and ended up watching the VHS version that Bob had shot, which is amazing to see because it’s like our baby selves when we were first falling in love. We have it on film.

TT: So just to clarify: you’re saying Bob Clark shot it, not as a live performance in front of an audience, but as a filmed stage play, like Robert Altman's Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean?

LG: Right, absolutely. He took us to a theatre in Los Angeles, revamped it and filmed it. He shot it was if it were a real film. It’s very professional. And he did some great editing, as well as tightening and re-writing. It was done over four to five days, and he was able to shoot close-ups and insert shots.

TT: That sounds amazing.

LG: It would be really worth preserving it. He did a beautiful version of the play, and capturing that time in our lives.

We loved revisiting the play. It’ll always be really, really special in our lives and in our hearts. It’s where we fell in love. The stage manager chastised us because the kisses were too long. (Laughs.) We were having this wonderful, romantic love affair on stage when we were performing it. It’s one of the few times on stage where I remember the hairs standing up on the back of my neck in certain moments.

TT: That’s so sweet.

We're wondering...have you ever thought, theoretically, about a sequel to Curtains?

Here's our idea: it's 28 years later. Patti gets released from a mental asylum where she's been rehabilitated. The state has declared her mentally stable (or so they think). And now she’s kind of this older, Geraldine Page-type woman…

LG: (Laughs.) Great, I love it already!

TT: ...And in an attempt to exorcise her emotional demons, Patti decides she's going to put on a stage production of Stryker's original Audra. So she invites a group of six actresses up to her mountain retreat because she’s going to direct the production. But someone wearing a hag mask -- and wielding a now-rusty scythe -- begins killing the starlets, one by one. Is the killer Patti (again?). Think of it as Psycho II meets Stage Door.

We'd call it Audra Returns.

LG: That’s brilliant. I think there’s totally something in that.

There always seems to be a lot of interest in doing remakes or sequels to movies from that era. I like your idea. How amazing would that be?

TT: It would be really terrific.

LG: Would Lesleh be in this sequel?

TT: Well, her character was offed in the first one.

LG: Yeah. But couldn’t she be somebody else?

TT: Ummm...how about Christie’s twin sister out to avenge the death of her sibling nearly three decades later?

LG: The evil twin!

TT: But this has to be a classy grand guignol throwback. It's got to have production value. It shouldn't be one of these shot-on-somebody's-$12K-credit-card projects they do ad nauseam these days.

LG: I love the idea of the actresses vying for the role -- again -- and how far will they go to get the part. Especially when they’re older. That could be scary. (Laughs.) And the fact that Patti ends up wanting to direct it? Fabulous! That’s the story of my life!

TT: One more question about Curtains. Artistically, it’s not Black Christmas. But why do you think this little gem holds peoples’ interest all these years later?

LG: I think that plotline is really interesting. I think having the killer be one of the people you least suspect, is wonderful. The movie is never really directed towards Patti being the killer. You don’t go, “Oh, yeah, clearly from the get go it’s her.” That misdirection works. You don’t expect it to be the standup comic.

A great part is up for grabs. A star-making role. The role of Audra. And how far will someone go to get it. So it’s not necessarily JUST a horror movie. There’s a lot of truth to it. It’s only pushing the envelope that little bit further as to how far someone will go.

The basic plotline in Rosemary’s Baby is like that, if you think about it. The character played by John Cassavetes basically sells his souls to the Devil for a role on Broadway. Same thing.

TT: Right.

Was there a genre role that you were up for and didn’t get or didn’t take?

LG: There was a David Cronenberg film that I read for called Spider (2002) but they cast Lynn Redgrave. They wanted someone named Lynn. It just wasn’t me. I really would have liked to work with Cronenberg.

TT: We don’t blame you. He’s a terrifically talented director.

LG: He is.

Let’s see…it wasn’t a horror film but I had a daylong audition with Terry Gilliam for Brazil. That didn’t happen, but man, was it fun to spend the day at Chateau Marmont with Terry! We were jumping on the bed. It was unbelievable the stuff that was going on. That was worth it. I would have liked to have gotten the part but it was so much fun.

I also screen tested for Atlantic City with Louis Malle. I didn’t get it. But that’s okay. I did get to work with Malle for an audition so that was nice.

TT: Wasn’t Richard Ciupka a camera operator on that film?

LG: Yes, he was. It would have been less than six degrees of separation.

TT: Favorite film actress?

LG: Audrey Hepburn. I’m a huge Audrey fan. And Ingrid Bergman.

TT: Great choices.

What’s on the horizon for you?

LG: Well, I just got a new series, which is called Michael, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

TT: Congrats. Tell us about that.

LG: It’s written, directed and produced by the same people who had the huge success with The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway, and also a Canadian series that was very well-received called Slings and Arrows. I just started shooting that in Ottawa. It’s very exciting because these people are very loyal and they hire the same people over and over again. I feel like I’ve walked through a little, divine portal.

The director is Don McKellar, who’s done a lot of great work in Canadian film. It stars Bob Martin as a psychiatrist and I play one of his patients, who is a crazy cat lady. Typecasting. (Laughs.)

At the same time, I’m doing a production of a play called Brother Andre’s Heart, which is basically Catholicism meets Star Trek. That goes on in July. So I’m working those two things at once.

Oh, I’m also directing the Shakespeare stuff in July as well.

TT: Keeping busy. That’s wonderful.

This is been a blast speaking to you about your career.

LG: I enjoyed myself. What you’re doing with your site is great. Particularly because you like these movies from the same period of time filmmaking that I do. I’ve thoroughly perused it and I’m thinking, “Ooh, those Italian ones. I’ve got to go back and see some of these films!”

TT: Thank you, Lynne!

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