Ask Alexandra – June 2015
1) I was wondering how you got the role in Christine. What actresses ,if any, were you up against?
I do not know any of the actresses who also auditioned for the role of Lee in Christine, except Kelly Preston, who was instead cast in the role of the Roseanne, the beautiful classmate who has an unrequited crush on John Stockwell’s character, Dennis.
I auditioned for the role and I recall meeting John Carpenter in an office on Ventura Blvd in Studio City. I cannot recall the scene I read for him but when they called me back for the final audition, the producer told my agent that I should “do something with my hair”. Make it look better, I guess! (If you know the film, you can see that a lot of attention went into my hair). I, who had no idea how to do anything with my hair but put it in a ponytail, asked my roommate Mary (who used mousse, thereby qualifying her as a hair expert) to teach me how use curlers. She gave me a lesson, but on the morning of my audition she had college exams so I was on my own. I dutifully washed my hair, carefully rolled it in curlers like Mary had showed me, and drove to the valley with them still in (for maximum bounce). I arrived a few minutes early and took out the curlers in my car a couple blocks away from the audition site, hoping for a glorious mane. MAMMA MIA! I unrolled the curlers and my hair was STICK STRAIGHT – I had not gotten the word that we are supposed to dry our hair first and then put the hair in curlers, I had thought it dried whilst it was rolled up. Nope, my hair was still wet and limp as a rag…
I got the part anyway, so I guess the producers did not care that much about hair (they had the good sense to know that is what on set hair stylists are for). John Carpenter said he chose me as the lead female in Christine because I had an innocent, girl-next-door quality. Yep, so innocent I knew nothing about how to primp!
I still agonize over my hair, but I do know how to curl it, straighten it, mousse it and even dye it. I have come a long way from that 19 year old I was 33 years ago!
Thanks for writing.
2) How often do you get asked about “American Flyers”? Have to say… A favorite of mine!! Your character “Becky” reminds me of my High School sweetheart…probably why it’s one of my favorites
XOXO …keep up the great work
I am glad you like American Flyers. I enjoyed making that movie very much and it has help up well the last 30 years. I do not get asked about that movie a lot, although when I was doing triathlons 1997-2000 that was the favorite movie of many athletes I met.
Did you girlfriend have that blonde streak in her hair? The hair stylist and I had planned on a purple streak, but when we had bleached my hair before applying the purple dye, we liked the look of the blonde instead so we stopped there.
Since Becky was not a lot like me back then (I am more like her now interestingly, as I do not take myself so seriously now. I was very earnest then.), I modeled her on a woman who was in my first acting class. It was with David Mann in New York City, and this woman Georgianne fascinated me because she had a very innocent, positive energy and she seemed like she inhaled life. I do not think I ever had a conversation with her but I thought she had a very unique persona. Becky was also inspired by my childhood friend and neighbor Rita, who was very creative and had a hippy sensibility.
I had so much fun shooting American Flyers. I also met 3 very important friends in my life from that movie – Kate Sullivan who was on the catering team and who is one of my closest friends; Jim Dunlap, who was in the accounting department and who now works on the biggest films out there, who is also one of my dearest friends; and Daniel Sladek, who cofounded Young Artists United with me in 1985 and who was also my manager for many years.
Thank you for your letter.