Talking Five With Horror Icon Dee Wallace Stone by Owen Keehnen

Kansas born Dee Wallace Stone has been a staple of the horror & sci-fi genres for over three decades. Her first film role was as Nettie in the original 'The Stepford Wives' (1975). Since then she has appeared in numerous horror and sci-fi movies including the original 'The Hills Have Eyes' (1977), 'The Howling' (1981), 'Cujo' (1983), 'Critters' (1986), 'Boo' (2005), 'I'm Dangerous Tonight' (1990),'Scar' (2005), 'Alligator II: The Mutation' (1991), 'The Lock Ness Monster' (2005), 'Popcorn' (1991), 'Black Circle Boys' (1997), 'Voodoo Moon' (2005), 'Dead End Road' (2004), 'Dead Canaries' (2003), 'Killer Instinct' (2000),'Prophet of Evil' (1993), 'Temptress' (1994), as well as that granddaddy of all fantasy 'ET the Extra-Terrestrial' (1982). And this lady isn't slowing down anytime soon. She even has a slew of new movies coming out 'Bone Dry' (2006), 'Abominable' (2006), 'The Plague' (2006), among others. This warm and talented actress is one of the true icons of the field. Recently she was nice enough to give me five minutes of her time for a quick Q&A session.


  Hi Ms. Stone, can you start us off at with a visual and describe the room where you are answering the questions?

Actually, I'm sitting outside on my patio listening to all the birds sing.

First off I want to hear about your work as Nora in the upcoming film 'The Plague' with James Van Der Beek. Can you give us a teaser that will make it irresistible to movie fans?

A doctor goes to great lengths to heal her patient.

Oh, and I also want to hear about your work as Joanne in the upcoming thriller 'BoneDry' from director/writer Brett A. Hart.

A great scene. Great character

It must be so amazing to have been a central figure in 'ET'. Did you have any idea when you were filming that you were involved in the creation of a classic?

I knew the script was amazing when I read it. But as Blake Edwards said, "The audience makes the hit."

That's got to be such an amazing kick as an actress and just as a person I suppose to be in basically 'The Wizard of Oz' for a whole new generation.

And for those to come.

Early in your career you starred as Lynne Wood in one of my very favorite horror movies the original version of 'The Hills Have Eyes' (1977). Do you have a favorite memory from filming that classic?

Wes Craven. I loved him. Quiet and strong. I'd love to work with him again.

Were you at all approached about the sequel last year?

No--we approached them.

Did you happen to see it and if so what did you think?

Not yet.

Something else I find fascinating is that your first movie role was in the original 'The Stepford Wives' (1975). Do you think that sort of helped set the pace for a notable horror-sci-fi future?

Nope. It was a fluke for a new kid from Kansas.

Another one of my very favorites of your dozens of films is Joe Dante's excellent 'The Howling' (1981). What is your predominant memory of filming that classic?

Being with Chris, my fianc'e at the time and then husband of 18 years. It was a joint adventure!

Did 'Cujo' change your opinion of canines for the better or for the worse? What was that St. Bernard really like?

No. There were five and they were beautiful and well trained. I am a dog's best friend.

Something you have a unique and vast experience of working with is the use of on-set vs. CG effects - as an actress which do you prefer - getting messy or getting real?

Always real. Whether it's in front of you or not, your job is to make it real.

You must get offered so many roles - what are the primary determining factors when you choose a part?

If the character has heart--dispensing "info" doesn't rock my boat.

You've worked with amazing directors in your fantasy and horror film career --- Spielberg (ET), Robert Zemeckis (The Frighteners), Wes Craven (The Hills Have Eyes), and Joe Dante (The Howling) to name but a few. What do you think are the primary characteristics of the finest directors you've had the opportunity to work with?

Peter Jackson did 'The Frighteners'. They all have their own distinct ideas and cast people perfect for the roles. Trust them.

As someone who has worked so frequently in those genres as well do you have a predominant memory of being the most frightened on a set?

Definitely 'The Howling'. A gun went off by mistake. No one was hurt but I was a wreck for three hours.

You've also done several of the horror-sci-fi conventions...what is the most common question fans and admirers seem to ask?

Was the dog in Cujo really mean?

Do you have any other projects in the offing that you would like to mention to the readers?

Sons & Daughters--my series. I'm in the last episode of Bones. Abominable, Boo -- lots coming out.

Okay, we're pulling the RV into the Dee Wallace Stone Drive In. What three horror movies are going to be featured on the triple bill and what goodies are they go to be serving up at the concession stand?

Whatever latest horror rides just came out on DVD, popcorn & juice squeezes.

What makes you go psycho in real life?

My daughter's drama. People who aren't responsible.

What scares you in real life?

Being alone.