A WILD CHILD ON ELM STREET: JSU GARCIA by Greg Tiderington

Millions of you will remember this guy as he played the bad ass teen Rod Lane in the Wes Craven blockbuster slasher flick 'A Nightmare On Elm Street' in which he loved to party, cause trouble and have a great romp with his girlfriend Tina whom has been having horrible nightmares cause by Freddy Krueger and became a suspect when she got killed off by Krueger. This film was a breakthrough for him to get other work as he even acted in many non-horror films such as 'Gotcha!', the Goldie Hawn classic 'Wildcats', 'Slaves of New York' and 'Predator 2'
He carried on acting in low budget horror films such as 'Candyman 3: Day of the Dead', 'Teacher's Pet' and 'Undocumented'.
I did a phone interview with him and was very pleasant and down to earth while discussing his horror films career with him. You can check his official site at: www.jsugarcia.com


 

At what age did you see yourself as an entertainer?

I was like listening to Dean Martin music I was 7 or 8. With those 45 record player boom boxes. The speakers and record player would pop out.

Did you see yourself acting in horror films?

Yes. I knew what I wanted I knew how to get there. I’m a big believer in prayer and I always asked God for what I wanted, and most of the time I got it.

Was 'A Nightmare On Elm Street' your first horror flick?

It was my first flick. It was Johnny Depp’s first film too.

What was it like reading for the part of Rod Lane?

It was great. Rod Lane was just a cocky one dimensional character. He liked to get laid and party. My hero was like John Travolta I liked 'Welcome Back, Kotter' so I tried to be like that.

What was your reaction when you won the part for it?

I was gonna get into show business. I had done Fame the TV show and I was gonna quit after that so I was excited about getting the role, it kinda proved to me I could stay and get going. It gave me hope.

What was it like being on set doing the film?

It was great in retrospect, you can make up stuff in your head. The revolving room. Today it was a digital thing but then it was a real thing they had a bathtub full of water. I just remember it was 1984 I had a girlfriend. The olympics were in town. We were shooting in a studio - the Desi Arnaz studio.


Tell me your memorable experiences that you really enjoyed doing in this flick?

Probably being under the covers with Amanda I always loved her. I thought she was a beautiful person. She was was Kevin Costner’s girlfriend in 'Silverado'.


What was the most struggling scene to do?

The jail being hanged by fishwire. You’re given a vest and fishwire straps being hung on fishwire. If you weigh over 100 pounds it’spainful on your groin.


What was it like doing the bedroom scene when you were freaking out with Amanda Wyss getting slaughtered in her nightmare?

It was good. I gotta give credit to the stunt guy getting slammed. He did the work and I did the acting. They gave me hairspray to hold my hair down.

Who did you really enjoy working with the most in the film?

Wes Craven. He didn’t act he was the director. Him and I played racket ball.

I understood Johnny Depp was considered difficult to work with in future projects like in '21 Jump Street'. What was he like being on set with this one since it was his first gig?

Not true. Bullshit. Johnny’s a pretty nice. He’s a good guy. Not his M.O. He was kind of  aloof, into himself and women. He’s not a bad guy he’s never given me attitude. He wanted to be a movie star not a TV star. TV can be repetitive and monotonous.

What was Robert Englund like?

Great guy. Funny. Talked a lot he was pretty famous cause he was doing 'V'.


Did you see the premiere and what was the feedback from fans like towards you?

Nobody knew it and wasn’t famous back then until the sequels. And then I did 'Gotcha' and others. At the time I didn’t get feedback. Cause there was no internet I didn’t have a fanmail setup. I just had an agent.

Were you approached by other horror film directors due to your role as Rod?

Not at all. New Line Cinema didn’t approach me at all.

Tell us about your work as Anthony in 'Vampire in Brooklyn'?

It was a dark comedy. With great comedians. Eddie Murphy was my favorite. Wes Craven got me that part. I worked with Angela Bassett. She was great. Kadeem Hardison was great too.


I remember seeing you as David in 'Candyman 3: Day of the Dead'. How did you enjoy working on this film?

'Candyman 3' was not my favorite. However 'Candyman 1' was amazing. Tony Todd’s THE BEST. I loved Tony. Candyman 3 was no match for 'Candyman 1'. Todd is still great though.


What was it like working opposite of Donna D'Errico and Tony Todd?

She’s alright. Tony’s great. What’s interesting is being in an intimate scene with someone in a film. You get to know each other pretty quick and most people become friends after that. But I’ve not seen her since.

What was the scene like when you were taken off in hooks by the 'Candyman'?

Probably the best scene was with the bee handler and I got to check the queen bee in the hives. I got stung by one.


Which scene did you cherish doing the most in the film?

Let me put it to you this way. 'Candyman' is not like 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'.

I really want to hear about 'Teacher's Pet'. What role did you play in this one?

That was fun. I loved the one. I loved working with the actress. She was my favorite actress. Jody Lynn O’Keefe. That WAS A COOL MOVIE to work on. I loved her. Cool movie.

What was the shooting like in this one? Anything you wish to tell us about the film and how you felt about performing in it?

I had a hard time kind of. I had to treat her like crap cause she was a psycho in the movie but in real life she was a sweetheart.


A film that seems to grab my attention is 'Undocumented'. What was it like doing that one?

I can’t stand that movie. That only person I loved in that movie was Peter Stormare. It was not a good horror film. It was pretty brutal cause we were killing Mexicans it was cruel to my Mexican brothers.


What was your role like in this one?

I wore a mask that’s why I hated it. The actor’s ego and vanity is to show his face and body and had to cover my face and body.

How did you feel about your performance?

It’s horrible. My heart goes out to Frankenstein, Freddy Krueger all the guys that had to hide their face. But I assume that’s what had to make Freddy Krueger famous.


Now here's some fun stuff: What are your favorite horror films?

'Shutter Island' was pretty scary, but that was more of a thriller. 'The Exorcist' is by far the best movie, and when I say it’s the best – it’s one I can’t watch anymore because it gives me the creeps. I met Linda Blair several times. It has an aura of hide under my bed. 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' in 1974. That was pretty messed up. 'Last House on the Left' in 1972.


If you were a scream king for a day whether he was alive or dead who would he be?

I wanna be me. Rod Lane.

What show were you in that you cherish to this very day?

'Spiritual Warriors'. It just changed everything for me I became producer, a director.


What show were you in that you weren't proud of and you'd like to change?

I would change 'Undocumented'. I’d change a whole lot. Movies are like bastard children that you must love regardless. So you don’t fall into regrets. So you have to be a good parent - not all Shakespeare’s work is great. There’s some stuff you never hear of. Not all his work is Romeo and Juliet. You have to embrace it – these are my children. Movies are aspects of yourself spread out in cinema.


What are your ambitions in life?

To take care of my best friend, John-Roger

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Forgiveness