Owen: Did you always set out to be an
actress or did you career sort of happen because
of your beauty?
always wanted to be an actress. When I was
5 yrs. old, I used to entertain my friends in the
neighborhood doing comedy bits like riding my
bike off the front porch. Ouch! But
it got a laugh. I was involved in
performing with music as well. I began playing
the trumpet (my Dad's instrument) when I was
6 and won all kinds of medals playing in band and
doing solo competition. As a matter of
fact, my beauty did not come into play until much
later. I never felt as a child and all the
way through high school that I was very
pretty. Unique looking, yes -- but a real
beauty, never. My idea of that was the
big-busted cheerleader with the football player
boyfriend. I so desperately wanted to be
popular, that I turned again to my acting and
focused my shyness into developing an on-stage
energy. The funny thing is that many years
later, I found out that I was popular, but just
didn't know it. Oh what we do to ourselves
acted through high school, won a scholarship for
speech and drama at the University of Georgia,
worked summer stock with John Belushi when I was
17, and moved to New York to pursue my
dream. At about that time, I figured I was
a pretty good lookin' gal.
I love that so much of
your wonderful entertainment experience
was captured in the 2003 short 'The Cult
Film Legacy of Lynn Lowry'. How
did that project come about?
The 2003 short was a very nice surprise, and we
shot the interview on my birthday. David
Gregory from Blue Underground came to my home
with crew and make-up people to interview
me. I remember thinking the night before
that I really didn't have a lot of memories of The
Crazies, and I really couldn't
understand why that was. But after giving
it some thought, I realized that it was my role
that kept me from remembering. The
character was so out of touch with reality, and
at the time I was pretty much a method
actor, that I didn't involve myself with other
aspects of the shoot. But to my relief, David had
many questions that covered my whole career, and
it was a lot of fun to take that trip down memory
lane, and then of course I remembered more than I
thought I would. I was very pleased with
the final product. David borrowed all my
pictures and music videos and put together a
really excellent film.
You have worked with so many wonderful directors
--- what was it like to work with George Romero
on the "there's something in the water"
epic 'The Crazies' from 1973?
It was such a treat working with George. He
is wonderful, supportive, and a very kind man,
who just happens to be a genius as
well. I was cast in the role of
Kathy. One of the most difficult roles I've
ever had to play. There was a very delicate
line in slowly establishing her insanity, without
giving too much away too soon. George is a
master in helping an actor do this. I feel
very lucky to have worked with someone as
talented as he is, and we've been in touch about
doing another project together.
most difficult scene was the "rape"
scene with my Father. This had to be
handled just right. It was a disturbing
scene for myself and Richard Liberty to do.
The scene had a lot of dimensions. Kathy at
one point seems to be really involved in the sex,
then almost cruel, and then fighting to get
away. George did a great job with
this. I've had a lot of fans tell me that
the scene really bothered them, and that is
exactly what it's supposed to do. George
and I only disagreed about my death scene.
I wanted to ham it up and George wanted it pure
and simple. Thank God, I listened to the
director. It is very powerful in its
simplicity. I loved working with George and
am looking forward to doing it again
So what is your overriding memory of working with
David Cronenberg on one of my favorites 70s
horror flicks 'They Came From Within'
(1976) (aka 'Shivers') as Nurse
Everyone always asks me what it was like working
with David Cronenberg. I think people
expect me to reveal some exotic, strange behavior
that he possessed, since his films are so
bizarre. Well, I hate to disappoint, but
when I worked with David, he was pretty
much "The boy next door".
Hes just "as sweet as apple pie",
as the saying goes. Very easy to work with,
he pretty much let me do my thing. This was
the beginning for him, and he had abundant energy
and creativity. Very exciting to have been
a part of the first "body horror" film
was a story that David liked to beat up on his
actresses. Well that was only if they
asked, because they were having trouble showing
emotion. Once he teased me by asking me if
I wanted him to slap me and help me cry. I
replied, "No David, I can act. In
the scene where I stab the attacker in the arm
with a fork, the close-up was David's arm.
I got so excited doing the shot I missed the
padding on his arm and stuck the fork right into
his shoulder. He said Ouch" and
then" no big deal I don't know,
based on some of his later films, maybe he liked
it. I'm just kidding.
wasn't supposed to be in the swimming pool scene
at the end of the film. After I was rapped
and sent back to New York, David and Ivan Reitman
realized that I was really the only person who
should give Paul Hampton the parasite. I
loved doing that scene. It is evil and
sensual. I worked with Barbara Steele that
one night, and she was a great lady. We
were very cold, and the producer gave us a
brandy to drink to keep us warm. So I
snuggled under blankets, with brandy and Barbara
Steele. Interesting to say the least.
You were also in 'I Drink Your Blood'
(1971) for Durston in which you play a deaf
mute cult hippie who hacks off an old lady's
hand. Very memorable. And yet you
weren't billed in the film, what's the reason for
Well, I think the reason was when David
cast me in the film there were no other roles
available, but he loved me so much, loved my look
so much he just had to have me in the movie so he
made up the part of this hippie. I was never
actually written into the script and I believe
what happened when they did the credits I simply
was not listed as a cast member. So I was
overlooked by the people who did the credits
because they didnt know I was in the movie
I must must must know what it was like
to work for the soft-core guru Radley Metzer
when you did that erotic Mediterranean romp
'Score'. Was the man and
the set a swinging experience as well?
He was just really an elegant gentleman. I got to
know him quite well and I dont know if I
have actually told anyone this, but we dated for
a while after the film was over. He wanted me to
go on and be in a number of his other movies but
they were going to be rather pornographic and I
didnt really want to do that. But as far as
the kind of movies he did and the kind of person
he was, you would never think he was the same
So the films were scheduled and set up in a much
more conventional manner?
We shot it in Yugoslavia and the script was
actually from an off-Broadway comedy and in that
production Sylvester Stallone actually played the
role of the telephone repairman, but Radley
didnt feel he was right so he didnt
cast him in the film. I looked at it as simply a
comedy. The sex stuff was just part of the
character I played who falls in love with Elvira
in the film and by the way the two of us
actually hated each other. It was really
difficult working with her under those
circumstances. She passed away last year. Of
course Im older now so I understand things
better, but looking back she was older and
jealous that Radley was giving me all the
close-ups and attention.
had the no idea the movie would receive an X
rating. I was told the sex was all going to
be simulated. I wasnt even on the set the
day that Cal (Calvin Culver) and Jerry Grant were
filming their scene and really doing it. My scene
was nothing like that with Claire (Wilbur), which
was very simulated. She didnt even want me
to touch her and kept a Kleenex over her pubic
area so I wouldnt even bump into it!
of my favorites of your films is the small gem 'Sugar
Cookies' in which you play both Alta Lee
and Julie Kent, a porn star actress and a young
I hated that wig!
The cast included Mary Woronov, Ondine, Monique
van Vooren, and George Shannon. With a cast
like that there have to be stories. What is
your favorite one from that shoot?
Lynn: The only
real memories I have of that movie are being
totally naked with Mary Woronov. The role I
played is very much in love with a married
character and because it was an acting experience
I tried to make it a very real experience. Mary
was wonderful to work with. The only real memory
I have of that movie is the first time
youre nude the crew is agog but after that
you become more a prop they need to step over to
get to the lights and such.
You have a very memorable role as
Ruthie in Paul Schrader's 'Cat People'.
How did his directing technique differ and what
was that experience like for you?
Paul Schrader was very impatient, demanding, and
threw a whole lot at you right up front and
expected you to retain everything. The other
directors I worked with let me develop my own
character and work that way. He is very much more
demanding in that you had to turn your head a
certain way it was a very technical
experience. It seemed people on the set were sort
of insensitive as to whether Id get hurt or
not. I had to fall down those stairs about
twenty-five times. First of all we couldnt
get the cat paw to work so finally a crew member
put his hand in a cat paw and reached out from
under the bed to scratch me so I kept having to
fall on my knee again and again and again until
they could get that technical aspect to work
correctly. Then when I fall down the stairs I was
supposed to turn over and my bra was supposed to
pop open because Paul Schrader had to have a tit
shot of everyone in the movie. But when I fell I
kept having a problem with the bra popping open
so they had to do it again and again so he could
get the tit shot.Hes not my favorite
director of those Ive worked with, but
So what film is the most asked about and what do
people usually want to know?
Lynn: They want to
know what it was like to work with George Romero
and David Cronenberg. And they always comment
about the rape scenes and the death scene in
You have done some pretty outrageous things on
screen in your film career. Were you ever
asked to film something
too objectionable or too violent
and you refused?
Lynn: When Lloyd
Kaufman first came to me and asked me to do
Sugar Cookies I
refused because it was too graphic. I didnt
want to show everything. But they agreed to do
the nudity, but not frontal nudity from the waist
down. Other than that I dont think
Ive been offered anything I didnt
want to do. I could always find some value in
With all that on your resume have you ever
actually been scared on a movie set?
only time I was really scared was on Cat
People when I was afraid I was
going to get hurt. Also when we were doing I
Drink Your Blood the majority of
cast and crew were stoned on grass or acid. I
took sunshine acid for the first time and that
was pretty scary. When people ask about that role
I say I was a mute hippie on acid with rabies.
So with all the added attention on horror
nowadays do you have some projects pending?
Do you get a lot of film offers that tempt you?
A lot of things have been happening for me in the
past two years. Its been very exciting.
Every since the interview came out on the DVD of
The Crazies and on
the DVD of I Drink Your Blood;
and my website is up (www.lynnlowry.com) so people have been able
to find and contact me. If Id had any idea
people wanted to contact me I would have done
this much earlier, but I had no idea I had this
kind of cult status. This year Ive done a
film called Heaven Help Me
that Mark Baranowski directed and thats a
comedy, so its a little different. And then
I am also going to be in Dante Tomasellis
new film The Ocean.
This is a Renaissance, congratulations. So Lynn
--- Zombies, Vampires, Aliens, Werewolves,
Creatures, Psychos, Mummies, Witches -- which one
does it for you and why?
Lynn: The thing
that scares me is I read a short story called
The Whole Town is Sleeping
by Ray Bradbury and I actually took the last 10
minutes of this story and turned it into a one
woman show. Its about a woman walking home
who thinks someone is following her. And in the
town she lives in there have been about four
murders committed by a serial killer. So the
whole thing is a very frantic piece with her
running and trying to get her keys n the door,
etc. And once shes inside and thinks
shes safe she realizes theres someone
inside with her.
Lynn: This was the
most terrifying piece Ive ever done and it
was on stage and the audience was just petrified.
So I have to say that real things, real horror
are the things I find the scariest.
Anything else pending for you?
Lynn: I do have a
movie I wrote in the 80s horror genre called
Pajama Party Horror
and Im looking for people who might be
interested in doing it. And if anyone is
interested just go to my website and my email
address s right there.
Thanks so much Lynn, and al the best to you both
in life and with all these exciting projects you