||Brian: My first question is about
survival instincts. It seems like you have had to
fight a lot for yourself in this aggressive, male
dominated business. So, did you go into this
often crazy enterprise with an attitude primed
for survival or did you have to, slowly but
surely, lesson by lesson and project by project,
find it within yourself?
Lynn: I didn't
really know what survival instincts were in the
beginning. I was pretty trusting, and never
thought anyone would take advantage of me. My
biggest problem was never having a really good
agent or manager to help me, show me the ropes,
and guide my career. I did everything alone, and
it's really amazing I accomplished as much as I
What I did begin
to learn in order to survive was how to use my
sexuality to manipulate people and gain the upper
hand. I don't particularly think this is a very
noble thing to do, but I had to rely on my
instincts, and being attractive is a very
powerful weapon. I was very fortunate to have
worked with people like David Durston, George
Romero, and David Cronenberg. They are wonderful,
kind, and very creative people, and they treated
me with decency and respect. I in turn did my
very best for them.
Over the years, I
have still tried to treat people the way I would
like them to treat me. But I see much more
quickly if that person is deserving of my energy.
There's no doubt that this business is very hard
on women. And I was always strong in my belief
that I had a gift to share with people, and that
to this day has always carried me through.
Was there a project - theater or film- that was
your toughest and, therefore, least favorite- and
what valuable lessons did you learn from that?
Also, can you answer the same question(s) for
your favorite project - theater or film?
I think my least favorite project was "Score".
Radley was delightful. The country was beautiful.
My room overlooked the Adriatic Sea. It was
heaven, except for Claire Wilbur. She was indeed
very difficult to work with. From the beginning,
she didn't like me. She had found out that I was
making more money on the film than she was, and
she felt that Radley was giving me all the
close-ups and favoring me in the film - Which, of
course, was not true. She looks fabulous in the
movie and is very funny. The love scenes were
almost impossible. She didn't even want me to
touch her. So I really had to act on that one.
She caused a lot of unnecessary stress and
tension for everyone. What I learned. Make sure
the other leading lady never finds out how much
money you're making.
project was a theatrical production of Tennessee
William's "Summer and Smoke".
I had worked on this play for years and dreamed
of doing it. Miss Alma is a wonderful character,
very funny and heart breaking too. My director
friend, Lester Shane, and I had about $250.00,
and we decided to do this production. With no
money, we rented The Manhattan Theatre Club in
New York, hired a great cast and crew and got
them to work for nothing, and like Judy and
Mickey put on a play. It was pure magic. We were
sold out every night, the show was extended, Al
Pacino and Meryl Streep saw it and I got a
standing ovation every night. It was the most
magical event I have ever been a part of. It was
like it was supposed to happen against all odds.
learned was to really network your project, spend
time getting the right people to attend, so it
can take you to that next level. So much time was
spent on the creative aspect; the business part
was put to the wayside. It is difficult to
remember sometimes that creating something
beautiful isn't enough. You must remember that
you're in a very competitive business. But in
spite of the fact that our production didn't go
to the next level, my heart was fulfilled, and in
this case, that was enough.
Is there a type of theatrical role (Crazy
Southern Belle, Controlling
Matriarch... ) or genre (Shakespearian,
Musical Comedy etc.... ) that speaks to you the
most as an artist? Or do you enjoy all of your
theatrical experiences, for different reasons,
I do enjoy all the roles I have played. It's
funny, but until recently, I really liked my
theatre performances the best, because I felt
they were more artistic. But in the last couple
of years, I've been watching my films and finally
seeing what so many of my fans have told me. I
have been told that not only are my looks quite
appealing, but my subtext in character and
emotion shines through all of my work. That makes
me feel very proud to have contributed to the
horror genre. I was very lucky to have worked
with such great people and have such dynamic
roles that represent me.
I must say though
that my absolute favorite role in theatre was
Alma in "Summer and Smoke".
Although I overcame my shyness later in life, I
had many past experiences to draw on that fit
with this character. And she had such a beautiful
heart and soul - So delicate and vulnerable, and
yet so strong. I loved playing her.
In films I liked
my role in Shivers and The
Crazies the best. In Shivers I got to be
the heroine and then the villain. That was great
fun. The swimming pool scene at the end is my all
time favorite image of myself on camera. She is
sexy and evil at the same time. I actually get
goose bumps when I see myself come up out of the
pool. The Crazies role was
terrific because I really got to act and portray
a character slowly losing her mind. The emotions
of the performance and the underplayed nuances
stand out for me. And of course I love the death
scene, even though I didn't agree with George
when we shot it. He was right. Simplicity and
innocence was the way to go.
I am a music whore - I love everything from punk
rock to insurgent country and back again- and
cabaret is one of my favorite forms of
entertainment. I think so much can be done with
the form (some friends in Chicago, recently, did
an entire show of Prince's music) and my dream is
to direct different cabaret productions, one day.
Who are your favorite songwriters, if any, that
you love to perform and have you done any theme
shows (such as an evening of Weill or Sondheim)?
have done two theme cabarets. One was a review of
all the hit tunes from the Hit Parade, and one
was called "City Lights". It dealt with
songs from different cities. You would be amazed
at how many songs there about different cities.
"Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy", Chicago
Illinois", and "Love in Oxnard"
are a few goodies. The shows were a blast and
they helped me to form my own show which deals
pretty much with music from the 20s, 30s. and
40s. I especially love Jerome Kern and Cole
Porter. I think these songs will last forever.
There's nothing like them, and they always evoke
the most wonderful emotions when you listen to
them. I've only been doing my show for a few
years, but audiences seem to love the trip down
memory lane. I just finished my first CD,
"Something Cool". There are copies
available on my web site www.lynnlowry.com for those interested.
I am crazy about soap operas. My mother got me
hooked at a young age. In fact, my first crush
was on an actress who played a teenage prostitute
named Robin on "Search for
Tomorrow" when I was 5. You have
appeared on a couple of soaps. On the first one,
it seems as if you were the young heroine. What
was your role like on the classic "Another
World"? Were you the female
villain? What was that experience like? You seem
to have only been on it for about a year. Was
that your choice or that frequent malaise known
as the "producer shake up"?
I was actually on 4 soaps. How To Survive
a Marriage, Lovers and Friends,
Another World, and Generations.
My favorite was How To Survive a Marriage
or HTSAM, as we called it. I was
on this show from the beginning to the end which
was I think about a year and a half. We changed
censorship on Soap Operas forever. They finally
gave up and let us do pretty much what we wanted.
I started out as the tramp trying to break up Ken
Kercheval's (Dallas) marriage. Got involved with
a new boyfriend, Brad Davis, on my journey, who
was, by the way, an extremely crazy and yet
sensitive young man. I knew Brad very well. We
were great and intimate friends, and his passing
was very hard. Next I got a job at a bar, and the
bartender was Armand Assante. Armand helped me to
get my first agent here in Los Angeles. His first
day at the soap, he asked me to stay during lunch
and run the scene with him. I'm sure glad I did
that. And I ruined my boss's (F. Murray Abraham)
plan to commit kidnapping and murder. At the end
of the show I was a heroine and married the
doctor, Jim Shannon, who played opposite me in Sugar
Cookies. Small World!
and Friends lasted about a day. It was
produced for NBC but just never took off. I
played a bitchy model, but not for long. Another
World was exciting because it was an
hour long. The car would pick me up at about 6 in
the morning to take me to Brooklyn. But my role
was so-o-o-o-o-o boring. I played the good
sister, Doris, who took care of the crazy sister,
Olive. My lines consisted of "Would you like
some coffee?" and "I'll get my
sister". Wondering around the halls of NBC
in Brooklyn for 12 hours a day was dull to say
the least. But the money was nice. I decided to
leave the show, because I wanted to move to L.A.
It was funny, because when they wrote me off the
show, my lines were that I was finally going home
was shot in L.A. I played a fortune
teller. I tried to make her a modern sexy type,
but they wanted the long skirt and bells. What
can you do? That was the extent of my Soap
career. It was a great learning experience, and
it's very hard work. The first show I had a
script to learn just about every night. But
working with those people was definitely a
There have been beautiful articles on you in
Fangoria Magazine and Femme Fatales that have
focused on your classic genre credits like
I Drink Your Blood
, The Crazies
and They Came From Within.
What have some of your recent genre experiences,
such as working with Donald Farmer, been like?
It was a pleasure working with Donald. I have
seldom met anyone who has as much knowledge of
films as he does. He was very good at casting for
and he pretty much let me do my own thing. All of
my scenes were shot in one day, so that was
challenging. But coming from a stage background,
I was able to do everything for him. I would love
to work with Donald again.
You are truly an inspiration to me. Despite all
the difficulties of a show business career, you
have never, ever given up. If I may say it
without offending you, I believe that you are a
Legend and it has been a true honor to ask you
these questions. In closing, I believe that you
have some upcoming projects that you would like
to fill us in on.
I am very excited that all these wonderful things
have been coming my way. It's like my career has
begun again, and I intend to take full advantage
of that. I just finished a film, "Heaven
Help Me", directed by Mark
Baranowski. It's a poignant love story with a lot
of comedy. Not a horror film, which was indeed
refreshing, although I love horror. I play Mark's
Mother and have an excellent scene with him. I
believe the film is finished and should be
available soon. Dana Carney has just asked me to
star in his next film, "Dust To
Dust". I play a nasty, bad lady in
one of the stories, and two other characters in
the other two. That should be great fun to do
three completely different characters. Dante
Tomaselli has cast me in his next film, "The
Ocean", to be shot in Puerto Rico
in Jan/Feb. I play a jazz singer caught up in the
mystery of the village. Anolis Films in Germany
is talking to me about doing their next feature.
They are the company that is releasing "The
Crazies" in Germany, and they
invited me over this year to help advertise the
film. They were wonderful, and I met so many fans
there. It was such a great experience. I would
love to work with them again. I also am just
about to finish my first CD "Something Cool", filled with
wonderful standards. So I have quite a few
exciting things going on.
I want to thank
you Brian for your last comments in reference to
me. I often forget how powerful those films were,
and that my film persona is so memorable. I am
continually amazed and surprised that I have
lasted all these years. But I am proud of all the
work I've done, and I'm thrilled that so many
fans remember me and enjoy my characters. If
anyone would like to contact me, please go to my
web site www.lynnlowry.com and my e-mail address is
there. I love hearing from fans and will write
them back. It's has been my pleasure answering
your very interesting questions, and I am so
sorry it has taken me so long.