|Brian: What were your first performance
inspirations? - Miss Piggy in 'The
Muppets Take Manhattan' , A young
Natalie Portman kicking butt in 'The
Professional' - Your local tap dance
instructor and her annual 'Welcome to
Nicole: My mother
took me to see a production of 'Annie Get
Your Gun' when I was five, and I was
hooked It was only a high school production, but
it was just as magical as if it were a Broadway
show to a five year old girl. After that my
mother carted me around to see every bit of
theater we could find in our quiet corner of
Did growing up in a mortuary prepare you for the
twisted humor of films like 'Scarecrow
Slayer' and 'Scorpions!'?
(Or do you think it would be more quaintly ironic
if all you got to perform in were 'Little Women'
Growing up in a mortuary isn't all that weird,
since it's all you really know. It's when you
stop living in the mortuary that you realize how
different it is to not have large groups of
people, often strangers, crying next to a corpse
in your living room on a nearly weekly basis. -
The environment was bound to have an effect
though. In retrospect I suppose it is a little
weird to have a favorite casket as a child. The
mortuary had a whole showroom of caskets to
select from - and I had a favorite. It was a
shiny pink casket with chrome handles and a
crushed velvet interior. It was an absolute
Cadillac among caskets - and I loved that thing.
Then one day, it was gone. I cried and cried;
you\rquote d think I'd lost my puppy or
something. - Living that way does instill a quiet
sense of irony about everything though. That can
be helpful in the film business, whether you're
making a horror film or Shakespeare. The fact is
it's kind of a crappy business, full of empty
promises and serious disappointments. If you want
to hang in with it you either become hard, jaded,
and selfish (diva-like) or you learn to stand
back, find the irony and laugh at it.
You have performed in a wide variety of stage
productions everything from musicals ('Bye
Bye Birdie' - as Kim, I am assuming,
doing your young Ann Margret thing) to
traditional fare ('The Glass Menagerie')
to more stylized productions ('The Adding
Machine'). Do you have a favorite style
of theatre to perform (classical - comedy?) and
what has been your favorite theatrical role thus
I think my strength is found in more dramatic
material. In spite of having the lead in 'Bye
Bye Birdie' theater play that I was in
when I was twelve, called 'Tales of the
Great North Woods' It was a corny, but
rather sweet play. I was Little Feather a Native
American girl who communed with the forest
creatures and said unlikely things like "I
am Little Feather, the FIRST girl, AND the first
friend to all the forest animals." The part
is still special to me because I was traveling
with the show for a whole summer, and it was one
of my first acting gigs.
Have you found it difficult to move from theater
to film? I know in film you have to be much more
subtle than on the stage.
Nicole: I prefer working in film because it is
"smaller" more subtle. I'm not one of
those flamboyant theatrical types. I don't mean
that as a knock at all; it's just that on stage
you really need to be more of an extrovert. You
have to be the sort of person who sucks their
energy from the audience and transforms that into
the performance. - I think film offers introverts
a place to perform. When I say I'm an introvert,
I don't mean that I'm some wilting daisy. It's
just a matter of where you get your energy.
Introverts need time alone to recharge and get
their energy and extroverts can just take it from
other people. Film offers a lot of moments of
down time between scenes that allow for this sort
You ferociously battled the titular straw man in 'Scarecrow
Slayer'. I have a feeling that the cold
filming nights were your worst enemy on-set enemy
come from the Midwest, so I know cold. The thing
is, we don't run around in it half naked. The
part demanded that I do just exactly that, and I
was up for it - but it was cold and windy. The
rest of the crew were bundled up in layer upon
layer like they were involved in the siege of
Stalingrad while I was sporting a halter top that
said "Hottie." As an actor you have a
choice to bitch and moan about it or suck it up
and, as I said before, find the irony in it and
You got to do the dance of worship around the
great Tony Todd on 'Scarecrow Slayer'.
(That bloody hospital gurney scene rocked!) Do
you have any specific memories about working with
the amazing Heir Todd?
My first impression of Tony Todd was how enormous
his hands were. My hand was completely lost in
his when he shook it. He's just a big guy, but
it's easy to lose sight of that on screen because
he's in proportion in everyway - so it's not like
he looks freakish! He's just BIG! You can get
some idea of how big he is if you look at the
scene where he is shooting the lever-action rifle
at the off screen Scarecrow - the gun looks like
a toy in his hands.- The thing is, in spite of
his size, and that great deep voice, he's not at
all imposing in person. He exudes a certain
quiet, centeredness that makes it very pleasant
to be around him. On screen he comes across as so
desperately intense that you would never suspect
that he is really quite at ease off screen. -It
was a pleasure and a privilege to work with him.
I'm only sorry that our scenes were limited to
what they were.
Brian: You got to "blaze with glory" with an
awesome flame thrower in 'Scarecrow
Slayer'. Are there any other weapons you
are just dying to use onscreen?
Nicole: It's funny. They referred to the rocket launcher
at the end as some sort of Russian rocket
launcher that fired incendiary explosives. They
called it a "Bumblebee" or something.
The art department was on a limited budget so
they just used a spent U.S. Army LAAW rocket
tube, which they could get free, to simulate the
thing. My father was rather proud of that scene,
because he used LAAW rockets when he was a Green
Beret in Vietnam. - I would love to use any
weapon in an historical film, especially a
western. It would also be fun to shoot a gatling
gun like the one Arnold Schwarzenegger uses in
'Terminator 2' - now that would be fun!
Can you tell us a little about the movie 'Scorpions!'
and the character that you played in that fun
'Scorpions!' was a film that was never
released. I've never seen more than a few minutes
of footage myself. I was chased through the
desert by your average fifty foot long Emperor
Scorpion. This scorpion was in desperate need of
the kind of attitude adjustment that I gave the
Scarecrow but it wasn't to be.
played a supporting role in the comedy '50
Ways To Leave Your Lover' with Poppy
Montgomery and Tori Spelling among others. Do you
have any crazy-cool memories about working on
I had a very small role in that picture, since it
was cut down to about one line. If you watch the
film, I'm the drunken girl named Lucy pawing at
Paul Schneider as he arrives at the party. I
didn't have a lot of interaction with Poppy
Montgomery, Jennifer Westfeldt or Tori Spelling,
but I seem to recall that they were instrumental
in making sure we had a useable toilet on set
after the enormous cast/crew managed plug the
three toilets in the house in which we were
shooting. I guess some calls were made and a
porta-potty showed-up at their insistence. I
suppose that says something about them! They
weren't THAT particular, they, like the rest of
us, just didn't want to have to go in the bushes!
You see! Movies are really not that glamorous to
You worked with horror genre veteran Casper Van
Dien and Sherilyn Fenn in 'Officer Down'.
Do you have any pertinent recollections about
working with them and/or on that cops taking law
into their own hands thriller in general?
I was happy to be in this movie of the week for
Lifetime network. Again, it was a small role but
it was the one that got me my SAG card. If you
don't blink you can see me delivering a package
(and a line) to Sherilyn Fenn. - Sherilyn Fenn
was great to me. She was very friendly and helped
me hitch-up my ill-fitting uniform pants. Again,
this was a show that was operating on a limited
budget, so they were re-cycling/sharing costumes.
The only cop uniform that came close to fitting
me was the one Casper Van Dien wore, and it was
still QUITE big on me. In between takes Sherilyn
would help put me back together. I suppose a
little gaffers' tape might have done the trick,
but Sherilyn was a great help.
Lastly, any future plans or words of wisdom (IE:
Don't battle a nasty creature from hell in just
your shorts and a friend's tiny tank top) that
you'd like to leave us with? And - thanks for
doing this. It's been beyond keen!
If you watch 'Scarecrow Slayer'
you'll notice that the rocket launcher is used in
several scenes, but I am the only one who is able
to actually make it fire. I suspect this is
because my character, Mary Anderson, was the only
one who bothered to read the instructions which
are clearly marked on the side of every M72 Light
Anti-Armor Weapon. I just think that's important.
In fact, if this film has any theme to it
whatsoever, it's probably exactly that - always
read the instructions before using an anti-tank
And to think - I didn't catch that on my first
viewing! Oh well, I better check it out again and
really pay attention this time! - Thanks again,
Nicole! You rule!