Have they ever said who the original actress in Re-Animator was?

I think I’ve asked Stuart a couple times and he said, “I don’t even remember.” We’re such good friends and we love each other so much. He’s like, “How could I ever remember her, Barbara, after you?” He’s quite sweet about it to me. I wasn’t part of the original casting session so I didn’t even come in the first round. I was brought in the second round when the first gal didn’t work.

Do you think Stuart could get away with a scene like Dr. Hill’s head today in the #MeToo era? Not that anyone’s worried about decapitated heads assaulting women, but still.

I think it was a shocking scene back then. I think he had a lot of trouble in the whole body of the movie getting an R rating for many reason. It was that scene and it was a lot of stuff within the movie. I don’t know if things would be different today. People are certainly more aware of how to proceed and we’re much more cautious about not to put people in compromising positions if you will, or in asking people to do things that they don’t feel comfortable with. At the time that I was in the movie, everybody was completely lovely to me. They wanted it to be more of a joke than anything else, sort of a shocking joke but everybody was quite respectful and kind. I was in on the joke so I think they just wanted to create the first visual pun. That was their intention at the time. I think there was so much comedy in that movie that it arrested a lot of the darker elements that some people have some sort of aversion or they feel some controversy about. I think the humor alleviated a lot of that which I think it also does in the Puppet Master movie. There’s so much humor in Puppet Master and so many horrible and gory and over the top things that happen, but it’s measured a little bit by the amount of comedy in the approach that the filmmakers took to making a Puppet Master re-launch.

Was From Beyond like getting the band back together after Re-Animator?

Yeah, I think we all worked so well together and liked one another. Stuart and Jeff[rey Combs] and myself and Charlie, and also Dennis Paoli who was the co-writer on both movies. Everybody just really got one another. It was kind of like that. Because Re-Animator did so well, that’s why Charlie immediately gave Stuart money to do the next film and said, “If you can repeat what you just did, we’re in business for a long time.” He wanted to have the same people around him that he did in the first film, in addition to our DP which he brought along from Re-Animator, Mac Ahlberg. So it was great because we made From Beyond in another country. It was very special effects heavy and there was a certain camaraderie that we all had. The second movie was a lot easier than the first in a way. I think Re-Animator was a tough shoot and it was a long shoot. Even though I think we shot it in 17 or 18 days, all our days were long because Stuart didn’t know how to stop filming. Every day we went 14, 15 or 16 hours, every day. He just wouldn’t stop so it was an incredibly difficult shoot and we had a much longer shoot for From Beyond.

Since you’ve come back, have you gotten the best roles of your career?

Mm-hmm. Yeah, like We Are Still Here, like the role I played in Sunchoke, also in a movie called Replace and Beyond the Gates. It feels like the roles are a big more multi-layered and more interesting than maybe collectively they’ve been in my past. From Beyond was an incredible role for me, much more really than Re-Animator which was kind of a one note part in a way. I feel like with the exception of Katherine McMichaels in From Beyond, the roles that I have today are more character driven and come from lots of different kinds of places that really maybe an older person can play. I don’t know, part of it’s my age and getting some of these more interesting roles and I also have felt since I was a young person acting in plays in college that I am kind of a character actress, but I don’t think anybody ever saw me as that. So it’s been important to me in the roles that I’ve played more recently that I create something that is entertaining for myself and is entertaining for a viewer and also has perhaps a little bit more depth than people have allowed me to play when I was a younger actor.

Are you on the set of Channel Zero now?

I already did it. I was sworn to secrecy for a few months. I did it a long time ago and they said, “We’re not going to announce you yet. We’re going to announce the main cast and then we’ll announce you closer to the time it’s going to start airing.” So I couldn’t tell anybody.

What kind of character will we see you play?

What can I say without giving anything away? I’m a fan of the show and I watched every season even before Nick Antosca called me and said, “Would you be interested in playing a role?” So I love the show. I love the writing. I love the creepiness of it and every season feels like it has a certain personality and a foundation of something that it’s talking about. This season seems to be kind of about secrets and what do secrets do to us? What I’ve seen from the show is that it really reveals the best and the worst in terms of our fears about ourselves and others. There’s a lot about maybe what we don’t know about people and about secrets that’s revealed in this season that’s really interesting. That’s all I can probably say is just be aware of the secrets that we hold to ourselves and don’t reveal even to those closest to us. Be careful of those.

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