I had the absolute HONOR of speaking with “E.T.” star Dee Wallace, about her legacy in the Entertainment Industry, and her appearance at Monster Mania.
Q: When did you know you wanted to be an actor professionally?
Oh my goodness. I knew when I was in the womb. ::laughs:: My mother was a beautiful, local actress in Kansas. Dad was gifted in the arts..my grandmother was an artist. It was in my genes. I had dramatic lessons and ballet lessons when I was young. I performed in ballet companies as I got older. My ballet teacher set me aside and said “You’re never going to be great..focus on something else.” That something else was acting. The rest is history..a Hollywood story.
Q: What was it like working with Spielberg on ET?
That’s like asking what it’s like working with a genius. Steve knew EXACTLY what he wanted. He allowed us to bring in our ideas and be collaborative. Even the kids were encouraged to bring in their own ideas. I knew when I read that script that it was absolutely going to change the world. I immediately called my agent, and begged to be in the movie.
Q: Was it hard working with younger actors?
No,not at all. We were like a big family. We were on set at 7am, and broke at 7pm every evening. Steven wanted to shoot in sequence for them. It was as humane as a film shoot can go. “E.T.” was a film where every element perfectly aligned at the right time.
Q: You played Mrs Strode in Rob Zombie’s “Halloween.” What was the atmosphere on set?
I absolutely ADORE Rob. Brilliant and talented. He really cares about the people he works with. He encouraged us to bring our own ideas as well. He’s an actors director.
Q: How does it feel to be a part of the legacy that is “Halloween?”
It was such a great experience. Horror fans are the most loyal, sweetest, giving fans in the world. So grateful.
Q: What was it like playing a villain in “Lords of Salem?”
Ya know, I’m VERY grateful for all the mother roles, and loving parts I’ve had. But man, when I can sink my teeth into a killer, or drug dealer, or psycho bitch, I love it! ::laughs:: I love taking challenges, and that was a real challenge for me. The crew that we worked with were English, and were more strict. I thought it turned out great!
Q: What is your favorite horror film?
“Cujo.” I think I went as far as I could go in that movie. I watch it now, and I wouldn’t do anything differently.
Q: You’ll be here this weekend for Monster Mania. What is your favorite part of fan conventions?
Meeting the fans. I absolutely adore them. I love hearing new stories about them seeing my films the first time. I’ve had people tell me they were conceived in the backseat during “Cujo..”
That was my exact reaction! ::laughs:: One fan was proposed to during “The Howling”, even. Countless “E.T.” stories about kids learning all the lines to the film. I take pride in taking time with each fan, and making a moment with them. They deserve it. They pay a lot to get in, and should be able to share their admiration with you.
Dee will be a part of the Monster Mania convention taking place this weekend in Hunt Valley! More info