are some of your earliest recollections of the horror genre?
Anything Hitchcock..."THE BIRDS" and "PSYCHO".
Films having to do with werewolves...
When did you initially decide to persue acting? Can you tell us
a bit about your experiences starting out?
I always acted in school plays, starting in 6th grade when I lived
in Venezuela... I played the witch in "HANSEL & GRETEL",
and my dad made a special magic wand with a lightbulb at the end
with a battery and a switch... my first real prop! It was a night
performance, and we had a huge fake oven that they pushed me into,
and my little brother who was only three thought that was the
end me and he started screaming... I was very proud of my performances,
because I beat out an eighth grader for the coveted weekend shows.
was in plays in high school, but it wasn't until I was in college
that I spent some time in NYC and realized that people actually
get paid to do this... since I lived overseas for most of my childhood,
I wasn't up to speed on a lot of things. But I went by the Actor's
Studio and there was a "spotlight" position available,
so I ran the spotlight on Joanna Miles and Scott Glenn for the
summer. I got an agent and started doing commercials, and that
made it easy to not go back to college. My parents were living
in Turkey at the time, and communication back then was not like
it is today, or they would have marched me right back to studying
languages to become an interpreter for the United Nations.
|Were you a fan
of Stephen King's work before going in to audition for "Carrie"?
(If so) do you still follow his books?
No, I had never heard of him. I don't think he was as well known
in 1975. I don't read those kinds of books. I like biographies
Tell us about the audition process for "Carrie"? Wasn't
it was a dual audition with George Lucas for Star Wars?
Yes. Brian de Palma and George Lucas shared a desk in an office
and met every teenager in town. It was a massive line....but it
was worth it.
"Carrie" was one of your first feature films. What was it
like working with Brian DePalma early in his career?
I bet he hasn't changed. He was quiet and
commanding. He knew exactly what he wanted from each set-up. You could
see extreme delight in his eyes as he sat in his director's
chair.....he seemed like he loved the process and the challenge of telling
through showing a story on film.
||Despite the way
the characters treated each other on film in "Carrie",
what was the working atmosphere like with all the other cast members?
Did you manage to stay in touch with anyone from the production
after the shoot?
We really became close right away
- all of us. We had a lot of fun. I was especially close with Michael
Talbott, John Travolta and Betty Buckley. Betty and I remained friendly
for a long time... but you know, she's a New York theater person, and
I am an LA mother of two. Michael Talbott was like a brother to me,
and he is the funniest man alive.
|Did your friendship
with John Travolta lead to working with him again on "The
Boy In The Plastic Bubble"?
John recommended me for that film. He loved people that made him
laugh, and when we would watch the "dailies" of "CARRIE",
John would howl at my scenes... it really made me feel good. He
is a genuine and caring person.
||What do you remember
about filming the imfamous "blood bath @ the prom" scene
at the end of "Carrie"?
It took days, but it was fun because nobody knew how their characters
were going to die until the day of their scene, so De Palma kept
us all in suspense and speculating. And I remember how intense
and focused Sissy Spacek was... she is amazing!
You worked on a made for television horror film called "The
Possessed" with Harrison Ford in the late 70's. What do you
remember about that project?
That Harrison asked me and another
actress out to dinner. We were having a great time until he started
playing footsies under the table... I knew he was married with
two young sons, and I didn't know what to think. That was the first
time I realized I had a lot to learn about "show biz". Other
than that, I don't remember even seeing it on TV.
|What were your
initial reactions to the script for "Halloween"?
"TOTALLY" cool.....couldn't wait to play Lynda.
||You seemed to
have a great on screen friendship with both Jamie Lee Curtis and
Nancy Loomis. How'd you get along with them when the camera's
We all had a blast...really. There wasn't time for anything else.
Jamie got along with everyone - she was very happy and carefree
back then. The set atmosphere had a constant focus on collaboration
and effort and originality.
Hill takes credit for writing most of the dialogue between the
girls in the film. Did you get to improv at all with your lines?
Was the "totally" thing always scripted or something
you came up with?
I definitely added more "totallys" - I told John to
tell me if I became annoying. The scene in the bed was pretty
much improvised. John asked me to taunt the "shape"
and then get upset... it worked out... totally!
You spent a lot of time with John Michael Graham, who played
your boyfriend Bob, on screen. What do you remember about working
with mister Graham? Were the "love" scenes difficult
As with any love scene in a film... it is always the most unsexy
thing to make it look like you are being intimate onscreen...
you don't feel anything remotely sexual. Mister Graham and I spent
only two days together, so I really didn't get to know him at
all... although I chose him with John Carpenter during the
though you didn't share any scenes together, did you get the opportunity
to meet Donald Pleasence?
Yes, we all ate lunch together on the set. He was reserved and
polite. He didn't seem interested in conversation, but now I realize
he probably didn't know what on earth to say to us giggling girls.
What was it like to see the original "Halloween"
for the first time on the big screen? How'd your friends and
It was great fun. I thought it was amazing, considering how
quickly we filmed it - I was blown away by John Carpenter's
soundtrack. My friends loved it. My family was upset that I
took off my blouse - not exactly United Nations behavior.
Did you follow any of the Halloween series after the first?
I've never seen any of them except the original.
You had addmitted
to not being a huge fan of The Ramones, until half way thru
filming the cult favorite, "Rock N Roll High School"?
Looking back now, what do you remember most about The Ramones?
Really it stands out how shy they all were. I was amazed by
that, because to me being "punk rock" meant you had
to be brave, especially since they were forging new territory
in the world of "rock n' roll", so I assumed they
would be confident and cocky. But I was happily surprised that
they were huge film buffs, and they couldn't believe they were
in one, especially a Roger Corman film!
||How close are
you to the character of Riff Randell?
Like I said, I grew up in foreign countries... I had not experienced
a high school life like RIFF. But she was such an Anerican girl
in the script, so we merged. She has my heart and my energy, and
I just acted her out as written on the page... oh yeah, I bought
all her clothes, but they were definitely RIFF'S not mine!
|You got to reprise
the role of "Riff Randell" in a video for "The
Donnas". How did that come about?
A friend of mine, Dave Besdesky was working on the shoot,
and the director said he wanted it to look like "ROCK N'
ROLL HIGH SCHOOL" and Dave told him he could do better than
that - he could get RIFF RANDELL to be in it! They called me and
I went down the next day. It was fun, even though I barely fit
in RIFF'S jacket anymore, but Dave does.
Are you involved in any way with the remake
for "Rock N Roll High School", which is being developed by
Howard Stern's production company?
I don't think that's happening anymore.
||You worked on
the comedy classic "Stripes" with director Ivan Reitman
and a stellar cast. Was it a fun picture to be a part of?
Yes, it was a lot of fun working with Bill Murray, but Harold
Ramis is the bomb!
|Bill Murray is
well known now for his improvisation on films. Did he stray away
from the script a lot during your scenes together in "Stripes"?
And is it difficult to work with someone who's constantly making
Yes, Bill changed everything all the time, but that was exciting.
Our whole stovetop scene was improvised at 3AM... It is not difficult
if you are in character... STELLA wasn't amused most of the time,
until she fell in luv... but seriously, Bill is very funny when
he's acting - he's really more a somber guy in real life.
You took a little bit of a break from acting
at one point. Were persuing other interests and spending more time with
your family motivating factors in this?
Raising my son and daughter has been the most important thing to me,
but now they are older, and I hope to work more often.....it's a long
||You did a few
more genre related films in the past few years, including William
Lustig's "Uncle Sam". How'd you get involved in that
|You made an appearance
last year for the "Return To Haddonfield: 25th Anniversary
of Halloween" convention. What was that experience like?
Both meeting so many fans, and celebrating the 25th anniversary
of the original movie?
I always enjoy meeting fans, because they are so nice to me. They really
love all these movies - it's great. Even though it's been 25 years,
it's always nice to hear fans tell me "you look exactly the same"!!!!!!
HA! HA! HA!
||Are you surprised
that the character of "Lynda" from "Halloween"
is a fan favorite?
She's the girl every guy wants to be with and every girl would
like to be... "totally" fun!
Looking back, why do you think a film like "Halloween"
has endured thru-out the generations as a horror classic?
It really is a perfect piece of art.
Since you started out in what is now seen as a
very important, influential period of cinematic history, can you look
back and tell us some things you think contributed to that generation
of actors and filmmakers being so successful in what they accomplished?
Simply looking for an original way to tell a story on screen. Every
generation does it their way... it was time for a fresh voice.
|Have you heard
about the recent Local H album being named after you? Is it surreal
to have a band with an album titled "Whatever happened to
It is awesome. I saw them perform in LA. They are great guys...
I am totally flattered. My kids think it's crazy..."what
do you mean what happened to PJ Soles - she's our mom, duh!"
||How'd you get
involved in the upcoming sequel to "House Of A 1000 Corpses",
"The Devil's Rejects"? Was Rob Zombie a big fan?
Auditioned - And I signed a "CARRIE" photo to
Rob Zombie at the casting session saying: "DEAR ROB, PLEASE
LET ME SCREAM AGAIN FOR YOU. LOVE, P.J." I think
that helped get me the part. Honestly, he wanted to cast 70's
actors for the various cameos. Rob Zombie and his wife are extremely
|What can you
tell us about your role in "The Devil's Rejects" &
working with Rob Zombie?
I got to work with Sid Haig, the clown... he punches me
out, but I LIVE!!!!! That is so rare in a Rob Zombie film. Rob
is great - I hope to have a bigger part in his next film...
he is a definite 100% pure genius.
You're going to work with another "Halloween" victim
(Ellie Cornell) on "The Second Line", what can you
tell us about this project?
It's going to be fun and creative. I think the idea of having
lots of actors from all the different HALLOWEEN movies is brilliant.
And the film makers are so passionate - it's going to be great.
....."TOTALLY!" So how many times did I use
"totally" in this interview???????
Umm... 6 or 7 times? (laughs) Thanks again PJ!!!