Claudia is cleaning house and is going through tons of her personal history right now. She’s putting a bunch of her very own TV, film, music, and other memorabilia up for auction on eBay to raise awareness and funds towards a clinical trial for The Sinclair Method (TSM), which she discusses in her forthcoming memoir, Babylon Confidential, due out November 6th.
Check out the below preview video Claudia has put together to tease you with what you might expect to see up for auction. Some items include her very own high-school cheerleader uniform, her personal copy of the script for The Hidden, autographed presskits for Hexed and Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Babylon 5 books, posters, and game cards, Anne Manx audio drama CDs, all sorts of TV and film scripts, music CDs, music videos, video games, trinkets, knick-knacks, Renaissance Faire costumes and accoutrement, and more Claudia-related goodness!
In 1987 I had a bunch of TV roles behind me but only one feature, the rather unfortunate “Mad About You” in which my performance was completely dubbed over because the slimy producers refused to honor their debt to me (I was to receive a new car for my starring role in lieu of pay, and they never gave it to me so I refused to do the ADR for the film until they gave it to me, which they never did! ) so they used a non-actress to dub my entire performance…. not an auspicious first movie experience.
My agent told me about a film by New Line Cinema (who had produced the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street” – a big hit at the time) called “The Hidden.” Apparently the role of the stripper was quickly being recast, for reasons I never found out about other than the director said that the original actress wasn’t right for the role.
The role didn’t have a lot of dialogue but it was pretty much the only female role in the film and it was a pivotal, fun part so I gladly auditioned for it. The description of Brenda Lee Vanburan read “big busted” and I was, at 21 years old, 120 pounds and 5’9” tall with little to no bust so I stuffed my bra with socks and tissue and went in to read for the role.
I got past the acting part of the audition and when I got home my agent called and said that I had a call back the next day. However, they asked if I could come in wearing a bikini. I began to panic slightly. Yet, that night I figured out an ingenious way to stuff my bikini top to make it look as if I had quite the chest.
On the day of the callback, I wore a khaki dress with snaps down the front so I could just rip it open when they asked to see my body (another distraction so they wouldn’t notice my fake chest). Then I did a quick turn around, put my dress back on and thanked them and left, holding my breath.
Thankfully, I got the role ! I was very excited to be working with Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Nouri and I was especially excited to learn how to shoot all of those guns. They sent me to a police academy and a lovely gent taught me how to hold and fire an AK-47, a Russian Steyr, and all sorts of firearms. It was a ton of fun!
I also had to quickly learn a strip dance so they hooked me up with a choreographer who had worked with the likes of Janet Jackson. I’m sure she felt like she had her hands full with me… Heck, I had certainly never been on a strip pole!
I decided to do a little research so I took my best friend at the time to “The Aladdin” and watched some of the girls strip and dance around. It was quite heart breaking when they introduced one of the gals as a “former Olympic skier…” I thought “How the heck did she end up in the dingy joint?” Some of the girls were obviously drugged up, but a few of them were genuinely grateful for the great tips and easy job, they even seemed to enjoy it.
The day I showed up for my first day of filming was supposed to be the day I did my dance. Jack Sholder was the quirky director of the film and let’s just say that he was not terribly thrilled when he found out I had duped them in regards to my “attributes.” Luckily, during wardrobe fittings I had come clean to the wardrobe mistress so the department was already designing a set of prosthetic breasts for me to wear under a cut off t-shirt. Jack wasn’t too thrilled since he wanted a topless scene but I was very relieved that I didn’t have to be naked in my first “real” film!
I was already pretty skinny back then, but I decided to lose some more weight for the role. I had to be in a g-string made out of dollar bills for crying out loud and it is every actress’ nightmare to see their butt 50 feet high in a movie theater! So I went to a place called “The Lindora Clinic” and they shot me full of vitamins and what I later found our was pregnant horse urine… disgusting! They also put me on a 500 calorie a day menu so I doubt the horse piss was even necessary… In any event, I got down to a nice weight and looked great on camera, I am happy to say. Looking back after all these years later I can still look at it and say “you looked good kiddo.”
The dance was nerve wracking since a) I had never stripped in front of anyone much less an entire crew of people and b) it was my first day of work!
“Hi, I’m Claudia… hang on I just have to strip now….” Yikes!
The filming was mostly downtown L.A. and it was a lot of fun. K yle was really nice and everything went off without a hitch for me until the big scene where my character gets shot a billion times but won’t go down.
Spoiler alert: I play a stripper who gets taken over by a male alien who loves fast cars, rock and roll, sex and well… you get the point. After I get killed I “give” the alien to a dog passing by… I also kill Joey Sagal’s slimy character by boffing him to death in a vintage Cadillac… I could not wait to tell my parents! Kidding…
I was on the roof top loaded with squibs (the little explosives they attach to your clothes, etc. so that when you are “hit” they go off and look like you were shot) . The first time was fine but the second take one of the squibs exploded close to my face and a piece of the metallic jacket I was wearing went into my eye. It burned like a son of a gun. From that day until now I can no longer shoot a gun without blinking. I look like an amateur now whereas back then I had the Bruce Willis open eye stare down perfectly…. total bummer, but true. My mind just will not forget that accident.
Years later that film still gets me recognized, I guess it turned into a cult film of sorts. People said it was ahead of it’s time. Siskel and Ebert called it “A cross between “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and “The Terminator”. Leonard Maltin chimed in with a “Smart, fast-paced thriller… effectively blends horror, sci-fi, and action with humor!”
I like the film, I think it’s pretty funny at times and well-shot and well-acted. So, if you’re looking for a little escape, go rent “The Hidden” and Enjoy!