Back in 1987 I was a 22 years old actress living in Los Angeles and pursuing the same dream I still am chasing..to work as an actress in film and television…. hard to believe it’s nearly 30 years later and I am still chasing the dragon!
I read for a film with a director who was a year younger than me, Adam Rifkin. Adam was a funny guy, very young… always dressed in black Converse tennis shoes and a baseball hat, I had the feeling he was “playing” at being a director…little did I know that Never on Tuesday would be the first of many projects I would do with him and with the producer Brad Wyman who was also in the room auditioning young ladies that day. Adam would go on to direct many, many features and also the Showtime series “Look” which he wrote as well and that I starred in 23 years after Never on Tuesday. His dedication and drive is something remarkable in this business and neither one of us have ever given up on our dream of employment and happiness in this crazy business!
It was clear that they wanted a “hot ” actress and I considered myself more of a thespian than a sex idol… but I tried to turn on the charm and I did the best I could… Adam fought hard for me to get the role and they asked me to lose 5-10 pounds and to work out with a trainer to get in top shape for the movie, I agreed to it. My trainer was an ex-Olympiad athlete, a gymnast with spunk and vigor who put me through the paces at UCLA, running stairs and made me subsist on a bran muffin and humor for the day!
We filmed in beautiful Borrego Springs, California dessert. Borrego Springs is recognized as one of the astronomy hot spots of the world and the evening skies were just gorgeous and filled with stars as far as the eye could see, the warm dessert breezes and perfect climate made it lovely for a film shoot in the middle of no where.
I had a lot of laughs on the film shoot. Charlie Sheen was flown in (he was quite hot back then having come off of “Wall Street” and “No Man’s Land”) and was treated like a rock star… I’m convinced they used drugs and hookers to get him to agree to do the small cameo he did in the film! Everyday seemed to bring in more famous and odd people, Nick Cage played a crazy fellow in a red Ferrari with a huge fake nose. Gilbert Gottfried was a lunatic salesman in the middle of the dessert… Emilio Estevez and Cary Elwes (from “The Princess Bride” and “Saw” movies) played hick brothers in a tow truck, gold teeth and all… the cameos were to help get financing and also a release, they jammed a bunch of hot names into the film hoping that no one would notice that the leads were a bunch of no bodies.
Ironically, my co-star Pete Berg has gone on to be one of the most successful feature film directors around. Andrew Lauer, my other co-star, is a fine actor and was a genuine sweet heart during the shoot. We became close, had a lot of laughs and the shoot flew by. It felt like having a lot of fun brothers during the shoot… there were a few other gals on the shoot, including Cheryl Berkoff, who would go onto become Mrs. Rob Lowe, she was my make-up gal. There was a party atmosphere and I recall many a fun-filled tequila/pool playing nights with the boys at the only hang out in town… a dumpy bar-hamburger joint.
All of us being so young made the shoot feel like summer camp. The voice of reason was our British DP, a man who was probably 45 at the time, but we thought he was the ancient wiseman… we deferred to his knowledge and tried like heck to please him. We shot on film, which is rare now, but back then was normal. We had no money so they used a lot of what is called “short ends,” bits of film left over in the canister which can be bought for cheap but unfortunately would run out in the middle of a take, so we were constantly trying to shove a 4 minute scene into a 2 minutes film stock!
All in all I had a blast filming “Never on Tuesday” and I made friends for life. The “lesbian stuck in the middle of the desert with two horny young men” was a simple concept which turned out to be a sweet coming of age film which I am happy to have been a part of.