Shay Astar [Interview]

Welcome to Day 23 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 5 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

Hello Folks! We have an absolutely wonderful interview to share with you all today. Today we have a terrific interview with a very talented child star turned teenage sensation turned adult human actor who has been entertaining the masses for almost as many years as she has been alive. It’s Shay Astar! Shay was a regular figure for me as a young boy growing up in the 90’s, and I will admit that she was indeed one of my first celebrity crushes from that era.

Shay appeared in one of the best Halloween films of all time, in my and many other’s opinions I am sure, which would Ernest Scared Stupid, when she was but a child. And let me tell you people, these Ernest movies hold up! I literally shared this wonderful film with my three daughters, and they absolutely LOVED it! It’s a pure-hearted silliness that is so hard NOT to love.

I watched this particular Ernest movie a whole lot as a kid, and it was such a great when she became a regular on a television show I loved alongside the brilliant Joseph Gordon-Levitt known as 3rd Rock From The Sun. So yeah, Shay was a pretty big deal to me then, and remains so now. She has continued to work extensively in the world of film and television, and we are so happy that she was able to share some words with us all here today as we near the end of our Month of Horror showcase that has been so great to share with you all.

So, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Shay Astar!

What inspired you to get into the world of film and television? You have been at it for a quite a while, so was it always something you aspired to do?

There are a lot of performers and writers in my family going back generations so it’s in the blood. I started dance lessons at 3 years old and I took practice and performance very seriously, even then. I would also put on variety shows for my family, performing skits and doing original songs at four years old. I think it was obvious to my parents that I was going to be a performer one way or another and I’m incredibly grateful that they helped me find a disciplined, structured approach. I just love it, I always have, it’s a huge part of my life.

In 1991, you appeared in what would be one of my favorite Halloween movies, but just one of my favorites in general. And that would Ernest Scared Stupid, the most superior of the Ernest films in my opinion. It’s just so damn silly and entertaining (I still sometimes call milk “miak”…it’s almost been 30 years!). So what was it like as a young person to work on such a brilliantly silly film?

You know, I took the work very seriously. I always wanted to do the best I could and to make the people I worked with proud. Jim Varney was such an interesting, intelligent man and he was also deeply kind to me. I took my cues from the adults on set about how to behave and Jim would joke around with us in between takes but was focused and devoted to his craft in every moment. And we also had the legend Eartha Kitt on set and she was also extremely focused and serious about her work. So, even though it is absolutely a hilariously silly film, I was there to work and to learn and I was very lucky to with with such skilled actors and comedians.

While the world of horror is not the only one you work in, you have given some great performances in the genre.  And it is our Month of Horror Showcase after all, so I am inclined to ask you how you enjoy working in the world of horror or thrillers? What sets it apart from other genres?

The most interesting thing I’ve noticed about working in the world of horror is that the people involved have proven to be the most well-adjusted, kind-hearted, good-natured people I know. It’s amazing! I wonder if it’s just that horror is fantasy, so there’s a wonderful element of childlike play and imagination involved. I don’t know what exactly it is but all the people I’ve worked with have been sunny, happy people. Isn’t that funny?

What is your favorite scary movie? 

I hate to admit this but I actually do not like scary movies! The last horror move I watched was The Ring in 2002 and it took me like 3 years to get over it. Some of the more recent “horror” movies I’ve worked on are most psychological horror that involve the monster within, and those I can watch. But anything involving ghosts or monsters or demons or anything, NO THANK YOU! Way too scary for me- my imagination runs wild and I turn into a kid again, thinking there are monsters in the closet.

What are you plans for the upcoming Halloween? Any kind of traditions you try to uphold each year?

I really enjoy going to Olvera street in downtown LA for the Dia de Los Muertos. I love the idea that it’s the one day of the year when the lines between living and dead can be crossed. Like the wonderful movie Coco. I also love seeing all the little kids in their costumes. I’ve gone to the Hollywood parade a lot and that’s also so so fun. One year, many years ago, I went to the re-release of The Exorcist on Halloween and after that I had to sit Halloween out for like 5 years. This year, I have a new baby so I’m probably going to dress him up in something ridiculous and take a bunch of pictures.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Thanks for asking! I have a short film I wrote and directed that will hopefully be starting to make the rounds by the end of the year. As long as you guys will keep googling me or follow me in instagram, I’ll keep updating with my new work!

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My 5 months old son finds the word “Potato” to be the world’s most hilarious thing and his joyful laughter makes me smile every time :).

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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