Cherie Johnson [Interview]

 

Happy Friday, Folks! I’m just going to go ahead and throw this out there for you all: Today is my birthday. I am 34 years old today. I bring this up not as a means to receive further acknowledgement for the “achievement” of simply turning a year older. No, I bring it up because I cannot help but think about what a wild ride this life has been, and more importantly how it correlates with the amazing person we have the distinct pleasure of showcasing with you all today. So, I will refrain from beating around the proverbial bush, and just come out and say it: Today’s interview subject was my childhood TV crush. From about the ages of 8 to 13 years old, Cherie Johnson was my favorite person to grace the television each and (hopefully) every Friday night. And if I were able to go back 20 years ago and tell 14 year old Ron that I would one day have a website where “Maxine” would be one day appear, I would have called myself a damn dirty liar. But alas, here we are!

Cherie Johnson is a legendary television and film actress, writer, producer, and as we learn within the text below, a wearer of so many different employment hats. If you didn’t quite get the reference above, she portrayed Maxine in my favorite TV sitcom of all time, Family Matters. And as I said before, she was the damn bee’s knees to a young, puberty-driven Ron throughout the 90’s. While the young boys and girls around me were fawning over Kellie William’s performance as Laura Winslow (which I will admit, was completely understandable, and I may have done the same from time to time), I will say with pride that I was more invested in Laura’s charming friend Maxine, portrayed brilliantly by Cherie Johnson.

And as we were so fortunate to learn through a series of questions that Cherie graciously answered for us, she is a woman of power who has continued to work diligently throughout her life. She came into show business at a very young age, and has continued to shine since her days of Punky Brewster. Johnson has a series of ventures pulling her this way and that, but continues to succeed at what she does best, which is what the youth of today would probably call, “being her best self.”

So, Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the even more wonderful human being, the great Cherie Johnson!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of acting? I know you started out at a very young age, and may have had some influence. But, what was it about this world that personally made you want to continue working in this profession?

I was inspired when my Uncle wrote Punky Brewster and used my name for one of the characters. It didn’t make sense to me for another little girl to play a role “I thought” was written for me. Honestly, I have always been little pushy… probably too self assured but after 7 auditions the then President of NBC Brandon Tartikoff was convinced it was written for me as well and my Uncle was able to give me the job. Which not in a cocky way but at 6 years old I knew it was mine anyway. I pretty much continued to work in the business because I looked up and it was 20 years in. I dropped out of college while working on Family Matters (they weren’t going to work around Urkles college schedule and everyone else) so my dream career as an architect was not going to happen. I did what most people do: stuck to what I know and expanded in different ways so I wouldn’t get bored to death.

Throughout the 90’s, you worked on my absolute favorite sitcom that the world of television has ever produced. Of course I am talking about your role as Maxine on the incredible series Family Matters. And full disclosure: I had a BIG crush on Maxine growing up. And I am certain I am not the only one. So, I am curious to know what your take away from your time working on this fine program? How was your experience overall?

Thank you Maxine appreciates the support. She was a fun character to play I mean who wouldn’t want to be a ditzy wild-child! Family Matters was really a family matter for me, LOL. My uncle was the producer, one of my aunts was his assistant, my mother catered and my older brother worked in the camera department. Shawn Harrison “ Waldo” is one of my best friends and Darius McCrary and I have loved each other before the show (We had the same agent) We are all a part of great TV history and for that I am thankful. Our Crew and Cast were all very talented people. Looking back on the experience it was a great show to be a part of. Punky Brewster and Family Matters are both Blessings.

Beyond the world of acting, you are also an acclaimed writer in your own right. You have a few books available, and are currently an assistant editor for Fever Magazine, which is extremely impressive! So, when did the writing come about? What made you decide to dip your proverbial toes into the literary pool?

I started writing songs and books when I was 5 years old. My mother told me the best way to go down in history is to write a book. So it has always been a goal since then before acting because living for eternity was a huge goal for “Little Cherie” hahaha. As I grew writing became a sense of relaxation and therapy. Professionally it started with my first film  I Do I Did then to authorship, next I was writing columns for various magazines and now I was promoted. Fever Magazine has been my writing home for 5 years I write the Pulse article (whispering I write about sex) how fun right. So the promotion is amazing. I am surrounded by beautiful women, we interview your favorite entertainers, I get to travel to exotic places, we have an amazing Wine and Dine article a show on our site “Foodie” it’s really a dream job that never feels like work. I play all day! I eat the best food and I am surrounded by beautiful people.

 

 

Also beyond the world of acting, producing, writing, you can throw entrepreneur onto your list of professional duties, as you have recently opened a spa in Hollywood, Florida. Kind of the same question: what made you decide to join the world of self care and relaxation? Is it something you have always been passionate about? And can you tell us a bit about your business, and what sets it apart from other spas out there?

Growing up my mother owned a gym, so self care was taught to me early in life. During my hiatus weeks on Family Matters I worked at my family owned gym and later became a nutritionist. Being on TV is kinda like working customer service so imagine never being about to take that costumer service badge off? Relaxation is essential to your mental health. There is nothing more beneficial to your mind, body and spirit than an excellent massage. Kian is really the brain child of my partner Alycia. She mentioned in October we should open a spa, and by my birthday in November we had keys!

Kian Spa is an appointment only spa. Which means it’s never crowed and our elite clients never have to worry about it being busy or sharing their relaxation time with other clients. We also feature one of the only Bella Shape Machines in the United States. Bella Shape is revolutionizing the dermatology world one session at a time. For patients seeking the best non-invasive aesthetic and medical procedures, Bella Shape is unlike all other options in the market. Bella Shape provides a multitude of aesthetic and medical treatments from one device, it streamlines the cost of providing beauty and medical procedures non invasively. All of our products are 100% natural and we offer a variety of nutritional services.

With over 36 years of experience in the world of entertainment, and having literally grown up within the world, I am curious to know what your opinion of the current climate in the world of film and television? With the advancements in technology, such as streaming capabilities, what are your thoughts on how art is created in these fields today? Is everything become oversaturated, or are more opportunities seeming to come available for many different people?

Well let me shake my head. We are in a time when people are famous with no talent. While they are making millions, many talented people are stepping back and kinda choosing not to work for the crack head wages that are being offered. Now under some of these new SAG approved contracts. Anyone can be a producer now, they are making films paying actors $100 a day…I come from a much different time.

With so much going on in your life, from writing, acting, business owning….how do you manage your time? And more importantly, what would a little “me time” look like for you? 

Thank you for having so much faith in me you believe my time is well managed hahaha. In-between homeschooling, taking my daughter to Tae Kwon Do 4 days a week I get some working in. Usually by multitasking, phone calls with a baby on the hip. I just cast a project last month titled “Black’ and found it was easier once I hired my 4 year old as my assistant. Giving her duties really helps my days run smooth Besides she thinks she works at Kians Spa and she is the official product tester for Kian and all of our products at www.Going2natural.com

I am a mother of small children there is no me time hahahah I am happy when I get a chance to sit down and write a blog entry for www.adviceformysistas.com or eat a meal like a real one, not the left overs off a kids plate.

 

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

I will be coming back to internet radio this year with Cherie’s World. It will give me a chance to connect with friends who have supported me my whole career, while we use the platform to speak on current events, health, and everything entertainment. I have an awesome TV project in development with Antwon Tanner and Hilary Burton! You will get to see us in a different light.

What was the last thing that made you smile? 

Reading this made me smile. Thinking about my life, I couldn’t have imagined it being this good and my daughter. Her cute little face always makes me smile. It’s 4am and she just woke up to keep me company. I’ve learned to treasure every moment so I have to go now its snuggle time! Thanks for having me.

Bahia Watson [Interview]

 

Hello There, Folks! I am absolutely delighted to share this amazing interview with a wonderful young actress who is as impressive as she is talented. It’s Bahia Watson, Everyone! She is an incredible actress, who you can catch on the critically acclaimed Hulu Original series The Handmade’s Tail, and in so damn much more to come. Bahia has been doing some amazing work both on screen and on the stage, and we are so excited to have her grace our digital pages today.

Beyond acting, Bahia is also a wonderful musician, poet, and playwright who is determined to speak her mind and spread her talent across the globe. The limits in which a person of this much are seemingly endless, and we are so excited to see what the future holds for her. Which is why are so happy that we were able to get a few replies from her to share with you all today.

So Folks, please enjoy some incredible words from the even more incredible human being, the great Bahia Watson!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of acting? Was it something that you have always been passionate about? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

 

I guess I stumbled into this world. I’ve always loved stories and writing. I grew up dancing, but I never wished to make a career of it. After graduating high school I took a psychology course and fell in love with the human mind and how personalities and emotions are constructed. Around that same time, there was a large casting call for extras in my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. I wandered into that and was thrilled by whole behind-the-scenes society involved in film and television making. And then I started auditioning and taking acting classes and kind of fell in love with the challenges that acting presents. I never dreamt this would be my life. it’s been a winding journey.

 

You have been a regular on a series that is truly one of the greatest available right now entitled The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s such a dark story that, sadly, doesn’t seem so unlikely to become the real world someday. Anyway, I am curious to know how it has been to work on such a wildly successful television series?

 

It’s exciting. I read the book in high school, and it has always stuck with me as a profound and frightening envisioning of the future. The world Margaret Atwood has created is so deep and thorough, and so being able to be inside of it and a part of bringing it to life, is a thrilling honour. When I first auditioned, I was blown away by the writing, and I continue to be. It’s such a strong group of artists working on this show, I’m happy to be in such exquisite company.

 

 

Although the subject matter can be dark, do you still manage to have a good time on the set of The Handmaid’s Tale? What do you do to stay loose and a bit less terrified on the set?

 

As comedy is often borne of tragedy, we definitely find the humour in the darkness. nina kiri, who plays alma, and i are totally the clowns on set. and ann dowd is a treasure. we have fun.

 

If you were handed the opportunity to portray any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

 

Oooh, interesting question… Josephine Baker, maybe? or Lorraine Hansberry.

 

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

 

I’ve open[ed] a play at the Soulpepper Theatre company in Toronto, it’s called The Virgin Trial, where I play a young Queen Elizabeth the first. On March 28th, I will be producing and performing a one night only variety show called MASHUP which i create with my friend liza paul, at theatre passe muraille in toronto. in the fall we did a short performance for TEDxtoronto under the theme of identity, you can watch that here: https://youtu.be/uxFoJ4Z3X5Q. it’s a kind of island circus ting. and… you might just catch me on another futuristic show soon too.

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

 

Killing Eve. i’m obsessed with villanelle.

New Music Tuesday: The Hots – The Hots [EP]

 

Holy Shit, Folks! We have a wonderful pair of artist to share with you all today. The Australian bred duo The Hots are an out of this world combo that is not only entertaining, but extremely talented in a manner that is almost unprecedented in this day and age. They are a hard rock duo that perfectly dictates the power of what can come from extremely talented musicianship on the axe, and a set of vocal chords that are simply out of this world. I am seriously in love with the beauty that Foxie Kelly and Ronnie Simmons have given the world with their amazing self titled EP alone. I can’t imagine what the future may hold for this amazing duo, but if it is half as impressive as this EP, I’m certain that they are bound to be a force to reckoned with, hands down.

On a very personal note, there is definitely a nostalgia-inducing aspect to this EP that is very hard to ignore. And frankly, I don’t want to. It shouldn’t be a bad thing to reminisce about the amazing work we have loved in the past. Especially when we are fortunate enough to have a group The Hots out there ready to upgrade a classic sound for the new era. Simmons is simply magical with his guitar work, and Kelly may be one of the finest voices to front a hard rock group I have ever heard since the likes of Goldie Locks or Elsa Faith of Soul Distraction.

 

 

When we break it down folks, The Hots are a band like you most likely haven’t heard in quite a long time. We simply haven’t been blessed enough to be privy to such talent as of lately. Sure, the hard rock scene has existed for quite a long time. And if you dig deep enough, the genre that has moved between 80’s hair metal and the beloved grunge sound of the 90’s has probably been producing a plethora of amazing artists that we should all know and love. I guess we just need to be privy to the genre more often. And for that, I am so thankful that I have discovered The Hots, and have been able to share their genius with you fine folks who may not already be aware of their genius. Seriously, Folks. You’re going to love this. Enjoy!

 

Check out this incredible music video for “Before You”, and find this even more incredible EP wherever you stream/buy your best music:

Jen Kirkman [Interview]

 

Holy hell, Folks, do we have an absolutely wonderful interview for you all to kick off this first week of February. Now, we have spoken with some of the finest comedians in the business over the years, even a few of my favorites in just 2019 alone. But, today we are so honored to have one of the most legendary and recognizable by name alone figures in the world of comedy we have ever probably ever had on the site today. It’s Jen Kirkman, Everyone!

Whether you have enjoyed Jen’s hilarious Netflix specials, or read her incredible New York Times best-selling books, you know that the name Kirkman is synonymous with hilarity. Jen has been entertaining the undeserving masses for over 20 years. And from appearances on Conan, The Late Show, Drunk History, and more, to her latest gig writing for the critically acclaimed Amazon Original Series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Jen continues to impress audiences across the globe with a wit and comedic style that is unlike anyone else we know.

Jen has been around the globe, and has worked in just about every aspect that is possible in a world centered around being absolutely hilarious. Yet, we are always fortunate to get more and more with each passing year. And I will be god damned if we were oh so fortunate to take some time from Kirkman’s hectic schedule to share some answers with us about the current state of comedy, the history of comedy, and what it means to be a hilarious individual in these modern times.

We are so excited to share these words with you all. Be sure to check out links at the end for your opportunity to see Jen live and in person. So without further babbling on my end, please enjoy these incredible words from the hilarious Jen Kirkman!

 

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When did you first discover that you were a hilarious human being and that you could make a living by making people laugh? Was it an early ambition, or did you just happen o find yourself in this world one day?

I started to do comedy because I felt weird being an audience member at comedy shows. I just knew I wanted to be up there. I didn’t think I was funny though.  I just wanted to be up there.  It made no sense. And I never thought about the money – good thing because I didn’t make any money doing comedy for the first fifteen years.

You have been doing stand up for quite a while, having really put in the work and earned every bit of success you have had. And in that time you have moved through various different stages of technological advances. The internet was new and somewhat daunting when you were coming up, but eventually became commonplace. With that, I am curious to know what your thoughts are on the technical advancements that have occurred in regards to stand up comedy. Is it mostly positive to have so many opportunities, or is the business becoming oversaturated?

Is this question your way of saying, “You’re old.  What were typewriters like?” And I want you to know that I wrote my first comedy bits on a word processor and I used to think that anyone who sent email was insane. “Why wouldn’t you just call someone?” Everything is oversaturated now and yet I’m getting more work than when things were undersaturated.  It’s working somehow.  The crazy saturation is working.  I have my audience and other people have their audience and most of America hasn’t heard of everyone else’s favorite comedian.

I always like to find out from traveling comedians this random question: What are some hidden gems of cities and/or clubs that the average person may not assume are actually amazing? Where are some spots outside of LA or NYC that have great audiences and an overall wonderful atmosphere, that you have enjoyed performing in?

Most of America is great for doing comedy.  My favorite cities that aren’t where the Coastal Elite Devil worshipping heathens live – Iowa City, Omaha, Nebraska, Bloomington, Indiana, Oklahoma City, Champaign, IL. I loved my gigs in those cities and return to them often.  I also have a specific type of people who come to see me.  So, in my mind, just based on my audience, America is made up entirely of men who wear nail polish, divorced women in their 30’s, hippie couples in their 40’s, lesbians, and anti-social millennials.

 

I understand that you have a monthly show at the Improv Lab in Hollywood entitled Story Lab. I am curious to know what inspired you to kick off this show? And what can audiences expect to enjoy about it?

I don’t know if anything I do comes from true “inspiration”. It’s just a show where I work out new material because I don’t write my act in a traditional way. I talk off of the top of my head, record it and see how it felt.  If I think there’s something there – I work on it further.  Audiences can expect that they won’t know what to expect because not even I know what to expect.  And that to me, is what live comedy is all about.  I mean, they can expect to be safe.  I’m not going to shoot flames into the crowd or anything.  Yet.  When I run out of ideas, I might.  But I assume they would have to put a sign in the lobby warning people.

Beyond the world of stand up, you are also an accomplished, New York Times Bestselling author. I am always curious to know about a writer’s process. Specifically, I am curious to know how you come to realize that you have completed a first draft? Like, how do you know when you have completed the meat of your narrative, and have something ready to turn in, probably get to chopped up all to hell, but still remain the meat of the work?

Writing is the worst.  The best part of writing a book is pitching it and finding out they’re going to buy it and then when it’s done.  The writing part is an exercise in being stuck in your own head and not being able to get the thoughts on to the page.  I know when I’m done with a first draft when the story makes sense, I’ve gone over it many, many times, read it aloud to myself, added some jokes where it’s not funny and added some heart where it needs the human touch and then thought, “Okay.  I’ve reached my full potential to make this better without the help of an editor who can point out where I can expand this or lose parts or explain it more.” And at that point it’s a relief to get it off of my desk.  I still say “off of my desk” as though I was working on a typewriter.

 

 

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

Readers! Come see me on tour in 2019! jenkirkman.com/tour

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Someone got rid of their Christmas tree but putting it in the middle of the road in my neighborhood and it stayed up for days.

 

Check out some tour dates to see Jen live below, and be sure to check out jenkirman.com for updates and additions and info on buying some sweet, sweet tickets. Or go up 3 sentences and hit that link as well. Either way, fucking do it. See Jen live!

February 8th – 9th, 2019: Arlington, Virginia @ Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse

February 14th, 2019: Seattle, Washington @ Neptune Theatre

February 21st, 2019: Los Angeles, California @ Hollywood Improv Lab

March 8th – 9th, 2019: Dallas, Texas @ Hyena’s Comedy Club

March 28th – 30th, 2019: Portland, Oregon @ Helium Comedy Club

April 24th, 2019: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania @ The Rex Theater

April 25th, 2019: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania @ Union Transfer

May 10th – 11th, 2019: Salt Lake City, Utah @ Wiseguy’s Comedy Club

September 11th, 2019: Brooklyn, New York @ TBA

September 13th, 2019: Boston, Massachusetts @ TBA

September 15th, 2019: San Diego, California @ KABOO Festival

Sunday Matinee: The Golem [Film]

“During an outbreak of a deadly plague, a mystical woman must save her tight-knit Jewish community from foreign invaders, but the entity she summons to protect them is a far greater evil. In this stunningly reimagined period horror version of an old mystical legend, a Jewish community in a shtetl are besieged by deadly intruders. Set in 17th century Lithuania, Hanna (Hani Furstenberg) the wistful, conflicted wife of the local rabbi’s son Benjamin (Ishai Golen),  secretly turns to Jewish mysticism and The Kabbalah to conjure up a dangerous entity to protect her community. But the creature she molds out of mud and summons to life echoes her tragic past and becomes so dangerously connected to its creator, that Hanna can’t see what a heartless monster she has fashioned from abject fear and desperate loathing.” – Big Time PR

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It is absolutely no secret that we love horror films here at Trainwreck’d Society. We have embraced, and have graciously been embrace by, the horror community across the world wide web. We’ve covered some pretty amazing titles in our time. And today, we may be covering one of the best titles we have ever seen from the world of independent horror. On a personal note, I must state that The Golem just so happens to contain the two elements that often time find themselves within the theme of horror, but not always working simultaneously. But when they do, holy shit am I going to be scared. Those themes would be 1) Religion and 2) Children. As a father of three, the idea of children being possessed (or simply the incarnation of any sort of demon like entity) is just about one of the scariest things in the world. And religion? Well, that should be a no-brainer. There is so much eery text out there detailing absolute insanity within the religious landscape. Although I will say, The Golem is probably my first experience with the Jewish community being the ones doing the summoning of demons. I am not up on my 17th century Lithuania mythology, but I believe this may be the first I am hearing of this. This sort of subject matter tends to lend itself mostly towards Catholics, so it was absolutely refreshing to see a story told through this lens.

I do have to say that when it comes to production value, The Golem is particularly well done. Just like Lithuanian folklore, I am not entirely tuned into the world of the independent of Israel, but it certainly seems that the likes of Doran and Yoaz Paz and cinematographer Rotem Yaron either are, or should be considered, some of the best in the business. The images are stark and frightening. While not jump scare heavy, as everything these days seem to be reliant upon, they do exist within the concept of the film and are done far better than I would have ever expected.

In the end, The Golem is a film that is far better than it should have been. With such a elaborate concept and wild idea for a film that was penned by Ariel Cohen, this film could have turned wildly south. But alas, it did not. The film remains true to the concept of the evil that is hidden within the systematic stage of religion, and the extent that some will go to keep from fading into the Dylan Thomas’s “good night”. I truly believe that The Golem is a wonderful film for horror fans and casual horror movie-goers alike. Though it is early in the year, I believe it is safe to say that The Golem will be one of the best horror films to be released in 2019

The Golem opened in Los Angeles this last Friday (February 1st), and will be available on VOD, DVD, & Blu Ray this Tuesday (February 5th), wherever you purchase films. Check out the trailer right here:

Catherine Mary Stewart [Interview]

 

Today we have some amazing words from the renowned actress Catherine Mary Stewart who has been delightfully entertaining the world for the last 40 years. She has appeared in everything from cult classic films (one of which happens to include some old friends of ours!) to legendary sci-fi/fantasy films, and so much more. With such an uncanny on screen presence, it is extremely clear why Stewart has had a long lasting presence in the world of film, television, and the stage. She is also one heck of a nice person, which is always a plus!

Catherine was kind enough to take a look back a bit at some of the projects she has worked on that we are very fond of here at Trainwreck’d Society. We also delve in a bit into what she has been working on lately, and how she has become a favorite amongst the Con scene, especially in regards to her magnificent performance in the 1984’s The Last Starfighter, which has only grown in popularity in the 35 years since it was released. Yes, from blockbusters to indie darlings, Catherine Mary Stewart has had a truly commendable career that we are so happy to hear about here today in our digital pages.

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words form the legend herself, the great Catherine Mary Stewart!

 

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When did you first discover that you had a passion for the world of acting? What was it that initially drew you into this world? I understand you started in the world of dance, over here on this side of the pond in London. What prompted the transition?

What I discovered through dance was that I loved being on stage performing and expressing myself.  The first time I performed professionally as a dancer in a company, I knew without a doubt that that was what I wanted to do.  It had a life altering, tangible effect on me.  Along with my dance training I performed in lots of theatre projects in school and took acting and singing classes.  After I graduated from high school in Canada I crossed to your side of the pond and studied at a performing arts school in London.  It’s during that time that I got my first professional acting gig.  I auditioned as a dancer for this rock musical called “The Apple” and was asked to read for the lead female role. I ended up getting it.  It was all very new for me but in a way it didn’t feel overwhelming.  There was a sense of natural progression and with my background I had the discipline from my years of dance training to work hard, to learn the ropes quickly and enjoy the moment.

 

 

You are a renowned performer in just about every genre, from sci-fi to comedy to thrillers. In your professional opinion as someone who has worked almost 40 years in the business, what are some major common traits amongst the genres that you have noticed? And what are some vast differences between certain genres?

I think the similarities are that the characters in any genre have to be identifiable and to the audience on some level.  There must be a level of reality no matter how bizarre the story or the audience won’t invest in the character and as a result the film.  The differences are in the way the story is told or the genre, and what the overall effect is on the audience, emotionally, psychologically and sometimes even physically.

In 1987, you appeared in a wonderful film that was directed by our dear friend Penelope Spheeris and featured our new friend Daniel Roebuck, entitled Dudes. The film has achieved cult classic status over the years for very obvious reasons. And as somebody with experience working on the film itself, I am curious to know if you had any opinions on what it is that made this film such a classic? And when you were working on the project, could you tell you were creating something memorable?

Certainly two stellar people, both of whom I call friends along with Jon Cryer.  I think what makes Dudes stand out is it’s originality.  I’d never seen anything like it before and I haven’t seen anything like it since.  Again, I think the characters are identifiable for an audience on many levels.  The are relatable characters in an outrageous situation.  I love the concept of Dudes.  I was drawn to this independent, strong, gun-slinging, horse riding character of Jessie.  I’ve always had a romantic vision of westerns and I craved to be a part of one.  I love that it is unique yet for me my character really embodied my idea of a character in a western.  I loved working with Penelope, Jon and Daniel.  Everyone was 100% invested in this crazy thing and it shows on the screen.

 

 

And speaking of a filmmaker like Penelope Spheeris, who is one of our favorites, I am always curious to know from a performer’s perspective: what makes a great director to work with in your opinion? What sort of dynamic between filmmaker and performer do you believe needs to be in place in order for a project to be a success?

A director needs to have a clear personal vision of what the project is and what they want to say.  There must be unwavering belief in the vision, enthusiasm, integrity and communication with the cast and the crew to bring their vision to light.  Penelope knows what she likes, knows what she wants and knows who she is.  Those qualities are more than apparent in her work.

You have been known to make quite a few con appearances, whether it be for some of your cult classic appearances like Night of the Comet and Last Starfighter, which are HUGE in the sci-fi world, or maybe a Weekend At Bernies event. Overall, how has the fan reaction been to your appearances at these types of event? What type of folks have shown up to awe over your presence?

The fans at these events are the best!  There is no specific “type” that shows up.  Generally they are passionate about the genre, some dress as certain characters, but overall they are just big fans of the movies.  The impact these movies can have on people cannot be underestimated.  It certainly didn’t occur to me at the time we were making them.  I’m so proud of Night of the Comet and The Last Starfighter because I believe the impact they have had is positive and even inspiring.   There have been so many fans that I’ve had the privilege to meet that have shared their personal stories about how these movies influenced them as young people and through the years.  It’s truly lovely for me to hear all the accounts!

 

 

When you look back on your decades spanning career thus far, what would you say you are most proud of in a professional sense? What do you believe your legacy will be in the world of film and television?

I have so enjoyed my career and I’m proud of everything that I’ve done for one reason or the other.  I’ve never compromised myself for any project so looking back I have no regrets.  In terms of my “legacy” I have no idea and haven’t really thought about it.  What I do know is that I am not done yet so if there is any legacy per se it will change over time I hope.

When you are not on set somewhere across the globe, what would one find Catherine Mary Stewart doing for a little “me” time?

There is a lot of down time in this business so I have a lot of “me time”.  Mostly I’ve been planning what I’m going to do next.  I’ve been doing a lot of writing and working on getting a project or two off the ground.  I really enjoy the process of putting together a project and getting it to fruition.  I am looking to direct more and of course continue to act.

I love to travel.  I’ve travelled a lot in my life and I never get tired of it.  I find it fascinating to explore other places and cultures.  They are always so much more than you could ever read about in a newspaper or a book.  It is life expanding and educating on so many levels.  I encourage everyone to travel far and wide.

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

Specifically I’ve been working on several screen plays that I hope to either act in or direct or both.  I’ve also been working towards producing a play here in New York.

To keep up to date on everything that I’m doing your readers can check out my social media:

https://www.facebook.com/catherinemarystewart/

https://twitter.com/cmsall

https://www.instagram.com/catherinemarystewart/

http://catherinemarystewart.com/

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Well, I smile a LOT!  Life is good!  Probably the last thing that made me very happy was having my children over for dinner.  They tease me a lot and it cracks me up!  I always have a great belly laugh around them.  They inspire me every day.

 

 

Check out this lovely set of stills provide by Catherine herself from a variety of her work: