Leslie McRay [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! Today’s interview subject is one we would consider to be an absolute legend in the world of film and television. Leslie McRay has worked in just about every realm possible in these worlds. Starting out as an international model, moving on to appear in several films and television shows, and eventually landing herself working behind the scenes as well as in front of it. While possibly not her biggest film, the main reason I was interested in having Leslie on the site was for her absolutely brilliant performance in one of my favorite films of all time, the Roger Corman classic film Death Race 2000. If you haven’t seen this one Folks, I implore you to do so! It is one of the most fun experiences you can have in watching cinema. And McRay shines throughout it. We get into a bit below.

Yes, Leslie McRay has had a career that should bring her just so much pride. She has done it her way, and has continued with great success throughout her career. We talked about Death Race, her work in the exploitation world, her new project revolved around celebrity miracles, and so much more. You’re going to love this one Folks!

So strap in, and please enjoy some wonderful responses from the absolutely brilliant Leslie McRay!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something that you had always aspired to do since you were a child, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

Since I was born on my mother’s 15th birthday she needed to send us to school in an orphanage.  Another family tried to adopt me.  This created an abandonment issue.  One day I cried to God “Someday the world will hear from me!”  Then when she became Mrs. Wyoming- I saw the pictures of her and knew my destiny.  She got me back, in time for us to move to California.  The kids at school told me that I was going to become an actress.

In more recent years, you have moved to be more behind the camera working in the world of producing, included working as an EP on the Oscars at one point, according to IMDb. So how did this transition come about? Did you always want to work on the other side of the camera? 

I am ambidextrous and very creative so setting around on the set waiting to say one line bored me. I began assisting in production and quickly developed the skills to produce.  While shooting the Award winning docudrama Day of Miracles (the miracle survivors of 9/11), I wrote the script at night through googling the incidents and produced during the days. 

 

One film you appeared in has to be one of my favorite films of all time, which would be 1975’s Death Race 2000. It’s not only a Corman classic, but it is just a classic all around in my mind. So what drew you to this insane story? And how was your experience working on such a truly unique film?

Just becoming an International Model, one of the first films that I acted in was the classic Death Race 2000.  I was offered the lead but I turned down the nudity.  Loved working with Carridine and Stallone. Stallone was bragging about a little boxing film, Rocky in which he had to raise the money, in order to play the lead! 

Throughout the 60’s & 70’s, you worked in the world of films now known as “exploitation films”, which have re-emerged in popular culture in recent years. As an obvious expert from the original world, I am curious to know if you had any opinions as to why the popularity and mystic of these films has only continued to rise? What is it about films like Girl in Gold Boots or Coffy that keep them relavent and beloved after a half of a decade? 

I feel that people love the 60’s – 70’s because they were more real.  Today’s films are frequently created from extreme-tech special-effects. In that other era there was an interesting story to follow.

 

I am very intrigued by a project of yours that I discovered on IMDb, but haven’t gotten the chance to check out, entitled Real Celebrity Miracles. You not only host the project, but you also wrote, produced, & directed the whole thing. Can you tell our readers a bit about this? How did this project come to life?

While interviewing for Celebrity Miracles on Oscar Night I asked inspirational questions and got amazing answers! The name of our show, Star Power, created an opportunity to ask “What is the power behind the Stars?”   Frequently the answers were, “God is the Power behind the Stars”(Dyan Cannon)!  Other answers were: “Yes- I have had an Angel experience” (Richard Dreyfus and Jane Seymour)!

Prince’s girl friend (Vanity), and background singer said “Due to the drugs and alcohol I had only minutes to live and someone prayed with me in the hospital.  “I had a complete miraculous healing!”  (Omar Sharif) one night wrote a check for almost everything he had.  His life completed turned around after that event! 

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

I am always on the look-out for inspirational stories. I am packaging a true story, Fighting Spirit, now which is about a Hispanic young boy who gets scholar-shipped into High School Wrestling.  Due to extreme working out he falls into a coma.  Doctors give him a slim chance to live.  His brother prayed and he miraculously recovers.  He then became the first High School Camp of California!

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Last smile  was Easter when I designed flowers for Sunday brunch for 40 tables for seniors.

 

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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