The Hills Have Eyes started it all for you in the horror genre. What was it like working with Wes Craven on his mere third feature? Did he show the makings of a great director?
Yes. From the very start. Wes was very quiet, but very focused and creative.
It’s hard to predict which movies will work and which ones won't. Did you suspect that this particular one had that extra something that could elevate it to what it's considered to be today - a highly revered horror classic?
It was a shock to everyone. We thought it was just....another horror film. See how much actors don’t know.
The Howling is widely regarded as one of the best werewolf movies ever and brought such a refreshing new take on the subgenre. Its success enabled it to become a franchise that spawned no less than seven sequels. What could you tell us about working with Joe Dante, and did you happen to run into his mentor Roger Corman, who had a cameo in the movie?
I adore Joe. Fun, creative, caring and brilliant. He took the film to a whole new creative level. Yes, I got to spend some moment with the great Roger Corman!
In the last scene of the movie, your character transform into a werewolf. Were you happy with the final look of the transformation? Because in my eyes it has always come off as looking more like a cute dog than a werewolf.
I thought it was creative. It is an animatronic and my only request was that she look more vulnerable than the others because she had fought so very hard against it for the good.
You starred in E.T., a phenomenon that went on to become one of the highest grossing movies of all time. Did that movie change the way you were able to go about your days? Was it hard for you to go to the store without being swarmed by fans wanting an autograph or people yelling "Phone home!"?
Ha! Not at all. Of course, it enlarged my popularity a lot, but it really didn’t change my life much, except that I was much more in demand.
Cujo is one of those movies people are familiar with even if they haven't seen it, thanks to the numerous references towards it whenever there's talk of a mean dog in a movie, TV-show or even real life. I think that's one of, if not the best performance of yours, where you put your maternal side to great use. Was it a particularly challenging part to play, having to spend all that time in a car and acting terrified of a rabid dog?
Cujo was, by far, the most difficult role I ever tackled. It is also my favorite. It was a challenge to play all that emotional range and keep it real and yet intense. And thanks for the compliment.
Roughly how many days did you spend in that car during the shooting of Cujo?
Too many! Over half the shoot.
Did you get to meet the author of the novel Cujo is based on, Stephen King? I know he has nice things to say about you, once mentioning that he feels you should have gotten an Oscar nomination for your work on that movie.
He was on the set the first day. I met him. Very nice, very quiet and unassuming. I liked him immediately.
One of my personal favorites of yours and in general in the horror genre is Critters. That seems to have been a fun movie to be a part of. Did you enjoy working on that movie?
Yes. We had lots of fun. We shot a lot of nights, which was challenging, but we all had fun doing it!
The Chiodo Brothers created the stars of the film, the Krites. What were your impressions of their creations and did you get to spend any time with the brothers on the set? Doing what they do for a living, I get the feeling they are quite the characters.
Yes, they are interesting characters! Of course they were on set, wrangling the little suckers. Rolling them onto the set, actually. Sometimes it was hard to stay in the drama and not crack up.
For what looks like to have been a fairly complicated movie to shoot, I think first-time director Stephen Herek did a very good job, succeeding in creating a horror movie vibe and injecting just the right amount of humor to it. Did other, more experienced crew and members of the cast give him some guidance during the shoot, or was he just a natural?
Wow. I have no idea. I just remember feeling I was in very good hands and he knew what he was doing.
Your son in the movie, played by Scott Grimes, was the only family member who appeared in the sequel. Were you ever in talks of returning for another installment?
I was approached, I think, but chose to decline.
Your career is filled with varied roles in lots of different genres in movies and on TV, but you are most known for your work in horror movies, where you’ve no doubt become an icon. Taking guest spots on horror-themed shows like Grimm and Supernatural and cameos like the one in Abominable all these years later, it seems like you've embraced it. Are you indeed comfortable with the status you've earned among the genre's fans?
I am proud to be a scream queen, baby! Love to do the emotional stuff!
You've been fortunate enough to work with a lot of talented directors in your career, including some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Which one did you learn the most from about filmmaking and is there a director you've yet to work with that you'd really like to?
OMG. Sooo many directors I would love to work with. And I REALLY want to work with Anthony Hopkins! As far as learning, it would have to be Blake Edwards, whom, I did 10 with.
You've recently produced your first full length feature, the horror movie Red Christmas, which you also star in. What's the story behind that and could you tell us a little bit about the movie?
I was actually gifted that credit because of my input on the film. Thank you, Craig Anderson. I can’t give away the story! Go see it. If you are a horror fan, you’re gonna love this very original film.
Based on the fan mail you receive, the interactions you have with fans on conventions and what they want you to sign for them, which movie seems to be the most popular one?
How would you describe working on a Hollywood movie backed by a big studio with a big budget compared to working on an independent one? Is it more of a team effort when working on a smaller movie?
Of course. Sometimes I think the big budget movies take almost TOO much time. But really, it depends on the mood of the set, and that is set by the director.
It’s a toss-up between Cujo, E.T., and The Howling.
So, you've come up against deranged, cannibal serial killers, outer space creatures, werewolves, Bigfoot and an alligator, to name a few. What kind of horror movies do you personally like? What scares Dee Wallace?
The world. What we are doing to ourselves through the lack of love. Nothing is more terrifying that man’s inhumanity against man.
What is your opinion on the horror movie genre today compared to when you started out in the 70's and 80's?
There aren’t many real horror films with detailed stories and defined characters. Call them slasher films. And those you can’t compare to the real deal.
Out of all the roles you've played in movies and on TV, can you name one or a few performances that you're particularly proud of and why?Cujo
, hands down. A movie of the week called Texas Cadet Murders
, and Red Christmas
Your daughter, Gabrielle, seems to be following in your footsteps. Not only is she a working actress, she also does a lot of work in the same genre you've made such a big mark in. Did she always want to become an actress like her mom?
Yep. Definitely started in the womb.
My final acting-related question for you is simply; how would you like to be remembered as an actress?
One part of your life that people may not know about is that you have another career as a healer. Could you tell us more about that and how it got started?
It began in my acting studio, when my husband Chris dies. I asked for a way to heal ourselves, and information started pouring in. I am a channel, and reach into people’s energy to uncover their blocks so they can move forward.
Dee tillsammans med hennes dåvarande make Christopher Stone
Depression is still something a lot of people are not comfortable talking about, whether it's themselves or a friend or loved one suffering from it, so I really respect the fact that you talk a lot about the importance of peoples' self-worth, that we have to love ourselves. Have you always had good self-esteem and that positive outlook on life?
Pretty much. That being said, I work on loving myself more every day!
Dee med BuppaLaPaloo, den interaktiva teddybjörnen hon skapade för att hjälpa barn få ökat självförtroende och känna sig älskade.
Being a very busy woman, working both on film and TV, how do you manage to make time for your other career? Do you sometimes have to turn down parts in order to make room for your work as a healer, or does your film and TV-career always come first?
No. I hold the intention for it all to work out, and it does. I also love everything I do, so it isn’t work!
Finally. is there something else you'd like to share with my readers? Any lesson or words of wisdom? The floor is yours.
Just that we are the only ones in our way. We literally fight against what we say we want. Sometimes it’s our upbringing and our little child says,” No! You can’t do that.” Wherever it comes from, our job/opportunity is to integrate ourselves so ALL of us want to come on board and play.
Stort tack till Dee för intervjun! För att läsa mer om Dee, hennes karriär som helare, ta reda på hennes framtida events eller köpa en av hennes böcker kan du göra det på hennes hemsida, IAmDeeWallace.com