|With Tippi Hedren in The Birds.|
Café: You appeared in three of the most intense (and famous) scenes in The Birds: the attack at the school; the birthday party; and the birds swooping down the chimney. Which was the most demanding for you as an actress and why?
VC: I didn't like those birds swooping down from the chimney. There were thousands of them. We were in a bubble and they would just swoop down and go to fly up and then realize there was nowhere to go. Then, they just dropped. That one was the most challenging because it was so confining.
|Veronica as Violet Rutherford.|
VC: I think just everybody could identify with the Beaver and his older brother. It was a clean, family show. I gave Beaver his first kiss at 9 years old. In the 1985 version, they intercut it with the kissing episode. In the movie, Violet poses as a real estate woman who has a side business of being a dominatrix. It was very funny.
Café: Daniel Boone fans have long wondered why Jemima Boone, Daniel’s daughter, didn’t appear in any episodes after the second season. Was that the producers’ decisions (perhaps to trim costs) or did you want to pursue other acting opportunities?
VC: I got to a certain point and they were giving me opportunities to be more of a romantic lead and have more mature story lines with such actors as Fabian. The actress playing my mother didn't care for that, so she wouldn't sign her contract if they brought me back. She felt that it aged her.
Café: How did you come to be cast as Lambert in Alien?
|Veronica as Lambert in Alien.|
Café: Alien and Invasion of the Body Snatchers are two very different science fiction films. While both generate plenty of suspense, Alien depends, in large part, on a monster created by special effects. The most frightening aspect of Body Snatchers is its theme. Which kind of movie presents the biggest challenge to an actress? And which do you think is more terrifying?
VC: Actually, there was no CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery). The Alien was a man from the Masai tribe who was over seven feet tall. They built the suit to fit him. He could only move very slowly and took mime lessons and tai chi. In a sense, Body Snatchers is more psychological. The scary thing about Body Snatchers was the aspect of living in a grey area and not feeling love or hate. There was always the prospect that if you fell asleep you could wake up and be a zombie. Alien was more like a Hitchcock film where your mind was doing more of the scaring because you would just see glimpses as an audience member until the Alien stepped out. They were both equally challenging for different reasons. I guess Alien was more terrifying because of the monster, but then again the other one is a creepy concept to think of.
|As Cassandra Spender, with Fox Mulder|
in the background.
VC: Well, the first two episodes were shot in Canada. My character is wheelchair bound and we discover she has a chip in the back of her neck like Scully. I had been abducted and by the end of the second episode I was abducted again. When I came back I was now able to walk. My take on what happened was that since I knew so much about the aliens, I had become one of them. It was really fun. Chris Carter directed one of my episodes.
|Veronica in Goin' South, directed by|
VC: They are all great for their own reasons. I've done three movies with Phil. He knows you’ve done your homework and he trusts you to make a well rounded character. Jack is just nuts. He’s great. It’s like one big giant party. Ridley has a terrific eye for detail. And I already talked about my experiences with Hitchcock and Wyler.
Café: You and your sister Angela appeared together in a 1960 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (“The Swartz-Metteaklume Method”) and you were a guest star on Make Room for Daddy. Were there ever any plans to make a movie starring the Cartwright sisters? (Perhaps a science fiction film for fans of Alien and Lost in Space?)
VC: Well, at one point, Angela and I decided to get together with Tony Dow and a bunch of other actors like Billy Mumy, Billy Grey, Johnny Crawford and several others to make a space movie, but it never got off the ground.
Café: Are you working on any projects now that you’d like to share with your fans?
VC: Yes! I’m on Resurrection, the ABC show, at 10 P.M. on Sundays starting March 9th. My character’s name is Helen Edgerton. Also, I am in the motion picture The Town that Dreaded Sundown. It is a remake of the 1976 movie of the same name and will be released by Sony in September.
You can learn more about Veronica Cartwright at her web site: www.veronica-cartwright.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/veesland.