Hello, everybody. It’s been a while since I last put up an article on here, but I wanted to share a new interview with all of you. I recently had the great pleasure of doing a brief e-mail interview with Adrienne Barbeau. It’s a brief one because Ms. Barbeau is in the middle of several new projects, but she did take the time to answer a few of my questions about her work from the 70s to today. I hope you all enjoy reading this interview.
Say hello to Adrienne Barbeau!
Johnny: You played Rizzo in the original Broadway production of Grease, and have co-written a book about that production. Whether as a stage show or a movie, Grease has had a tremendous amount of staying power. Why do you think that is?
Adrienne: I think Grease continues to entertain audiences because it’s universal in its appeal. Every one of us recognizes our high school self in one of those characters onstage. And we laugh and cry right along with them.
Johnny: You memorably played Carol Traynor on the classic sitcom Maude, which ended with the title character on her way to Washington D.C to become a congresswoman and Carol and her son on their way to live in Colorado. As I often ask the actors I interview about the characters they play, what do you suppose Carol would be doing in 2022?
Adrienne: Who knows, maybe Carol followed in Maude’s footsteps and became an activist. Right now she’d be fighting for abortion rights and a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions. She’d be fighting for gender equality, marriage equality, the rights of the LGBTQ community, and she’d be leading the charge against banning books!
Johnny: In 1982, you played Wilma Northrup in the classic horror anthology Creepshow. Of quite a few horror movies you’ve appeared in over the years, would you say that Creepshow is the horror film you’re most recognized for, or would that credit go to another movie?
Adrienne: Creepshow is definitely one of the films I’m most recognized for, but there are a lot of Fog fans out there, too.
Johnny: As with quite a few of my previous interview subjects, you appeared on Murder, She Wrote. What was your favorite part of making appearances on that show?
Adrienne: What I loved most about doing Murder, She Wrote was getting to work with Angela Lansbury. What a lovely woman she was.
Johnny: You voiced Catwoman on Batman: The Animated Series. For charity costume balls and the like, have you ever considered dressing up as Catwoman, or any of the other characters you’ve essayed over the course of your career?
Adrienne: I have never attended a costume ball, primarily because I don’t like wearing costumes. Halloween is one of my least favorite holidays; I never want to get dressed up as someone else.
Johnny: You made a memorable appearance as Nina in the Best Picture Oscar winner Argo. In 2021, I interviewed John Bruno, the Oscar-winning special effects artist who was involved in the actual Argo plot. Were you approached about being involved in the actual Argo plot as well, or was the 2012 movie the closest you came to it?
Adrienne: Appearing in ARGO was the closest I came to being involved in the actual plot to rescue the hostages.
Johnny: When it comes to signing sexy photos of you, while explicit personalizations are obviously out of the question, are you okay with flirty personalizations?
Adrienne: I usually sign my fan photos “My best, Adrienne Barbeau”. Creepshow photos lend themselves to “Just call me Billie, everyone does” or one of Wilma’s other classic lines. I’m not into flirty personalizations.
Johnny: What’s been the most wonderful piece of memorabilia you’ve signed at a convention?
Adrienne: Not sure this classifies as “wonderful” but I have signed a few body parts for fans – an arm or a back.
Johnny: Returning to acting, whether credited or uncredited, you’ve provided computer voices in several movies including The Thing, Demolition Man and Judge Dredd. Is that a coincidence, or do you feel your voice lends itself to voicing computers?
Adrienne: I don’t remember doing Judge Dredd or Demolition Man but I suspect I was hired because someone thought my voice worked as a computer voice. As far as The Thing goes, well, I was married to the director at the time!
Johnny: You’ve played Berthe in Pippin, the character who sings the classic show tune No Time At All. Do you feel that a person of any age can sing No Time At All, or do you find it to be a song one has to age to in order to sing?
Adrienne: The lyrics to “No Time at All” have to be sung by an older person, but the sentiment is good for all ages.
Johnny: If you’re able to say so, what’s next for you in terms of movies and TV?
Adrienne: Right now I am co-starring in a new series for Amazon Prime which is currently in production, I have a couple of films in post-production and I start work on another horror film in mid-October.
I would like to thank Adrienne Barbeau for taking the time to answer my questions, and I would like to thank Jian Huang of PH Collective for helping to set up this interview. You can find out more about Adrienne’s life and work, as well as the pictures that helped illustrate this interview, at her official website.
Coming soon to the Flashback Interview are conversations with Oscar-winning makeup artist Kevin Haney and dancer/singer Deborah Jenssen. Thank you as always for taking the time to read these articles.