I was first introduced to my next interview subject, Lezlie Deane, through my friendship with former interview subject JJ Cohen, who co-starred with her in the 1988 horror favorite 976-Evil. I sent her a friend request shortly afterward, and we got to know each other well enough to do an interview in 2015. Unfortunately, a lot of things came up and we were never able to publish it, but she agreed to do another interview on Tuesday, October 10th. Lezlie Deane is an actress, a singer, a roller-skater and a former model, and she talked about all of that and more, including a common bond I was pleasantly surprised to find we share.
I hope you enjoy reading this. Say hello to Lezlie Deane!
Johnny: Hello, Lezlie.
Lezlie: Hey, Johnny. How are you?
Johnny: I’m doing good. Before anything, thank you for agreeing to do this again.
Lezlie: Thank you. Hey, let me ask you one question. Do you have Asperger’s?
Lezlie: Awesome! I knew it. First of all, thank you so much for doing what you do! Our brains fucking rock.
Johnny: I’m very flattered by that compliment, and it’s an honor to knowyou and be able to speak to you. Alright. I have my questions ready to go…
Johnny: Starting off with this: You have extensive experience as a roller-skater, whether as a roller derby player, or utilizing the skates
in acting roles like your appearance on Night Court. How did you start roller-skating, and what’s been the most fun thing about doing that?
Lezlie: I started roller-skating at, like, six or seven years old because I was bored in Texas. I learned how to skate, and then I
learned that there was competitive art skating and speed skating, and that’s what really made it fun. I get really obsessive-compulsive with it. Wanted to be the best I could be.
Johnny: Alright. My next question is: You have some experience as a model. What drew you to that field?
Lezlie: It was either that or become a stripper in Hollywood. i just thought if i became a stripper i would end up doing comedy dance routines on stage.
Johnny: Okay. One of your most intriguing photos you did as a model was a bikini photo where, on Facebook, you said it reminded you of the Heat Miser from The Year Without A Santa Claus, while I said it reminded me of adult film legend Lois Ayres. What’s the story behind that picture, and what do you think has made it stand out after all these years?
Lezlie: That’s actually from when I first moved to L.A and a guy said, “Hey, do you want to make some money? I want to do a photo shoot of you”. He did it, i saw it and said, “I look like the motherfucking Heat Miser”. I never let him release that picture.
Johnny: Well, I certainly think it was a lot better than you had initially given it credit for.
Lezlie: Oh, thank you so much.
Johnny: Alright. You made an appearance in the video for W.A.S.P’s “L.O.V.E Machine”, and looked smoldering doing so. What’s your favorite memory of working on that video, and have you ever considered covering the song?
Lezlie: I’ve never considered covering the song. My favorite memory is that the guys from W.A.S.P were so cool, and working with Rick Rosenthal, who directed it. That was one of my first jobs in Hollywood. The funny thing is that I was in a Meisner acting class where we were told, “You cannot miss an acting class, or you will be kicked out”. I was very diligent, and I take people literally for what they say. It’s like, “I can’t miss an acting class even though I have a paying acting gig in Hollywood. I have to go to acting class now”. They said, “Okay, we have to bump her shoot up first. ” I wasn’t in the video that much, but happy with the outcome.
Johnny: Definitely. According to the IMDB, you made your credited acting debut as Lola on the TJ Hooker episode “Partners In Death”.
Johnny: After you had spent time as a model, were you nervous about making the jump to acting, or was it easy to do?
Lezlie: I looked at it as an awesome adventure. The thing is, when I went in and auditioned, William Shatner was really cool. I
auditioned with him. I had no idea he was going to direct the episode. We just wen through the lines and we had a blast. After
that, I got the role, and then when I got to the set, I said to him, “I thought I was doing this role with you”. He said, “No, no, you’re doing
it with another actor”. I said, “It’s not going to be as fun as it was with you”. We just really had a connection. It’s really weird. I pretty much always have a great connection with the directors i worked with. It was the same with Robert Englund on 976-Evil. Anyway, we finished shooting my scenes (or so i thought) for TJ Hooker , and Mr. Shatner came into my dressing room and said, “Now we have to go for close-ups”. i was like, “Shit. I thought i was finished. How can I recreate what I just did then?”. It was a great learning experience for me. You have to be cognizant of what you do on set all the time. Does that make sense?
Johnny: It does make sense. That could also apply to life in general.
Johnny: Speaking of 976-Evil, after having made several TV guest shots, what was it like to be making a movie?
Lezlie: Its cool because you get to delve into the character development so much more!
Johnny: Okay. To my next question: Your first participation in the Nightmare On Elm Street universe came through your role as Sue Kaller in the Freddy’s Nightmares episode “Cabin Fever”. This was your second collaboration with Robert Englund as a director. Have you ever
considered directing yourself?
Lezlie: I get to do that with our music videos. Actually, that wasn’t my first. It was after Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.
Johnny: Oh, alright. I’ll be returning to the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise in a moment, but first, near the end of the run of Dynasty,
you played the role of Phoenix Chisolm. What was your favorite part of working on that show?
Lezlie: My favorite part of working on that show was my friends coming up with my nickname, which was “Fetus Jism”. (Johnny laughs) That’s all I have to say about that.
Lezlie: Well, just let me say Joan Collins was awesome. Gordon Thomson was amazing. i was grateful for that opportunity, for sure.
Johnny: Alright. You made your permanent mark on the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise with Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, playing Tracy, the woman who finally killed Freddy Kruegger. What was your favorite part of working on that movie?
Lezlie: My favorite part was bonding with everybody. It was just amazing! Working with Rachel rocked, and it’s pretty cool that from all the movies and comic books Tracy is the sole survivor. She holds the title!
Johnny: Cool. So, what do you think it is about the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise that’s given it such a lasting appeal?
Lezlie: You know what? So many people ask me that. I’ve rolled it around in my brain and I really don’t know. I truly, truly, truly don’t know, but just off the top of my head, maybe it’s because most people liked to be scared. maybe it’s about overcoming one’s own fears. whether it’s a father that molested you, or the boogieman. I don’t know. You tell me…What is it?
Johnny: I do think it’s the fact that, well, people have nightmares, and watching a movie like A Nightmare On Elm Street, or any of its’ sequels, helps to channel that fear into something of therapy…
Lezlie: …Which is weird, I get a lot of messages from people saying that the character, Tracy has really helped them in their life. I think Tracy is grand, in a way, because she literally kicked the shit out of Freddy. Maybe it all boils down to, “Stand strong. Face and overcome your fears”.
Johnny: I think it’s something like that. To my next question: Although you would continue acting throughout the 90s, this was also the decade when your musical side started showing, starting with your time in the group Fem2Fem. Touring with them in the 90s, what’s your most exciting story from the road, the scariest and the funniest?
Lezlie: It was just a blast to tour with Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, and I’ll leave it at that, hahahaha!! That’s all I have to say.
Johnny: What was your favorite song that you recorded with Fem2Fem?
Lezlie: Most of them.
Lezlie: Here is why. It was such an amazing and bizarre opportunity. I think i learned so much from just absorbing. I believe it helped propel me to where I am now. I am very thankful for that, plus i have made lifelong friends from Fem2Fem.
Johnny: It does, and it leads me to my next question. More recently, you’ve taken a turn from pop to punk with your group Scary Cherry And The Bang Bangs. What has Scary Cherry provided for you that Fem2Fem didn’t?
Lezlie: i get to express myself even more. Minx The Jinx and i write all the songs with the band. We do most all our artwork and video work. Aurelia Baker has a hand in that as well, so I get to be creative in most all aspects with Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs!
Johnny: Alright. Your band has the alter-ego of a throwback group called The Dead 20s, who perform songs in the styles of performers from the 20s and 30s. Considering that there were risque songs in that time, have you ever considered performing those songs with this side project?
Lezlie: We do.
Johnny: I guess I was thinking of songs like the song by Harry Roy, “My Girl’s Pussy”, or “Shave Me Dry” by Lucille Bogan.
Lezlie: Oh, yeah. No, we’re original.
Lezlie: I mean, if we’re going to do covers, it’s going to be for the people who inspired me/us. We do a cover of Iggy Pop’s “Funtime”, Runaways “Cherry Bomb”, and “Time Warp”. Gotta say, I think our covers are pretty badass. We will most likely record them in the next 6 months. We have some really cool stuff coming up that we are excited about
Johnny: Definitely. What’s been your favorite gig so far with Scary Cherry And The Bang Bangs?
Lezlie: Okay. That would be with Sponge. Do you remember Sponge from the 90s?
Johnny: I do.
Lezlie: There have been so many. One in recent months pops out….We opened up for Sponge here in Dallas. Sponge’s lead singer, Vinnie, is such a bad-ass, and he always wears sunglasses onstage. Whenever we played with them, he kept looking for us in the audience. He said, “Scary Cherry, get up on stage and sing with us”, and I did. He took his glasses off and there was this great
connection of 2 people, eye-to-eye, going, “This is what we’re doing onstage, moment to moment”. It reminded me of being an actor. “This is true. This is real. We are doing this together, and it rocks”. That is one of my favorite moments, and coming up soon, there will be an awesome moment. Can’t wait to share it with you!
Johnny: Fantastic to hear. Now I’d like to ask about a couple of the music videos of Scary Cherry And The Bang Bangs.
Lezlie: I get direct most of them, and edit them with Aurelia. Her post production is out of this world!
Johnny: Alright. With the music videos you’ve directed, who have been your biggest influences as a director?
Lezlie: i really don’t know…
Johnny: Okay. Have you only directed for yourself, or have you directed for others?
Lezlie: People have asked Aurelia and I to direct for them, but the thing is, I have to be really close to the project, and I don’t have time to be close to any other project except ours.
Johnny: Alright. Fair enough. You started out in dance-pop, and are now doing glitter punk. What music would I be most surprised to find on your iPod?
Lezlie: Goldfrapp and Katy Perry.
Johnny: I think that if Katy Perry were to really do some digging down and do a Scary Cherry song, that’d be interesting to hear.
Lezlie: Goldfrapp is a great band to have sex to…
Johnny: Alright. You’ve appeared at quite a few conventions…
Lezlie: Actually, I have not.
Johnny: Oh, you haven’t? I’m sorry.
Johnny: My apologies. Sorry.
Lezlie: That’s okay. I may have appeared to help somebody deliver magazines. I think I’ve done it twice in my life. I just wanna move forward. If the conventions want the Bang Bangs to play, that is a different story.
Johnny: Alright. What would you say has been the biggest change in the entertainment industry between the 1980s and 2017?
Lezlie: Which industry?
Johnny: Since music is your primary focus, we’ll say music.
Lezlie: The Internet. Shouldn’t that then be all the way around?
Johnny: Yeah, I would think so, what with the rise of Netflix and iTunes and websites where you can download games. I think digital is probably the main thing.
Lezlie: Of course it is.
Johnny: Alright. I now ask my last question, and it’s this: Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
Lezlie: Rocking my ass off onstage all over this awesome planet! Married and have had several books published..
Johnny: Well, that about does it for my questions. I again thank you for taking the time to speak to me. I certainly enjoyed this interview, and it was interesting getting to know more about you.
Lezlie: This was awesome. Thank you so much for your time and patience!
Johnny: Thanks. I’ll catch you on Facebook and I’ll speak to you soon.
Lezlie: Thank you, my Asperger’s brother.
Johnny: Thank you, my Asperger’s sister.
Lezlie: Okay, bye!
I would again like to thank Lezlie Deane for taking the time out of her schedule to speak to me. For more about Lezlie Deane’s life and work, you can visit her Facebook fan page, where a lot of the cool pictures in this article came from. If you’re interested in getting Lezlie Dean’s autograph, you can visit her online store.
Who will I Flashback with next? Stay tuned.