I’m big on staying through movies until the closing credits end. I look out for all sorts of things, from mid-and-after-credits scenes to random jokes to the names of the people involved in making the movies. That’s how I came across my newest interview subject, Marian Green, whose name I saw listed among the stunt people for 1988’s Night Of The Demons when I recently viewed that cult classic on IMDB’s streaming service. I loved that movie, and seeing Marian’s name listed in the credits, I looked her up on IMDB.
I was stunned to see that Marian did stunt work on some of the most memorable movies of the past 40 years, and isn’t showing signs of stopping any time soon. She’s also an active producer as well, and when I saw that, I became even more intrigued. I reached out to her about an interview, and we talked earlier this month about her work from the 80s to now. I hope you all enjoy getting to know her.
Say hello to Marian Green!
Johnny: Let’s start off with this: Was entering the field of stuntwork a dream of yours’ growing up, or was it something, pardon the pun, that you fell into?
Marian: (Laughing) Well, I got into stunts as a choice. I didn’t fall into it, and I didn’t dream about it as a kid. In fact, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a stuntwoman until I saw the movie “Hooper”. I guess that was around 1978. I was in college at UCLA, planning to become a physical therapist, but once I saw that movie, all of a sudden I got the idea. “Hmm, I wonder if there’s such a thing as a stuntwoman?”.
Of course, I was living in Los Angeles, so first I contacted Screen Actors’ Guild. They gave me the names and phone number of a couple of different stuntwomen, and I contacted them. I started looking around for advice, and I found there was a stunt school in Los Angeles at the time called Kahana’s Stunt School. I went there for six weeks, and I felt encouraged. Mr. Kahana was quite encouraging, and so I decided to pursue it more.
I eventually left college a few units short of graduating, but I decided to give myself four years to either make it in the stunt business or find a different career. It took pretty much the full four years. In the beginning of my career, 1980 and 1981, I worked on only two or three shows. It was very slow in the beginning, and hard to break in, but then once things got going around 1983 and 1984, I worked on big action TV shows like “The Fall Guy”, “Knight Rider”, “Magnum P.I.”, “Hunter”, and on “Cagney and Lacey”, I was Tyne Daly’s regular stunt double. Television was where I got my start. There was just so much of it, and shows like The Fall Guy had big stunts happening every week, sometimes several times a day. It was a great show to work on. I lived in Santa Monica, California, which was just a few miles from 20th Century Fox, where they filmed it.
When I meet young people who want to get into stunts, I tell them that once I decided to become a stuntwoman, I was like a horse wearing blinders. It was like getting tunnel vision. I just focused all my efforts going into that direction, which was training and learning new skills and meeting people. Julie Michaels is one of my best friends, so when I saw you had interviewed her too, I’m sure you learned a lot because she has so much knowledge about the stunt business.
The answer is I didn’t fall into it, and it wasn’t my focus as a child because I didn’t know much about the film business. In fact, I think I went to see maybe two movies a year with my parents. I can almost count on one hand how many movies I saw as a child (laughing). So I had a lot to learn.
Johnny: Alright. One of your first film credits as a stuntwoman was the 1983 thriller Double Exposure. You’re the second talent from that movie that I’ve interviewed, the first being Jeana Keough, so what was it like to be doing stunts on the big screen as opposed to your first few credits on television?
Marian: Honestly, I don’t recall there being a difference between working on TV and working on film, especially that particular movie. That was a really low-budget movie for its time, and most of the TV shows I worked on had larger crews and, I think, more money behind them. A day’s work as a stuntperson is a day’s work, whether it is on TV or in a movie. Sorry (laughing).
Johnny: It’s okay. I understand where you’re coming from. To go to my next question, you were a stunt performer in 1984’s The Ice Pirates. What are your favorite memories of that shoot?
Marian: (Laughing) Well, I remember my wardrobe. I was dressed like a pirate wench, and we did a big fight scene. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that movie, and my memory’s a little short on it, but that was a fairly big-budget film. We shot at MGM, and I had a lot of friends on it. I think (laughing) that was the first time I had my very own private dressing room in a honeywagon. You know, it’s funny. When I look back on things I remember, I think of “firsts”. That was my first sexy costume, and my first private dressing room.
The most memorable thing about that movie since then is that, around 2008, when I coached rowing at a high school that our daughter attended. We would go to regattas on a bus, and the kids wanted to watch “Ice Pirates”. When they saw I had worked on it, (laughing) it was really thrilling because, suddenly, they saw me not just as their coach, but as a stuntwoman who worked on one of their favorite movies, so I was very thrilled. I don’t remember Ice Pirates being a really big hit at the time, unlike “The Terminator”, which I have very vivid memories of. I think both of those movies were made around the same time. I know you want to ask about The Terminator.
Johnny: Well, before I do, I have to say that’s a lovely story you shared about The Ice Pirates, and how your rowing crew came to view you in a new light. It’s always great when your work can impact a new generation.
Marian: You’re right. You’re absolutely right. It was really quite thrilling. That’s the reason I enjoy doing interviews. For instance, you brought up Double Exposure. Again, not much memory of that movie, but the fact that other people know it, and that these movies are becoming classics, or cult classics, is very exciting. It means that there’s some longevity to your name, so that’s great.
Johnny: Indeed, and when you talk about The Terminator, you are talking about a genuine classic, so when working on that movie, did you have any idea that it would become the classic it did?
Marian: (Laughing) That is the best question. When we were working on The Terminator, we were shooting in Downtown Los Angeles on Skid Row. I think Arnold had done one or two movies previous to that, but he was not particularly famous yet. I mean, I knew who he was.
We were shooting in all these really grimy locations, and I had no idea that it was going to become the classic it did become. You just don’t know with a movie if it’s going to be a hit or a miss. It’s so much easier to make a miss than to make a hit (laughing). When I went to the cast and crew screening of The Terminator, and you first heard that music, and you see Arnold naked from behind (laughing), I said, “Oh, my gosh. This movie is amazing already!”. From there on, I was blown away by how amazing that movie was.
I’m in the Tech Noir night club scene. The Terminator is trying to shoot Sarah Connor while we’re all running to get out. I’m right behind her so I get the bullet and fall on her. For the next couple of minutes, she’s trying to push my dead body off her as he’s about to kill her, and then Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese comes in and saves the day. It’s funny about that little scene. I would think, “Who’s going to remember that?”, and then people say, “Oh, that scene! Yeah, I remember that scene!”. That makes me happy. It was an easy job for me and I’m so proud to have been involved in it because, again, of The Terminator longevity, and the fact that it became a franchise.
Johnny: Great stuff. To go to my next question, you did stunts in 1985’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, which was my first exposure to your work. What made that movie such a standout for you?
Marian: (Laughing) Oh, that movie. At the cast and crew screening, everyone who worked on the movie were laughing so loudly and having such a good time. We knew it would be a hit. The two elements I loved the most were the music and, of course, the big shoe dance (laughing). I was in a stunt sequence filmed for the final parade scene at the end of the movie, but the action didn’t make it on the screen. Nonetheless, the cast and crew screening was ariot, and I’ve loved that movie ever since.
Johnny: Me, too. It was a childhood favorite of mine growing up, and it remains a favorite to this day.
Marian: It’s so watchable and rewatchable, isn’t it? Anyway, I see the next question is about A Fine Mess.
Johnny: Yes. The production of that film was rather troubled, so did you have to deal with any of those troubles while filming?
Marian: Well, what troubles are you referring to?
Johnny: Well, I know that, originally, Blake Edwards had a whole different concept in mind. It was originally going to be heavily improvised instead of going by a script, and there were going to be different actors in the roles that were eventually played by HowieMandel and Ted Danson. He said in interviews that he wasn’t really that proud of it because of how troubled the production was, but I find it to be a very underrated 80s movie.
Marian: Yeah. I’ve only seen it once. My memory of it was that I doubled Maria Conchita Alonso. I used to double her quite a bit back in the ‘80s. There were some problems that I was completely unaware of because we had to do some reshoots, meaning, of course, that they weren’t happy with the story, and they decided to make some changes, but otherwise, I was not aware of the problems. I think I worked on it for a couple of weeks is all. It didn’t affect my work whatsoever.
Johnny: Alright. Well, I definitely think A Fine Mess deserves more credit than it’s gotten. It’s a movie I definitely find to be great fun, and it has a killer soundtrack, too.
Marian: Oh, does it? Do you actually have it on DVD?
Johnny: I had it on VHS, but then I either threw it out or gave it away. I’ve been meaning to pick it up on DVD again, and I plan on doing so soon because I really think the 80s is a pretty underrated decade for Blake Edwards’ work.
Marian: Let me tell you, Blake Edwards was a dream to work for. He was such a gentleman. My husband, who’s a cinematographer, also worked with Blake. Everyone who worked with, or for, the man loved him. For one thing, being British, he only did 10-hour days. He’d be on set for eight hours, meaning the crew would have only 10-hours days. Shorter work days are better for everyone. You can safely get home because you’re not exhausted. You have time to rest up and have a life. Blake Edwards was a very kind gentleman. He never raised his voice. He didn’t yell. He was an absolute pleasure to work for.
Marian: Oh, yeah. Yes. He’s from a different generation, and he’s sorely missed, I’ll tell you that much.
Johnny: Definitely, and to go to my next question: Although Pee-wee’s Big Adventure was my first exposure to your work, the first movie where I noticed your name in the credits was 1988’s Night Of The Demons. A favorite of 80s horror movie fans, what do you think has made that film so special?
Marian: (Laughing) I have to tell you something. Until you sent me that question, I didn’t even know it was a favorite. First of all, I don’t watch horror films because I get scared easily (Marian and Johnny laugh).
In the mid ‘60s when I was six years old, I watched a movie with my brother called The Blob, from the early 50s. That movie scared me so badly that I had the same terrifying nightmare every night for six months. After that, I just couldn’t watch horror films, and then, as an adult, I went back and watched The Blob and I thought (laughing), “What? This thing scared me?”.
I have to say these days, with how horror is so realistic, I don’t know how children can watch it. Consequently, I haven’t seen “Night Of The Demons” but I’m happy that it’s a cult classic from the 80s.
Johnny: Alright. That’s understandable. I mean, I’ve interviewed several talents who have worked on horror movies, and they say that even though they work on them, they don’t exactly like to watch them because of how scary they are. It’s understandable.
Marian: (Laughing) I’m not the only one? I really thought I’d be the only one. You know, when you work on something, and you see it being made, it’s not supposed to be that scary. Can you tell me who starred in it?
Johnny: It starred Amelia Kinkade, Cathy Podewell and Linnea Quigley.
Marian: Have you interviewed any of these other people?
Johnny: Well, Linnea Quigley, I did an e-mail interview with for RetroJunk back in 2012. I plan on sending her a follow-up interview request to do a more in-depth phone interview for Pop Geeks.
My old way of doing interviews was by e-mail. They tended to be pretty limited questions, but then late in 2012, I got the message from singer Samantha Fox’s manager that she only did interviews on the phone. I invested in a recorder and an international calling plan, dialed England, and she was my first successful phone interview. I’ve done phone interviews pretty much ever since.
Marian: Okay. This is much better. You can get a lot more information by being able to talk to someone.
Johnny: To go back to you, on TV, you did stunt work on several episodes of Dynasty, most notably the episode Royal Wedding, also known as the Moldavian Massacre episode. I’ve interviewed several Dynasty veterans, including my friends Lezlie Deane and Greta Blackburn, so what was it like to be working on Dynasty?
Marian: Well, Dynasty was another one of those really well-run TV series. It was so well-organized. I doubled a few different actresses on that series, but in the wedding episode, I doubled Ali MacGraw, which, for me, was brilliant because she was a movie star from the previous generation that my generation looked up to. That’s what I remember best about working on Dynasty. It was really well-run. Everybody knew their job and did it perfectly. From wardrobe to makeup, it was very professional. I think all the TV series I worked on were very professional.
Johnny: Alright. When it comes to stunts in television, as mentioned earlier, you did stunt work on several episodes of The Fall Guy, so how accurate was the show to your own experiences as a stuntwoman?
Marian: (Laughing) Oh, I loved The Fall Guy. How accurate was the show according to my own experiences? Well, in those days, stunts were very real. When you saw somebody falling off a building, they were falling off a building. They weren’t on a wire, and just like in stunts, sometimes on that show, things didn’t go right. Most of the time they did, and that was the way it was working in stunts.
There were some bad accidents on The Fall Guy. One accident that didn’t involve stunt people, but still sticks in my mind, was during a Western episode. There was a team of horses pulling a wagon, and one of the horses in the back tripped, fell, and ended up being dragged along the asphalt. Once the driver brought the team to a stop, I looked in the eyes of that poor fallen horse and felt so badly for him. You know how much it hurts when you skin your knee really, really badly? That’s what happened to this horse. It looked like the horse wanted to cry. Of course, there were even more tragic accidents on that show where crew members were badly injured.
On the other hand, I thought it was funny that the character of Colt Seavers had to get a side job as a bounty hunter because he didn’t make enough money as a stuntman (laughing). I thought, “What!? Stuntmen are very well-paid and Colt performs a lot of bigstunts, but still needs a side job? What’s he doing with his money?”
Johnny: Yeah. I’m actually meeting Heather Thomas at the Chiller Theatre convention in Parsippany, New Jersey next month, and I’m looking forward to that.
Marian: Oh, fantastic! (Talking to her husband) Johnny’s going to be meeting Heather Thomas. (Talking to me) I met my husband working on The Fall Guy. He was a camera operator at that time, and I was stunt-doubling for Anne Lockhart on the episode “The Snow Job”. Michael worked on The Fall Guy for five years, and he says, “Oh, please tell Heather I love her” (laughing).
Johnny: I’ll pass that along.
Marian: She was a sweetheart on that show.
Johnny: She currently works on writing and political activism. She follows me on Twitter, and I’m hoping to set up an interview with her. I’ve sent out an interview request to her assistant, and I’m hoping to get a follow-up on that soon.
Marian: She was a sweetheart, so hopefully she’ll agree to that.
Johnny: To return to you, going into the 90s, you did stunt work in 1990’s Predator 2, a movie I have to admit I liked a little bit more than the original, mainly because I think the idea of the Predator causing chaos in the city was a bit more interesting than in a jungle.Did you like working on that movie?
Marian: I did. Again, I doubled Maria Conchita Alonso on that. I loved working on that, but I was actually disappointed. I thought the original Predator was better than Predator 2, but I’m so appreciative that you liked Predator 2 more. Any time I got to double Maria was a joy. She was a real spitfire; Full of energy, fun to be around, always laughing, telling funny stories, appreciative of having a stunt double…Just really a joy to work with. I have nothing but fond memories of Predator 2.
Johnny: Very cool. Have you kept in touch with Maria Conchita Alonso?
Marian: I wish. No, the answer’s no. I think she’s still performing, but I don’t know where she is, so no, I haven’t stayed in touch. It’s a good idea, though. If you come across her (laughing), let me know. I’m fond of her.
Johnny: Alright. Well, to return to you, in 1991 you were a stuntwoman in The Rocketeer. Although it didn’t do that well initially at the box office, it would become a cult classic on cable and video…
Johnny: …With news of a Disney+ reboot in the news recently. What do you think home audiences saw in The Rocketeer that theatrical audiences did not?
Marian: Well, I just remember our daughter as a little girl, watching it over and over again on VHS. Why it didn’t catch on in the theaters, I can’t say. You know, when it comes to theater releases, there’s so much that can go wrong. It can be released at the wrong time, or at the same time as another movie that has better PR and more drawing power.
I don’t know why Rocketeer didn’t do well, but I’m very pleased to have worked on it. It was so fun at the time. We had a guy on wires flying around the set. That was very unusual and innovative at that time. He was on wires, but it was all done in a practical way. It’s not like Spider-Man with all the CG (laughing). I can remember the stunt guy having to fly around the set, and I was always thinking, “He’s going to crash!”. It was pretty wild. Fortunately, there was no fire coming out of his jet pack. They added that visual later, but the rest of it was practical. It was very cool working on it.
Johnny: Yeah. I saw that movie in theaters with a friend of mine, and I thought it was a lot of fun.
Johnny: To go to my next question, you were a stunt performer in Quentin Tarantino’s first movie, 1992’s Reservoir Dogs. Could you tell from that movie that he was going to have the impact on cinema that he did?
Marian: (Laughing) Well, not while I was actually on set. Reservoir Dogs surprised me in a similar way that The Terminator surprised me because, again, we were filming in decrepit areas of Los Angeles. At that time, I had no idea who Quentin was, so its success was a huge surprise. Reservoir Dogs was disturbing, but it became a big hit. I still find it to be very disturbing, but what a joy to work with such a great cast!
The answer to your question is: Did I think he was going to have the impact on cinema that he did? No. That didn’t come until Pulp Fiction. Once I saw Pulp Fiction, I knew, “Okay. This guy? He really knows his stuff”.
Johnny: Definitely. Moving on, you’re the fifth talent from Batman Returns that I’ve interviewed, following in the footsteps of Spice Williams-Crosby,Mindi Miller, John Bruno and Ve Neill. They all spoke highly of working on that movie, so did you like working on that movie as well?
Marian: That movie was an amazing experience because I got to perform in a stunt that had never been done before, when the Penguin comes through the glass floor at the dance ball. The tempered glass floor shatters as fourteen ratchets go off at the same time. We knew the danger involved. Only one thing going wrong would create a disaster. The glass floor was going to blow on action and if some (or none) of the ratchets went off, there would have been many injuries. Fortunately, we had the best riggers in the business.
It had a huge budget, huge crew, huge cast, and everything was so well-rehearsed, and the stunt went off without a hitch. That was a very exciting movie to have had a part in, and of course, I love Ve Neill (laughing). She’s amazing and a delightful woman to work with.
Johnny: Yeah, definitely. I interviewed her recently. She’s amazing, definitely a great storyteller.
Marian: Of course she’s a great storyteller. She works in the makeup trailer (laughing). She gets to hear all the best stories firsthand.
Johnny: She does. You worked on several Carolco movies, and probably the biggest of them would have to be Basic Instinct. What comes to mind when you think of your work on that movie?
Marian: I was part of the second unit. We were filming the ‘Night Life’ car chase between Sharon Stone in her Lotus and Michael Douglas in his Ford cop car. We’re going down this two-lane mountain road, and it was thrilling. It was even more thrilling to watch the finished product because it was so well-edited, and (laughing) let’s just say it was scarier to watch it on the big screen than it was to film.
I love having worked on that movie, and I love watching that movie. I could watch it over and over again. What I find interesting about Basic Instinct: We watch Sharon Stone’s character kill a man in the very beginning, and yet it was so well-crafted that we question what we saw, like “Was that really her or not?”. I love psychological thrillers, so I just loved that movie. It was very special to work on it.
Johnny: Definitely. It was a fantastic movie. To go to my next question, your stunt talents were featured in two different spoof movies with Leslie Nielsen, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult and Spy Hard. Did you cross paths with Leslie Nielsen, and if so, was he as funny off-camera as he was on?
Marian: Did Ve work on either of those?
Johnny: No, but I did interview Shawn Weatherly, who worked with him on a mid-80s sitcom, and she said he was very funny.
Marian: (Laughing) He was very funny off-camera. Unless necessary, stunt people don’t speak to the main talent. We’re trained to not bother them, but I could observe him in the makeup trailer where he would just do silly things, like singing funny songs or making funny sounds, just basically entertaining the crew when he wasn’t on camera. He was an absolute joy to be near. You just wanted to scooch over a little closer to hear what he was saying and see what he was doing. He seemed to be one of those guys who just loved life, and had the best time all the time.
Johnny: Yeah. I loved that when they included Leslie Nielsen in the Oscars In Memoriam in 2011, they used a clip of him in The Naked Gun.
Marian: Aww. Yeah, he was the master of deadpan. Can I interrupt for a moment? You left off my very first movie that I was the stunt coordinator on, The Learning Curve. I just wanted to mention The Learning Curve…
Johnny: Oh, sure!
Marian: It starred Carmine Giovinazzo, Monet Mazur, Vincent Ventresca and Steven Bauer. It had a good cast. IMDB says it came out in 1999, but I remember it being released right after 9/11 when very few people went to the movie theater. I just wanted to mention it because, after being in the business for 17 years or so, I had the opportunity to become a stunt coordinator on a feature film.
Johnny: Well, before we return to your stunt work, we can use that as a jump-off question: How did your work as a stunt coordinator later impact your work as a stunt performer yourself?
Marian: I realized how difficult a job being a stunt coordinator is, and how little fun they have compared to the stunt performer (laughing). There’s a lot of stress being the coordinator because the safety of your crew is in your hands, plus being able to create the action the director wants to see, that works for the story, and is on budget. You suddenly have a lot of responsibility, and it’s not playtime anymore. Some stunt people never become stunt coordinators. They’re happy just coming in, doing their job, having some fun wrecking something, and going home for the day, whereas the stunt coordinator’s phone keeps ringing, and they keep getting e-mails. It becomes a full-time endeavor with a few hours of sleep (laughing). For an older stunt performer, transitioning to coordinator is smart because we can’t hit the ground forever (laughing).
Johnny: You worked on several of the early episodes of 24. Was that show more challenging than most of the shows you did stunts for, or was it about the same?
Marian: I could say it was about the same. It was just like every other TV show that I recall except all the filming for those episodes took place at night, and working nights is always challenging because it throws off your internal clock if you’re a day person like I am. Other than that, it was the same. The director, Winrich Kolbe, was a good friend of ours. Unfortunately, he passed away a few years ago.
Johnny: Alright. You returned to the Terminator franchise by working on stunts for several episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. How had the franchise changed in your eyes since the 1980s?
Marian: Well, to me, Sarah Connor has always been Linda Hamilton and the first Terminator was the best, and then Terminator 2 and 3 just…I lost interest. As the characters morph, and they become more likable or less likable or whatever, I’m like, “It’s not really true to who they were”, so I like sticking with the original.
Johnny: Yeah. I understand where you’re coming from. I mean, I was initially excited to read about James Cameron returning to the franchise for Terminator: Dark Fate, but then I saw that Dark Fate enacted what TV Tropes would call the Happy Ending Override. Those later Terminator movies basically said that the Connors’ efforts were all for naught, and Judgment Day was still coming. It was just kind of sad, you know? You were so hopeful for these characters with the first two Terminators, and then to find out that the efforts were all for nothing was just a little sad.
Marian: Yeah. I hear ya (laughing). I mean, the other thing is that, as time went by, I watched less and less television, so I’m not the best person when it comes to being ableto compare this century to last century. You know what I’m saying?
Johnny: I understand where you’re coming from. We’ll move to a relatively more recent project from within the last decade. You worked on several of the Hunger Games movies alongside Ve Neill. Ve talked about how much she loved working on those movies because of how it utilized her skills as a makeup artist. Do you have similar feelings regarding your stunt work in the Hunger Games films?
Marian: Oh, that’s a good question. When I was in my 40s, I considered myself to be semi-retired, but at the age of 52, I was fortunate to be chosen to be the District 9 Tribute in Catching Fire. We trained and rehearsed for five weeks for the blood bath fight scene at the cornucopia. It then took about a week to film the fight scene and the stunts were amazing. The stunt coordinators, Chad Stahelski and Sam Hargrave, are very smart guys and a joy to work for, but as far as I could tell, with the exception of the death of James Logan, who played one of the Tributes, none of the fight scene is in the movie. It’s not even in the extras. There’s nothing that shows the work we did, with the exception of seeing the Tribute’s faces in the sky.
We did a lot of cool things (laughing), and it was the best job of my life because of making new, young friends, but I have no stunt footage to show for it. In Mockingjay Part 2, there were so many stunt people and extras in the scene I worked, you don’t see me. I loved working on it, but again I don’t have any footage to show for it.
Johnny: Alright. We’ll go to my next question. You’ve been a stuntwoman on several movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Ant-Man and The Wasp and two Spider-Man films, Spider-Man: Homecoming and the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home. As you also worked on the aforementioned Batman Returns, as well as Batman and Robin, what would you say is the biggest difference between Marvel movies and DC movies?
Marian: They are all huge-budget movies with great crews, but if I’m going to compare, DC is darker than Marvel. Many of the Marvel movies are filmed in Atlanta where I now live, which is why I was able to work on those movies. “Batman Returns” and “Batman and Robin” were filmed in Los Angeles, where we lived prior to 2003. I remember shooting all night for “Batman and Robin”. There was more night work on the Batman movies, whereas the “Spider-Man” movies and “Ant-Man and The Wasp” were daytime shoots. So in my opinion, Marvel is light and DC is dark.
Johnny: That’s the way many people tend to view Marvel and DC movies, although theythink more thematically than literally one being lighter and one being darker, but that’s an interesting take on it. Switching from stunt work, you’re also an active film producer. What drew you to that field?
Marian: My husband originally encourage me to become a stunt coordinator, and then later a producer. My number one producing skill is being well-organized. I’m good at getting everything organized, keeping people on track, and making sure everything is done on schedule.
Johnny: Alright. One of your first producing credits was the short True Bromance. How did that piece come into view for you?
Marian: (Laughing) Well, first of all, I should say all the projects I produce, my husband is also producing or writing or cinematography or directing, or a combination thereof. So that’s how they all come about.
James Eckhouse, the director of True Bromance, is a longtime friend and Best Man at our wedding. He is best known for his role as Jim Walsh on “Beverly Hills, 90210”. James contacted Michael with a project he had written and raised the money to produce. We were living in Savannah, GA at the time, so James brought his actors and himself t Savannah, and we pulled it all together. That’s how True Bromance became a hort movie!
Johnny: Alright. To go to my next question, you also produced the comedy short A Fabulous Tale, which featured a role for Julie Michaels, who was only the second talent I did a successful phone interview with. What made that short so special for you to work on?
Marian: Michael and I both love musicals, especially musical mockumentaries like “This Is Spinal Tap” and “A Mighty Wind”, so we thought, “Let’s create one”, so Michael wrote the story. Kirk Wall, who Michael originally met on “The Fall Guy”, plays Tony Fabulous, “the most famous lounge singer that you’ve never heard of”, and it has all original music by Ken Treseder. “A Fabulous Tale” was to be a feature-length film until we ran out of funding, so we made it into a short. I had great hope for it, and I still love it, but we didn’t get to make the movie we really wanted to make.
Johnny: I see. To go to my next question, from the comedy of A Fabulous Tale, we now come to the drama of the short Refuge. As a Jewish performer, was working on the short an emotional challenge?
Marian: Our daughter, who is a Barnard College alumna and lives in Austria, has always been interested in the film business. My husband decided to work with her and write a short movie that would be her directorial debut. They created the story, he wrote the screenplay, we all raised the money, and then filmed the movie in Vienna.
Some of the fear that the main character Rachel experiences is based on our memories of living in Munich, Germany in 2000. We lived on the third floor of an old building with a wide, well-worn wooden staircase that led to our apartment. While climbing those stairs, I could hear the Gestapo going up these same wooden stairs to rouse people out of their homes. I don’t know if it was my imagination or the ghosts of those who had lived there. “Refuge” screened in several Jewish film festivals and a few secular film festivals too. We’re very proud of it.
Johnny: It’s a very noble project, and I’m glad it got such a warm response. On a lighter note, and to return to your stunt work, I asked this of the aforementioned Spice Williams-Crosby, and now I’d like to ask if of you as well: Which stunt that you did made you stand back once it was done and say to yourself, “I can’t believe I did that?”
Marian: (Laughing) Oh, I would love to know what Spice said. Let’s see. I was what’s known as a ground-pounder and I performed a lot a car hits. A car hit is where you throw yourself at a moving car, going up on the hood and over the roof. On a particular TV series called “P.S, I Love You”, I performed a car hit, and in a separate shot, dove out of the back of a moving limo, both filmed in one night. Car hits have a high degree ofrisk and chance of injury, but I made it through without injury. I look back on that experience with gratitude for being able to perform two big stunts in one night.
To this day, people still gasp when they view one of my very early car hits. I fly over the roof of the car, landing on the asphalt in what looks a face plant. That’s when people always gasp (laughing). I loved that one because as soon as I hit the ground, I lie there for a couple of extra seconds. The director says cut, but I don’t jump up right away. I would wait for crew members to ask, “Are you okay? Are you okay?”, and I jump up and say, “Yes, I’m fine. Did the camera catch it?”. The camera catching the action was always my main concern. Those are some of my favorite moments.
Johnny: Alright. I now come to my final question: We’re in a very uncertain time as the chaos of coronavirus is still with us, so what are you most looking forward to once COVID is finally under control once and for all?
Marian: (Sighing) Well, I’m at that age where we love to travel, so I look forward to being able to do a lot more traveling, seeing more of the world, and enjoying being with friends again and meeting new people, not feeling like I have to keep a barrier between myself and another person all the time. I’m looking forward to a little more camaraderie, shall we say?
Johnny: That’s a good word.
Marian: Yeah, so that’s it. You asked a lot of good questions. You spent a lot of time thinking about it.
Johnny: Well, I do thank you for the compliments on my questions, and I thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to speak to me.
Marian: Well, this has been a pleasure. Thank you so much for being interested in hearing my stories…
Johnny: …And what great stories they were. I’ll definitely be in touch again. I hope you have a wonderful afternoon.
Marian: Thank you. Bye bye now.
I would again like to thank Marian Green for taking the time out of her schedule to speak to me. For more on Marian’s work as a producer, you can visit the website for her production company, EuroPacific Films.
Coming soon to the Flashback Interview will be interviews with 90s adult film performer/current singer Letha Weapons, convention booker and horror film expert Sean Clark, legendary dancer and actress Sandahl Bergman, and actress/photographer Tiffany Helm. Thank you as always for your time.