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Lea Thompson, Actress MAG
Often we wonder what it is like to be afamous TV or movie star. I had the opportunity to interviewactress, Lea Thompson. She has been in 27 productions,including her television series "Caroline in theCity." She balances being a wife and mother of two withHollywood's crazy lifestyle.
Did you alwayswant to go into acting?
No, I always wanted to be aballerina; acting was kind of a fall-back because I flunkedout as a dancer. I didn't really want to be an actress but Ihad some connections so when I got tired of waitressing, Istarted doing commercials for Twix and BurgerKing.
From there you startedacting?
Yes, but it's not always easy to go fromcommercials to film. It was at the time when they were doing alot of teen movies, so they were willing to take a chance onsomeone who looked 16, but was really 20. I didn't need tohave the best resume.
Which of your 27 works,including TV, was most enjoyable?
That's really hard toanswer because I enjoyed different things about each project.I enjoy going behind doors that say "Authorized PersonnelOnly." People let you do stuff like that. You get to goplaces people usually can't go and I enjoy that about myprofession. I get to assume the life of the character I'mplaying. It's really hard to say which I like best. They allhave their particular fun qualities. It was fun to be acowgirl, ride horses, shoot guns ... "Red Dawn,"that was fun. It was fun to be in "Back To theFuture" because it's such a beloved movie.
Was there one particularly challenging project?
They're all challenging in their own weird way. I did98 "Caroline in the City" episodes and it's hard tokeep it fresh, to work hard when you're really tired. It'shard not to want to strangle people when you work with themfor four years.
Things happen on all projects that makethem difficult but that's what is nice about my job; it'sdifferent all the time. There's a lot of variety with people,things you're looking at and scenes you're doing.
Do you become friends with yourco-stars?
It's not like a normal friendship, it's ahyper, hyper-space friendship.
Like you'reforced into it?
No, not that you're forced into it,it's just a very intense experience. You meet someone and allof a sudden they're your son or your father or your brother,they're dying, and ... you know. It's an intense, intimaterelationship, but they're not real friendships in the sensethat you would call each other up and go out todinner.
Do you plan to go back to ballet ortheater?
I don't know. I'm really tired and I have twolittle kids so I'm not really sure what I'm going to do. Ihave a production company and I'm looking forward to being aproducer.
Which do you like better, the movieor TV industry?
In TV women have a better chance ofgetting good parts. I like the quickness of TV; movies takesix or seven months to shoot and that's a really long time.It's very boring; I remember one scene in "Howard theDuck" we shot for a month - one scene, 22 pages - thatwas really boring.
I like the pace of TV, it's morecreative. When things slow down everybody gets more and moreminute with the details, but in TV things go faster; I likethat. But in film, the quality's better, it looks better; it'sa different experience to have your work enlarged instead ofreduced.
Do you have a quote or motto that hashelped you in your career?
Recently, I've been thinkinga lot about the fact that the biggest goal (not just foractors but for everybody and maybe especially women) is beingeverything for everybody. It kind of drives you crazy when youthink you're supposed to be funny, you're supposed to bepretty, you're supposed to be young, you're supposed to beskinny, you're supposed to be everything.
Lately I'mfeeling insecure; if I'm about to do "The TonightShow," I chant to myself, I am enough, I am okay. I knowthat sounds weird. There's no more that I can do ... so that'sone weird motto I've been thinking about. It actually works tomake me feel relaxed. By trying to please too many people,you're not who you really are. By trying to be too many thingsat once, you forget what's individual about your personalityand that's what is really atrractive about a person. Who theyreally are. Really, that's all they can be.
Fort Meade, Maryland
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