A ‘Hexing’ time in Calgary with Tuesday Knight & the Nightmare on Elm Street Gang (Part One)

9 Oct

Appearing at Hex Calgary, Oct 11 to 15th!

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

An abridged version will appear in Absolute Underground Magazine Oct/Nov issue, distributing in major Canada outlets, in stands soon!

Tuesday Knight and Lisa Wilcox are just a part of the massive team of ‘Dream Warriors’ from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise that’ll be appearing at Hex Calgary. This first annual event is already huge with a guest lineup spanning different eras of horror entertainment in film, music and much more. Together, with Robert Englund, Andras Jones, Brooke Bundy, Brooke Thiess and Danny Hassel (to name a few) are just part of the line-up of guests under this banner and the panel is sure to be spectacular, now matter how you slice it.

However, for these two leading ladies, they are the heroines. In the movie, it was a passing of the torch from one Master/Mistress of Dreams to another to defeat Freddie Krueger. The relationship they shared on screen and off was unique. In the real world, they are business partners in a jewelry firm and they are also reuniting for The Bloody Man, a new horror film which pays tribute to all that’s bloody iconic from the 80’s.

In part one of a two part interview (the second, with Lisa Wilcox), this unabridged chat looks at how these actresses worked together during the Nightmare on Elm Street ‘Dreams’ trilogy and what’s in store next for them:

How did the cast work together to contribute to the Nightmare films?

Director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Deep Blue Sea) has a unique style, as well as a gift for casting. He was well aware of what the audience wanted and we [as a group] contributed a lot to Nightmare 4 in our writing of the scenes. He trusted us enough to let us do what we wanted. He was a guiding force yet his strength was in letting us take the lead.

The Bloody Man is an upcoming film where I worked with Lisa Wilcox. Director Daniel Benedict is really good with his craft; I got to see parts of it and I am excited for its release. The story takes place in the 80s. This movie should be out at the end of the year, if not next. [According to the Kickstarter page: It’s an original feature length coming-of-age horror film with the heart, look, and feel of our favourite movies from the 1980s! This film is being delivered to Kickstarter supporters first and getting wider distribution second.

After this show, do you have plans as Halloween nears?

I don’t know what I’ll be doing yet. It depends [if I’m called to the set]. I’m also in a movie called Back in the Know. This story is about a male nurse and his wife dealing with the struggles he goes through. He’s sick and dying. It looks back at his life and [it’s pretty much a drama].

Between all the genres you take roles in, which ones do you like to appear in more?

I haven’t done too much horror, really. I’ve appeared in three horror films as I recall. I enjoy appearing in dramas and thrillers–the latter I’d love to do more of. I also like to work with Quentin Tarantino and Billy Bob Thornton again. Quentin used a lot of my dads music in his films, so it’d be special.

With your love for movies about the paranormal (ghost movies), are there any other established works you’d like to appear in or just enjoy reading?

Oh my goodness. What I really like is to appear in Goosebumps. I have all the books. I even enjoy Ray Bradbury’s works. There’s so many! Stephen King is another.

How did you prepare when you were cast for Nightmare on Elm Street 4?

I did a bit of research, mostly in part three, and looked at the character, Kristen Parker–and the actress I was replacing. I looked at the elements of what she was and what Patricia Arquette did–then I let it go so I didn’t copy. It wasn’t difficult taking over. I saw her as a survivor, a little bit more edgy. Sometimes it was rough doing your own stunts, LOL

To come back in Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy was fun. I think Kristen is a stronger character overall, able to survive. and end up battling Freddie.

Do you have any favourite moments from Dream Masters?

The shark blade scene was a stand out in Dream Masters for sure but I also liked facing off with Freddy in my death scene. It was intense. Robert was generous, professional and giving as an actor and as a person. I loved working with him! In between takes he was a dream (no pun intended). He’s full of charisma.

The franchise drew upon a lot of different sources in its what dreams can become. In this case, there can be a ruler–a Sandman, a shaper of destiny and wills. There was more of a literary influence than from folklore. What are your thoughts on that?

I think E.A. Poe had a really great quote about the dream world that introduced Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Masters. I like that philosophy. I don’t know how it’d compare to what you’re saying; I like the idea that you’re in the dream and that its possible to die there.

Do you believe in the Afterlife?

I do. I think we become part of a bigger consciousness when we die.

Have you had any paranormal experiences yourself? It doesn’t have to be spooky.

I was visiting my then boyfriend musician Paul Warren while he was on the road back in the 80’s. He played with Rod Stewart, Richard Marx and Tina Turner. I was there for the weekend, with my friend Susie. He had to leave a day early, and I felt really empty; I was very upset to say the least, because we didn’t get to see each other enough. I couldn’t stop thinking about him leaving and [eventually] fell asleep.

A flash of light filled the living room area. I saw his guitar case ! OMG he was back! I saw him sitting there in his pajamas on the hotel couch, looking down at the ground. I asked him what he was doing here? But he didn’t answer. My phone rang and to my utter shock it was my boyfriend on the other line! How could this be? He said he couldn’t sleep and was missing me; I told him what I had seen, what he was doing and what he was wearing–he was stunned. We had a connection that was beyond reality.

I think out of feeling so heartbroken when he left, I somehow willed him to come to me. I tried to wake up my friend so she could witness this apparition but I just could not…

What makes 80s horror special? Back then, ghosts were either light effects on wires or depended on overlaying a projection against an invisible glass plate.

I think everybody I know in making the movies were very in tune with the times too. It was the MTV crowd–that kind of production–we had to appease. 80’s horror films were much more intimate and innocent. I love the 80s because I grew up in it and I have a really good connection with that time.

Do you have any favourites from that time?

I liked Hellraiser and really enjoyed the early Nightmare on Elm St films. Friday the 13th was okay. I dunno. The movies that really frightened me, like The Thing, had more to it. Even the old films. Dead Silence really scared me. Another haunted doll film was Magic (1978) starring Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret and Burgess Meredith. I also remember the Twilight Zone episode, “Little Talking Tina” with Telly Savalas. There was also Trilogy of Terror (1975) with Karen Black in “Amelia” which was really scary.

With your career in acting and music, has your opinion changed in which you enjoy more?

My real passion is acting. I give my 100% when performing music but it is, I love it so much but there’s something about the art of acting which I love–to play different characters and interacting with other people. Both come from the same place so it’s 100%.

Harlin gave me my first shot at writing music for films. I am forever grateful; I wrote and sang the title song for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, which led to many other musical endeavors and the credits I received was a huge endorsement. It opened a lot of doors for me as a musician. I wrote songs for Mistress and a lot of television shows–especially Sunset Beat with George Clooney. I played Lucy (the girlfriend) in it, and we were a band; the producers used all my music and that is my voice. It was really fun to do.

Are you still active in the music scene?

Yes. I also provided the tunes for The Bloody Man; I have four songs in there.

I quit Rapture, the Blondie tribute band. I just did that as an experiment for a documentary on Debbie Harry but I didn’t really like singing somebody else’s music. I wanted to do my own. It was fun to pay homage to somebody I respect though.

For readers wanting to keep up with what you’re doing next, where can they follow you?

Twitter: @knighttues

Instagram: tuesdayknightofficial

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