Article and Interview by: Brian Toglia and Sarah Todd
Photos from Lezlie Deane’s Fan Page w/ permission
We recently had the opportunity to interview the awesome Lezlie Deane, known best for her roles in cult horror movies 976-Evil and Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (the 6th installment in the Nightmare on Elm Street series).
In the early ’90s, Lezlie moved away from acting and turned her sights to music. She formed a dance-pop group called Fem2Fem, which found some success touring Europe and opening for the likes of Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails. In 2007, another band — and the one she’s sticking with — Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs was formed, an edgy and glammed up “slampop” group that currently performs throughout the United States.
With Halloween coming up, MonkeyGoose thought it would be a great time to catch up. Sarah Coulter (SC) and Brian Toglia (BT) asked Lezlie a few questions about her time hanging with Freddy, her mad roller derby skills, and her plans for the future.
BT: Hey Lezlie, thank you so much for talking with us today. Jumping right in, how did you first get into acting?
LD: I drove out to L.A. when I was 19, and was fortunate to get a job on my first audition.
BT: I have to admit, I am a huge Nightmare on Elm Street fan! I actually had to sneak in to see Freddy’s Dead back when it was released in theaters! How was your experience making that movie?
LD: It was wonderful! I made life long friends from it. It was a very insulated creative set to be on, and I loved every minute of it.
BT: Would you say having been a part of that franchise has impacted your life, and how?
LD: Being the only teenager to survive Freddy (even in the comics!) is something that I am very proud of.
BT: Would you say you were you drawn towards the horror genre, or did you come to like it after being cast in films like 976-Evil and Freddy’s Dead?
LD: Robert [Englund] made me a fan of the horror genre. I have been fortunate enough to work with him on three projects, two of which he directed (cult classic 976-Evil and an episode of the NOES television series).
BT: So, how was it working with Robert Englund? Any memorable stories of working with him you can share?
LD: I was in awe of Robert the first time I met him in the audition for 976-Evil. Smart, witty, charming man who is so very talented. He always made the set a safe, creative place for all of us to thrive. I remember him having to tell me I had to re-shoot the spider scene and I almost passed out! I had a HUGE fear of spiders. He finally coaxed me back onto the set and we re-shot the scene. The crazy thing is, after we finished filming, they lost one of the spiders in the house they rented to film in. I wonder if the owners ever came across the tarantula!
SC: Prior to your horror films you appeared on a lot of TV shows, perhaps most notably as Jane Kinney on 21 Jump Street. I noticed your Facebook fan page recently shared a photo of you and Johnny Depp. Care to share any stories from that time?
LD: Thanks for checking out my fan page! Ze Ayala does an AMAZING job with it! I stayed in contact with the cast for a while, made some really good friends. It was a time when all of us were starting out, so we all kinda bonded. Johnny was really cool and I spent a lot of time with him. Dustin [Nguyen] flew back to L.A. several times to hang out, and I ended up doing a part in one of Peter [DeLuise]’s movies.
SC: You shared a pretty amusing scene with Roseanne and Tom Arnold, at the height of their popularity in the ‘90s, in Freddy’s Dead. Can you share any stories of them from set?
LD: They were the nicest, down to Earth people. They really cared about people. I remember they were on the phone trying to help an abused girl get out of a horrible situation. I have so much respect for them both. They were a blast to work with!
BT: It seems like you stepped away from acting a while back to pursue music. How has all of that been going?
LD: I believe music is my first love. It is going great and has been great!
SC: I noticed a 2013 film called Devotion on your IMDB. What brought you back to movies after so many years, and are you open to acting more in the future?
LD: I never did that film. I noticed it on my IMDB page but can’t get it off. I’m always open to acting, but it has to be on my terms. I indulge myself with the videos I shoot for my band Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs.
BT: Speaking of which, Scary Cherry has such an exciting sound, and you obviously have such a passion for music. Who were your musical influences growing up?
LD: Iggy Pop, ACDC, NIN, Elton John, Tommy the musical, Johnny Cash, Sex Pistols… it really runs the gamut.
BT: I’ve been to a few roller derby matches and had a great time, what drew you to being involved in the sport, and what do you love most about it?
LD: I was a national champion speed skater growing up and somewhat of a tomboy. I found derby shortly after my parents died and threw myself into the amazing sport. It saved my life and my sanity. There are so many things to love about it: the competition, the bonding. It’s like a sorority in the coolest of ways. Any derby girl is my sister!
BT: It seems there is going to be (another) reboot of the NOES franchise in the near future. Did you see the most recent one with Jackie Earle Haley, and if so, what were your thoughts?
LD: I did not see it. I’m kinda partial to Robert.
SC: What’s your opinion on the number of horror remakes in general?
LD: I think Hollywood needs some creativity.
BT: Are you excited to see more from the NOES universe, and if it were up to you, what direction would you like to see it go in?
LD: I would like to see it go old school. Enough with CGI and big explosions. More psychological.
SC: Would you like to share any projects you are currently working on?
LD: Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs are working on a new EP! There will be more video and cool content coming at the first of the year. I am looking forward to next year being the 25th anniversary of Freddy’s Dead … you might see most of the cast touring the convention circuit next year!
Keep up with Lezlie Deane on Facebook here.