I’m Nexus-7: Sean Young on Jug Face, Catwoman and More
The legendary Sean Young has a new movie going to the alternative Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Before we left for Sundance ourselves, we got a chance to speak with Young on the phone to preview her film. From director Chad Crawford Kinkle and producer Andrew van den Houten (The Woman, Funeral Kings), Jug Face is a movie about a community living in the woods, sacrificing their virgin girls to a monster. Young plays the mother of a potential sacrifice, Ada (Lauren Ashley Carter). Jug Face plays Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 10PM in Slamdance. Find out more from Sean Young herself below, who also talks about her legendary career in movies.
CraveOnline: Have you ever been to Sundance or Slamdance before?
Sean Young: Yes, I went last year. That was the first time I had been out there.
What film did you have there?
I was helping Andrew. I didn’t have a film.
Going with Jug Face, what do you expect from Slamdance?
Oh, Fred, I’m way too old to have any expectations.
As for the film itself, do you just crave something different to be involved with?
You know what, we had a wonderful time making that movie and I actually felt like, while we were making it, we were making something pretty special. You don’t always get that feeling but I definitely did get that feeling on Jug Face. We had a lot of really cool people come together. I had a great time doing it and I loved Larry [Fessenden] and Lauren and Sean Bridges and all the other people that came together. I thought we did just great. I wasn’t there when they were doing the monster.
When you read the script or heard the mythology for the film, how did you get to the point where you could be really invested in it?
Well, I’m friends with Andrew and honestly I’m a little bit more like Paul Sorvino. I’m more like an actor now that’s turning into just a real flexible and versatile character, but I think people think of me as “the beautiful Sean Young” and all of that but you know, when you hit 50 you can’t do that anymore so you have to move into another realm. That’s what this offered for me.
Has the environment for these sorts of edgy independent films changed, where at one time it was Hollywood or nothing?
I think what’s happening is that as the baby boomers move on, Generation X is finally having an opportunity to move into the positions of power. The technology has kind of surpassed the baby boomer generation and in a sense, the baby boomers have run out of ideas. That’s why they keep doing remakes but they haven’t actually left yet. So they really should, and that will allow the Generation X people to expand a little bit. I think what’s happened is that Generation X has had to kind of overcompensate with I guess the lack of funds and the lack of support from the previous generation and they’ve had to compensate by creating stories with better content, without necessarily having to turn to CGI or things that don’t necessarily create an interesting story.
When an independent director wants to cast you, how accessible are you? Is there a team they have to get through first?
There’s just normal business. I have a website and I have a manager and all of that stuff. I’d say I’d be pretty accessible.
How intense was it to shoot the bathroom scene when you’re burning Ada?
[Laughs] Poor Lauren. It was really irritating but you get through these things. I’ve been on more difficult sets than that because at the end of the day, we’re all actors. We take care of each other. It’s not like we’re really torturing each other. Lauren’s very easy. She was a lot of fun and I felt very close to her so we trusted each other.
The whole movie is either out in the woods or those little houses. Was that right next to some fancy trailers, or what was the environment on the set?
We only had a couple of fancy trailers but mostly there were fancy trailers and then there was the trailer we lived in in the movie.
You’ve been in a lot of classic films that I want to talk about but the one story that’s legend is of course the one you didn’t get, the Catwoman audition for Batman Returns. Looking back, what was wrong with going after a role that intensely? Haven’t crazier things happened?
You know, I wish I had the answer to that. I think what it is is that show business is sort of a wide variety of wonderful to wicked. You know what I mean, and people have their various reactions. At that time, I guess I just rubbed people the wrong way. Obviously, I don’t think it’s a terrible thing. I just wanted the part and I just kind of went after and it didn’t register right to the people that it needed to.
When the Halle Berry Catwoman came out, was that a nice bit of karma for them?
[Laughs] Oh, I guess that’s a no comment. She’s gone on to do really wonderful things. I think Halle Berry is wonderful. I enjoy watching her. Not particularly as Catwoman but she’s certainly done really nice things.
No, nothing against her, it wasn’t her fault, and actually it was a completely different team making that Catwoman so it’s probably a silly joke I’m making.
Well, you know what though, for whatever reason Warner Brothers has boycotted me. I couldn’t say why and at this point I don’t actually really care. You know what I mean, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink and I have my own issues of growth that I try to confront and face. Sometimes I can do that better than others and sometimes I succeed at it. The bottom line is we’re all just really trying to improve our own selves as we go through our life.
Of course Blade Runner keeps coming out every five years but one of the other great films in your filmography is Ace Ventura. What were your thoughts when you got that, and when it became a phenomenon?
Oh, I love that movie. That was a lot of fun.
Is there any more to that, a lot of fun?
It seriously was a lot of fun. The thing that’s interesting about the movie business, you always hear, for years and years and years, I always heard, “It only takes one hit. One hit to put you back on top.” And that was a huge hit and it completely totally didn’t put me back on top. [Laughs] I have no idea why that is but it did seem rather pointed and rather definitely specific to me, like we’re going to let everybody else back in but you, and I don’t know why. Like I said, I think I just had a talent for rubbing people the wrong way.
As Ridley Scott talks about doing a Blade Runner 2, has any of that trickled back to you
Well, I did meet with Alcon, the company that owns it and is planning to do the remake with Ridley. I did meet with them, but I think at that point they just wanted to meet me and I don’t think they have any plans of using any of the original people, although I can’t say for sure. I do think, let me just say it right here, I do think it would be a disappointment to the audience not to have Rachel in it but you know what, folks in Hollywood make mistakes all the time.
I guess depending on your interpretation of the film, she might have only lasted four years.
Oh no, in the interpretation I’m the one that has no end date. I’m the one that rides off in the car with him at the end that has no end date. I’m Nexus-7, not Nexus-6.
Is there anything that hasn’t already been said about Blade Runner?
It was my first picture and I didn’t really know that much so Ridley was very kind to me and took me through the ropes and watched me very carefully and made sure I was putting out the best performance I could and I’ll be forever grateful to him for that.
Another favorite of mine was Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend.
Do you find families and kids still discovering that today?
How about Dune and all the various different versions of that?
Well, that, I think that David Lynch bit off a lot and that it was almost too much. And also, I think that Mexico City and Dino De Laurentiis and all of these things coming together, he might not’ve known how to handle those influences. There were a lot of people that worked on that movie.
You’ve been able to go from drama to high comedy. Did you always find it easy to do both?
Yeah, I always found show business, the actual acting part, to be very easy for me. The political part and the sort of social competitive part I was never very good at.
Another one was Fire Birds, which was Nicolas Cage’s first action movie, before he did all the Jerry Bruckheimer movies. Was that a fun one?
For the most part, yeah. Tommy Lee Jones, I ended up having a lot of fun with him because he’s very erudite and funny and witty. If he likes you, Tommy is a lot of fun. If he doesn’t like you, I think that’s not the case but he definitely liked me. I didn’t know Nic very well on that movie but we did manage to I think work pretty well together. I like Nic’s acting. He’s very interesting to watch. He seems to go from commercial picture to more interesting picture to more commercial picture. It’s like one pays for the other.
I love him. Vampire’s Kiss is my favorite. Have you ever seen that?
Yeah, my husband, the guy who plays Maria Conchita Alonzo’s brother, that’s Robert Lujan. That’s my ex-husband, the father of my children.
I didn’t even make that connection. How was your “Young and the Restless” run?
I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it a lot because for one, it’s just easy work and although it has a grueling quality in that you have to memorize a lot of lines in a short period of time, I find that pretty easy. It was fun playing a kind of nutty woman who marries men and kills them for their money kind of character. It was sort of a funny, creepy character that I really enjoyed playing.
In one of your upcoming films, Send No Flowers, you play a hit woman. What kind of character is that and what kind of film?
She’s an Italian and she’s been running the family for years and then when her father dies who’s the mob boss, everybody tries to squeeze her out and she ends up prevailing in the end.
Is that an action role?
There’s some elements of that in it. I call it an argumentative role because I’m always arguing with people in it.
No Way Out was one of the great twist endings. Do you think there’s a whole generation now who might not have been spoiled on it and could experience it again?
Sure, why not? Of course.
Did you ever see the Hot Shots! Part Deux spoof of the limo scene?
No, I didn’t.
When you shot that, did you have a sense it would become one of the classic cinema seduction scenes?
I don’t think we ever really know that kind of stuff.
You sound like you’re in a really good place right now and you’re working a lot. Are you happy?
Yeah, it was a big change to leave the west coast. I think I stayed there longer than I would have because of my children and I didn’t want to disrupt their schooling, but the moment that I could make that switch, I went back to the east coast which is where I was from. I feel much more comfortable out here.
Of all the indie films you’ve been involved with lately, do you have any favorites you’d hope our audience discovers along with Jug Face?
Well, that one and also I just completed a movie called Police State that Kevin Arbouet directed and that I think is going to be a really interesting movie for people. I call it a future fiction.
What is that about?
It’s complicated to explain. I better not risk it because I don’t do that well. I had a lot of trouble trying to understand Blade Runner to tell you the truth but this movie, Police State, is really about people coming back from the future in order to try to do what they have to do to make the future people survive.
We’ll look for that. We also saw Attack of the 50 Ft. Cheerleader recently. How did you hook up with Roger Corman?
Oh, I’ve known Roger for a lot of years and I think Kevin O’Neill, the director, just suggested me. I saw Roger later and he said, he’s so silly, he said, “If I were the director I would’ve aged you.” [Laughs] I said, “Oh, you’re just being sweet.” And he said, “No, I mean it.” So I’m glad the director didn’t feel it necessary to age me. Once you hit 50 you don’t really want to be aged.
In what capacity had you known Roger?
I was going to direct for him about 15 years ago and almost did get to, and then went in a different direction. Now I’m heading back in that direction now, looking to raise the money for features that I’d like to direct.
Which Roger Corman film would you have directed?
Oh, I wish I could remember. I actually don’t remember. I wish I did.
What are you planning to direct yourself?
A screenplay that my sister, Kathleen Young, has written.
Fred Topel is a staff writer at CraveOnline. Follow him on Twitter at @FredTopel.