Chances are if you’ve been watching damn near any film over the course of the last 40+ years, you’ve seen the amazing Dee Wallace doing what she does best: making her characters as believable as can be. Her portrayals have covered a slew of both television and motion picture presentations – hell, she’s even got her own podcast, and each time she steps in front of a lens, you can be sure that the audience is in for a treat.
Her latest role (cameo-wise) in director Fulvio Sestito’s Beyond the Sky, takes her inside the world of alien-abduction and the tug-of-war that exists between the believers and non-believers of the phenomenon, and she was gracious enough to give us a few moments to discuss the role as well as what will be keeping her busy in the future, so dig in and enjoy our little chat!
Brainwaves: Dee, what can you tell us about the film and the character that you’re playing?
Dee Wallace: Well, the movie is called Beyond the Sky, and it’s about alien-abduction. A reporter is trying to dispel the myths, and he ends up getting a lesson that he never expected to come down the pike. My character is this eccentric woman that owns an artifacts store with a lot of alien stuff in it, and by chance the reporter meets this young woman who guides him on his way to discovering all this.
BW: You’ve run quite the gamut of roles over the course of your career – looking back, was there one specific role that you had difficulty separating yourself from after the filming was done?
DW: At the beginning of my career, almost every one of them! I would submerge myself in the technique that I use, and you know it was interesting – years later my mother showed me letters that I had written to her when I shooting 10, and I read them and said, “Oh my god, Mom – Mary Lewis [her character] wrote these letters!” My mom’s response to that was, “I know.” (laughs) Because I really do channel the character that I’m doing, sometimes it was a real challenge to walk out of the role, like in Cujo – it really immersed me, and I was treated for exhaustion for two weeks after they finished shooting. Your body doesn’t know you’re acting, and after 8 weeks of fight-or-flight, my adrenals were blown – I was just gone after that. So to answer your question – yes, but I’ve learned now how to walk out of that at the end of the day and leave it on the set, then come back the next day and jump back in – it’s a lot healthier to learn how to work that way.
BW: With all that you’ve got going on, between your films, your podcast, and all the convention appearances, when do you find the time to just sit back and relax, or are you one of those people who just has to keep the engine running?
DW: Because of my healing work, I know the importance of balance, so my day starts around 7:30, and I always make sure that I walk my dog, and I work out twice a week with a trainer, and at 6pm, unless I’ve got a personal appearance, that’s it. I have a glass of wine and go to dinner with my honey; then it’s back home to climb into bed and watch a movie. I make sure to really ensure that my life is balanced – I spend time with my daughter, but I do go full-out until then!
BW: Lastly, after the release of Beyond the Sky, what can fans expect to see you in next?
DW: I’ll be coming out in Rob Zombie’s 3 From Hell, then I’ve got a beautiful family Christmas film called Every Other Holiday, and Sissy Spacek’s daughter, Schuyler, will be playing my daughter. Then there’s another family Christmas film with Tatiana Ali. There will be three more horror films lined up, and I also just finished an episode of “NCIS” that will air at the end of October, followed up by another family Christmas film this December in Lexington, Kentucky, along with lots of conventions. And I’ll be doing a Ted Talk at Cape May in October, which I’m very excited about.
Look for Dee in Beyond the Sky, which co-stars Ryan Carnes, Jordan Hinson, Claude Duhamel, Martin Sensmeier, Don Stark, and Peter Stormare, on September 21st.