I've also noticed looking at "Men Cry Bullets" and "Satan
Was A Lady" that you're certainly not afraid to get
Yeah, that's true. I don't have a problem taking my
clothes off. I would have a problem having sex on film.
Now, the willingness to take one's clothes off can have
an unpredictable effect on an actress's career. How
do you know when it's too much nakedness?
I think if I was doing soft porn, then that, for me,
would be too much.
Well, I'm asking this not so much from a moralistic
point of view, but with the understanding that as an
actress in the year 2001 you are navigating through
the current social mores of the day. If this was 1950
and you did any nudity then you'd probably.
.I'd be going to hell for sure.
Yeah, perhaps literally and career wise. Or it would
cordon you off to a certain type of role.
But there's more nudity in "NYPD Blue," than "Men Cry
But that's not true with "Satan Was a Lady."
No, you're right, there was a lot of nudity in that
film. That was an exploitation film. But actually, being
comfortable with doing nudity is a thing unto itself.
I think everyone around me was more uncomfortable than
I was. But they got used to it pretty quickly. After
a while it's like "Honey's got her shirt off again,
who cares." I'd be walking around with my shirt open,
because any second I was going to take it off to shoot
the scene anyway.
It was an exploitation film, I knew that going in to
it. When they sent me the script it was pretty clear
that there was a lot of nudity. But again, there was
no sex. It was just "Girl with her shirt off" or "Girl
with her pants off." But no swearing. The dichotomy
was wonderful. Only Doris could pull this off.
I was down in San Diego and I was at an art exhibit
there by an American artist from the early 1900's. And
80% of the stuff this guy was doing was nude women!
It seems like we, as a society, have this conflicting
view where we look at nudity in a Doris Wishman film
and it's sexploitation, but if it's in an art gallery,
it's considered "high art."
Yes, I think it's always in the context of how you use
it. In a Doris movie, it's "art-trash." Her use of nudity
is calculated. When my character finally wakes up in
the morning with a guy I like, my shirt is on. The one
scene where I'm not topless is when I'm sleeping next
to the guy I like. I'm wearing his shirt.
That's an interesting point.
I really had to fight for that, though. Everybody wanted
me to take it off, but I was like, "No, there's a reason
why she has it on."
Looking back, Doris really made the nudity look very
retro. There's a scene where my shirt is off and I kiss
the boy I like, but he never really touches my breasts.
Whereas there's another scene where Glyn Styler (the
bad boyfriend) is kind of roughly trying to have sex
with me like a 12 year old boy. It was done in a very
retro way and nowadays they wouldn't shoot it that way.
And there's the fact that they chose me. My breasts
are real. You don't see that anymore.
It's a darn shame. Where have all the real breasts gone?
Yeah, they're all these sort of funny shaped, primo.
things. And that's terrific, but not in a Doris movie.
Of course, Doris had used faked breasts in her early
films, when they had those silicone, pointy breasts.
It's not like she was against it. But they don't look
like the new breasts of today. And just my physique
looks very retro. No tan, real breasts. It all lends
itself to the look of the film.
It seems like the 90's was all about these really skinny
women, like Kate Moss and Winona Ryder, but the sixties
had films like Doris's "Bad Girls Go to Hell," which
starred Gigi Darleen who was very curvaceous and edible.
Yeah, she's wonderful. I think that's the best
It had a really nice aesthetic. It gets back what we
were talking about where the filmmaker really controls
the environment. It had a real film noir-ish look to
And there's Chesty Morgan. (Large breasted star of Doris
Wishman's films.) When I saw "Double Agent 73" I thought
I was just going to die!
They were pretty noticeable.
And they were her breasts I believe.
Oh yeah, those have the look of real natural ones. I
don't think you could fake that.
Yeah, I don't think so, though there are a few out there.
Buy why would anybody do that?
Fake breasts tend to be more. outward.
Yeah, as opposed to hanging down to your knees.
There was a movie out a long time ago called "Striptease"
with Demi Moore. They were auditioning for five female
stripper roles in the film and I made it down to the
last group of girls. And there was another girl there
who had these Chesty Morgan breasts! But they were fake..
They were real low hangers?
They were. she was amazing. It was her job in Vegas
to just go out on the stage and stand there.
I look at that and I just think, "back problems."
Back problems for sure. The things that we've witnessed
in our lifetime. Here we are having this conversation
about breasts. but I guess there's a lot to say about
It's an endless subject.
And they have a big and very important role in Doris's
What do you think Doris's take is on the fact that she's
making these types of exploitation films, with the sex
and the violence, that are normally assumed to be the
work of male directors.
I think she knows that sex - or her innocent way of
showing sex - sells. That's how she made her living,
that was her sensibility. (Before making exploitation
films, Doris worked in the distribution of exploitation
films.) She didn't set out to make sex movies as much
as she set out to make movies she knew she could make
her money off of. It was her niche and what she knew
how to do. She managed to get a career out of it, and
I guess she enjoyed it.
So she looks at sex the way a plumber looks at a wrench
and a pipe cleaner?
I really think so! It's just what appealed to her sensibility.
She's a funny, kind of sexy lady herself. Yes, she's
elderly, but she's just got this life to her. She'll
always be sexy.
But getting back to your question about why she made
the films - at the time, she didn't put her name on
them. (Doris used to make films under pseudonyms.) Not
because she was embarrassed, but she wanted to sell
them! She knew that in those days, people weren't going
to buy a movie by a woman. Women were not taken seriously
then and to some extent they're still not. It's a really
male-orientated industry. Women have come a long way,
but they have a long way to go.
Well, I've noticed that you've done some producing?
Yeah, I have. But it's much easier to get money with
a man with me. I get in the door pretty easily but I
need a man there to close the deal. The feminists will
hate me for saying that, but it's the truth. You can
fight the world till you die, but you're not going to
get a movie made.
You've got to choose your battles?
Yes, thank you. You've been reading "The Art of War."
The sooner people figure that out, I believe they'll
be able to get a lot more work done. I'm not saying
that you shouldn't try for what you believe in. I always
do, I'm a total survivor. But I also know what works.
I know it works to have my name be Honey. It's a lot
easier to get people to call me that! (Laughs)
What exactly does a producer do?
Oh boy, there's so many different jobs. They do everything
from raising money to organizing how the money is spent.
My job as a producer has usually been connecting money
people to projects. You might connect a name actor to
a project and therefore you brought value to the film.
I think there's some impression that the producer is
just someone who throws money at the film.
Yeah, that's more the executive producer role. I'm more
the person that connects the money to the project. I
did this not because I wanted to, but by default. There
were a couple of films that I was in and really believed
in, and they came out and got into distribution and
then they didn't have money to deliver them. You need
money to pay for a film when a distribution company
picks it up. You need to make the film print look good.
I came in as producer after the projects were finished.
So I started a production company called Panik Piktures.0.
I ended up writing a script recently that I'm producing
I've heard of a film you were going to shoot in Sweden.?
Right, it's going to be done out of Sweden. It's about
a girl who suffers from a disorder called lycanthropy,
where one thinks one is a wolf. It's kind of in the
horror genre, but it's more about the psychological
problem this woman has. It's kind of a dark comedy.
It's called "GirlWolf... A Stranged Love Story."
Throughout the film you're trying to figure whether
she's the real deal, or whether she has this disorder.
There's a boyfriend who's got his own set of problems.
Aside from the fact that his girlfriend thinks she's
Yeah, you know, that's always difficult.
Does he think he's a mummy?
No, no, nothing like that. (Laughs) You'll get to see
it when the movie comes out. It'll be fun because it's
really like a fairy tale. It's going to be shot in old
town Stockholm which looks like the world of Hansel
and Gretel . It's really beautiful and has these really
skinny streets. It's the perfect setting. I have a Swedish
director for it, and he's pretty amazing. His name is
Thomas Sjolund and he's tremendous.
You also were a dancer with the Tubes.
Yeah, I won a talent show and the prize was the opportunity
to dance in their show. (Laughs)
That's a questionable prize.
No, actually, they're really good. This was in San Francisco,
a long time ago, but after the Tubes were already wonderful.
This is after "White Punks on Dope"?
Yeah, way after that. They were no longer doing the
big drag shows. But it was cool.
I saw those guys in Las Vegas on Halloween a couple
of years ago. It was this big sex industry festival.
Looking back, the Tubes were really ahead of their time.
They used to dress up in this kind of funny drag. They
had a lot of balls.
They were sort of punkifying the glam movement.
Yeah, though by the time I was dancing with them it
was a different thing altogether. It was more of a cute
little stage show, but not as extravagant and out there.
You've also done a lot of major releases. You did "Francis
Ford Coppola's "Dracula" and you were in Steven Seagal's
"Out For Justice." Is there a substantial difference
in doing those films and doing the indie-buget films?
Oh yeah, like night and day. The big films you can actually
have a lot more fun on, because you're not under all
the pressure to get it done in two takes. But you're
also more at the mercy of the big director, whereas
in the independent world I'm able to put a lot more
of my own input into what I want to do. I get to add
a lot of my stuff in there that may not be in the script.
In the big movies, it wasn't as creative for me, but
they were a lot easier to work on in terms of the surroundings.
There's no three inch cockroaches?
Exactly. Of course there are some hard things you have
to do. I was in the sequel to "The Hidden." There were
special effects that were very difficult to do, very
physically demanding. Things coming up out of my mouth
and taking over my body. it was hard.