:Dark Delights: Kathleen Wilhoite
Dark Delights with Ladyaslan Presents:
“Eighties Horror Queen” Kathleen Wilhoite
Ladyaslan: Welcome to Dark Delights, Kathleen, and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me and your adoring #Babybat fans! Update us on what is going on in your world.
Kathleen Wilhoite: I just finished my first year of grad school at Cal State University Long Beach. I’m going to be a professor in 2018. I can’t believe how frightened I was about going back to school, but now that I’ve been there, and the friends that I’ve made—I realize how much I love it.
Ladyaslan: What inspired you to become an entertainer, especially in the horror genre?
Kathleen Wilhoite: I’m happy to work. I love horror movies though, especially if there’s a Gregorian chant and some devil/demon themed storyline.
Ladyaslan: How did you come to be in 1987’s Angel Heart and play the nurse? It has been said that director Alan Parker would avoid Robert De Niro’s performance as Louis Cyphre; it was so eerie and realistic that he generally avoided him during his scenes and let him direct himself. Was it that eerie on set?
Kathleen Wilhoite: I never had the chance to work with Robert De Niro. I worked with Mickey Rourke and I think I was just offered the part. I don’t remember auditioning for it. I remember I enjoyed the day. Mickey was fun and funny. He was nice to me. I remember being stunned by the talent of the hairdressers. My hair at the time was calico and all different lengths. They managed to turn it into a classic fifties hairdo.
I remember Alan Parker asking me to be flirtatious in the scene. I did a take trying to do as he asked, but he cut in the middle of it, and said I was too flirtatious. So, I backed off, and they ended up pinning the front of my nurse’s outfit to make it more form fitting—or perhaps the more delicate way to put it would be to say they wanted it to “show my ass more.” Hah!
Ladyaslan: How did you get involved with Kevin S. Tenney’s 1986 Witchboard movie? Zarabeth was the quintessential ’80s girl and the whole look down to the infamous lines, “Hang loose, stay cool, and don’t forget your psychic humor,” and my fave, the one most people still use today, “TTFN.” Your hair and outfits were awesome, again so spot on for the time. Did you come up with the look or did you have creative input from others on set?
Kathleen Wilhoite: I was into punk rock at the time. My hair was already shaved on the sides. I think it was calico at the time. I don’t remember, but when I see pictures of myself, it’s sprayed all different colors. The costumer was amazing. Her assistant was this brilliant seamstress. I’ve never seen anyone sew that quickly. She was amazing. The lines were written in the script. I don’t remember adlibbing a lot. Kevin is a funny person. He had that character pretty much on the page. All I had to do was fill the shoes.
Ladyaslan: In 1989 you starred in Roadhouse with Patrick Swayze. In the movie you play Carrie Ann and you end up with a singing part in the movie. Is that you really singing? How did you come to land the role of Carrie Ann? What do you remember the most about Patrick Swayze?
Kathleen Wilhoite: Patrick was a nice guy. I remember him doing pirouettes right before he’d launch into this massive macho fight scene. He was really quite an amazing dancer. It was obvious he had a dancer’s soul. I know a few guys like that. It made me smile. When something like that is in you, it’s in you, whether you’re playing a bouncer who’s about to beat the shit out of some guy or you’re in something like Dirty Dancing. Patrick was always nice to me and supportive. His wife was around a lot and he adored her. I remember how sweet he was when he talked about her. Oh, he loved horses, too, I think. That’s what I remember about him.
Yeah, I sing. I’ve sang longer than I’ve acted. I used to think acting was just something you did between songs when I was a kid. My father is a songwriter, writes country songs on the uke. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t making up a song. So, I’ve been singing and songwriting for years. I’ve probably written about fourteen thousand songs, a handful of them are pretty good. I’ve got a couple of records available somewhere deep on the internet. Maybe on iTunes, I don’t know. I’ve dropped the ball on that.
During the filming on Roadhouse, and this may be apocryphal, but we shot all the bar stuff out in New Haul, and the beer wasn’t Hollywood beer, meaning it wasn’t fake beer, or near-beer. It was one big party every day with an insanely talented bar band, if you can imagine—The Jeff Healey Band. They were plugged in and ready to go, so the minute the director—a guy by the name of “Rowdy” (which is kind of hilarious)—Rowdy would yell out, “Cut,” and the drummer would count off, and they’d play the most outstanding, mind-blowing version of an old blues tune you’ve ever heard. They could play any blues tune you could name. Of course with a “couple of beers” in me, I never hesitated to barge up on stage and grab the mic. I did it so frequently, Joel Silver told them to put me in.
Ladyaslan: In 1990 there was this little show called Twin Peaks [evil wink] and you played Gwen Morton, the talkative sister of Lucy Moran. Did you know you were auditioning for Twin Peaks or was it a blind read? What was it like to work with David Lynch? Twin Peaks just came back on May 21, 2017; can we expect to see Gwen?
Kathleen Wilhoite: No Gwen in the 2017 version, I’m sad to say. I was recording music in Nashville at the time. I’d just married a guy I’d only known for two weeks—this was prior to him pawning everything I owned—but I digress . . . ahhh, youth. Okay, so I get a call, and I show up on the set. I had never auditioned. I had never seen the show. I knew people were talking about “Who shot Laura . . .” or “Where is Laura . . .” But I didn’t know that that was the show I was working on. They handed me a script with only my lines. Everything else was blacked out, and I had to sign a contact before I went into the make-up trailer saying that I couldn’t tell anyone about the scene I was in. It was like working for the CIA at the time. I remember thinking, “What the hell is this? Thank God my scene was fun and funny.” Kimmy was super sweet to work with. She was nice to me. That’s all I’ve got on that question. I don’t remember much about that period of my life, unfortunately. So, no, Gwen didn’t make the cut on the revival.
Ladyaslan: It’s known you started to sing in your church choir. Did you want to be a vocalist when you grew up? Did acting just happen? Or did you want to try a little of everything?
Kathleen Wilhoite: Singing picks you. If you sing and love music, you don’t really get much choice in the matter. I finally did a straight drama in high school that changed everything for me. I played Bananas in a play called House of Blue Leaves. My friend/mentor Rick Mokler changed everything for me, and I haven’t looked back. I love acting, and am studying currently to maybe be able to give a little of my passion for the deal back.
Ladyaslan: Did you have any formal training in singing and acting? How did you prepare yourself for this journey into the arts?
Kathleen Wilhoite: I did every play I could get cast in when I was growing up in Santa Barbara. I came down to Los Angeles in 1982 and took pretty much every gig that was offered to me. I studied at The Loft Studio with Peggy Feury and Bill Traylor for years, then I worked. I did plays, got a couple of record deals, went on tour, did movies, TV, and had a couple of kids. Oh, at some point, I felt like I stunk at acting and had a crisis of faith, so I went back to class with an actress I’d worked with named, Julie Ariola. I studied with her and got back on track. I worked some more, started writing. I love writing, I still do it. I’ve got a couple of novels I’ve written that I can’t seem to find a way to push myself away from the computer rewriting long enough to pursue ever getting them published. It’s a big dream of mine, outside of now becoming “The Absent-Minded Professor.” Hah!
Ladyaslan: What are three words that best describe you?
Kathleen Wilhoite: “Laughs in my sleep.” My husband says I laugh in my sleep. So, I’d say, “Laughs.” “In.” “Sleep.” I guess. It’s just what popped into my mind.
Ladyaslan: What can you tell us about the 2015 8-minute short thriller The Fetch?
Kathleen Wilhoite: Wow. I took my little feller with me. He ended up getting to be in it. We had a blast. He and I turned it into a road trip together. I told him that it was going to be his first job. He was going to be my personal assistant. One morning, I had asked him to get me a cup of coffee with some milk and a bran muffin, then they called me to set. I was in the middle of a fairly complex shot, when the little feller walked right up to me with my coffee and bran muffin. He’d even made a cardboard tray to carry it on. The director yelled, “CUT!” When Adugna realized what had happened, he looked at me, looked at the director, then dropped the tray, coffee splashing and bran muffin rolling down the dirt hill, and ran back to my trailer. It was pretty funny at the time. He didn’t think so. Afterwards, I went back to my trailer and tried to explain to him that no one was mad at him, that stuff like that happens, it’s no big deal, and we did the scene again. He said he didn’t care but that that was the end of his personal assistant career.
Ladyaslan: In this day and age we have a whole new era of technology at our fingertips. Stalking and bullying is at the point of being out of control and the Internet isn’t really regulated for such use. I personally had some scary encounters with people offline harassing and even stalking me all the way to Florida back when I had podcasts. I had to call the police and file a report and even explain on my personal page why this person was constantly posting and harassing my family and friends. It’s really devastating when a person assumes you have no barriers, nor limits. Did you ever have to deal with the “cyber trolls” on social networking sites? If so, can you share what happened so other people know what to look for, like warning signs? (I actually donate a great deal to Stand For the Silent, an anti-bullying organization.)
Kathleen Wilhoite: Hmmmm….Read The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker and that’s all I’ll say on the subject.
Ladyaslan: What is your opinion on horror conventions? Would you ever consider coming down south to do Spooky Empire (it’s one of the biggest below the Bible belt—so “THEY” claim [evil wink].
Kathleen Wilhoite: I’d do it if the price was right, or if it would be helpful to me to promote something, but that’s about it. The autograph thing is not my bag.
Ladyaslan: What other creative endeavours do you enjoy?
Kathleen Wilhoite: Writing, hiking with my husband and dog, acting and singing, hanging out with my kids, going to movies, running into the ocean with my clothes on.
Ladyaslan: I too, have run into the ocean with my clothes on, and a few times I was thrown in [laughs]. What is the last concert you attended? Did you enjoy it?
Kathleen Wilhoite: Heart. Loved it.
Ladyaslan: Finish this sentence: In my next life, I’m coming back as a ____________________.
Kathleen Wilhoite: Rock star
Ladyaslan: You’re given to chance to star in either Harry Potter or The Matrix. Which movie do you choose? Which role do you play?
Kathleen Wilhoite: Matrix
Ladyaslan: Ooooh YASSS!! Me too. I must admit I am in love with both franchises, BUT Keanu Reeves was/is my teenage crush [giggles]. I guess my adult crush now! [Laughs] In the story of your life, who would you like to play you?
Kathleen Wilhoite: 1962 Young Patricia Neal
Ladyaslan: Do you have an existing website or blog or any links you would like the fans to check out? If so, please provide.
**About Ladyaslan — She is a published Gothic poet and horror erotica novelist. Ladyaslan’s second book is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and other established book retailers internationally. Check out Lipstick & Absinthe and her other books at the link below:
Official Website: http://www.lipstickandabsinthe.com/