In 1984 a young James Cameron was fighting to bring the tale of a cyborg sent from the future to come to our present in order to carry out the retro-active abortion of the future saviour of mankind who would lead the humans to victory in the war against the machines (simple enough?). Before Sarah Connor was made aware of her importance in the greater scheme of things she did infact live a “normal existence”. Just before her life spiralled out of control she shared an apartment with a fiesty character named Ginger.
Ginger has become an iconic character and even though Ginger did not have much screen time she made a lasting impression, especially with one of the more graphic and intense Termination scenes in the entire saga.
Bess Motta took time out to answer some teaser questions for us as she will be appearing at Chicago Comic Con on AUGUST 19-20-21-22. Now… time to get some answers from the woman who threatened to make a line of accessories from our favorite lizard, Pugsley!
How did you get the role of Ginger in the Terminator?
My agent set me up on the audition. I believe I first read for Stanzi Stokes, the casting director. But what I really remember is going up to the house on Mulholland Drive and reading for James Cameron & Gale Anne Hurd. It had a spectacular view of the city and was definitely the coolest place I ever had an audition. The role of Ginger was originally written as an aerobics instructor. There was a gym scene in the original script, but we never shot it. I had an exercise show on the air at the time, “The :20 Minute Workout” and I always wondered if that’s why I got the role. But I think it was the hair.
Ginger’s sexuality played a big part in your role, how comfortable were you in the infamous purple robe?
Originally, they had created a hand painted robe for me to wear, but the paint was stiff and kind of weird. So I was pretty happy when they let me wear the purple one. I was a huge Prince fan and thought of the purple robe as my own personal wink to him. Because of “The :20 Minute Workout” show, I was used to being on camera wearing a lot less than that purple robe. No big deal.
Ginger was almost inseparable from her walkman (even during er… ahem, lovemaking?), women in the eighties clearly knew how to multi-task, do you think that that era added an independent streak to the female roles in movies?
Ginger may have been more into the music than she was into Matt. But ultimately the walkman contributed to her untimely demise. If Ginger had been unplugged at the time, I think she would have heard the fight in the bedroom and made a run for the door. So much for multitasking.
Yes, I think Sarah Connor was the first kick-ass woman of the ’80’s. James Cameron’s movies have always had strong female characters. Whether they were fighting T-800’s, Aliens or icebergs, his female characters always rely on their strength. I think that’s one reason why his movies are so compelling.
When you watch the film back, as a viewer, how did you feel about the part Matt played in your demise, the fact Matt heard the phonecall from the police but turned up the volume on your walkman (whilst he was wearing your vest,- which you were still wearing lol)… ?
Well, I don’t hold it against Matt. No one likes the phone to ring during sexy times.
Here at www.TheTerminatorFans.com we have a small yet weird obsession with Ginger and her boyfriend Matt Buchanan (Rick Rossovich) what was he like in real life?
My work with Rick was brief. I was anxious about the bed scene, but he was so sweet, it was a piece of cake. James Cameron did such a wonderful job creating the relationship between Ginger and Matt on screen. In actual fact, we only had two scenes together neither of them had any dialogue. That meant we never had to rehearse any lines together and that’s when actors usually get to know each other. It’s funny when you do a movie with someone and you’re with them for such a short period of time, in my case with Rick just one day. The relationship on the screen takes on a life of its own and the audience fills in the blanks. I guess what I’m trying to say is I didn’t get to know Rick very well.
What was it like being Terminated by the infamous T-800 Infiltrator unit?
You don’t have to act too much when you’re looking down the barrel of a gun, and the Terminator is at the trigger. That is truly terrifying! First, I was worried about being burned by the squibs that were glued to my back to make it appear that I was getting shot when I first see the Terminator in the hallway. Secondly, I was concerned about the major jump/dive through the air when I did get shot. We didn’t really rehearse the actual jump, but just marked where I needed to land, so I was hoping I wouldn’t knock myself out. But the freakiest part of all, was crawling on the floor with The Terminator standing over me aiming at my back. James Cameron took me aside and explained that although there would be blanks in the gun, there still would be padding firing out of the gun. Danger! As I crawled onto the kitchen floor it was Cameron himself who threw the fire proof blanket over my back to protect me from the blanks. Even though he had warned me that I would feel the projectiles I still got chills as I felt every “bullet” hit me in the back. Yikes! I remember thinking to myself “I hope this movie is good”.
Terminator fans spotted you at the recent Terminator Cast re-union event ‘The Hollywood Show’ ~ Burbank, CA ~ February 13-14th 2010 did you see your old on screen roommate?
It was the first time I had seen Linda since we worked together! I had such a rush of joy seeing her. She is a very special woman with wonderful energy and it felt so amazing, after so many years, to give her a big hug. It was like meeting up with a long lost friend. I was also so delighted to meet Michael Biehn. I know it sounds odd, but because we had no scenes together we had never actually met before that day.
So, comic-con Chicago is coming up, are you looking forward to it?
Yes! I am so excited to be a part of the convention. It is just great fun. I hope to meet as many Terminator fans as possible. It will be a blast!
Bess will be on Twitter while Comic Con Chicago is occurring giving updates to fans.
Click HERE to follow the official Bess Motta Twitter Account – Be sure to check it out!