Writing reviews, making contacts, and taking part in wonderful sites such as HorrorGeekLife.com has given me countless opportunities that I never imagined would ever happen. Recently, I was able to interview the beautiful and amazingly talented Lisa Wilcox, best known for her role as Alice in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989). This was truly a dream come true for me since Nightmare on Elm Street is my favorite franchise ever. However, Lisa has had an amazing career beyond NOES and has just recently started acting again, so we feel fortunate that she took time from her busy schedule to sit and talk with us!
Continue reading to learn about how she got into film, her time with icons Robert Englund and Mark Hamill, plus her past and upcoming projects!
Tori Danielle – Lisa, what inspired you to become an actress?
Lisa Wilcox – Believe me, it wasn’t my token of choice, but they say it bites you, and it does. I moved to California with my family due to my father’s business. My friend was going for an audition at The Buddy Ebsen playhouse in Newport beach. My friend invited me, not to audition, just for the company. The producer, Jane Nye, I’ll never forget it, kept saying, “You’re auditioning right?” I was sitting in the theater in the audience chair and I’m like, “No, no, no, I’m just here for my friend.” She was like, “You really need to audition.” Finally, because she kept bugging me to audition (laughs) I did. I got the lead role in the play. The play was called The Hot L Baltimore, written by Lanford Wilson, who was a huge broadway playwright. I got some things called Drama-Logue Awards, they don’t have those anymore, but it’s kind of like getting an award from Variety.
Tori Danielle – Amazing. So, basically, that’s how you got your footsteps into the film history?
Lisa Wilcox – Yeah! I’ve also always loved to read books, I loved story-telling. I’ve always loved reading out loud in class, which sounds really silly, but I always had my hand up to read in English class from a book or whatever. I was born in Missouri, we had a basement, which all Missourians do. I was always making up plays, shows, and mom would always give us a big box of clothes she was getting rid of. I was always dressing up my sister into some type of character. So, it was probably innately always a part of me to be an actress.
Tori Danielle – That’s awesome! Since you’re from Missouri, I have to mention I’m from Iowa and I also have a younger sister – so I can relate.
Lisa Wilcox – Haha, love it. How old is your sister? Or how many years younger?
Tori Danielle – She’s 5 years younger, what about you?
Lisa Wilcox – Oh wow, you really have a younger sister! My sister is 1 year younger than me, 1 year and 3 days apart. We were basically twins since we had barely any age difference, but she had to do whatever I said because I was the older one. (Laughs)
Tori Danielle – Haha, same here! One of your most iconic roles was in A Nightmare on Elm Street. What was it like playing the character of Alice in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and 5?
Lisa Wilcox – The interesting thing is that when I look at the body of work I’ve actually done… none of it’s horror. It’s soap operas, sitcoms, episodic, ya know? A lot of that I did do after A Nightmare on Elm Street, but some of it I did before NOES. There’s some roles that you will never forget auditioning or reading for, whether you get them or not, you are intrinsically entranced by the writing and the role that you’re going to portray and go to an audition for. Alice was a character that was just totally me growing up. As I mentioned before, I always loved reading books, I was very antisocial basically, I preferred imagination and fantasy in my basement and my books in my room. We also moved a lot so I always had to reintroduce myself at school and this and that, it wasn’t very fun. That’s why I took more to want escapism, which was Alice. So, to me, the role of Alice was totally me in grade school and junior high. It was a role that I was able to identify with because by the time I auditioned for the role of Alice, mind you, I was 24 years old and I played a 16 year old. We had moved to California, I had started doing theater so I had broken out of my shell, and found other talents that I didn’t even know existed. So when the role of Alice came it was perfect timing.
Tori Danielle – What was it like working with Robert Englund?
Lisa Wilcox – Robert Englund is incredibly intelligent, very clever, and he is a fireball of energy. For that man to be sitting in a chair to have four hours of makeup put on him….God bless him, haha! He knows anything about history, tile, grout, decorating, authors, film, he is just an abundant person, and just so fun. He’s also incredibly caring as an actor. When we’re on set and being blocked, there’s no favoritism or anything, he wants the scene to be as good as possible. And he works with you, we work together, and I saw this with myself and anyone on set with him. That’s why doing Fear Clinic was so fun, and ya know not being in the Freddy makeup, right? We had this nurse-doctor relationship thing. In the end, we all have a crush on Robert Englund. (Laughs)
Tori Danielle – If given the opportunity to play a role in “a future” A Nightmare on Elm Street movie, would you take it?
Lisa Wilcox – I certainly would, actually. It’s interesting because there was a long period of time where I went “they never ended Alice’s story.” So many supporters have been like, “what happened to Alice?” Alice was 4 and 5 ,and then the rest had nothing to do with her and her name was never brought up again. It’s weird because so many people bonded with her, right? So I would totally come back and play the role of Alice. Like, what happened to Jacob my son? I’m pretty sure Alice became a doctor, or a judge, or something like that. I think she went on with the help of her father who recovered from his alcoholism, yay! And probably did great things in her life.
Tori Danielle – That would be a great story, a movie worth watching. I want that to happen.
Lisa Wilcox – Me too!!
Tori Danielle – Beyond that, what has been your favorite thing you’ve done so far in your film/television history?
Lisa Wilcox – It’s hard to choose, however, I love this role in Texas Walker Ranger, which is an episodic show. I play a nun and I have a brother who went the other direction. He was in prison, escapes, takes over the church, and I’m the nun there. Just the spiritualness of it was really beautiful and how we connected. He actually does die, he gets shot, but it was such a beautiful story about forgiveness and I love the story of that.
Another one that stands out in mind was playing Florence Henderson and Carol Brady in Unauthorized Brady Bunch: The Final Days. Over a decade ago, 20 Century Fox did these shows, where they showed the behind the scenes of what was happening with the cast, actors, producers and the directors on these really successful shows like the Brady Bunch. So playing that role was absolutely amazing, because I got to be Carol Brady and Florence Henderson and to be on the set of the Brady Bunch – they pulled out the kitchen, the eating area, and the stairs and it was amazing because I grew up on the Brady Bunch – so it was pretty thrilling.
Tori Danielle – Wow, that would be pretty amazing. Who have you enjoyed working with the most?
Lisa Wilcox – Yes, Mark Hamill! I did this film based on the novel Watchers by Dean Koontz. The interesting thing is, I’m doing A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, right, and Howard, who did the makeup for Robert, we were talking about books and he said I needed to read Watchers. I read it and it was an amazing novel. Fifteen years later, I get called into to audition for Watchers and it happens to be the fourth one, which has been also called Watchers Reborn. Mark Hamill is the other lead in it and I can’t tell you how nervous I was. I mean, I’m sorry, this is like the Star Wars man, this is Luke Skywalker! I auditioned, had a callback, got the role and my first day of filming was with Mark. I had all these lines to do, but I was a silly willy because I was with Mark Hamill and completely freaked out because I had such a girl crush on him. And he was the most lovely man to work with as an actor and as a person. He loves the Simpsons, and he’s done a lot of voice-over work as well, including Batman, but he really loves the Simpsons. What we would do in between takes while waiting for the scene to be set up and ready, is he would bring Simpsons from his home and we would watch it in the trailer together. Later on, when the movie (Watchers Reborn) was finished, he was so lovely and he invited me, my husband and kids to his house and we swam in the pool. I have another fun story to tell, do we have time?
Tori Danielle – That was the best answer ever. Of course, you can!
Lisa Wilcox – Well, my sons are four years apart. I want to say they were 6 and 2 years old, maybe 3 and 7 at this time. My youngest one was sitting on the patio with Mark, who has kids as well, and there’s this big bowl of cherries he’s eating. Before I know it, he’s eaten half of the bowl of cherries. Well, something happened, he started to get a little sick, haha, and anyway let me put it this way… he barfed all over Mark Hamil’s patio. Mark like was “No problem, happens all the time.” Meanwhile, he’s pulling out the hose and spraying the down the patio and it was like nothing ever happened. He’s a totally cool guy.
Tori Danielle – Sounds like it! On that note, who would you like to work with in the future?
Lisa Wilcox – Oh gosh, that’s a great question. I just got back to acting full time and I’m just now learning about all these shows. I’ve been completely jonesing on Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, and getting myself reacquainted with what’s happening out there. Because ya know, I had my boys, got divorced, I was in the corporate world for about 20 years, in between two different companies. So, I was completely out of touch with all the new actors and such. I’m going to have to go old school and say I’d love to work with Al Pacino, that’d be awesome. Katey Sagal is amazing. She’s so funny in Married with Children, but her work in Sons of Anarchy, oh my gosh! And she’s an amazing musician, which I’m just now learning about and she plays at Molly Malone’s which is just a few blocks from me on Fairfax . My eldest son is a musician as well and he’s gonna be playing there on June 11th and he actually just got audio play in Los Angeles too. So yes, Al Pacino and Katey Sagal!
Tori Danielle – Great answers! What is your favorite genre? Favorite movie?
Lisa Wilcox – Many of Meryl Streep’s movies are favorites of mine. I’d have to say my favorite all time is Sophie’s Choice with Meryl Streep and World War 2. I found that film absolutely amazing. But then I go to films such as Gone with the Wind, absolutely fantastic, and Scarface, also fantastic. So, my favorites are kind of all over the place, but they’re definitely all character driven and historically driven films. They’re definitely some of my favorites for sure.
Tori Danielle – I love Meryl Streep and those movies rock! Do you have any future projects you’d like to talk about?
Lisa Wilcox – I did a film called Clinger, it’s not a large role, more comic relief, actually a comedic horror film. Totally fun and I was really proud that it got accepted into the Slamdance Film Festival last year, which is not an easy feat because they get like thousands of submissions. And Mystery Spot, that is a thriller and I play a journalist photographer and I’m really excited to do that role. I have another one, Red Hallow and that’ll be in Canada and I play a judge, and another called William Frost and I’m playing a doctor. And they’re all intrinsic roles in telling the story of the film so it’s kind of awesome to be back doing this and playing very smart independent women. I’m so happy to be rejoining this lively hood with some really fun shoes to fill. Everyone should definitely check my website lisaewilcox.com. You can see my reel, work I’ve done with John Stamos in You Again and General Hospital, and all the different things I used to do. Definitely a Throwback Thursday. I’m happy as well to be back with social media, I mean, the industry has changed so much from when I started in the 80’s and 90’s. I’m really enjoying having more contacts and I had no idea that so many people had followed Alice and Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and 5. It’s pretty cool and I’m pretty happy. Oh, and this zombie movie just came in on Friday and will be filming in Pittsburgh!!
Tori Danielle – Zombies, hell yes! I, among many other fans, are so glad you are back. You’ve had a huge career, doing over a hundred projects, is there anything you would like to do that you haven’t done yet?
Lisa Wilcox – I want to take Alice another degree further and I want to be like the kickass Katey Sagal in Sons of Anarchy type of woman – riding a motorcycle and swinging swords or any other weapons. I want to be that kickass woman who is 52 years old, yes ladies and gentlemen, that’s my age, but I totally don’t look it and I don’t care. So yes, I want to be that woman who is like “bring it on!” Oh and a vampire, I’d love to play a vampire. I love all vampire books, the first novel I ever read was Dracula by Bram Stoker and if you guys haven’t read it, you need to! It talks about the original Dracula and it’s amazing!
Well, dear readers, this was such a fun interview to do, probably my favorite so far! During the conversation with Lisa, her Miniature Dachshund, Chester, kept squeaking his toy – it was too cute. She got him at the Dachshund Rescue of Los Angeles and says, “Hey guys, hey girls, go get yourself a Dachshund! They’re the most amazing animals.” Check it out, make sure to her check her site out as well, and if you want to follow her new career path, make sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook as well!