Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lynda Mason Green interview

I must thank the WayBack Machine for finding this article for me. I would have lost it forever (I hosted this interview on geocities which have been shut down), if it wasn't for that site.

As any person who really knows me can verify, I am a huge fan of the 1988-1990 television series, War of the Worlds (well the first season at least). I even devoted a website to the series when I got my first computer- which you can view here: To Life Immortal

When my site was in its infancy (it's sadly pretty much defunct now- which I blame myself for), I was able to snag an interview with series lead, Lynda Mason Green, who portrayed microbiologist, Suzanne McCullough for both seasons. I was thrilled that she did this interview and I'm glad I didn't lose it forever. Enjoy:


LMG: As requested: Answers to your questions:

How did you land your WOTW role of Suzanne McCullough?
LMG: I auditioned several times, five I think, over three months for both Suzanne McCullough and the other female part in the pilot. I was finally asked to read with a potential male lead, an American I did not know who was being flown in. After that audition they asked me what I thought about him, even though he'd auditioned almost as he'd walked off the plane. I suggested they let him read when he was rested. I was told I was hired after we had read the next day. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Do you have any amusing anecdotes from behind the scenes of WOTW?
LMG: Because it was so stiflingly hot in the summer, we all had hand-held fans, which were equipped with suction cups at the bottom for placing securely on tables and such. On a particulary gruelingly hot day in the un-air-conditioned studio our director for that episode, who was bald, placed one of the fans on his head as a joke. Unfortunately, the sweat on his pate created an astonishingly stubborn seal. He could not get it off for the life of him. Shooting stopped while we tried to get this propeller-ed thing off his head. It took three people. And it was hurting him. When they finally got the thing off, it left a huge red welt-like circle on his head for days. Every time we saw it, we completely fell apart laughing. We could barely get a shot in the can 'til we got him a hat.

Who did you enjoy working with most on the show and why?
LMG: I always enjoyed working with Phil Akin. He's a very down to earth guy. Unpretentious, a solid actor. He would look me in the eye when we worked together. I think we had a good rapport. We didn't get to work enough scenes together.

Do you still keep in contact with anyone from the series?
LMG: Phil moved out of the area, but we run into each other now and then. The others went home to wherever they lived. That's very common among actors. The job is the job.

During the show's run, did you have any particular ideas where the producers could've taken your character?
LMG: Sure. But you have to remember that it is very rare for women to have a strong character presence in a show that is dominated by a male point of view. It's difficult not to write a female character from the outside, if you are not a female writer. There are certainly exceptions. I think I should have fought for Susanne a little more. I was very trusting. I would do it differently now perhaps. I learned a lot. Nothing is wasted if you learn from it.

What led to the format change in season 2?
LMG: We had a change in producers. The new producers always want to put their own creative stamp on a show. I quite liked the change in tone. It was edgier, more dangerous. Clearer as to it's own attitude and style. It certainly gave me a little more scope.

How did you react when you heard that Philip Akin and Richard Chaves were leaving the show?
LMG: I was surprised. A little confused. I suppose I was anxious about how it would affect the show and what a new team member would bring to the mix.

What was your favorite WOTW scene or your favorite scene with Suzanne on the show?
LMG: Gee, I could not being to recall one now...perhaps the scenes from the episode that was set underground when the alien pyramid glowed and affected our behavior. Suzanne got just a tad 'frisky'. I think it was called 'The Second Seal'. That was fun.

And finally, what do you have planned in the future? Any new books, segments or documentaries?
LMG: I continue to act when the opportunity presents. I also founded a professional actors group called the Actors Co-op, now in its fourth year. I am working on a couple of documentaries, a multi-media project, and web portal project, CanadianActor Online, which has been extremely successful. I especially enjoy helping young actors who are starting out in the business get their feet on solid ground. My book "Standing Naked in the Wings' (Oxford University Press) has done well and is distributed in Canada, the United States and Britain. As well, I have a very happy and healthy family; a husband, a beautiful 11 year old daughter, a Giant Schnauzer puppy and a cat. Life is pretty good from where I sit.

Well, thank you so much Lynda for agreeing to answer these questions. And once again, thank you for being such a positive influence in my life. Take care and thank you.
LMG: I'm flattered. All the best,

Lynda Mason Green

the cast of War of the Worlds


ThirdBass said...

Very nice. I'm glad you rescued this little fun gem. What American do you suppose she is referring to?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for digging this up. I'm netflixing the first season right now and once I got my mind in an 80s mindset, I'm enjoying it. I got motivated to look LMG up during the opening credits, (woof!). LMG, wherever you are, hope things are still looking good from where you're sitting!