Darrell Fetty Interview

Darrell Fetty: Waxer Lives

"We're gathered here to say a few words about our friend Jim King. We called him Waxer. I'd just like to say that… he was a good surfer… and a really great guy. He had a nice cutback. He rode the nose real well. He was kind of screwed up the way he treated women, but he always got the one he wanted. So it doesn't matter anyway because he was a good guy all the way around. He'd always give people waves. Just give them a wave. He'd always stick up for his friends in a fight. He wasn't worth a damn but he was always right in there. I don't ever remember a big day that Waxer wouldn't go out and ride with his friends. Old Waxer was our friend. He was a little part of us. And we're gonna miss him."

Darrell Fetty appeared in two John Milius classics: "Big Wednesday" (as Jim "Waxer" King) and "The Wind and the Lion", acted in many other films and TV shows, and is a musician, screenwriter, and producer.

INTERVIEW

When did you decide to go from music into acting?
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to do both. But, for a backwoods kid at one of the last one-room schoolhouses in the hills of West Virginia, an acting or music career seemed like an impossible dream.

I was always singing when I was growing up. At about four years old, I got my first role in a church play with my parents -- I played their kid.  I even remember my first line, "Mom, do I have to wear a tie?" From then on, I did every school play I could. I started piano lessons in the third grade, so I could play for the church choir as a substitute accompanist. My Dad was a gospel singer, so I played for gospel quartets, too.

Darrell Fetty band picAt thirteen or fourteen, I got into rock & roll and put different bands together. I started making some money at it in college. My guitarist friend Yancey Burns and I formed "The Satisfied Minds." We got an agent from Ashland, Kentucky who booked us around a four state area -- dance clubs, fraternity parties, high school proms, etc. It was the late 1960s, and there was a great, bustling music scene. We released one single on Plato Records, which was kind of a local hit. After that, we did a few concerts, opening for some name acts when they came to the Huntington, WV area. I continued to perform in college plays at that time as well.

After graduation from Marshall University, I packed up everything I had (including a tent to sleep in at campgrounds along the way) into my rusted-out Oldsmobile and drove out to Los Angeles with my girlfriend, Carolyne McCoy (descendent of the famous feuding families -- her mother was a Hatfield, her father a McCoy). We later got married in L.A.

Since neither of us had ever done much traveling, our intention was to see some of the country before turning around and driving back to New York, where a couple of my Marshall classmates, future Academy Award and Brad DourifEmmy nominee Brad Dourif and future Emmy nominee Conchata Farrell, were already in the Circle In the Square acting troupe. But in L.A. we ran out of money and had to get jobs. I got into the mailroom at American International Pictures, the infamous B Movie Company that was making biker movies, Vincent Price horror flicks, and "Blaxploitation." A.I.P. was a real education. I learned about the movie biz from the ground up. I worked my way into the Story Department, reading scripts and writing coverage (reviews and recommendations). In my off time I took acting classes and went on every open audition I heard about, landing roles in plays and in USC & UCLA student films.  

To make extra money, I played in a rock band, "Pacific Ocean", which included another future Academy Award nominee Edward James Olmos. Those experiences are chronicled in a memoir written by our drummer Steven "Rusty" Johnson called Walk Don't Run from Kalisti Publishing.

My first TV role was as "Tough Kid Number One" on the then-popular high school drama ROOM 222.  From then on I began acting regularly on television but also kept my Story Analyst job at A.I.P. It was a perfect gig because I could take the screenplays and books home to write the coverage at night, leaving my days free for auditions and acting jobs.  

My music and acting came together when I got the lead in a series pilot for CBS called "Friends" (years before the more famous TV FRIENDS). I played a rock star and even brought my old "Satisfied Minds" partner Yancey Burns out to L.A. to play the guitarist in my TV band. 

When that show wasn't picked up, I decided to write a screenplay based on my "Satisfied Minds" experiences that depicted a real rock scene; the one I'd lived in West Virginia. After reading so many screenplays, I figured mine could be better, something I'd want to see. After I talked about it with Yancey and Carolyne, the three of us started writing together. We called it "A Runaway American Dream," and it would star me in the role based on my own life. Several producers and studios expressed interest, but every deal broke down because they all wanted a bigger star in the lead. I stubbornly put my "Dream" back on the shelf.

How did you meet writer/director John Milius?
John MiliusFresh out of USC John had written some amazing screenplays (THE LIFE & TIMES OF JUDGE ROY REAN, JERIMIAH JOHNSON, APOCALYPSE NOW, and the original drafts for DIRTY HARRY). I was a big fan, so when he was hired for his first writing/directing gig at A.I.P. (DILLINGER) I sought him out. I wanted a part in the film, but because I was in the story department, John saw me as an aspiring writer. We became friends, and I stayed in touch.

lucas and coppolaWhen one day I found out his secretary had quit, I recommended my wife Carolyne. Whenever I was on TV, she would push John to watch me. One night John was hanging out with his USC buddy George Lucas, who wanted to see how much a new TV show called HAPPY DAYS had ripped off his (partly autobiographical) feature AMERICAN GRAFITTI. They turned on the TV and there I was guest starring as gang leader "Frankie Malina."  

The next day John cast me in THE WIND AND THE LION in the role of a hotheaded American Ambassador he'd originally written for Richard Dreyfuss. You'll notice my character's name is "Richard Dreighton". Dreyfuss wasn't available, so within a few weeks I was flying off to location in Spain. 

THE WIND AND THE LION

Where were your scenes in "The Wind and the Lion" filmed (especially curious about the palace locations)?
Wind and the LionSpeaking of "palaces," when I first arrived in Madrid, they were filming some of the White House scenes with Brian Keith as Teddy Roosevelt at The Palace Hotel. Man, it was exciting to be there -- a major, old-time Hollywood production starring Sean Connery with an International cast and a huge European crew. The American train sequences were also filmed in Madrid at an old Spanish rail station.  

My palace scenes were at the Alcazar in Seville. Originally a Moorish fortress, after Ferdinand II conquered Spain in 1248, the Alcazar was renovated as the palace for the Kings of Castille. Seville was a beautiful location. The polo match was in an Alcazar courtyard. That's legendary stuntman Terry Leonard crashing the bikes in the beginning of my scene there. Terry did practically all the stunts in the movie.

How long did it take to shoot the carriage scene (after stepping on the man with the pillow on his back)?
That scene took most of the day. I remember waiting a long time all set up and ready to go, with John being frustrated because our unflappable British cinematographer Billy Williams wouldn't shoot until the sun was just right. Billy shot several classic Ken Russell films (including WOMEN IN LOVE) as well as the famous Iraq opening of THE EXORCIST. He can be seen in THE WIND AND THE LION's opening scene as the white-haired English Nobleman having tea with Candace Bergen just before he gets shot by the marauding Berber bandits and mutters an exasperated, "Damn."

The men playing the slaves pulling the carriage were U.S. Marines stationed in Spain. They were good guys and great sports about doing that scene. They were in some military sequences as well. In fact, because those scenes were so authentic, even though it's a period movie, the Marine Corps still uses some of the footage in training films.

That memorable shot of the front of the train (in the palace): Was this a part of a real train?
That was built by our great Production Designer Gil Parrondo, who won Oscars for Art Direction on PATTON and NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRIA -- but I think he used part of a real train in the construction. 

Were those lions scary?
They were cute, but they stayed in their cage.

One of the most beautiful shots is where you, Geoffrey Lewis, Roy Jenson and Steve Kanaly are framed against that picture ("World at war"… "World War"… "Now that would be something to go out on"): How many takes for this?
John got a lot of coverage for that scene. I think it was shot in some old Embassy building in Seville. What I remember most is hanging out with the guys -- Geoffrey Lewis (Clint Eastwood's sidekick in a bunch of movies, among other notable roles in his long career), Roy Jenson (bad-ass character actor in dozens of classic films, from CHINATOWN to THE GREAT ESCAPE), and Steve Kanaly who was closer to my age and just starting out as well.

After the movie was released, I had an actor friend remark that he thought that was my best scene. Since I had no lines in that scene, I thought it was kind of a dubious compliment -- but he said because of how I listened and reacted, he thought I was the focus of the scene -- that my character was planning something important -- he could see Dreighton's inner life, his political aspirations and future schemes… or maybe it was just a passive/aggressive dig and my friend was jerking me around. If I was really doing all that and pulling focus from what it was supposed to be about, I screwed up the scene!

How much did you witness of the MARINE INVASION scene?
Epic filmmaking at its best. Part of it was shot in Seville and the rest in Almeria, Spain, where Sergio Leone shot his famous Clint Eastwood westerns. It took several days, and I watched a lot of the filming. When I wasn't working I was usually on the set, because it was fascinating to watch the work and spend time with all the amazing people involved. I mean, imagine, besides Sean Connery, Brian Keith, and Candace Bergen, I got to hang with legendary writer/director/actor John Huston! I later did a movie called THE MADDENING, starring Burt Reynolds and directed by John's son Danny Huston, who is also a fine actor, most recently co-starring as Sam Adams in HBO's JOHN ADAMS mini-series.

The shot of the American Naval fleet in the harbor was one of the few matte shots (special effects) in the film. There was also a scene in which a number of cardboard human cutouts were planted in the crowd of extras to make it seem more like even larger masses of people.

Remember, this was all before CGI, so otherwise the movie was all real people and real locations.

You appeared in two very different kinds of John Milius films: "The Wind and the Lion" and "Big Wednesday"… Did John's style differ on each?
John likened directing a film to being a General leading a military campaign. And he was a great general -- always in charge but fun, easy-going, approachable… and tough when he had to be. He knew what he wanted but trusted his "troops" and specialists to do their jobs. I don't remember any tension on the set. John loved being there and doing what he was doing… although it did become more stressful toward the end of filming in Spain. After the final shot, John was helicoptered out of a remote location, which he compared to escaping the fall of Saigon.

On all his movies John pays close attention to details and authenticity because of his vast knowledge and respect for history. I would say the script was followed more exactly on THE WIND AND THE LION than on BIG WEDNESDAY, which, within specific contexts, allowed somewhat for a more improvisational style. That coming-of-age/surfing story epitomized much of John's personal experience when he was growing up, so it was a major passion for him. He had a lot of fun chronicling (with fellow surfer and co-writer Denny Aaberg) that era for the ages.

BIG WEDNESDAY

How much do you and your "Big Wednesday" character "Waxer" have in common?
Big Wednesday WaxerAre you kidding? I was a hillbilly Rocker from Balls Gap, West Virginia -- a long way from the life of a cool and crazy California surfer! But the craziness I could relate to. Waxer's a youthful hedonist and completely spontaneous. Nearly a year before filming, John gave me a 60s era longboard (nearly nine feet) and started teaching me to surf. John was always a big man, but still in great shape at that time -- very athletic and graceful on the waves. I also hung out with a number of legendary surfers before and during filming, so my character kind of grew organically. I never became a good surfer, but I got into the attitudes and lifestyle.

"Waxer" pretty much steals the scene at Bear's wedding… Did you improvise the line "Boss Wedding"?
Thanks. The line was John's and Denny's, the sickening belch mine.

"Waxer" wears a green army jacket… Was this yours or was it provided for the character?
That's a German officer's coat. John had wardrobe furnish it, based on some Malibu friend who's Dad came home from WWII with a cache of captured enemy booty. It reflected the character's rebellious, anarchic attitude -- a surfer's conquering nature. It was wildly politically incorrect but had nothing to do with any sort of asshole racist or neo-nazi agenda. Surfers of that day would never have even thought about that.

How long did it take for the entire PARTY SCENE to be shot?
Over a week! The exteriors were at a Warner Brothers' back-lot on the famous LEAVE IT TO BEAVER street. The interiors were built on a giant MGM soundstage which had once housed an Olympic-sized swimming pool for the 1940s Esther Williams "water musicals"…and of course everything got completely wrecked during that grand, party-crasher fight. There was lots of real partying while filming that. The only damper on the set that week was the day we found out that Elvis died. I remember Gary Busey and Jan Michael Vincent being especially sobered ("sober" being a rare occasion in those days) when we found out "The King" was dead.

During the party when you growl at Patti D'Arbanville and try biting her -- was this adlibbed?
Yes. All of my growling, belching, biting and farting was totally improvised.

The scene in BEAR'S surfboard shop… What did they put on your face?
Baby powder. It was meant to be fiberglass dust from all the sanding of the surfboards I was doing as the Bear's "surfer laborer."

The DRAFT SCENE… How long did this take to shoot and do you have any particular memories of it?
It took a few days. My wife Carolyne and I enlisted every guy we knew in L.A. to be an extra in it (neighbors, musician buddies, etc.) That's co-writer Denny Aaberg as "Slick" getting Jan Michael Vincent, Gary Busey, and me ready for our induction physicals. Denny's character was based on Malibu's infamous con-man surfer, Mickey "Da Cat" Dora… John patterned that scene after Sam Peckinpah's THE WILD BUNCH. If you watch it again, you'll notice the military-type music and camera shots that recall the determined William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, and Warren Oates marching toward their fatal showdown with the Mexican army… Despite the ridiculousness of Jan faking the injury, Gary dressing like a schizoid bum, and me like a gay Midnight Cowboy…we play it very seriously, like Special Forces commandos on a raid into enemy territory.

When Frank McCrae, playing the draft sergeant, screams at "Waxer"… Was this as scary as it looked?
Before he was an actor, Frank McRae was a pro football player (among other teams, he played for the Chicago Bears), so he could definitely be a tough, imposing guy. But out of character, he's a family man, a good dad, and one of the kindest and sweetest men in the world, good-spirited and easy-to-laugh. We were good friends -- but John Milius set it up so I'd be uncomfortable within that scene -- I didn't quite know what was coming when Frank was screaming at me. That's actually one of the places where there was a little improvisation. In fact, the line that buttons the scene "If you send me to Viet Nam, I'll just die!" was a pre-scene suggestion from Carolyne, my wife at the time. I sprang it on John and Frank during the take -- and John kept it in, because as you know in the movie I do go to Viet Nam and get killed.

Was there a wrap party?
Funny, but I can't remember much about the movie's wrap party -- but I do remember a number of post-filming parties at Carolyne's and my house in Laurel Canyon. We had this amazing multi-level house in the hills that had once belonged to Charlie Chaplin. We built a music room where me and my friends would jam and record, and the house had all these big, surrounding hillside decks with a hot tub and lots of lovely naked actresses and models running around. It wasn't cool to be inhibited in the 1970s -- a great time to be alive and partying in Hollywood.

Did anyone ever recognize you and/or recite any "Waxer" dialog?
Because I was working on TV a lot, I was recognized all the time in those days -- but I got the most recognition as "Waxer" when I went to Hawaii to guest-star on an episode of HAWAII 5-0. That was one place (the birthplace of surfing) where BIG WEDNESDAY got a lot of respect… What's surprising is that at film festivals and special screenings, quite a few present-day surfers and younger fans come up to me to quote Waxer lines…although they mostly quote lines that Jan, Gary, and Billy Katt say about Waxer during that drunken cemetery scene after my character's been killed in Viet Nam. The quote I hear the most is "Waxer would always help out in a fight. He wasn't any damn good, but he'd always jump in." Also, the story about me riding around on top of a car stark naked, like a hood ornament with a donut hanging off my wanger.

Was the movie a hit upon release?
Big Wednesday posterNot really. We were all shocked that it wasn't as big as say AMERICAN GRAFITTI had been. A lot of people in the business and all the young actors I knew thought it'd be huge. There were great expectations for it, but I guess most of the world at that time just didn't relate to what they thought was a "surfing movie" -- it was only a few years before, when the Annette & Frankie "Beach Movies" (made by my old company A.I.P.) had exploited surfing as something sort of frivolous and silly. BIG WEDNESDAY has stood the test of time, because it is ultimately a realistic, deeply personal, funny, and emotional film about friendship and growing up.

The movie has gained a large and dedicated cult following throughout the years: did you find that it got more popular with age?
Yeah, it did. BIG WEDNESDAY is a classic, now considered one of the great films of that incredibly innovative 1970s era of filmmaking. Many say it's the most authentic surfing movie ever made. I think it's been featured at more film festivals, benefits, and retrospectives than any of John's movies. I know I've made more personal appearances at various screenings as "The Waxer" than for any other role I've done.

Give us a few words about the following actors/actresses:

Gary BuseyGARY BUSEY: To get ready for the film, we both worked out with Vince Gironda, the late, great "Iron Guru" and bodybuilder to the stars. I had already been at Vince's Gym awhile, but when an overweight Gary came in, he really pushed himself to get in amazing shape in just a short amount of time. He literally transformed himself. Vince said to me, "Fetty, you're a distance runner -- but Busey's a champion." Gary's a great actor, who's had his troubles over the years, but he's had a wonderful career and always pushed himself to his full "championship" potential… I didn't appreciate it at the time, but Vince's comment rang true for me as well. Today I pride myself on "going the distance" during my long and varied career.

Jan-Michael VincentJAN-MICHAEL VINCENT:  Cool, confident, and easy-to-like. A former farm boy who handled stardom at that time with a kind of hippie-ish nonchalance and humility. It's ironic how, in his later years, his real life sort of paralleled his BIG WEDNESDAY character arc. I heard that he now raises horses in Mississippi, so I guess he's back to his down-home roots.

William KattWILLIAM KATT: Just a wonderful guy, a solid actor, and probably the most mature of all of us. He grew up in show biz. His real-life mother Barbara Hale (from the TV series Perry Mason) portrayed his mother in BIG WEDNESDAY. And Billy's actor father was Bill Williams, a Western film star.

Lee PurcellLEE PURCELL: A lovely person and fine actress.
These days she's a TV and film producer as well.

Reb BrownREB BROWN:  Sincere and enthusiastic.  A sweet man who was the perfect choice for the CAPTAIN AMERICA role he played later on.

Sam MelvilleSAM MELVILLE: One of my best friends and like a big brother to me. We lived close to each other in Laurel Canyon, and after the movie was over formed a rock band with our wives, Yancey, Marc Singer (BEASTMASTER) and Marc's wife Hau Nani Min. We played a number of gigs around town, including a celebrity stint at the famed "Palamino Club." It was a shock and a terrible loss when Sam passed away, much too young.

Robert EnglundROBERT ENGLUND: Did you know that Robert is the voice-over narrator for BIG WEDNESDAY? He had a mellow, reflective, quintessential surfer voice. He was the nicest guy and an amazingly versatile young character actor. No one could have anticipated that he'd reach his greatest fame as a horror movie icon:  NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET's Freddy Krueger!

Patti D'ArbanvillePATTI D'ARBANVILLE: The exact opposite of the cute and innocent girl she portrayed in our movie. A sophisticated and exotic creature at a very young age, Patti had been a Warhol girl, starred in a racy French film, and been immortalized in a Cat Stevens' song, "Lady D'Arbanville" before she was old enough to vote. She showed up on the set with a French husband, a lesbian girlfriend, and an ex-con, bank-robber boyfriend (once at the same time). Frankly, I was a little intimidated by wild child Patti, but we ended up becoming good friends. She later had a son with Don Johnson and has enjoyed a solid, continuing acting career.

John Milius picJOHN MILIUS: A legendary talent and a true mentor for me. There's no one alive who can write like he can. However, because of his forceful, no-bullshit personality, many people in the business (studio execs, mostly) were afraid of him. Consequently, he was denied several key jobs and opportunities for breakout commercial success, which came more easily to some of his contemporaries and many of the young filmmakers he helped out early on. In recent years he co-created HBO's ROME series and has been writing and developing a number of different projects.

Geoffrey LewisGEOFFREY LEWIS: Multi-talented. A great storyteller and musician as well as a terrific character actor. We stayed in touch for awhile after working together, but I haven't seen him in years. I know that four of his ten kids became actors, including the acclaimed Juliette Lewis.

Steve KanalySTEVE KANALY: A great guy and a fine artist as well. He really had star quality, and John was one of the few directors at that time who knew how to use him (in Wind & The Lion and as Pretty Boy Floyd in Dillinger). Steve's had a nice career (most notably as Ray on Dynasty), but if this had been an earlier era, he'd a huge Errol Flynn type star.
 
Roy JensonROY JENSON: Roy in particular was a notorious wild man in his younger days. A former stuntman and pro football player, one story about him is that he used to start fights for fun. He'd go into the meanest, toughest bars he could find and shout, "Everybody get the ---- out, I wanna drink alone!" But he was a fine, mild-mannered gentleman when I knew him.

In the eighties you wrote a lot of scripts… How did this come about?
I worked with a couple of young directors writing music videos in the early days of MTV, so even as a working actor, I continued to write. While my first screenplay gathered dust, I decided to write a spec that didn't have to star me in the lead. That script and a couple of others got optioned but were never made. However, they served as samples to get me some writing jobs. I wrote several independent features (FREEWAY and TROUBLE BOUND with Francis Delia; and a few low budget films: STATE PARK, INTO THE FIRE, and PARAMEDICS -- for which I used pseudonyms because I didn't like how they turned out). I also wrote a number of features for various studios in what some call "Development Hell." I was making good money, writing what many consider my best screenplays, and working for people like Jerry Bruckheimer -- but, for a variety of reasons, none of these major, big budget features ever got off the ground. Throughout those years, I still maintained my acting career.

That changed when I got the opportunity to become a writer/producer on staff for a TV show. NBC's VIPER required me to be there, as they say "Nine to Five" -- but usually much earlier… as well as much later -- for five days a week -- and usually weekends, too. So I had to stop going on auditions and taking acting jobs.

Although I missed acting, it was the right decision. I had re-married (model turned actress Joyce Ingalls) and had a growing family to support.

I stayed on VIPER for three more years after it became a syndicated series for UPN, then worked as a writer/producer on CBS' PENSACOLA -- WINGS OF GOLD and wrote multiple episodes for other shows (HERCULES, SILK STALKINGS, THE SENTINEL, 18 WHEELS OF JUSTICE, and WB's MUTANT X).

Basically, my acting career just sort of faded away because I was too busy writing and producing. Casting people forgot about me.

What's your connection with Steven Spielberg's "1941"?
John Belushi in 1941When I was a young actor, I did several USC student films to get some sample footage on myself. I met students Bob Gale and Bob Zemeckis and did a short film with them. We started talking, and I ended up introducing them to John Milius...who introduced them to Spielberg.  So, indirectly, I had something to do with that movie. [EDITOR NOTE: Milius and the two Bobs -- Zemeckis and Gale -- wrote and produced "1941".]

Facts of LifeAmong other shows you appeared on "The Facts of Life"… What was your role in this?
I guest-starred as a pimp trying to get Tootie in my stable when she sneaked off to go to New York City.

Of all your "hats": music, acting, producing, and writing… Which did you find the most rewarding?
Darrell Fetty headshotThe greatest high has to be performing live. For me, playing and singing rock & roll gave me the most immediate, visceral rush, second only to sex. Acting onstage is close, and I loved working as an actor in film and TV. It was great fun and sometimes a real emotional catharsis… but the thing about being a professional actor is that you're dependent upon other people -- to get hired, first of all -- but then it's other people's words and directions. An actor's told where to be, when to be there, what to say and how to behave once he's there. Plus, the Hollywood lifestyle lends itself to looking outside yourself for approval. As an actor, I was really pretty self-centered. I felt like I never had to grow up.

A writer needs to look inward, to reflect. You develop a kind of solitary discipline and self-reliance. But the best part is that you can create your own worlds. You can re-structure reality the way you'd like it to be.

Of course, a writer for hire has to answer to the people he works for -- but, still, there's a certain amount of creative freedom you don't have as an actor. And, when I became a producer, helping to run a show and being partly responsible for hundreds of jobs, I had to become a real grown-up.

Because so much research is involved on a plethora of subjects, writing also forces of you to continue to learn and grow as a person. Since becoming a full-time writer, I feel like I'm a better person -- certainly better educated and more well-rounded than I would have been had I chosen a different career path…although as my wife and kids will tell you, sometimes I still have a bit of growing up to do.

So acting and music are the most exciting, writing the most rewarding… and producing is just plain old hard work.

What are you up to these days?
I just completed an original screenplay SON OF A GUN that I'm excited about. I've also written an adaptation of noir crime writer James Ellroy's novella DICK CONTINO'S BLUES with director Jeff Stein and actor Tony Denison. I wrote an independent feature that hopefully will be filmed in my home state of West Virginia some time in the near future. I also have a music-driven children's show called KIDSVILLE with Jocko Marcellino from the legendary rock group Sha-Na-Na -- and, with a couple of other partners, I'm developing interactive games for THQ.

Recently, I've been looking at coming out of acting retirement. Now that I'm no longer on a TV staff and my kids are grown, I have more time to pursue my first love. Last year, I did a stage play in which I portrayed famed billionaire Howard Hughes during his eccentric middle years, when he was just starting to become a total recluse. It felt good to be performing again, and you know what? I'm better than I used to be. Instead of losing chops from being out of it, I have a lot more layers to access as an actor. I do have a few young filmmaker friends who keep threatening to cast me in something, and I'd love to get back into it.

Quentin TarantinoMaybe some director will do for me what Quentin Tarantino did for Pam Grier (who was a switchboard operator at A.I.P. right before I started in the mailroom) or my old friends Robert Forster (who I co-starred with in a movie called STUNTS) and David Carradine (who I used to play music with). In fact, I noticed in his 70s homage DEATH PROOF, Tarantino had that kickass Aussie stunt lady cite BIG WEDNESDAY as one of her favorite movies… which leads me to believe that he knows my work.

So, Quentin, if you want to resurrect another acting career and happen to write a cool new "Darrell Fetty part," I can make myself available!

Interview by: James M. Tate

Visit The Satisfied Minds band page at GarageHangover.com


back to top

More Interviews
Mickey Jones Susan Olsen Darrell Fetty
Dee Wallace Robbie Rist Eddie Deezen
Belinda Balaski Lindsay Greenbush Deborah Baxter
Jennifer Salt Seth Wagerman DW Brown
Peter Mark Richman David Pollock Yaphet Kotto
Terry Bolo Lee Purcell Brenda Currin
Harry Northup Michael Madsen Kelli Maroney
Alan Dean Foster Jordan Rhodes Donna Gordon
Karen Black Catherine Mary Stewart Heather Menzies
PJ Soles    

back to Cult Film Freak