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SALLY THOMSETT ("STRAW DOGS")

British actress Sally Thomsett played a very important character in Sam Peckinah's controversial film STRAW DOGS, victim of an accidental murder that sets the stage for the intense climactic last third of the film, and discusses her role as the dingy blonde on the British TV series MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE, which spawned THREE'S COMPANY.

In your opinion, why did “Janice” imitate “Amy” walking?

Janice was trying to be sexy and provocative.

Was your character “Janice Hedden” more innocent/naive or manipulating?

I think she was an innocent adolescent who was playing, I don't think she was manipulating.

Who played your mother?

June Brown (Dot Cotton in Eastenders) played my mother. We filmed a few scenes but for some reason they weren't in the finished draft.

Why did “Janice” flirt with “David” in the pub?

I think she was being playful.

Why did the girls in the church dislike “Janice”?

Janice was the daughter of the head of the village and they were jealous.

Why did “Janice” lead on “Henry Niles” (David Warner)?

Janice had just been turned down by “David” [Dustin Hoffman]. She was cross and determined to have some attention from someone.

How was it filming the barn scene with David Warner?

Sam Peckinpah closed the set and David was a marvelous actor to work with... also I had a body double so it was fine.

And although it’s not mentioned, what do you think “Henry Niles” did in his past?

I think he had been seen spending too much time with young children but that was only because he was mentally a child himself.

Did director Sam Peckinpah push or manipulate you to get a better performance?

He didn't do it to me, I think he liked me and treated me extremely well.

Were any of your scenes cut?

I don't recall doing any more scenes that are not in the film.

Any hardships during filming?

The weather was awful; it was mid-winter and freezing cold.

What town was it filmed in and have you returned since?

We were in a small village near to St Ives. I have been back to the area but not the exact place.

Were you surprised at the film’s initial controversy?

I was surprised that it was banned but in the long run I suppose that made it more interesting.

What do you think of the movie overall?

It will possibly be remembered for quite a long time.

Summarize the following actors:

DUSTIN HOFFMAN:
Fabulous. Played lots of practical jokes.

DAVID WARNER:
A sweet and generous actor.

KEN HUTCHISON:
A fun-loving rogue.

SUSAN GEORGE:
She was very nice but I didn't see much of her as she was with her fiancée.

PETER VAUGHAN:
Smashing, I knew him as he had played my father before.

LEN JONES:
We were at school together so we had a brilliant time.

When did you first know you wanted to act?

I took singing lessons whilst at school and entered festivals where I won various certificates and cups.

What were your first roles?

I played various roles in the theatre and lots of schoolgirls for the BBC.

How did you prepare for THE RAILWAY CHILDREN?

I read the book in great detail and studied the period.

How did you prepare for playing “Jo” in MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE?

Her character was fairly close to mine so it was not difficult.

When THREE'S COMPANY came out in America – based on your show – what did you think of it?

I met some of the cast and thought that it was good, although I don't know why they changed the names around.

What did you think of Suzanne Somer’s portrayal of “Crissy”?

I think she played it really well.

What’s the main difference TV and film?


Basically the working times are a lot different, filming is more fun as you can never tell what is going to happen next.

SALLY THOMSETT INTERVIEW BY JAMES M. TATE CULTFILMFREAK.COM (TAGS: Straw Dogs Interview, Man About The House Interview, The Railway Children Interview)
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