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CULT STARLET INTERVIEW WITH ACTRESS GRETA BLACKBURN

Interview with actress Greta Blackburn
Greta Blackburn is tall, blond, gorgeous, and most important of all, a terrific actress. The proof is not only in the pudding, but the ingredients...

Within two key scenes from Walter Hill’s crime classic 48 HRS, centering on a seasoned cop played by Nick Nolte reluctantly teamed with a convict... Eddie Murphy in his first movie role...

Greta more than holds her own opposite Nolte in one scene, where the real action begins and the story gets underway, starting off with the always-intense James Remar while her character, Lisa, is a hooker brushing her teeth one minute, and the next she has a gun pointed at her head.
In 48 HRS, known mostly for being Eddie Murphy's first feature but a very edgy Walter Hill thriller, actually headlined by Nick Nolte: what was it like working on the very intense hotel scene that also included actors Jonathan Banks and Sonny Landham?
That scene was shot on different days. The biggest thing that I remember about the brushing the teeth scene was how would I get through the semi-nudity?
James Remar with Greta Blackburn
Walter was a gem and pushed for a close set so that there were minimal people in the room when we shot. It's funny because a photographer from Playboy showed up to shoot that scene and Walter stood the ground and wouldn’t let him in. Of course, now with the Internet and technology everyone in the world can see "stills" of my naked butt but at the time I thought I was protected.
Every actress in town wanted my role and it was a harrowing process waiting to hear who got the part of "Lisa" the young hooker. Walter is a STONE pro and a great guy. In fact, the dialogue used in the tooth-brushing scene was written by me...

I told Walter that I thought we needed to know a little more about Lisa and why she was a hooker. What bought her to that seedy hotel room? He said, "OK, show me what you're thinking of.” And we shot it!
Greta with Nick Nolte
The next scene, after the shootout involving Nick Nolte and James Remar, your character is being questioned in the police station, and technically it’s a long take without cuts… What was this like?
The scene was elective that day. We were doing very cutting-edge stuff with that one long shot. I guess what I remember most about that scene is that we did some takes where Nolte and I improvised some lines, and he went for the gusto and was pretty insulting in some of the takes that we did. All in character, of course, but it was not easy having someone talk to me that way.
Nick Nolte with Greta Blackburn
How did you first get involved in show business?
My Mom took me to the local ballet school in Ft. Wayne, Indiana when I was there. The director of the school told her I was too young. She basically went next-door to the drama school and I began training with Virginia Withey, a local who had been an actress in Hollywood and in fact had a part in Birth of a Nation!
From there I starred in school plays, did some roles with the local college when they needed a child for a play, etc. At age 12 I did a one-woman show (The Mad Hatter's Tea Party) where I went from room to room in the school and performed for different classes. I had a different hat for each character and thought that was really creative! In high school we took a Theatre Arts trip to New York City and I remember standing on a street corner in Times Square and FEELING that I belonged there. I went straight to NY after high school, tried out and was accepted for The American Academy Of Dramatic Arts and graduated from there.
Poster Artwork
I went to LA to do a pilot called "Road Show”, a comedy "reality show" that was intended to replace Saturday Night Live when it was slipping in the ratings...

Network politics prevailed and the show went nowhere but I had a blast working with John Candy, Julie Brown and Rick Overton, all comics. And over the years I would enroll in college classes and work toward a degree in Psychology: a natural adjunct for acting!
I wangled my way into AFTRA in the early days when I befriended a casting agent for the soaps there who I had met while teaching "exercise classes" at the Jack LaLanne Studio in midtown to supplement my modeling jobs... Paula Hindlin was a super gal and she got me enough walk-ons and bits to qualify for AFTRA and then eventually SAG.
Sybil Danning & Linda Blair
You appeared in one of the most famous women-in-prison flicks, CHAINED  HEAT… Tell me about your character LuLu and her part in the movie?
I love Linda Blair, she is a real sweetheart. I hung out with Sybil Danning mostly during that movie. Lulu is very sensitive little chick who had to get HARD to survive, but underneath it all is a victim. Whatever got her into that prison was done because she thought she had to. Her choices in life were limited and she did the best with what she had... That was my first movie – I got it almost immediately after I landed in LA and I was thrilled to be doing it. God bless Billy Fine, the Producer. He was crazy as a loon but still somehow sweet.
As Mr. Prostitute in YELLOWBEARD
In Graham Chapman's YELLOWBEARD, you play Mr. Prostitute, a sailor with a drawn mustache who gets special treatment by the Captain, played by the legendary James Mason… What was this like?
I remember laughing my ass off all day long, every day. That was my best experience shooting a movie because creatively it was a blast.
With James Mason
James Mason was not ACTING in that scene. He WAS the character. With my legs wrapped around his neck and doing that scene with him I was on an actor's high. He was truly brilliant, wicked funny and the biggest joy of my life to work with. A perfect gentleman and a huge talent. No one better, really... And the set of that movie was THE place to be while we were shooting. I remember David Bowie flew down, I think Jagger at one point and anyone who could get to Ixtapa DID because it was a serious congregation of comedic talent.
Greta in V: THE FINAL BATTLE
In V: THE FINAL BATTLE you play one of the aliens – was this fun?
My memories of shooting V mostly focus on this: hours and hours of WAITING for one quick scene – more than usual on a project. Since “Lorraine” was important as a background but foundational character, she was needed for many scenes scattered over months.
I remember being on a tennis court in Studio City, California and getting a call to get to the set fast to shoot...

Luckily I lived so close to the studio where it was shot but it was very disjointed...

I loved working on V but it was a very different kind of acting job with all of the bits and pieces involved. Jane Badler and I became friends and hung out around that time and she's a doll and so sexy and talented. But doing Sci-Fi is such fun and like being a kid and role-playing.
Keach as Hammer
You appeared on MIKE HAMMER... What's Stacy Keach like?

Stacy is not a touchy feely, super friendly guy but he is very professional and a big talent.
Martin in HEAVEN
MY BLUE HEAVEN you play a “stewardess” with Steve Martin and Rick Moranis… What was that like?
Wow… That's a question that I have to pick and choose my words carefully for. Steve Martin was having a VERY VERY VERY hard time with the lines and the accent in the scene. It took a longtime to shoot because we had to keep re-shooting.

He was NOT friendly and frankly, I'm not crazy about his performance in that movie. I think it would have been a HUGE hit with a different actor in that role.
Greta Blackburn
You founded MS. FITNESS magazine… Tell us a little about this magazine: How it was founded, when you started this, and anything else?
Fitness was founded to support the fitness competitions that my publisher created back in the mid 80's. Figure/bikini modeling did not exist then... It was all women who looked more like guys before us...

The producer of those shows reached out to about 5 Editors (I had segued into writing and editing another fitness magazine at that time) and asked each opus what we would do with a magazine called Ms. Fitness. It was like an audition and I won! The story about how I segued into the magazine business is a whole other interview for another time. But trust that it has to do with the typecasting I got after "48 HRS" and the dearth of roles for women in Hollywood. I wanted to be the "Boss" and not have to wait for the phone to ring, as well.
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