To kick this off, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us
who don't already know you?
My Name is Helene Udy... I'm an actor and a clown... I'm best known
for my role a Sylvia in My Bloody Valentine (the one that gets killed in
the shower) and the series regular Myra on the CBS
television show Dr.
Quinn, Medicine Woman. Some folks also know my role as Quark's first
ever girlfriend Pel on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Do talk about some of your
current and future projects for a bit!
Lately I have been
working a lot with a few indie horror film directors like David DeCoteau
and Brian Farmer. I do have a role in an upcoming project called First House on the Hill but I'm no
allowed to say much about it yet.
What got you into
acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the
I first got into acting after seeing a re-run of
an Australian movie called Gallipoli. The end of the movie was so heart
rending and when the hero got shot by oncoming bullets on-screen, I fell
forward in my chair in emotional empathy with him. As I rose to right
myself I noticed everyone in the theater, in that moment had all fallen
forward. We had all felt this pain simultaneously. That's how brilliant
this movie was. I was hooked then. The notion that one could communicate
with large group of people all at once things that were important was
mesmerizing to me. It was a lofty goal. My thoughts have diminished some.
I'm just happy if people are enjoying themselves now. Although in
grade school, the drama teacher gave me the lead role in the school
play and I think I secretly caught the bug right then. It just had to have
a reason to grow.
Do you still remember your first time in front
of a movie or TV camera, and what was that experience like?
was an extra on a movie with Vince van Patten in the lead. I had a super
huge crush on Mr Van Patten so every day was a magical day. I annoyed the
poop out of him. But one night on set, I got to run through the college as
an extra screaming "Open the gates! Open the gates!" It felt
very very real. I was in heaven. Acting is an opportuny to live in
another world for however long the scene lasts. And that is fantastically
with Jane Seymour in Dr. Quinn, Medicine
have for several years been a regular on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman -
so you obviously have to talk about that experience for a bit?
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman was a lucky strike for me. I was in the right place at
time. I had spent most of my early acting years playing hookers and
delinquents. Apparently all of it was leading up to this one wonderful
role. Myra was a special character, she had a heart 20 times the size of
mine. And a lot more courage than I could kick up on my own. I admired her
deeply. It was an honor to play a character like that. I like to think she
made a little bit of difference in the world of her viewers. So that is
really the pinnacle right there. All I ever wanted.
Hmm... At the risk of being redundant,
I'll skip this question.
Having worked both in film and
television: Where are the similarities and the differences, and which do
you prefer, actually?
I think overall I prefer film
because I get to play a larger amount of character and live in a greater
amount of worlds at the same time. A television show is a dedication. It is harder in some ways because though you no longer have to worry about
the rent for a while, you have to fight to keep your character and your
world relevant enough to make a contribution. Very challenging. The upside
is you make some very great friends.
You have also done tons of
stagework over the years, also as producer and director - so what can you
tell us about that aspect of your career?
Was ist Das?
I love the
stage... and I love big huge characters. Big huge characters don't often
look that great on film so it's fun to play around with them on stage. I
am heavily involved in the independent comedy scene here in Los Angeles
and love the way clown and other forms of comedy are starting to converge.
I run a variety/clown/stand up show at Three Clubs on Vine
in Hollywood on the last Thursday of every month. Look us up under "Was ist
das? entertainer", like the page and come see the
show!!! The show is set in Berlin in 1920s, think the movie Cabaret
turned on it's head and you'll know what you are in for. Among all the
stage projects I have ever direted (and even won awards for) Was
ist das? is my favorite thing to do right now....
late, your career seems to lean more and more towards the horror genre -
any explanation for that, and is horror a genre you're at all fond of?
is a challenge... but I'm a bit of a hypocrite. I am not a horror movie
goer, I am a horror movie actor. I love the emotional challenge and the
larger than life characters. But no, it's not anything more than that. I
worry about putting it out there sometimes. But I tell myself that it's
just a movie and people are responsible for their own thinking. But
I worry about my contribution to madness. Crazy people doing crazy things.
I'd drop all the leads I've ever done in horror for just one line on
a Martin Scorcese movie. I could do a LOT with that line, I'm sure. Hope
he's reading this.
made movies since the 1980s, how has the filmworld changed over the years?
easier to make a movie now, things can be a lot more experimental. There is a lot more work because video is
everywhere. It's hard to get paid because of the low budgets, but as I never did this
for the money. I'm pretty busy and being busy makes me happy. So I guess
I'm pretty happy.
would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to
bring your characters to life?
I'm a character actress
and I mostly have an edge. I like odd characters. Or as I like to refer to
them "hard done by characters". I identify with both the
underdog and the misunderstood, sometimes the misunderstood can appear
to be very nasty poeple indeed. But I am always fascinated by context. Heroism. That is another of my favorite
themes, I'd lie to play a hero. Myra was that to me (she has been my only hero so
Actresses (and indeed
actors) who inspire you?
Ewan McGregor... big crush... Alan
Cummings... Big Crush. I seem to indentfy with men by crush factor. Actors
that take my breath away with the depth of their hearts. I know I'm
missing a few. I dont identify much with women. Maybe I'm just jealous. But
f I wasn't I'd say Nicole Kidman. I think she is underrated and throughly
misunderstood, that appeals to me. I've seen her be brilliant. I think she
gives a sh***. That appeals to me greatly too. Jake Gyllenhal. Brilliant.
Toally overlooked and underrated. He killed me in Brokeback Mountain. I
thought he stole the show.
Your favourite movies?
Rouge. Surprise! ... so many others. Nothing comes to mind right now
besides that. I can get fixated. I'll kick myself once this has been
published and wished I'd mentioned...
and of course, films you really deplore?
Am I wrong?
Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
(Helene Udy on Facebook)
(Was ist Das? on Facebook)
Anything else you're dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Thanks for asking!!!