Actress Kelli Maroney
Interview by Gavin Schmitt.
Kelli Maroney's most notable television roles were her first: Kimberly
Harris Beaulac on the soap opera Ryan's Hope (1980-1981, 1982-1983) and
Tina Lord on One Life to Live (1984-1985). Maroney was featured on the
cover of the October 27, 1980 issue of People (alongside fellow soap
opera actresses Genie Francis and Kristen Vigard) and interviewed in the
related story about the "teen temptresses" of daytime television.
Her best known film roles were in the 1982 comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont
High as a cheerleader named Cindy, the 1984 science fiction movie Night of
the Comet as Samantha Belmont; as well as two low-budget slasher films, The
Zero Boys (1985) as Jamie, and Chopping Mall (1986) as Alison.
I had the pleasure to quickly chat with Kelli in July 2011...
IMDB Profile Page
GS: After a long run on the soap "Ryan's Hope", you first appeared on
the big screen with "Fast Times at Ridgmont High" (1982). Was it
overwhelming having your first film be such a big deal?
KM: It was way cool coming to Los Angeles and being on the Universal lot,
but I always knew Iíd be there or somewhere like it soon.
GS: What sort of interactions do you recall on set? We would love to
hear about Judge Reinhold or Phoebe Cates!
KM: Well, I am not comfortable telling tales about co-stars but I can say
that Judge and Phoebe were both fun and excellent to work with ó very laid
back and professional, but fun, too.
GS: Can you tell us about the half-time scene that was cut? And has it
made it back on DVD or gone forever?
KM: Nothing is ever gone forever, you know. I am sure if Iím ever up for
an Academy Award it will magically reappear. I just did a half time dance to
the song ďThe StripperĒ, but honestly, the scene is about the game, not me
prancing around playing sexy.
GS: Rumor is that "Slayground" (1983) which came out later, was
actually your first film. Is this true?
KM: Indeed it is ó it just was released later. That can and does happen a
lot in the industry. Universal didnít like "Fast Times" so in a way we were
lucky to even get a release.
GS: Why did Universal not like "Fast Times"? Obviously we now know
it's a classic.
KM: They thought it was too racy with the abortion, teenage sex and
GS: Horror fans probably first saw you in "Night of the Comet" (1984).
You and co-star Catherine Mary Stewart will both be at Flashback Weekend in
August... should we expect some titillating behind-the-scenes stories, or
have they all been told?
KM: Theyíve all been told. It was a professional set and nothing
scandalous happened at all. Sorry.
GS: One of my favorite horror films is "Chopping Mall" (1986) -- so
thank you for that one! So many great cast members, such a fun story. What
stands out for you as making this experience unique?
KM: I made so many long-time friends on that one. Nothing like running
around a mall in the middle of the night for bonding, you know? I think the
soundtrack makes that movie. l LOVE it to this day.
GS: On "Chopping Mall", did you get to interact with Dick Miller? I
love Dick Miller.
KM: I love him, too. He was pretty gruff with the director, Jim Wynorski.
Dick had been doing it so long he didn't suffer fools gladly.
GS: "Not of This Earth" (1988) was Traci Lords' non-porn debut. Was
she treated differently on set than the rest of the cast?
KM: I was only there one day, but not that I could seeÖ just a
professional like everyone else. Just doing her job and doing it well.
GS: Director Jim Wynorski has made a name for himself with B-movies
and softcore porn (I just watched "Dinocroc vs. Supergator" this week). How
does a low-budget Wynorski/Corman set compare to a studio film?
KM: Well, I havenít done a Wynorski film in many years so I donít know
what thatís like now, but a studio film is a lot more regimented, plus the
food is a lot better. (laughs) More money makes a HUGE difference in your
shooting experience! They are both fun and exciting, but itís like the
difference between a Motel 6 and the Four Seasons, you know?
GS: "Hard to Die" (1990) was your fourth film with Wynorski, and you
used a pseudonym because you didn't want to be credited as "Porno Wife".
Couldn't the character name be changed?
KM: Probably, but Jim liked "Porno Wife". I was called in to do that at
the last minute and when that happens you donít always think things through
like you would normally. Itís HIS movie, and I needed my rent that month, so
I didnít argue too much.
GS: You have said in other interviews you got most of your roles by
auditioning, but I have to assume by this point it was probably more like
you heard your phone ring and on the other end, "Hey Kelli, it's Jim again."
Did you actually have to keep auditioning each time?
KM: Not for just the little stuff like "Not Of This Earth", "Big Bad
Momma 2", "Hard To Die", "Munchies" ó no audition. It was more like, ďAre
you busy? Wanna come down and be in something?Ē
GS: I hear you'll be turning 50 this year. Some people say women's
roles become more limited as they age -- do you believe this?
KM: Iím NOT 50. Iím only going to be 46 at the end of December. Reality
check ó the IMDB is a MOVIE site. I have government documents with seals on
the back that dispute them. Donít believe everything you read on the
Internet. Having said that, an actor canít get into that kind of thinking ó
you make your own opportunities and I always have, even as a teenager. So,
while itís easier to get peopleís attention when you are a hot young thing,
there is plenty of things that make you special at any age. When you are
standing in your power with your heart wide open, you are ageless. Who wants
to keep playing the kid anyway? Grownups are far more interesting, I think!
GS: Well said, and thank you for clearing up a dirty Internet
falsehood! See you in August.
KM: Thank you!