acid logicpresents...

An Interview with Honey Lauren

Part One

Honey Lauren


By Wil Forbis

October 16, 2001
If you take a gander at some of Honey Lauren's recent films, you'll be hard pressed to find anything sweet about her. In camp director Doris Wishman's new flick, "Satan Was a Lady," Honey spends most of her time blackmailing and killing people, when she's not whipping them bloody as an S&M dominatrix. In 1998's "Men Cry Bullets," she seduces young men, takes pot shots at people and dresses up as a drag king to serenade her lover. (All in a performance that had critics dub her "the female Christopher Walken.") She's also appeared as a vampire in "Bram Stroker's Dracula" and a sex-crazed alien in "The Hidden II." We're not exactly talking a giggling Meg Ryan here.

But film and reality are two different things, and in reality, Honey's a pretty swell gal. Honesty dictates mentioning that she's worked in a wide ranging series of projects including the action film, "Out For Justice" and Fran Drescher's sitcom, "The Nanny." Honey braved an Acid Logic interview to spill the goods on independent moviemaking, the incredible breasts of Chesty Morgan and the challenges of being a woman in Hollywood.

Part One: Camp Acting and Doris Wishman

Wil: Well, here at Acid Logic we're big fans of the Doris Wishman films. And you, of course, star in her comeback piece "Satan was A Lady" which is the first film she's done in over 20 years.

Honey: Yeah, over 25 years actually. It's been awhile. Porno put her out of business, I'm told.

Wil: Well, that happened to a lot of people, as we saw in "Boogie Nights."

Honey: Yeah, but porno really put her out of business, because she wasn't willing to do porno. After a while, the nudie cuties weren't enough.

Wil: That's interesting because she did do "A Night To Dismember" in 1980 with Samantha Foxx. (Ex-porn star who went on to become a highly successful pop singer.) I've never actually seen it. I don't know if it's even available.

Honey: It's out there. I actually had a copy of it, but I don't anymore. I had to give it to Femme Fatale (Cult magazine focusing on sci-fi and horror genre actresses.)

Wil: So how was it?

Honey: It was great! I don't think Doris would mind me telling you about this, but she unfortunately had to make it with all the outtakes.

Wil: I've heard about that. The original got destroyed.

Honey: Yeah, the negatives got destroyed, so she was left with these outtakes, and she made an entire movie out of them. Pretty amazing. The thing with Doris is that she's a survivor. That's what I admire most about her.

Wil: In regards to "Satan Was a Lady" - this is a film where you play a young woman who lives a rather devious life in the shadowy world of strip clubs and sadomasochism. In fact the film starts out with you wearing some sort of leather headgear and whipping the bloody back of an older gentlemen. I can't help but wonder while you filming that scene whether you were thinking "My God, what have I got myself into?"

Honey: Well, of course, there's always that. But I had to trust that I knew what I was doing. I do work on television and I work on mainstream movies and independent films and I knew that I was taking a risk doing this. But I also knew that if people understood who Doris was, then they would understand why I did this. And if they didn't, well, that's fine too. I felt like I was making history, doing it.

Wil: Becoming part of this little piece of cult cinema history?

Honey: Yeah. The thing about the whipping scene that was really hysterical is that Doris did all the close ups. She really took the whip from me. I think it was her most animated night. It was precious too, because I have a 93 year old grandmother that I've taken care of for about a decade, and Doris is also elderly, of course. Nobody knows how old she is but we know she could be my grandmother. And here she was with the whip, and she was good at it!

Wil: And she was whipping the guy?

Honey: She was whipping the guy's back. And this is what is lovely about Doris - if I can use "lovely" and "whipping the guy's back" at the same time - she could have easily had my character whipping the guy's ass or something typically S&M. But here I am whipping this man's back, and he's wearing slacks and a belt. It was very retro.

Wil: So there was a touch of class to the whole thing?

Honey: Yeah, it was not the kind of funky scene you would see in the year 2001. You would expect something much harder. Her stuff is so innocent to me. It's silly. Silly in a good way though, not in a stupid way.

So I didn't really have a problem with this, but the poor guy I was going to be working with was so nervous about what he was going to wear. This guy was so worried about doing that scene that he didn't eat for a week.

Wil: Well, it's hard to know what to wear to a whipping.

Honey: (Laughs) You got that right. Actually that was the other thing, we had to travel all over town to get my outfit.

Wil: It kind of reminds me of the scene in "Ghost World" where Thora Birch buys the S&M fetishist mask.

Honey: Right, that was hilarious, I just love that little cap she wore. With me, we were definitely looking for the "Lone Ranger" mask. We went to all the S&M parlors and stores and dildo shops in Miami.

Wil: And I'm sure Doris knows them all.

Honey: Oh, indeed! I had to try on all these outfits. It was me, Edge - who is the man I was whipping and, you know, another story - and Doris. And of course, everywhere we went everyone loved her and wanted to be in her movies. It was a really good time.

Wil: What was it like working with Doris, because I hear she can be a cantankerous old bat?

Honey: Ahh, Yeah! (Spoken in a perfect pseudo valley girl accent) But she was quite good to work with in that she had so much energy. She never tired out. She can go on for like, 20 hours. It's uncanny. Very few of us can do that and we're so much younger than her. She was very opinionated, which is good, but she used to say to me, "Honey, if you don't agree with me, you have to tell me. Don't just be nice to me." So I'd tell her, and of course, it would make her really angry.

And once and awhile she was pretty non-lucid. There were one or two times where she didn't remember a scene we had just shot.

Wil: You didn't have to reshoot it, did you?

Honey: No, no, we'd just say, "Doris, we just shot that scene." And she changed the script quite a bit, which is fine, since it's a Doris Wishman film and it's her script and she's allowed to do whatever she wants. But she tends to get a little wordy at times and put in these long speeches, and we'd have to really talk about that. But I really tried to take direction from her. My whole goal for this movie was "Take direction from her, Honey." It's easy to sort of bulldoze your way through these things and not go with the flow, but I really wanted to give Doris what she wanted.

The other thing that was interesting about Doris is that there's no cursing. Did you notice that in the movie?

Wil: You know. I'm thinking back on all her films, and I guess off the top of my head I don't recall any.

Honey: Yeah, this was a very retro kind of event. The lines that came out of my mouth were like, "You big lug!" And I was thinking, "My God, how am I going to make this work?" But I decided I was going to do it exactly the way she wanted me to do it. But it's hard to say these goofy lines and believe them.

Wil: What struck me as very retro is that there's a scene where you come home after a day's work and your boyfriend's there and you immediately go into this extrapolation on your entire past, thereby establishing your character. That's the kind of dialogue you never say in real life but see it all the time in comic books and films.

Honey: Exactly, and the whole film was like that. Doris had a lot to say and she wanted to get it all in there, dammit! I took the whole thing very seriously. I would think, "How do you do an exploitation film?" and you just do it like any other part. I approached this like I would working with any other director, but I think I managed to keep some basis of reality in the character. I think Beau, the producer, was a little put off at first. He'd say, "Don't take it all so seriously." But I don't know how to work any other way.

Wil: Well, that actually leads up to something I wanted to talk about. I've read a lot of the comments you made about working on this film and you discuss that you put a lot into this role of a rather emotional, disturbed individual. At the same time - this is Doris Wishman and I wonder if it's a little disarming to put all this work into a movie that's probably never going to be seen as a "Citizen Kane."

Honey: No, there's no other way to do it. I've made my share of cult films, and every one I had to approach with an essence of truth. Let me give an example - in "Faster Pussycat Kill, Kill" (Russ Meyer's 1966's camp classic.) there's that young women who gets tortured and makes that cry - Do you remember that?

Wil: Unfortunately, I've never seen the film but I'm familiar with it.

Honey: She's totally being tortured, and it's so sad and she's crying her eyes out, and you believe it. and it's hilarious! As an actress, you have to find that basis of reality. My goal is to be crying while they're laughing.

Wil: I think I know what you're talking about in that I've seen cult films where it's all a big joke and I'll be in the theatre and everyone is laughing and I'm thinking, "Jesus, this person is being impaled on a big spike or something. This doesn't seem very funny."

Honey: Right, you have to play it for real. Because if you don't, what do you have? A badly acted film. There's no other way to play it. John Waters was there at the premier of "Satan Was A Lady" in New York and he said "Darlin' you did it perfectly." Look at Divine's work - he made all these cult films - or, she made all these cult films, but they all came from a basis of truth. Nobody played a mom better than her!

Wil: All that said and done, it must be a little irritating to get a response from someone such as "How could you put all that real effort into such a campy role?"

Honey: Yeah, it was mostly frustrating when I was doing it, because they didn't quite get what I was doing. But since it was done I haven't had anyone say that that wasn't the way to do it. I think it was really the glue that kept the film together.

But that's the beauty of it. For instance, you saw "Men Cry Bullets" (An independent film Honey appeared in before "Satan.") I never for one minute did not take that seriously.

Wil: Yeah, and that was a very stellar film.

Honey: I think you have to be real and the camp will come through. The camp always comes through.


Continue to Part Two of the Honey Lauren Interview


Don't forget to check out these recent Acid Logic Interviews that delve deep into the inner psyches of American celebrities and expose them as the senstive artists they truly are:

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