acid logicpresents...

An Interview with Honey Lauren

Part Three

Honey Lauren


By Wil Forbis

October 16, 2001

Click here to return to Part Two of the Honey Lauren Interview

Part Two: Producing, Dancing with the Tubes, and "The New Breasts of Today."

Wil: I've also noticed looking at "Men Cry Bullets" and "Satan Was A Lady" that you're certainly not afraid to get naked.

Honey: Yeah, that's true. I don't have a problem taking my clothes off. I would have a problem having sex on film.

Wil: Now, the willingness to take one's clothes off can have an unpredictable effect on an actress's career. How do you know when it's too much nakedness?

Honey: I think if I was doing soft porn, then that, for me, would be too much.

Wil: Well, I'm asking this not so much from a moralistic point of view, but with the understanding that as an actress in the year 2001 you are navigating through the current social mores of the day. If this was 1950 and you did any nudity then you'd probably.

Honey: .I'd be going to hell for sure.

Wil: Yeah, perhaps literally and career wise. Or it would cordon you off to a certain type of role.

Honey: But there's more nudity in "NYPD Blue," than "Men Cry Bullets."

Wil: But that's not true with "Satan Was a Lady."

Honey: No, you're right, there was a lot of nudity in that film. That was an exploitation film. But actually, being comfortable with doing nudity is a thing unto itself. I think everyone around me was more uncomfortable than I was. But they got used to it pretty quickly. After a while it's like "Honey's got her shirt off again, who cares." I'd be walking around with my shirt open, because any second I was going to take it off to shoot the scene anyway.

It was an exploitation film, I knew that going in to it. When they sent me the script it was pretty clear that there was a lot of nudity. But again, there was no sex. It was just "Girl with her shirt off" or "Girl with her pants off." But no swearing. The dichotomy was wonderful. Only Doris could pull this off.

Wil: I was down in San Diego and I was at an art exhibit there by an American artist from the early 1900's. And 80% of the stuff this guy was doing was nude women! It seems like we, as a society, have this conflicting view where we look at nudity in a Doris Wishman film and it's sexploitation, but if it's in an art gallery, it's considered "high art."

Honey: Yes, I think it's always in the context of how you use it. In a Doris movie, it's "art-trash." Her use of nudity is calculated. When my character finally wakes up in the morning with a guy I like, my shirt is on. The one scene where I'm not topless is when I'm sleeping next to the guy I like. I'm wearing his shirt.

Wil: That's an interesting point.

Honey: I really had to fight for that, though. Everybody wanted me to take it off, but I was like, "No, there's a reason why she has it on."

Looking back, Doris really made the nudity look very retro. There's a scene where my shirt is off and I kiss the boy I like, but he never really touches my breasts. Whereas there's another scene where Glyn Styler (the bad boyfriend) is kind of roughly trying to have sex with me like a 12 year old boy. It was done in a very retro way and nowadays they wouldn't shoot it that way.

And there's the fact that they chose me. My breasts are real. You don't see that anymore.

Wil: It's a darn shame. Where have all the real breasts gone?

Honey: Yeah, they're all these sort of funny shaped, primo. things. And that's terrific, but not in a Doris movie. Of course, Doris had used faked breasts in her early films, when they had those silicone, pointy breasts. It's not like she was against it. But they don't look like the new breasts of today. And just my physique looks very retro. No tan, real breasts. It all lends itself to the look of the film.

Wil: It seems like the 90's was all about these really skinny women, like Kate Moss and Winona Ryder, but the sixties had films like Doris's "Bad Girls Go to Hell," which starred Gigi Darleen who was very curvaceous and edible.

Honey: Yeah, she's wonderful. I think that's the best Doris movie.

Wil: It had a really nice aesthetic. It gets back what we were talking about where the filmmaker really controls the environment. It had a real film noir-ish look to it.

Honey: And there's Chesty Morgan. (Large breasted star of Doris Wishman's films.) When I saw "Double Agent 73" I thought I was just going to die!

Wil: They were pretty noticeable.

Honey: And they were her breasts I believe.

Wil: Oh yeah, those have the look of real natural ones. I don't think you could fake that.

Honey: Yeah, I don't think so, though there are a few out there. Buy why would anybody do that?

Wil: Fake breasts tend to be more. outward.

Honey: Yeah, as opposed to hanging down to your knees.

Wil: Exactly.

Honey: There was a movie out a long time ago called "Striptease" with Demi Moore. They were auditioning for five female stripper roles in the film and I made it down to the last group of girls. And there was another girl there who had these Chesty Morgan breasts! But they were fake..

Wil: They were real low hangers?

Honey: They were. she was amazing. It was her job in Vegas to just go out on the stage and stand there.

Wil: I look at that and I just think, "back problems."

Honey: Back problems for sure. The things that we've witnessed in our lifetime. Here we are having this conversation about breasts. but I guess there's a lot to say about them.

Wil: It's an endless subject.

Honey: And they have a big and very important role in Doris's movies.

Wil: What do you think Doris's take is on the fact that she's making these types of exploitation films, with the sex and the violence, that are normally assumed to be the work of male directors.

Honey: I think she knows that sex - or her innocent way of showing sex - sells. That's how she made her living, that was her sensibility. (Before making exploitation films, Doris worked in the distribution of exploitation films.) She didn't set out to make sex movies as much as she set out to make movies she knew she could make her money off of. It was her niche and what she knew how to do. She managed to get a career out of it, and I guess she enjoyed it.

Wil: So she looks at sex the way a plumber looks at a wrench and a pipe cleaner?

Honey: I really think so! It's just what appealed to her sensibility. She's a funny, kind of sexy lady herself. Yes, she's elderly, but she's just got this life to her. She'll always be sexy.

But getting back to your question about why she made the films - at the time, she didn't put her name on them. (Doris used to make films under pseudonyms.) Not because she was embarrassed, but she wanted to sell them! She knew that in those days, people weren't going to buy a movie by a woman. Women were not taken seriously then and to some extent they're still not. It's a really male-orientated industry. Women have come a long way, but they have a long way to go.

Wil: Well, I've noticed that you've done some producing?

Honey: Yeah, I have. But it's much easier to get money with a man with me. I get in the door pretty easily but I need a man there to close the deal. The feminists will hate me for saying that, but it's the truth. You can fight the world till you die, but you're not going to get a movie made.

Wil: You've got to choose your battles?

Honey: Yes, thank you. You've been reading "The Art of War." The sooner people figure that out, I believe they'll be able to get a lot more work done. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try for what you believe in. I always do, I'm a total survivor. But I also know what works. I know it works to have my name be Honey. It's a lot easier to get people to call me that! (Laughs)

Wil: What exactly does a producer do?

Honey: Oh boy, there's so many different jobs. They do everything from raising money to organizing how the money is spent. My job as a producer has usually been connecting money people to projects. You might connect a name actor to a project and therefore you brought value to the film.

Wil: I think there's some impression that the producer is just someone who throws money at the film.

Honey: Yeah, that's more the executive producer role. I'm more the person that connects the money to the project. I did this not because I wanted to, but by default. There were a couple of films that I was in and really believed in, and they came out and got into distribution and then they didn't have money to deliver them. You need money to pay for a film when a distribution company picks it up. You need to make the film print look good. I came in as producer after the projects were finished. So I started a production company called Panik Piktures.0. I ended up writing a script recently that I'm producing as well.

Wil: I've heard of a film you were going to shoot in Sweden.?

Honey: Right, it's going to be done out of Sweden. It's about a girl who suffers from a disorder called lycanthropy, where one thinks one is a wolf. It's kind of in the horror genre, but it's more about the psychological problem this woman has. It's kind of a dark comedy. It's called "GirlWolf... A Stranged Love Story." Throughout the film you're trying to figure whether she's the real deal, or whether she has this disorder. There's a boyfriend who's got his own set of problems.

Wil: Aside from the fact that his girlfriend thinks she's a wolf.

Honey: Yeah, you know, that's always difficult.

Wil: Does he think he's a mummy?

Honey: No, no, nothing like that. (Laughs) You'll get to see it when the movie comes out. It'll be fun because it's really like a fairy tale. It's going to be shot in old town Stockholm which looks like the world of Hansel and Gretel . It's really beautiful and has these really skinny streets. It's the perfect setting. I have a Swedish director for it, and he's pretty amazing. His name is Thomas Sjolund and he's tremendous.

Wil: You also were a dancer with the Tubes.

Honey: Yeah, I won a talent show and the prize was the opportunity to dance in their show. (Laughs)

Wil: That's a questionable prize.

Honey: No, actually, they're really good. This was in San Francisco, a long time ago, but after the Tubes were already wonderful.

Wil: This is after "White Punks on Dope"?

Honey: Yeah, way after that. They were no longer doing the big drag shows. But it was cool.

Wil: I saw those guys in Las Vegas on Halloween a couple of years ago. It was this big sex industry festival.

Honey: Looking back, the Tubes were really ahead of their time. They used to dress up in this kind of funny drag. They had a lot of balls.

Wil: They were sort of punkifying the glam movement.

Honey: Yeah, though by the time I was dancing with them it was a different thing altogether. It was more of a cute little stage show, but not as extravagant and out there.

Wil: You've also done a lot of major releases. You did "Francis Ford Coppola's "Dracula" and you were in Steven Seagal's "Out For Justice." Is there a substantial difference in doing those films and doing the indie-buget films?

Honey: Oh yeah, like night and day. The big films you can actually have a lot more fun on, because you're not under all the pressure to get it done in two takes. But you're also more at the mercy of the big director, whereas in the independent world I'm able to put a lot more of my own input into what I want to do. I get to add a lot of my stuff in there that may not be in the script. In the big movies, it wasn't as creative for me, but they were a lot easier to work on in terms of the surroundings.

Wil: There's no three inch cockroaches?

Honey: Exactly. Of course there are some hard things you have to do. I was in the sequel to "The Hidden." There were special effects that were very difficult to do, very physically demanding. Things coming up out of my mouth and taking over my body. it was hard.



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