INTERVIEW: Great Scott! 10 Questions About Lea Thompson’s Past, Present, And Future

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Few movies have made such an impact on American pop culture as Back To The Future. Hoverboards, self-drying jackets, and flying cars may not be a part of our actual “future” but Lea Thompson has proven to be. The actress, who portrayed Lorraine in the franchise, has become a staple in Hollywood through her acting and directing. Lea has had roles in everything from Red Dawn, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Friends to more current shows like Family Guy and Switched At Birth.

While she has numerous projects in the works, you will not need a DeLorean to catch up with her. Lea is scheduled to join Christopher Lloyd, Tom Wilson, and Michael J Fox at the 2018 Fan Expo Dallas. We could not pass up the opportunity to visit with Lea before she comes back to DFW.

 

Your first movie role was portraying a ski bunny in Jaws 3D. How did you pull that off when you couldn’t even manage to swim?

It is kind of the story of my career. I say “yes” and then figure it out afterwards. It helped me that I was a dancer. A lot of what I had to do was being part of the ski show, which was kind of like doing dance moves. Being a part of the pyramid seemed almost like dance because it was scary and athletic. My stunts work was better than my acting, that’s for sure.

What would you change if you could actually steal the DeLorean?

Wow, this is in Dallas… I can’t say what I would say… You can imagine what a “Libertard” would say. I should be so prepared for these kind of questions. Maybe I would go back to the day Hitler was conceived and make sure it wasn’t a sexy day or something like that.

Over the years you have been in many iconic films (BTTF, Red Dawn, Jaws, etc). What has been your favorite movie to do?

My favorite movie to do is a movie I just directed that is coming out in June called 'The Year Of Spectacular Men'. I directed it, my daughter Madelyn wrote it and starred in it, and my other daughter [Zoey] was in it. That was like a dream come true, to work with my girls. After that I would have to say 'Red Dawn'. It was just like being in summer camp. It was fun to ride horses, shoot guns, and all that stuff. I never really got to be so much of a tomboy because I grew up being a ballet dancer.

In the movie Lorraine’s father says “another one of these damn kids jumped in front of my car” after hitting Marty. Was he a closet alcoholic, living on a street with a bunch of careless children, or did Lorraine have that many guys climbing up a tree to peep on her?

I don’t know the answer for that question. That is a good one for Bob Zemeckis. That was a funny/weird line. Gosh, I really don’t know. I always feel like a moron when I do these Q&A’s because even though I am quoted I have never read the three or four books on Back To The Future. I might be able to answer a lot more questions if I actually read them but I feel like, “Why should I read the book since I did the movie?”

You essentially played five different characters in BTTF (teenage Lorraine, Lorraine, future Lorraine, alternative future Lorraine, and Maggie). Which of the characters do you think you are most like and why? 

Who am I most like? Wow, I don’t even know… It’s weird because they are all strange little aspects of me. I guess I would have to say Maggie. She is very practical and I feel that I am too. I take care of a lot of things, can fix things, sew, and can do many practical things. I guess growing up poor I learned to do that and I would say that Maggie is a pretty practical person too. 

What projects are you currently working on? 

I directed the sitcom 'Mom' which will be on next week. I directed 'American Housewives' and that is coming out in a few weeks. I am also doing a pilot for Fox called 'Our People' that is produced by Lee Daniels. I have a movie at SXSW right now called 'Who We Are Now' and I am in a movie coming out on Netflix called 'Sierra Burgess'. There’s also another movie I am in called 'Little Women' that is coming out this summer… I’ve got a lot of stuff going on right now. I feel so weird. I have been around a long time but it is really one of the most exciting times in my career right now because I have so much going on. I am really, really grateful for that.

What innovation from the 2nd BTTF movie would you have most liked to see in reality? 

Like I said, I am still a little tomboy at heart so I would say a hoverboard. Although it would be really scary, it would be really fun.

Do you want to see a BTTF reboot down the road? 

I would like to be in one, not necessarily see one. I would be very upset if I wasn’t in it. It is a weird feeling for someone to remake a movie and not be in it; it is kind of creepy. 'Back To The Future I' was the perfect movie so that is really hard to remake a movie like that. Something like 'Red Dawn' being remade is a different thing because it really wasn’t a perfect movie. 'Back To The Future' is really stunning because it has such legs and people just love that movie. People love to show it to their kids and grandkids. My mother-in-law has seen it with her daughter, granddaughter, and great granddaughter. It is pretty amazing and so cool. 

What future role would you like to have in a show or movie?

I am really excited about this new comedy I am doing because I am from Minnesota and have always wanted to play a really hardcore Minnesotan where I get to use my accent. Weirdly, it sounds a little bit like older Lorraine. I am really excited about it and have wanted to do a comedy with it kind of like Dan Aykroyd and John Candy did with their Canadian accent for comic effect; so hopefully it will get picked up!

What are you most looking forward to about your trip to Dallas for FXD18? 

I love Dallas! I have worked there a lot and had family that lived in Denton. I am really looking forward to the fans. I always have a great time in Dallas and am really excited to see my family there. It is also going to be the first time I get to do one of these with Tom Wilson. For twenty years I have been doing things with Chris [Lloyd], Michael [Fox] joined us, and now Tom [Wilson]. All we need is Crispin to join us and it will be the greatest thing in the history of the world.

 

It is almost impossible to hit 88 MPH on Highway 635 (and Dallas PD tends to frown upon it) so be sure not to miss this opportunity to be a part of this Back To The Future reunion. The Expo includes autograph/picture opportunities, Q&A panels, as well as various other activities. Fan Expo Dallas will take place at the Dallas Convention Center April 6-8. For more information, schedules, updates, and tickets click here.

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