Most of you out there know Catherine Mary Stewart from Night of the Comet, The Last Starfighter and Weekend at Bernie’s. Her acting career started with the rock musical The Apple in 1980. Since then, she has been involved with numerous film and television projects. With a career spanning more than 30 years, Catherine Stewart has continued to delight her fans all over the world.
I have been a huge fans of hers ever since I saw The Last Starfighter. She was recently seen on an episode of Limitless as Deputy Director Catherine Rovik. I would like to introduce you to the lovely Catherine Mary Stewart.
(Danniel Slade) Catherine, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Please start off by telling our audience about yourself?
(Catherine Mary Stewart) I have been an actress for a LONG time. I have also raised two amazing kids in New York City. I recently wrote, directed and produced a short film. My goal is to direct more. I absolutely LOVED directing. Now that my children are grown I am splitting my time between New York and Los Angeles with my husband of 24 years. Most recently I was in “Limitless”, TV movie “Love on the Vines”, and a new Sci-Fi movie called “Imitation Girl”.
(DS) Can you tell us how you got the part of Maggie in The Last Starfighter and what it was like for you to be in that film?
(CMS) It was a regular audition process. I was shooting Days of Our Lives at that time but was auditioning for other things on my days off. I remember there were lots of hot young actors auditioning for this movie. Ally Sheedy, and Eric Stilts were there if my memory serves me correctly. I read alone at the first audition and then at the callback they paired me with Lance Guest. I remember lying on the floor in front of the director and whomever else was there and doing a scene as though we were gazing at the stars at night. There was some improvisation involved and it was similar to the scene at the lake without the kissing. Lance and I got along really well from the start. I think that helped a lot in the audition. We are still good friends to this day.
(DS) Did you find it hard to work alongside Lance Guest when he was switching between his Alex and Beta characters?
(CMS) No, it was fun. It was fun to play my confusion with Lance’s subtle character change as the Beta Unit.
(DS) Seeing as they are a key plot point, did you know much about video games or had any interest in them before taking on the role of Maggie?
(CMS) I really didn’t know much about video games. I played Pac Man, but that was about it. My husband has a Missile Command arcade game that he got in the 80’s. That’s a classic. He and my kids are AWESOME on that thing. It is pretty fun. I wasn’t exposed to that until well after I shot The Last Starfighter. I think Maggie probably wasn’t that interested in Alex’s game anyway. She knew it was important to him but I doubt she played it much.
(DS) You had two science fiction films come out in 1984,The Last Starfighter and Night of the Comet. Were you a fan of the genre before getting cast in those roles?
(CMS) I was more a fan of the characters I played rather than the genre of the films themselves. I was very attracted to Reggie in Night of the Comet because she is so different from Maggie in the Last Starfighter. I also loved both scripts. They were very different. It is always attractive to play as many different kinds of characters in different kinds of stories. The Last Starfighter was a lovely story that kids especially could identify with and be inspired by. Night of the Comet was quirky and different and driven by two strong young women. They were certainly wacky characters but I think they were relatable to young women and inspiring as well. Lots of women have told me that these characters inspired them as girls and influenced them later in their lives to be strong independent women.
(DS) How are you handling being a pulp culture icon?
(CMS) Is that what I am?? Yay!!! I’m thrilled that these little films have had some longevity and such a strong fan base. I LOVE the fans and I’m so grateful to have been a part of them.
(DS) I would never want to see these two films ‘remade’ but I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel. How do you feel about remakes vs. sequels and would you consider reprising either Regina or Maggie again?
(CMS) I think it would be fun to make a sequel. Remakes rarely work in my opinion. I suspect a remake would lose all the charm of the original, which to me is the most important part. If a sequel were made I would hope that the tone would reflect the original. Also, I would LOVE to be a part of it. Perhaps Alex and Maggie have a daughter who becomes the Next Last Starfighter! 🙂
(DS) You have been in films with aliens and zombies but in Weekend at Bernie’s you get to work with a “dead” guy. What was that experience like?
(CMS) What was so cool about that was that it’s a full on comedy, something I hadn’t done before. At first I felt like the comedy was a little too broad, but apparently, as it turns out, there was a huge audience for that kind of thing and still is! I hear it referenced ALL THE TIME! Especially right now with Bernie in the campaign for the Democratic nominee. So funny. I also hear it referenced several times a year in some TV show or other. Again I’m so grateful that I was a part of it. Terry Kiser (Bernie) is a doll and Jonathon Silverman (Richard) and I hit it off well too. We had a lot of fun. One time Ted Kotcheff the director let Terry think the camera was still rolling as he was holding his breath to play “dead”. Ted let it go on and on until Terry just couldn’t hold his breath anymore. We had a good laugh at his expense. Terry laughed too.
(DS) Superhero television and movies are starting to dominate their respective Medias. Do you have a favorite that you currently keep up with and would you ever want to be cast in one?
(CMS) I remember the first Superman with Christopher Reeve and the first Batman with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson and the first Spiderman with Tobie Maguire. That was about the end of my super hero watching experience. I have to say I did enjoy those versions. I enjoy more focus on characters and story. Having said that what fun it would be to play Cat Woman or some other female villain. I loved Michele Pfeiffer’s take on Cat Woman. Of course as a kid Batman the series with Adam West was a must see. It was hilarious and some of the incredible actors on that show were classic! I had the pleasure of meeting Adam West at a convention not too long ago. He is awesome!
(DS)Looking back at your career, has there been anything that you wished you had done differently or that you felt was a missed opportunity?
(CMS) I guess the short answer is “Yes”. But honestly who doesn’t say that at some point in their lives. The important thing is to not obsess on what might have been. I have always had so much fun in my career. I have had very few bad experiences and I feel grateful to have had the career I’ve had. I love this business because as an actor I am challenged to bring something new and exciting to each new character I play. The possibilities are limitless. And as I “mature” I have so much more life to draw from and the characters that I play are so different. I’m also very interested in producing projects and directing projects that interest me. I directed a short film that I wrote and produced and the feeling I got from that experience can only be compared to my first experience on stage as a professional dancer when I was 16. I knew that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
(DS) Is there anything coming out that we should be watching out for?
(CMS)I just finished shooting a beautiful, “lyrical”, sci-fi movie in New York. It involves a benevolent alien who comes to earth that in a way rescues a lost soul and gives this lost soul meaning again. I will also be in Pasadena the weekend of April 22nd (my birthday, FYI) for the Monsterpalooza Convention! Yippee!
(DS) Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some of our questions! Please let our audience know how to find out more about you.
(CMS) I let everyone know details on all that I’m up to on my FaceBook page at: https://www.facebook.com/catherinemarystewart and Twitter @cmsall #CatherineMaryStewart I’m also on Instagram @CatherineMaryStewart and Tumblr. These sites are so much fun to keep in touch with fans and let them know all that is going on in my world so please don’t hesitate to be in touch!!
For more information about Catherine Mary Stewart’s career and everything that she is up to please visit these sites: