Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lara Parker discusses Night of Dark Shadows

 Dark Shadows Opens Friday At Cooper 1
Aug. 21, 1971
Colorado Springs Gazelle Telegraph

During her working hours before the cameras in MGM's Gothic horror tale "Night of Dark Shadows," which opens Friday at The Cooper 1 Theatre, Lara Parker deliberately avoided friendly communication with other members of the company. She portrays a young woman hanged as a witch and adulteress who returns from the grave to malevolently haunt the dank halls of Collinwood, the eerie old mansion where she met her violent death.

"It was a difficult thing to do," Miss Parker later confessed, "sort of looking right through my co-workers on the set instead of being sociable. But deliberately declared myself 'off limits.' I needed that apartness to help me in my ghostly characterization and I'm sure everyone understood, although I did dampen some spirits, I'm sure, with my lack of response.''

Miss Parker, with David Selby, Grayson Hall, Kate Jackson, John Karlen and Nancy Barrett, among others, was among the "regulars" from ABC-TVs "Dark Shadows" to appear in this film based on the spooky daytime serial which, despite public protests, finally ended a four and a half year hitch on the airwaves. The current "Night of Dark Shadows" follows last year's smash hit "House of Dark Shadows," which movie audiences received with the same enthusiasm as had been shown by video fans to the ghastly goings-on.

"I'm not a bit of a 'haunt' in real life," Miss Parker smilingly assures questioners. "I'm very much married to Tom Parker, an artist, and the mother of two sons. Richard and Andrew. Yes, the boys know that mother has been making her living as a ghost. They think it very funny."

She speaks knowledgeably and clearly about contemporary art, explaining the reason why, not long ago the roof her husband had handmade for their country residence had been displayed in a New York gallery.

"Functional objects, when made with care, have as much beauty and artistic validity as any classical statue," she said. "Thai's why the Warhol soup can was so important. It made us look at things we had never noticed before."

Being a housewife is not enough of a job for a woman, Miss Parker believes.

"Women should have other definite interests besides keeping house," she affirms. Acting has always interested her. "Some people are not necessarily good actors, but have unique character qualities they can project before a camera. That is what many of our great film actors were — personalities — and it's as much of a natural talent as acting itself."

Miss Parker has had considerable theater background. She appeared on stage in such varied fare as "Othello," "The Glass Menagerie," "Dark of the Moon," "She Stoops to Conquer," "The Lady's Not For Burning" and "A Taste of Honey."

Hair piled high in a sophisticated coiffure of the 19th century and clad in diaphanous white robes. Miss Parker rises to full evil heights as the ghost of Angelique in "Night of Dark Shadows."

"I don't really believe in ghosts," she says. "But if I ever happened to run into one, I think I'd just start running. I wouldn't want to hang around and be chummy with any ghost, simply because I collect a salary check being a member of the spirit world."

1 comment:

Erica said...

Cold, cold, cold. Gee, what a surprise.

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