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Video Rewind Interview: Helene Udy from My Bloody Valentine

Updated on November 7, 2014
The scream that won Helene Udy the role of Sylvia in My Bloody Valentine
The scream that won Helene Udy the role of Sylvia in My Bloody Valentine

The scream you hear on Valentine's Day may not be coming from your wife or girlfriend as she opens her gift, but rather from Helene Udy, one of the stars of My Bloody Valentine.

This entry from the "horrific" '80's still stands up today as one of the classics of the genre and for Udy, getting the role of Sylvia was just a scream away.

"The first movie I ever did was with the director of Pick-up Summer ( also directed by George Mihalka) and after the first movie he was really sweet and gave me a role in Valentine. I did have to audition for the role but all I had to do was scream."

But it wasn't just the scream she had to cope with. She was asked to cut her hair short and dye it brown which wasn't a problem for her since the character of Sylvia was a little bit of a tomboy.

With a laugh she says she had a lot of screaming to do and took it all very seriously as she was new to acting.

"I think I was 16 or 17 at the time when I did the movie and when it was time for the murder scene I was really, really focusing on what if this was true to the point where I was scaring myself and it was emotionally draining. I remember the actual death shot was a one take deal which was great, but the most difficult part to shoot was the chase scene where I was running through the falling uniforms of the miners.

"I can't remember how many times we did it, but I felt like I was running through clothes for a long time."

If you haven't seen the movie I'm not going to reveal who the killer is, but in scenes like this the "killer" was actually on the set and Udy knew when it was time to "be caught." There were times when she would be chased by the killer and times when she wouldn't be chased. Her look of surprise is genuine and she attributes it to "some good acting. Thank you very much!"

One of the good things about this movie are the characters are a little bit older which adds more to their personalities and while Udy really didn't think about it, her character is shown drinking in the bar quite a bit.

She really never thought about it that much but, the American born actress grew up in Canada and the drinking laws there are more relaxed. Currently, the drinking age is 19, but at the time Udy didn't think about such things. She was happy to be a working actress and was the youngest one in the the cast.

"I look so young in that movie. I imagine that they weren't trying to conceal that I was young but they weren't concerned about the age."

Filmed in a small Nova Scotia mining town she did go down into the mine (for fun) and the sets were already there. Unfortunately she can't remember the name of the town which they filmed in, but does joke (after prompted about the film's budget) that most of the budget went to making the infamous Valentine's Bluff sign.

Going into the mine "was great. I love new experiences. When else will you get the chance to go into a mine? The portion of the mine that I was in was the size of a large living room and you could stand up. That area of the mine were the little cars are in do go deeper. The mine itself was really interesting."

An interesting fact of the movie is it starts out on Thursday, February 12 (a Thursday) which would make it Friday the 13th and then Saturday the 14th. According to some sources this was supposed to be an installment in the Friday the 13th franchise but it was a stand alone movie.

But for Udy, the experience was a lot of fun. She was flown to Los Angeles to have a mold taken of her head and the experience of making a horror movie was really fun.

The only uncomfortable experience she found was having the mold done, but on a positive note right beside her was a mold of David Bowie from The Man Who Fell to Earth.

"I just thought it was really cool to have my head made by the same people who made David Bowie's head. It was a little uncomfortable and took about three hours to do but it was still really cool."

With the celebrities I've interviewed in the past I've always forgot to ask what it was like to a) be in a movie and b) what's it like to walk or drive by the theater and know you're in that movie.

"It's so exciting! I was like a spectator. I couldn't believe I was in a movie. I mean I don't think I had any critical thoughts about the movie. I was so busy thinking, 'Look I'm in a movie!' I mean that was a major part of my experience. That was the most exciting thing about seeing myself on the big screen and hoping that I could do more of that and going to the premiere. Going to Los Angeles to have my head made and everything. It was such a good time."


Udy is also known for playing Myra in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
Udy is also known for playing Myra in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

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