Best known to genre freaks as “Lori” in Clive Barker’s seminal Nightbreed, stunningly eclectic actress-writer Anne Bobby is definitely more than a one scream wonder. From the stage (Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing with Jeremy Irons, the acclaimed 1994 revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along)to television (cult series Cop Rock and the delightful trio of Bride films featuring Rue McClanahan and Kristy McNichol) to books (including a notable collection focusing on her love of dogs), Bobby is simply a multi-faceted creative wonder. Thankfully, Big Gay Horror Fan was able to stop swooning long enough to have a reasonably minded chat with this generous performer on the eve of her appearance on Friday, July 13, 2012 in Chicago at Terror in the Aisles 11 (http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/224106554368445/)to celebrate the more in depth Cabal cut of Nightbreed.
BGHF: What a cool life you have led. Lori in Nightbreed, appearances in films by Todd Solondz and Ted Demme and you are the voice of Brigid Tenenbaum for the Bioshock games!
Anne: Well, what I say about my voiceover work is there is only one other profession where you can go into a dark room and come out a half hour later $200 richer.
BGHF: (laughing) That is so awesome!
Anne: Honestly, they have given me so much freedom. I’m able to do theater and my volunteering and undertake so many other projects because of them.
BGHF: And you have a bunch of appearances lined up to celebrate this restored version of Nightbreed, as well. You must be having a blast with the fans of the film!
Anne: Well, I am a Twilight Zone fanatic. I can guess the episode within the 1st or 2nd frame. I always rejoice when I discover there are a few more moments to be had – you know, those few extra seconds with George Takei or what have you. So, I can totally understand the joy of the fans of this film.
BGHF: Well, as a fan of the film, myself, I have often wondered about your take on Lori. It seems like she may have some doubts about Boone’s innocence at certain moments in the released film. Was that something that you wrestled with as an actress?
Anne: Lori never doubted Boone for a second. She just simply believed he didn’t do it and went about trying to prove that. It’s very clear in this version.
BGHF: Interesting. Was there a moment that you were less clear of in the film? Something that made you take a jump back?
Anne: Well, I love snakes. In one scene I had to descend a flight of stairs, have a brief scene and then run up the stairs again – which were covered in snakes! I was trying so hard to be careful, but I slipped and landed on top of an albino python. I let out the biggest scream because I absolutely believed I had killed the snake.
BGHF: You didn’t, of course!
Anne: He finally revived himself – and all was well.
BGHF: Good! Tell us about Cop Rock! It was such a unique show – police officers breaking out into song. Way ahead of its time!
Anne: I loved it! It was the forerunner to a lot of things. It took the pressure off. “Don’t worry, Glee! Cop Rock started it all!”
BGHF: Did you perform the songs to tracks or were they done live?
Anne: Most of them were recorded beforehand and we played to tracks. Some of the quieter ones we did live and those were lifted on set. We were all singers from Broadway or bands, so we were able to do what was required.
BGHF: And you have some recordings out there, correct?
Anne: I did the first revival of Merrily, We Roll Along and that soundtrack is readily available.
Anne: I did a solo show about journalist Rebecca West. It ran Off Broadway and toured the Netherlands with none other than Xaviera Hollander producing it.
BGHF: That is beyond cool. The Happy Hooker! And she is someone whom I am sure has definitely seen her share of bad press!
Anne: I think she saw the journey as a very important one. She’s a remarkable woman, Xaviera… with an amazing bed and breakfast.
BGHF: Well, you are amazing, too! A one woman show!
Anne: I think every actor should do a one person show– once! For over 80 minutes, I went from playing practically a 90 year old to 16 and then aging back to the 80’s again.
BGHF: It’s something I would have loved to have seen. Was that your favorite theater project?
Anne: You know, I think my favorite project is the play I am working on, right now. It’s a play about a very fascinating actual historical figure that I discovered in a used bookstore in New Orleans after Katrina.
BGHF: How about a film project? Is there one that sticks out in your head?
Anne: Film wise, there are those occasional projects where you say, “I’ll do anything – hire me!” Like Todd Solondz’s Happiness, when I read that script it was just something I had to do. I did something I had never done before — I went in and begged to be in the film. (Laughs) “I’ll do anything! Let me do this film!”
BGHF: Well, you keep me in awe, my friend. Singing, writing, voiceovers, acting! Amazing!
Anne: Well for me, Occupation: Artist is the way to go.
BGHF: Brilliant! Occupation: Artist! Let’s leave it at that!
So, while I recover from my encounter with scintillating Bobby, I wish you Sweet love and pink Grue,
Until the next time,
Big Gay Horror Fan!