INT: Patricia Tallman

The Arrow interviews Patricia Tallman

She did stunts on such blockbuster flicks as “Chill Factor” and "The General’s Daughter”. She had a recurring role on the Sci-Fi TV series "Babylon 5". She appeared in genre films such as: Monkey Shines, Army Of Darkness, Knightriders. Horror buffs know and love her for her tough as nails rendition of Barbara in the “Night Of The Living Dead” remake. Patricia Tallman is in the house…check it out…

1- What's your favorite scary movie?

The Haunting, with Julie Harris, any Hitchcock, Aliens, the Original Night Of The Living Dead.

2- You did stunts on Chill Factor, General's Daughter, Speed etc. What prompted you to jump in that line of work? Other than good money, what does that job bring you?

It brings me a sense of accomplishment that waiting tables never could! I never meant to have a career in stunts, it happened to me and I'm grateful it did! I am very comfortable in front of a camera, and can hit my mark flying through the air upside down and on fire.

3- What's the most dangerous stunt you ever did?

I could drone on and on about the scary stunts I've done to impress you but the truth is, it's the simple ones that bite you. The big stunt you plan and plan and go over every possibility in your head and with the effects crew. The little gag you've done a hundred times doesn't get that attention and it can be deadly. The trick is to make every stunt a big one.

4- You're also an actress. Did you get into acting via stunt work or vice versa...which one came first? Which one are you more passionate about?

Acting came first and I'll do it until I die. Acting is why I'm in the business; Stunts came along 10 years after I started acting. I actually got involved with stage combat because of my acting, not because I wanted to do stunts.

5- You played in KnightRiders (by George Romero). Looking back at that experience, what comes to mind?

It was my first film, my first time in front of a camera and I'm so grateful it was with George. He was so respectful and open to me. I felt like a collaborator and really loved the experience.

6- I discovered you in Night Of The Living Dead (1990) directed by effect wiz Tom Savini. Your Barbara is very different than the one in the original. She's a tough cookie. What kind of preparation would you do before rolling a scene?

I wasn't interested in the part until I found out that George had rewritten Barbara. I couldn't relate to the old B, but I really understood the new one. I felt like I was telling Tom Savini who she was.

7- You did a stint on Babylon 5 (Lyta Alexander) but can you tell me about Babylon Park? You're in it and you play another part. Is it related to Babylon 5?

A Stint? You call 5 years a stint? Ok. (ouch) Bpark is an animated satire and the first ones were based on Babylon 5. I played Leeta Salamander and several other voices in those. Grudgematch is based on Crusade and Voyager. I play '3 of D'. Can you guess who that's based on?

8- Apart from being a stunt woman and an actress you're also a mother. Is it hard balancing motherhood and an active career? Do you ever sleep?

I don't sleep well, that's for sure. It's been a crazy time of it, especially since I was a single mom through all of it. My son is very resilient, though, and I have learned a lot!

9- Any projects in the works, when will we see you again?

I have started a website called The Galactic Gateway. It's a site for fans to come and be in touch with the actors of B5 and friends. We have chats, a web board, fan fiction, screening room and an online store. We are just getting started!

Claudia Christian and I just completed principal photography on a new sci-fi thriller called "Never Die Twice", and we have a sequel of our Audio Play "Lives of the Cat" coming out in our online store March, 2001. It's called "Anne Manx and the Ring of Minatour".

10- What would be your advice to all the girls out there that want to make it as a stunt woman or an actress?

Get another job. It's hell out there. If it's all you want to do with a huge burning passion, you are screwed anyway, so go for it. Get a first class education from a school that can help you when you graduate, if you survive. I went to Carnegie-Mellon University, and I have always been grateful I did.

For stunts, study martial arts, kick boxing, gymnastics, any thing you can. There are no accredited schools, but you can apprentice yourself to an accomplished stunt person and hope they notice you.

For any career in the arts, study business. They don't teach you that, yet you are your own business. You have to know how to run it, promote it and get by when things are tough. Make investments. Use your head! Even if you work a lot, you can hit a wall, get hurt or the union goes on strike. We've been on strike all summer. Happens. Don't blame anyone for your luck. hang out with people who work, not with folks who sit around and complain about not doing it. And Good Luck!

Thanks a bundle Patricia, all you Tallman fans out there, check her out and some of her Babylon friends at:




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