Moviefone's Drew Taylor recently sat down with "Gremlins" star Zach Galligan who reflects on making the film, playing video games in Steven Spielberg's office, why "Gremlins 2" failed (blame Madonna), and his involvement with the reboot currently being fast-tracked at Warner Bros.
Below are highlights from the conversation. The see the full, unabridged interview, click here.
Zach Galligan on the legacy of “Gremlins”
Here I was thinking I was making this big summer blockbuster and, thirty years later, I'm like, "Oh crap, I was in "The Wizard of Oz."
On the doubts the special effects guy had about Gizmo
The special effects guy had very little confidence in his work. He was 28 and said, "they'll never buy Gizmo, he doesn't look real. I'm terrible." He was very self-deprecating and unsure of himself but he was, of course, proved incredibly wrong.
On how he was cast in the film
The way the legend goes... is that we stood shoulder-to-shoulder and we did this audition where we were pretending to walk next to each other and looking around and glancing at each other. And when it was over, there was a lull, and I didn't really know what to do, because they hadn't called cut and were waiting to see what would happen between the two of us. So I lay my head on Phoebe's shoulder for a second and sighed like she was the most gorgeous thing in the world. Like, Ahhh, doing this scene with this girl is so amazing. And apparently Spielberg saw the tape, because we were putting it on VHS tape and mailing it back to him for review, and apparently when he saw me put my head on Phoebe's shoulder, he said, "Oh, look he's already in love with her, I don't need to see anything else." Apparently, everyone on the tape that was after us didn't even get seen. Because once Spielberg saw that she and I had this dynamic, he figured we didn't really need to act, we just needed to show up.
On his involvement in the reboot
You would have to figure one of three possibilities would be apparent: 1. I would have no involvement in it; 2. I have a small, cameo-type involvement in it; or 3. and hopefully the Warner Bros people are listening to this, would let me play the new Billy Peltzer's teacher, or play the dad, or play the cop. Just move up and play another part.
On why "Gremlins 2" failed
What happened was that "Gremlins 2" tested so incredibly positively that Warner Bros. executives got excited, maybe overly excited, and said, ‘Let's move it up and see if we can take out "Dick Tracy," which was scheduled to be a big summer blockbuster, because we've never gotten scores like this in our life.’ Like they were getting 96, 97 out of 100...what they underestimated was the fact that Madonna was the biggest star in the world in the summer of 1990 and everything she touched was unbelievably magnetic. And the fact that Warren Beatty was dating her at the time and he and her were making the rounds, made it the must-see movie. So when we went head-to-head, "Dick Tracy" killed us. Because when they tried to get us on the talk shows, it was all Warren Beatty and Madonna. So when it came out, the response was very muted and the competition was 10 times harder than it would have been, had it come out on May 3.
For more on Galligan's audition, working with Steven Spielberg, the issues with production, and more, see the full interview here.