Knight Rider Interview

Knight Rider Interview

   GERBER STORYLINE ENTERTAINMENT

KNIGHT RIDER INTERVIEW

 By GERANN GERBER

 

Gerann Gerber (Pictured right):   How did you first start in the acting business and tell us about your first big role as an Actress?

Rebecca Holden:  I first went to New York to continue my musical studies with a voice teacher from Juilliard.  While I was in Manhattan, I was “discovered” by a modeling agent and my very first audition was for Breck Shampoo.  I was put under contract as a Breck girl to do television commercials and print ads and went on to a successful modeling career for hair products, Ivory soap, toothpaste, automobiles, breakfast cereals, etc.  The legendary television producer, Aaron Spelling, saw one of my commercials that aired during the Super Bowl, contacted my agent and I was sent out to the West Coast.  Thus, began my career in episodic television.

GG:  How were you introduced / approached for the role as April Curtis in Knight Rider?

RH:  After doing shows for NBC and Universal Studios (Magnum P.I., Remington Steele, etc.), the producers of Knight Rider (which was a Universal show on the NBC network) contacted me regarding the role. 

GG:  Before we talk more about Knight Rider, I’d like to ask you about a couple of other shows you did that were personal favorites of my own.  How were you introduced / approached for the role as Bunny in Three’s Company (Jack Tripper’s girlfriend)?

RH:  I LOVE doing comedy and when my agent sent me to audition for Three’s Company, it was such a blast doing the scenes! We were all laughing and having a fabulous time and they asked me right then if I would be available to take the role.

GG:  How were you introduced / approached for your role in MAGNUM P.I.?

RH:  The role in Magnum PI required a singer.  Again, it was a Universal show, so they were already familiar with and confident in my work.  When they found out I was also a singer, I was offered the role.  I had such a good time doing the show in Honolulu. Tom (Selleck) is such a gentleman, and John Hillerman is a fellow Texan, so we hit it off right away. (His British accent is called “acting” –ha!)

GG:  How much fun was it doing Knight Rider? 

RH:  I loved doing Knight Rider. It’s basically a modern day morality play in which my character aids Michael and KITT in their fight against the evil forces. April was smart, creative, and resourceful; she was the one who invented new techniques and powers to enable KITT to help Michael conquer the “bad guys”.  So I’ve always felt she was a terrific role model for young women and a joy to play.

GG:  How did you feel when you left the role of April Curtis?

RH:  My management was bombarded during the period I was doing the show with offers for other projects, and at that time in my life I tended to take the advice I was given by my “career professionals”.  Looking back, I probably would have taken more command of my own life path and made different choices.  I loved doing the show and would have stayed with it for its duration. 

GG:  How was the relationship between yourself and Patricia Macpherson, when she returned as Bonnie Barstow?

RH:  I met Patricia, I believe, during a screening of one of the two hour movies we did, but she didn’t attend many of the later press functions, so I never had the opportunity to know her well. However, I think she is a lovely woman, and I only hope she enjoyed doing the show as much as I did and that it has brought her an equal amount of joy, satisfaction, and the resulting friendships.

GG:  Did you ever get the chance to see the movie Knight Rider 2000? If so, what were your thoughts about the Movie?

RH:  As to all the subsequent shows, continuations, sequels, new cars, new episodes, etc. I say “Hats off to you all!” because I applaud all the efforts to keep the show alive and keep entertaining the fans!

GG:   In Knight Rider 2000, Devon’s Character was killed off and KITT was installed in a new body how did you feel about that?

RH:  I adored Edward Mulhare; he was such an elegant man and such a decent human being. So even though I know his character’s death was “make believe”, it still brought back memories of him and a reminder of our loss. I miss him.

GG:  What do you think of the new Knight Rider 2008 Series (or Second Generation as some of us call it) with Justin Bruening, Deanna Russo, Paul Campbell, Smith Cho, Sydney Tamaii Portier, Yanci Ares and Bruce Davidson?

RH:  I did have the chance to meet Justin at the Knight Rider event in Las Vegas last year. What a cutie pie he is–excellent choice!

GG:  In Knight Rider were there ever times that you had to do scenes or stunts, which you found, that were very difficult to do?

RH:  I enjoy the opportunity to do stunts–I am quite athletic; however, in the United States and especially on a highly rated show, the liability factor restricts letting the stars of a series do anything really dangerous. (I got to do alot of pretty exciting things, though, when doing movies overseas, and I relished it!)

GG:  Did you ever get the chance to tour to other countries to promote Knight Rider? If you did tour, how many Countries did you visit?

RH:  I have toured with my music all over Europe and the Far East and have met fans who loved the show from all over the world. It’s amazing how many people from around the globe have seen it—I believe it was syndicated in hundreds of countries. (Maybe you can research that question and find out exactly how many!)

GG:  Were there ever times that a script was never finished and you had to improvise? If so give a couple of examples of Episodes and what had to be done?

RH:  In a weekly series, often we had different writers for each episode. So sometimes the nuances of each character would vary in the scripts from week to week. As actors, we knew the personalities of the characters we had created, so we might improvise to keep the consistency and to keep the humor. But I must say we were all grateful for the terrific team of writers we had.

GG:  What did you think of the Knight Rider music for the Original Series and knight Rider 2008?

RH:   I loved the music on the show.  First of all, the main job of a theme song is to bring a recognizable identity to a show, and ours definitely did that.  To this day, anyone who hears our theme song instantly thinks “Knight Rider”.  The composers, Glen Larson (who is also the creator of the show, by the way) and Stu Phillips, did such an incredible job as did all the weekly music composers and editors.  We were very fortunate.

Glen and Stu were also at the Las Vegas Knight Rider event, as were Jack Gill, who did so many of the stunts and jumps–(he’s so amazing!) and the genius George Barris, who made KITT.  I recently saw George (who is known as the “King of the Kustomizers”) again at one of his car presentations.  He also the built the original Batmobile and had it there on exhibition—gorgeous!

GG:  What did you think of other Shows like Airwolf, MacGyver, Street Hawk & the A-Team?  Did you ever get the chance to meet the Cast of Airwolf (Jan-Michael Vincent, Jean Bruce Scott, Ernest Borgnine & Alex Cord), MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson & Pete Thornton (Although Pete Thornton played in the Knight Rider episode – Merchants of Death), Street Hawk (Rex Smith, Joe Regalbuto, Jeannie Wilson & Richard Venture), The A-Team (George Peppard, Dwight Schultz, Dirk Benedict & Mr. T) and talk to them about the specific show that they were working on?  Did you ever audition for roles in the above mentioned Series?

RH:  I met alot of the actors you mention at press events or network affairs.  I never auditioned for those shows, however.

GG:  Where was Knight Rider Season 2 filmed mostly?

RH:  We filmed alot on set at Universal Studios, but at other various locations outside of LA obviously when outdoor scenes required it.  We also filmed in Las Vegas—you may recognize Caesar’s Palace.

GG:  Were there ever times that filming was halted because of jokes, weather conditions, people’s health etc?

RH:  I don’t remember a time when filming was halted or delayed. I guess we were all strong believers in “The show must go on!” HA!

GG:  Were there ever scenes cut out while filming the Episodes of Season 2?

RH:  I can’t think of any scenes that were left out. Although sometimes, much later, for syndication purposes, they edited the shows down to half hours to fit into the timeslots on some networks. 

GG:  Although in the Episode “Knightmares” it is the only time that we see April drive KITT. Was there ever a time off camera that you really drove the car? I mean for example, maybe diced with it or drove it on other occasions?

RH:  I drove KITT, of course, for that episode because it was my job. (And I admit it WAS a thrill!) But I think I would be too nervous otherwise HA!!

GG:  It is mentioned that your favorite episode is “Return to Cadiz”; what about the episode made it your most memorable episode?

RH:  I don’t remember choosing a favorite episode (they were all favorites!) but if I expressed that, it may have been because that particular episode was the first one I shot.  Actually, the scene at the beach where I am working under KITT’s hood and I tell Michael I’m pulling KITT’s water wings was the very first SCENE I shot with the cast and crew. I fell in love with the entire gang that day and I just had a feeling we would be a good team…….I guess that’s reason enough to make it a favorite!

GG:  From when you have finished Knight Rider up till today, did you ever get the chance to watch all the episodes that you have done on Knight Rider?

RH:  I usually watched the shows the first time they aired just to see how they were edited, how they looked, and how the scenes came together, but not after that, I am not a person who enjoys watching myself……I like the actual DOING of the work.

GG:  If you had to go back in time and change a few things on Knight Rider, what would that be?

RH:  I don’t really think I would change a thing….except to stay on the show forever and have it never end; it was such a rewarding experience.

GG:  What was the most expensive Knight Rider Episode that you ever had to film?  What was the least expensive Knight Rider Episode that you ever had to film?  Was filming ever halted because of people’s health, weather conditions, etc?  Do you have any Knight Rider memorabilia?

RH:  I did not have access to the budgets, or the financial side of production, so that’s a difficult question to answer. I guess the 2 hour episodes would have been the most expensive. I don’t remember ever cancelling or postponing production. As far as memorabilia, I still have jumpsuits and other wardrobe I wore. I did keep the original scripts for a long time, but they were thrown out in a move (which I now regret very much!)

Well I hope that these answers will suffice; as I said, I cannot speak accurately on production costs, etc., since I was on the talent side of the camera and not privy to the production matters.

GG:  How did your family feel about the fact that you played the Character April Curtis in Knight Rider?

RH:  I think my family was proud of the work I did on the show and so glad that the role was such a positive one. They are happy for me when I am happy, and the show has led to meeting and making friends with so many wonderful people all over the world (like yourself!). That’s what makes life worthwhile, isn’t that true?

GG:  Did you ever get the chance to see or appear in other shows from Glen A. Larson like Battlestar Galactica, The Highwayman and Quantum Leap? If so what was your opinion of those shows?

RH:  You mention Glen Larson again—what a gifted, talented man he is—and so very prolific!! He and his wife, Jeannie are truly extraordinary people.

By the way, I must mention another gentleman who was a giant in the entertainment industry and whom I was privileged to know. Lew Wasserman was Chairman of MCA Universal while I was under contract there, and during that period he decided to bring back the tradition of appointing one of the Universal Studios celebrities to serve as the mayor of Universal City, which was and is an incorporated city unto itself. Past mayors have included such luminaries as Lana Turner, Rock Hudson, Janet Leigh, etc.  After my official appointment as “Honorary Mayor” which was really the role of “official goodwill ambassador”, I had such duties as serving as Mistress of Ceremonies for many occasions and hosting the numerous visiting dignitaries in the studio commissary with Mr. Wasserman.  Every day meant new experiences and new friends!

GG:   What inspired you to release your latest Album?

RH:  My new album was inspired by the fact that we are presently living in extremely difficult times, and I think everyone can use a little encouragement and a little “uplifting of their hearts” right now. I sincerely hope that my music can do that.

GG:  Any last words that you want to say to the Knight Rider fans in South Africa?

RH:  I love touring and performing live, and I would adore the opportunity to come to South Africa, sing for the fans there and meet each one of you in person. (Perhaps you can arrange that, Gerann?! ha!)

Well, I think that about covers it for now…….God bless you and keep you, Gerann. I will pray for the success of your new website…may all your dreams come true! (So “Dare to Dream” them!)

THESE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS HAVE BEEN ORGANIZED IN ASSOCIATION WITH GERBER STORYLINE ENTERTAINMENT. THESE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS MAY NOT BE USED IN ANY DOCUMENTS, PRODUCTION NOTES OR ANY OTHER KIND OF PROJECT WITHOUT THE AUTHORS CONSENT. VIOLATION OF THESE TERMS WITH RESULT IN CATESTROPHIC CONSEQUENCES. 

  COPYRIGHT – 2010

GERBER STORYLINE ENTERTAINMENT

GERANN@MICROQ.CO.ZA & GERANN@LIVE.CO.ZA 

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