As you may know, Thora Birch was all set to appear as Lucy in an off-Broadway production of Dracula until the producers showed their fangs and axed her last week.
As The Times reported, supposedly they felt that Thora’s father/manager–an ex-porn star–had threatened an actor not to massage her back, even though the actor said he’d been directed to do so.
Well, I don’t want to axe the brief interview I did with Thora in rehearsals, conducted before this all went down, so here goes.
She was quite likable, and told me Dracula was going to be her theater debut.
“I never trained in any way, shape, or form,” Thora said, sans pretense.
“At four and a half, I started doing commercials. My first one was for California Raisins. They were trying to make it a healthy snack for kids. It was like going to a party every day. And I learned by doing.”
How did she avoid becoming one of those perky, phony, insufferable child actors? “I guess I’m just not perky and phony,” she replied, sensibly.
Birch is best known for having costarred in two film biggies, American Beauty and Ghost World, but she unperkily told me she gets the most response for the witchy comedy Hocus Pocus.
“American Beauty was disturbing for a lot of people,” she said. “People want to talk about fluff.”
Speaking of hocus pocus, I asked her if Lucy was her first straight-out ingénue role, and she replied, “We’re going a little more Gothic. Someone used the term ‘shadowy’.”
As she said this, her father sat on the sidelines, watching out for her at all times.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 20, 2010