Hey, hey everyone,
This week, we’re talking about Masters of the Universe the movie! Whether you love the movie (like we do) or hate it, check out this episode since we speak with Chelsea Field, who played Teela in the movie!
You can read some of the interview below or if you want to hear the whole thing, click the play button below! We talk to Chelsea about the onset issues of MOTU, the MOTU reboot, working on Commando, dancing on “Solid Gold” and more!
The interview starts at the 27:21 point of the show.
Dan & Nick
SUK: He-Man was such a major part in the lives of millions of children in the 1980s. The toys, the comics, the cartoon and of course, Masters of the Universe the movie, are still looked at with such nostalgic fondness from people like myself who grew up during that time. How did you get involved with the movie?
CF: It was my first big movie that I got. I might have done a few tiny things before that. And I had been a dancer for about ten years before I transitioned into acting. So I had a whole career of dancing professionally. Which was great. I started transitioning into acting through commercials first and started getting a few little jobs here and there. I just remember that I had so many auditions for Masters of the Universe. Obviously there wasn’t a lot of dialogue so a lot of it was sort of physical. I can remember being in the director Gary Goddard’s office and pretending that I had a laser gun in my hand or a sword. Because they changed it. Originally, Teela did a lot of broadsword fighting. So I remember running around his office and mimicking that I had a sword or a laser gun, doing these scenes and jumping over couches and just being very active and physical. I literally had eight or nine auditions. When they finally called me, I was living at a ranch in Burbank, and when my manager told me, I screamed so loud. I just recently told my youngest son about this, since he’s a performer, and I said, “When I got Masters of the Universe, I had felt like I had won the Super Bowl in the last two seconds. I had run the touchdown and the score was tied and I made the touchdown.” That’s what the feeling was like. I’ve never had the feeling again since then.
SUK: [Laughter] CF: [Laughter] A lot of it was, not only was it a feature film, but also there hadn’t been a lot of dancers that broke through from the dance world into acting. There have been a lot more now. But back then, it was really rare. And you also didn’t let people know that you were a dancer if you were trying to become an actress. That was something you hid or didn’t want people to know. There was this general feel that dancers were terrible actors. So Masters of the Universe was a big deal for me.
SUK: Were you familiar with the toy line and cartoon prior to doing the movie?
CF: No, not at all. My parents were from England so all of my relatives all lived in England. I didn’t have any younger siblings. I have a sister and brother who are older than me. So I wasn’t really aware of it. When they told me about it, I watched the cartoon once or twice.
SUK: You have two sons, I believe.
CF: I have four kids. Two that are mine and two that are my step kids.
SUK: Were they into He-Man and if so, did they get a kick out of you being in the He-Man movie?
CF: My own sons were too young. But my stepson, who is twenty-four, he was definitely into it. And my stepdaughter was into it a little bit, but she was a girl so not quite as much as my stepson.
That film was literally so much fun to do. Even when it was miserable, it was fun.
SUK: Yeah I would have been flipping out. “My mom was in He-Man!
CF: [Laughter] Yeah, my younger kids, like my nineteen-year-old, was more impressed that I did Flipper and Andre. And my youngest son is excited that I’m directing musical theater because that’s what he’s into.
SUK: When you were doing Masters of the Universe, were there any scenes that you particularly enjoyed doing?
CF: That film was literally so much fun to do. Even when it was miserable, it was fun. We shot for what felt like three months, but I’m sure it was only three or four weeks, at night in Whittier – which was all of the explosions and being on top of the buildings and Skeletor comes in and lands. All of those exteriors that were the normal town were all filmed in Whittier. And we did so many nights. When you are shooting nights, there is just this great feeling, because you feel like you are the only people alive in the world that are working because you are on this opposite schedule. I remember coming back from the set I would always listen to Rick Dees in the morning. I was coming against traffic but I was trying to stay awake because I was so exhausted. It was miserable in a way doing the night shoots but we had so much fun. Courtney Cox and Robbie McNeill and Jon Cypher, whom I’m still really good friends with, James Tolkan, Frank Langella, we all just had such a great time together. We all became really good friends and had dinner parties all of the time. As the years went on, we all went our separate ways, but it was such a blast. That whole period was a lot of fun. But the one scene that I remember. [Laughter] And I didn’t have a lot of lines, but it was when I was eating the chicken and I realize I’m eating the chicken.
SUK: Yes! Love that scene!
CF: Which is so very funny because I have eaten meat my entire life, but a year ago I went vegan. So it was definitely acting for me to do that because I used to be a meat eater. That scene we shot on our first or second day. So we I trying to make it work right out of the gate working with Billy Barty, who was such a sweet man, and of course Jon Cypher, playing my father, who I absolutely adore.