Press > Exclusive Interviews > Season Hubley (Girl in Chock full o'Nuts: Escape From New York)




How did you end up being an actress?

I saw Peter Pan at the age of 4 or 5 or 6 and they called Mary Martin an 'actress' and I wanted to be able to fly too.

How did you get cast as Girl in Chock full o'Nuts (Maureen)?

John took me to lunch and asked me if I'd do it and of course, I said yes, it'd be a hoot! He asked me how much $ I'd want to do it and I just told him to get us a really nice alarm system and that was that!



How did you prepare for the role and according to you is Maureen a "crime groupie" or a female gang leader?

Maureen is definitely a "crime groupie" all the way!

How do you think Maureen ended up in New York's Maximum Security Prison?

She had been the girlfriend of one of the hottest coke dealers, gang leaders in the Bronx. When he got busted and sent into Manhattan she wanted to be with him. She sliced some girl's face up.

How was the experience filming your scenes such as the one with you being dragged through the floor for instance?

It was quite nerve racking actually. Boston, our son, was in our motor home being baby sat by the producer, Debra Hill, while I was having an out of body experience on the set a few hundred feet away.

I really have no recollection of number of takes, how long it took, etc. When I'm in character I'm not in 'my' (Season's) right mind. Aside from John's fantastic words: "You're a cop." "I'm an asshole." it was pretty much all improvised. The only problem, if you want to call it that, was my invisible umbilical cord attachment to Boston. It was the first time I'd been in front of a camera since he had been born.

We just kind of winged it. We discussed how it was supposed to go down (literally ha-ha) we walked it through, and then just went for it because obviously the first time I could go through the floorboards had to be a take. But somehow they reset it and I did it again. He shot it from another angle for the second take. I think there were only two, if I remember correctly.

If Maureen hadn't been attacked by The Crazies do you think Snake would have allowed her to kiss him as written in the script and did you have any discussions about this?

Absolutely the kiss and probably more would have happened. The real question was, is this going to be his ultimate downfall? John decided, of course, that he had to therefore, that's the reason the "crazies" carried me away.

How was the experience working with the cast and crew and what went on behind the scenes?

John and the crew were wonderful to work with. Of course, I only worked that one night but was on the set a lot and the cast became like family as it most always does on a film. Adrienne (Barbeau) (Maggie) and I became friends and we, as two couples spent time together off the set as well. Kurt and I decided early on to try to work our schedules so that one of us was always home with Boston and the animals.

How did Kurt prepare for the role? Is it true that he bought the leather shirt from a guy he walked by in Paris before filming begun for instance? By the way, did you ever get to experience Kurt in his Plissken clothes taking care of and feeding Boston Russell?

I have no memories of how Kurt and wardrobe came up with the Snake attire. I don't remember Kurt having been in France between our honeymoon and when he became Plissken. So, that may have been a whimsical tale. But, as you know, Plissken was pretty ripped so there was a lot of time spent at the gym because Kurt tends to let himself go between flicks, and loves to eat and packs it on a bit so before a movie there's a mad dash to get beefed up. As far as the voice of Mr. Snake Plissken goes it was Clint Eastwood all the way! And yes, Boston's male caretaker was Snake quite often.

Is it true that Kurt couldn't get his family into the theater for free when watching it for the first time in a cinema in New York? Also, how did his family, you included react to Snake Plissken and Escape From New York which was a significant departure from his previous work?

We all loved it. As far as not being able to get his family into the theater in NYC for free, I've never heard that story.


What's your favorite memory or memories of working on the movie?

Firstly, I love working with John Carpenter. He is an amazing man. He trusts the actors he hires and lets you fly. When asked a question, he replies with a question and puts the decision right back where it belongs, on the actor. Whatever your decision he goes with it. It all just has an added layer of complexity, mystery, intimacy. It was always a fun time working with Kurt and also it was amazing to have Boston aboard. To be working as a family, because Adrienne and John were our closest couple friends and the rest of the cast were just really great!

What do you think of the movie personally?

I loved the movie. Kurt was amazing as Snake and so were each and every other actor in his or her character. Also the miniatures were fantastic! To this day, I get so many wonderful comments from people who remember the movie fondly and also remember the "
Girl in Chock full o'Nuts". I still get questions about 'how did we do the part where I was dragged through the floor' and such. It's so funny how such a short time on film made such a big impression. That's John Carpenter for you!

What are you currently doing and what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I moved to Vermont in 2001 to get out of the business - I was getting to an age that they soon would have been demanding facelifts, boob lifts, everything lifts and I didn't want all of that drama. I had always loved Vermont having grown up in Manhattan and then done LA for 30 years, Boston had moved away so there was basically nothing holding me there. I really came here to move as far away and live a completely different lifestyle than I'd ever had the chance to live before. I guess you could call me kind of a vagabond, a searcher. I met quite a few people here that I really connected with spiritually. Animal rescue and welfare is still huge to me. I do what I can do, to bring awareness mainly. I was brought to consciousness in the 80s, about the hideous situations many live their lives in, when I joined an anti-vivisection group in LA called 'Last Chance for Animals' after I had seen a film called Hidden Crimes. The head of 'Last Chance...' is a man named Chris DeRose. In 1988 (and I know before and since) there were multiple thefts of dogs and cats out of people's yards and there was a theory that many of them were being sold into medical research. Cedars Medical Center and UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) were denying that they tested on any animals - so just to make sure, we got into Cedars and found two stolen dog there. We then, a few days later went to UCLA and, as I was part of a decoy group of about 5, acting up to distract the campus police, Chris DeRose and another member broke into what they call the "vivarium" (ironic as that may be) and all they did was steal the truth - hundreds of pictures of cats with electrodes attached to their heads, mismatched pupils, the whole nine yards. Hideous pictures! The law caught up with him so, as he was being arrested, he was able somehow to get the film over to us on the other side of the cops and we, in turn, were able to get it to the media and so within a few hours, it was all over the news - CNN, NBC, CBS - everywhere. That was a major break in where the animal welfare movement was at the time and raised the public awareness level monumentally!!! Possibly the proudest and most fulfilling day of my life second only to the day my son, Boston, was born! I paint and I write and I try to help others who need help. That's pretty much my life today. It's a far cry from the life I led in the fast lane all those many years and I'm liking it very much!

I support 'Hearts United for Animals'. They are an amazing place! They take all the puppies and dogs that are rescued from Puppy Mills (are you aware of what puppy mills are? - if not, please Google them. They are like Auschwitz for dogs and puppies. Hideous, hellish places!!!!!) Anyway when one of these puppy mills gets busted - HUA takes these poor abused animals to their rescue in Nebraska: HUA, PO Box 286 Auburn, NE, 68305, Ph: (402) 274-3679 and treats them for physical neglect and abuse first, but all the while treats their traumatized minds, hearts and souls. They socialize them to be with humans and then try to find them forever homes. Look them up: HUA.org


Thank you for your time, Season.