Press > Exclusive Interviews > Titania Le Fay (Webmaster: Call Me Snake/Fan Fiction Writer)

When did you see Escape From New York for the first time and why do you like it so much?

I saw it in the theater when it first came out technically but I was a toddler. I don't quite remember the first time but I have many fond memories of watching it with my father as a little girl. It is partly nostalgia that I like it so much. As I got older though and started to understand the moral issues and personalities of the characters I fell in love with the movie.

Why do you think so many females are such big fans of Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell)? What is it about him that appeals to you? Also, in what ways has he inspired you personally?

I think there are two appealing qualities or perhaps three for women when it comes to Snake. First of all, he's always nice to the women in the movies and is paired with strong women. Maggie (Adrienne Barbeau), Brazen (Michelle Forbes) and Taslima (Valeria Golino) are all very independent. I think that is appealing. He's a guy who is really honest and protective which is also appealing to women. His survival instinct too is attractive. As for myself, I think it is his personality and the great variety of emotions he can display that makes him an appealing character. He can be telling a person to shove it one moment and then trying to protect his companions the next. He seems realistic to me more than most characters because he has a wide variety of reactions concerning his environment. He's not a 24/7 badass especially when you read the novel. He was definitely inspirational to my desire to be a better writer but I'm pretty sure that isn't what you are talking about. The two most inspirational things about him as a character is that he is fearless about speaking his mind and really shows that you can survive against all odds if you keep a level head and some common sense.

You're involved in role-playing. How exactly does it work and what are the rules when playing Snake Plissken?

I've done several kinds of role-playing but the most common is journal/forum based. The basis of that is one person sets the scene and then other character(s) respond to the scenario and other characters in a set order, usually. Sometimes there is a set plot goal and other times it can be completely free form. There aren't many playing rules but I have a certain set of rules I make for Snake. Most of them are personality based. You always have to take into account his past when dealing with any writing. As a general rule Snake is a character that is nicer to women than men. He values self-sufficiency. He is always honest to a fault at time but he doesn't always feel it necessary to divulge what he knows. I guess what I'm saying is that I make sure I keep myself to his personality even in the most odd situations.

You have a website called: Call Me Snake. Can you tell us a little about your site? It can be a little hard to figure out at first.

The site isn't actually a site. It's a live journal. That means it is set up to be a journal for a person and not necessarily for writing. There is a tagging system to help with confusion. Every post is tagged and they can be searched by subjects such as character names, why the piece was written or whether is is role-play, writing or something else. There are three main categories of posts. OOC which means "out of character" are posts that are me as the writer talking to the reader or explaining something to the reader. There are fiction posts which are stories or short excepts of some sort. Then there are role-play posts which are written to include other characters people are playing. For example, the main post might be a paragraph story of Snake hiding out from the cops and responses to that post are other characters who have bumped into him. These are what you can think of as stories written by more than one author at once. It's a back and forth between two or more writers. Hope that clears it up.

You've written A LOT of Snake Plissken fan fiction. Why is that? Did you feel something was missing from the Escape movies, movie tie-in novel etcetera?

I started to write Snake because I wanted to explore his mental state. For me he is an exercise in the human condition. I've read about soldiers and how they experience and are scarred by war, why criminals act as they do and many other aspects of humanity. I have wrote other characters before Snake. It was after doing this sort of writing with other characters for almost two years that I picked up Snake. I watched Escape From New York and picked the novel by Mike McQuay again. Those two things really made me want to explore his past which is where most of my stories take place. I didn't feel like things were missing from the movies, novel or comics. For me it was looking at his behavior. For example, why did he really want Maggie to leave New York with him? Why did he hate Brain (Harry Dean Stanton) or any number of other questions. I wanted to make stories to share what I thought brought him to how he is in the media we have.

You've also written an epic fan fiction take on Snake Plissken's timeline. What stuff did you felt was important to tell and why did you want to write it?

I've written two long fiction pieces. One was post-Escape From L.A. I had a good friend who also loves Snake ask me what I thought would happen after he walked away from L.A. I had to write it. It was also inspired by Escape From L.A. itself. In Escape From L.A. there is a sort of tension between Brazen and Snake. It really made me want to see them together interacting after L.A. The other is a "what-if" piece exploring what would happen if Maggie survived and escape New York with Snake. I've always liked Maggie as a character and could just imagine the chaos that would come from those two on the run together. It needed to be written when I thought about it.

Your fan fictions often involves Snake Plissken in romantic scenarios and living a rather ordinary life. He's even a dad etcetera. Many fans would consider this very untrue to the character. What's your explanation to this?

Most Snake fans have not read Escape From New York by Mike McQuay. The book went out of print in the mid-80s I think. Many fans don't even know it exists. The book was written at the same time the movie was being filmed. Some of the points in it stuck with me. There is a lot of internal thought from Snake in the book. He really hates the lack of passion in women caused by the way the world has gone. He feels like a monster or killing machine in parts of it and there's an over-tone of him seeing women sort of as a hand hold for the remainder of his humanity. He also comments on thinking Maggie is really attractive so the basis of him possibly being with a woman is there. The other point I see is that Snake is committed to those he is close to. He is so committed that in the cut scene from Escape From New York he runs back among the cops knowing he will get caught because he can't leave his friend behind. That kind of commitment could easily end in a long term relationship. Also, in the movies he flirts with every woman he runs into. He's always grinning at Maggie, checks out Brazen's rear and really seems attracted to Taslima in L.A.  Snake feels cheated by his life for many things. If he had a chance to get some of them back with someone who could survive his life I don't imagine he's the kind of man that would be afraid to jump at the opportunity.

If you someday would write a lengthy novel about Snake Plissken what story would you focus on?

I did write a novel of sorts. The Post-L.A. series I wrote which is close to 50.000 words and about 30 chapters is very close to a novel. That was my intention when writing it. If I was going to write a novel that is what I would do. I would clean that story set up and finish it out.

Which story of yours are you the most proud of and why?

I think my interpretation of what happened at Leningrad is what I am most proud of. The raw emotion of the story and the importance it has to who he becomes. It is the turning point in Snake's life from good soldier to criminal. To have gotten that story out on paper (well, type on a screen) in a way that shows all the emotion, hurt, fear etcetera that he endured is worthy of pride. Also, it is one of the pieces that many other Snake fans really love which helps with the pride.

What do you think about Escape From L.A.? What do you like and dislike about it?

I like Escape From L.A. I think it is a logical continuation of where the world would go considering where it was in New York. I like that it included hints at what he had been up to between movies. A lot of people think the overuse of special effects was bad. It doesn't bother me. The 90s is when directors started really getting into experimenting with them. The only thing I always disliked about it was that it left you hanging and uncertain about what was going to happen. I fixed that when I started writing and now I can't see much about it I dislike.

What's your thoughts about remaking Escape From New York? Who would you like to see play Snake Plissken and is there any particular director you'd like to see make it?

I don't think there needs to be a remake. If someone wants to do something pick up Escape From Earth if the rumors about it are true. I don't want to see it remade because most of the rumors I've heard seem to say that a lot of the good of the movie will be lost. I've also been disappointed by way too many remakes.

What advice would you give to the makers of the Escape From New York remake?

Don't. Call up Kurt and make the third movie. Get a new idea of your own instead of remaking yet another movie.

If you could write or direct a Snake Plissken movie what kind of story and material would you incorporate?

I would love to make a movie about what happened in Cleveland or what happened when he went to Thailand. I really would have to have Kurt Russell play Snake.

Are you frustrated over all the canceled Snake Plissken projects in the past. Was there something particular you looked forward to or are you happy something didn't get made?

There was supposed to be a TV show about the world and Snake but it was deemed as too dark to produce. I'd love to see that. I have unbridled curiosity about what was planned for it.

What else do you do?

I'm a teacher of elementary to college science and math as well as dance and anthropology/archeology. I love dance, photography, modeling and community service projects of which I'm involved in a few. Mostly environmental based.

What's your favorite Snake Plissken moment?

Just one? Hmmmm. I love his interactions with Hauk (Lee Van Cleef), all of them. In particular the conversation after Cronenberg (John Strobel) puts the explosives in his neck.

Is there anything else you'd like to say? Now's your opportunity.

Thank you so much for interviewing me. It was a great honor to be considered for it. I can't wait to see what the others had to say.

Thank you for your time, Titania.