NIGHTMARE GLAM: An Interview with Tuesday Knight

DRC - TUESDAY INTERVIEWInterviewee Tuesday Knight, alongside Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) [above left] in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master – 1988. / DRC writer Tyler Keeton (above right). / Image rights belong to respective owners and not DRC.


Tuesday Knight is a powerful artist – in all senses of the word. Knight is known as an actress in one of the most influential horror franchises of all time. She portrayed character Kristen Parker, the final girl of the previous film, in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Knight followed in the footsteps of actress Patricia Arquette, who also played Parker in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors. The horror fandom may remember Knight for her legendary performance, but there are layers upon layers of incredible talent surrounding her. Knight is also a fashion designer, crafting incredible pieces for Madonna, Cher, Paris Hilton, and more. Along with her experience in the world of fashion, Knight has also had a successful career as a musical artist. Her most popular single, “Nightmare,” was featured in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (listen above). Knight released an 18-track album, Faith, in 2012, and is currently the lead singer of Rapture: The Blondie Tribute band.
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Over the years, Knight’s extensive acting career has continued to grow, featuring performances in major films and television series. She has appeared in 33 films, and 8 television series. Knight’s career has spanned several genres, not just horror. She has even been cast to star as herself in two films (Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and the 2010 major blockbuster Sex and the City 2). With that many credits, it is undeniable to say the actress has achieved a milestone in the entertainment industry.
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In a brand new interview with DRC writer Tyler Keeton, Ms. Knight discusses the meaning and importance of horror as a genre, her own experiences working with the legendary Wes Craven, and the difference in the modern entertainment industry as compared to the golden age of slasher cinema. It is an absolute honor to have Ms. Knight featured as a guest on Dripping Red Cinephile, and we look forward to working with her again in the future, as her career continues to dominate popular culture. Read the exclusive interview (below).
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interview
DRCFebruary has been deemed Women in Horror Month. As an important icon in the horror industry, what exactly does the word “horror” mean to you? What establishes and sets apart the genre from others?
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KNIGHT:  I had no idea that February has been deemed as Women in Horror Month! I think that is great!  (Laughs) Do people really think I am an important icon in the horror industry?  I really never felt like I was much a part of it, other than doing Elm Street 4. Most of my career has been drama and comedy.  But if people are saying I am an icon in this genre…then, I just have to say I am honored and grateful.  The word “horror” means fear to me; the utter most terrifying moment in someone’s life, or in a situation. What sets the horror genre apart from others? Many things.  There is usually a hero, and not all films have heroes.  It [horror] is usually not driven in that direction. Or everyone just doesn’t win. But 80’s horror has a particular ingredient in the mixture, and that is CAMP.  New horror films don’t have this. It’s always fun to watch something that is a classic, and then to watch the formula in the new horror.  So different.
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DRCWomen in the horror genre often get overlooked in modern entries. You are a part of the timeless Nightmare legacy. What was it like, immersing yourself into the fandom of the franchise, and portraying such a legendary character? Kristen Parker is one of the most memorable roles in the entire franchise. How did you go about establishing your own originality and devotion to the role, after filling in for Patricia Arquette?
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(Knight [above right] with Freddy himself, Robert Englund, in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.)
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KNIGHT: In a way, Kristen was two people — much like Heather Langenkamp’s character.  Patricia and I did two different things. The way it was written in the script for Nightmare 3, Kristen was more of a victim.  She knew nothing of Freddy and what he was about — only that he was terrifying, and that he was using her to kill the kids of Elm Street. So, she was a little green to the situation, I felt. When I came on to do part 4, I was told to emulate Patricia as much as I could. So I went home and watched the film, so I could get a feel.  But, as I read the script, I said to myself that this young woman was no victim — at least not in the same way… I thought I was going to bring some attitude and more strength, and that she was on to Freddy and she would do anything…include sacrifice herself for her friends, which ultimately lead to her demise. Looking back and getting lots of fan mail, I would say I must have done a decent job at doing the role.  There are always going to be fans of Patricia’s, and there are going to be people who liked my version better.  I’d say they were both good.
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DRC: Do you have any memories from set of New Nightmare? What was it like working with the masterful Wes Craven? It must have been quite the triumph being in the presence of a genre legend.
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KNIGHT:  Do I ever have memories!  I remember the night before I was to shoot the funeral scene, where Heather’s husband had been killed.  We had the big earthquake here in Los Angeles… and that had been a trend in Wes’s film. It was the scariest thing I had been through, and I just remember grabbing my dogs and running across the street to my Mother’s house.  When we got to set and we had to emulate the fact there was an earthquake, we just felt like Wes made a deal with the Devil and he was going to make people really feel this movie and show that Freddy was coming back. Working with Wes was just a wonderful and valuable experience.  He is a true genius to the genre and he will always be the man who made us like our Nightmares a little bit better. (Smiles) I will never forget the phone call from him asking me to be in the film… I was just so taken back by it.  He made me feel that I had made something of myself, since he had seen a couple of my films and really liked them (Mistress & Calendar Girl), and he loved what I did with the role of Kristen in Dream Master.  He told me I portrayed her like she was meant to be in the original script of Dream Warriors.
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DRCAside from horror, what does acting itself mean to you? What advice would you give to aspiring actors or actresses, attempting to break into the industry? Is there anything you would tell your younger self if you could do it all over again?
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KNIGHTI wouldn’t tell myself to do anything different. I have had such a great and wonderful career in film and music.  I couldn’t be happier. Acting means the world to me. It’s my true love. What advice would I give to people getting into the industry? Well, it has changed a lot since I started.  It used to be about star quality, and you could tell if the camera loved you. Now, it’s about gathering a bunch of children and molding them into products of marketing routine and putting them on camera and, when they are done, they spit them out. It’s so different. You would just have to have the thickest skin…and you can’t give up.  You can’t feel defeated, because once you do, you will start to hate what you loved so much. And when you do have success, you have to treat it like a business.  Tell yourself, “Alright, I am getting up and going to work just like everyone else.” If you have a moment where you think you own the industry and you don’t work for it, it’s over. (Smiles) Let’s just say the industry can be a “NIGHTMARE”.
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DRCSome may not know about your music career. Are you passionate about the other side of the entertainment industry?
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(Cover art for Knight’s 2012 studio album, Faith.)
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KNIGHTThere are many sides of the entertainment industry.  I have been so lucky to have had success in just about every aspect that I have tried. Music was great, that is how it all started.  I got to work with such great people, like Quiet Riot, Aerosmith, Billy Idol, and record 5 records of my own, not to mention many songs for film and television — that people might not even know is me. Then, when I got into acting, that really became my main focus, and that was all I wanted to do.  I was very blessed to have done what I have and to have worked with who I have worked with. Then,  as I was working on my series 2000 Malibu Road, I was making toe rings and anklets, and I was just doing it for fun. My dear friend and co-star Drew Barrymore told me that I really needed to do something with my designs, so that is when I started my first jewelry company. So I have been around, and I love every aspect of being creative.  I just love making art.
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DRCIn such an extensive filmography, what has been your most favorite experience or role? Is there anyone you would love to work with in present day?
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(Knight [above left] alongside co-star Drew Barrymore [above right] in 2000 Malibu Road.)
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KNIGHTI think my favorite role ever was playing Joy on 2000 Malibu Road.  She was everything I wasn’t, and I got to wear this brown wig and a fat suit every day, and those are the roles that actors really love. (Laughs) What a cast on that show.  The director of the series was Joel Schumacher, who is a master at making beautiful films.  And working with Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Beals, Brian Bloom, Scott Bryce and Lisa Hartman was just so much fun.  We became a small family. I also got to know and work with now director Guy Furland, who was Joel’s assistant then. I was then hired on two films outside of the series that he directed, which were The Babysitter and Telling Lies in America. As for who I would love to work with today that I haven’t…I guess would be Charlie Hunnum.
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DRCHorror fans are some of the most loving and charismatic individuals you’ll ever come across. As many would so love to know, what are some of your own favorite horror films?
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KNIGHTI love horror. It is my favorite genre of film.  And they range from decades.  Who doesn’t love The Twilight Zone or Night Gallery?  And I love films like Dolls, Gravedancers, Carrie, Dolly Dearest, Dead Silence, and so many more.
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DRCTell us a little about your jewelry line. Some big names in the industry have worn your pieces.
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KNIGHTThe fashion world is something I like to punctuate my acting and singing career with.  It is just something a little different. I have designed for Madonna, Cher, Britney Spears, Xtina, Drew Barrymore, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, and just so many others. It’s a lot of fun, and I plan on doing it again real soon.
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DRC: Lastly, every actor or actress has his or her own “this is it” moment. What was yours? When did you know you wanted to devote your life to the entertainment industry?
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KNIGHTI have been writing music since I was 11.  And my father was a very famous song writer. I used to sing and dance for Frank Sinatra, Rick Nelson and Dean Martin, when they came over to the house.  So, I kind of always knew what path my life was going to take.  (Smiles) I guess it was more of a natural environment.
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Tuesday Knight continues to wow, after thrilling audiences in so many facets for years. Be sure to follow Knight’s powerful surge of femininity on Twitter and IMDB.