- - Sunday, December 27, 2015

Fans of horror movies know the lovely yet often frightening Sybil Danning. Known for playing sexy and often sadistic characters, Miss Danning has been in almost 80 films and TV shows in a career spanning five decades. Her work in films like “The Howling 2” “Rob Zombie’s Halloween” and “Grindhouse” is legendary. To mark the release of “The Howling 2” on Blu-ray Miss Danning spoke at Stan Lee’s “Comikaze” convention about her favorite co-stars, the role she regrets turning down, her work with veterans and why her friend Jamie Lee Curtis is — but Miss Danning is not — a “scream queen.”

Question: What’s new with you?

Answer: “The Howling 2,” with our beloved Christopher Lee, who passed away this year, came out on BluRay. So it has another wonderful life again.

Also my comic book, which is the character I own called “Ruger.” It is based on the movie that I created, wrote and starred in called “L.A. Bounty,” where I played an LAPD cop who brings Wings Hauser in, doesn’t read him the Miranda Rights and gets kicked off the force. Then she goes after him as a bounty hunter and brings him down. I don’t own that movie, but I own the character Ruger. My comic book is based on the screenplay I wrote. It picks up with Ruger as a bounty hunter on another mission.

Q: Will it be a series of books?

A: It is a three-part series. My publisher and my printers are in New York. There are so many printers going out of business these days because everyone is doing just digital. I said, “I don’t want to do just digital” I want to feel it, hold it, smell it and keep it. It’s up on my website so all my fans can get it.

Q: You mentioned Christopher Lee. Was he your favorite co-star?

A: One of them, I must say. I did five movies total with him. Yes, I loved working with Christopher. He was wonderful.

Another favorite was Richard Burton in “Bluebeard.” I have so many wonderful co-stars that I worked with. 

Q: Of your impressive body of film work, what were your top three favorites?

A: I have to say “Battle Beyond the Stars,” which was the best Roger Corman ever did. Of course “The Howling 2.” It’s been so incredibly successful. And I think probably the one I am most happy with and proud of is “Entebbe: Operation Thunderbolt.” Because that is a true story [of] the raid on Entebbe. We were nominated for best foreign film. I raised the money. I got the distribution. I played the lead. I brought Klaus Kinski into the movie. I’m very proud of that film because it was a movie that went down in history.

Q: Since you have done many horror films, does that make you a “scream queen”?

A: Definitely not a scream queen. You know there is that series on now with my wonderful dear friend Jamie Lee Curtis. She was a scream queen. She started the “Halloween” movies. To me a scream queen is a victim. If you notice in “Howling” I’m doing the victimizing.

I like to play strong characters, and I love playing villains. I’ve always liked to stay away from playing a victim.

Q: Has there ever been a role you’ve turned down and later regretted?

A: You won’t believe it [but] I would probably be starring here tonight if I would had taken it. A lot of people don’t know, but I had a three-year deal at Paramount Studios under Sherry Lansing. While there I got a call from Sam Raimi. We had been mutual admirers of each other’s work. He said, “Sybil, would you do a TV series?” I said, “Sam I can’t do a TV series. I’ve got this three-year deal. I’ve got to make a movie happen at Paramount.” He said, “Oh, OK.”

He called me a couple weeks later and says, “I’m sending over a script. Maybe it is something Paramount wants to do.” It was a wonderful female action lead. Then I wanted to talk to him about it. I called his office and they said, “He’s not here, he’s in New Zealand doing ‘Xena: Warrior Princess,’ the new TV series.” I said, “What?! Oh no!”

I don’t regret a lot in a life but I am an idiot for not having taken that.

Q: What else do you have coming up?

A: I’m going to make the comic book into a movie. Then I’m going to do a video game of “Ruger” [as] an app game. I have a vampire movie that I am working on. I can’t tell you his name, but I have a huge star that wants to be in it. He just said to me, “Sybil, I’ve got to be in your vampire movie! But only if you bite me.” I can’t tell you who it is yet.

Q: Away from show business I understand you are working with a foundation to help vets deal with PTSD?

A: I am with a wonderful foundation called the Global Post Traumatic Stress Foundation. As we stand her today 22 vets will have committed suicide. Our focus is on helping them, preventing that.

We don’t give clothing or money. We have a wonderful doctor, Eugene Lipov, in Chicago. He has an injection that he has been using on vets that has saved their lives.

No one is doing anything for our vets, and it makes me mad. I want to put this problem on the map.


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