Q: You had done a number of low-budget vampire movies in the early 90's and a question that sometimes comes up with horror fans is "Whatever happened to Laura?"
Whatever happened to Laura. She got out of Jersey. A girl can't be a vampire forever. You know, I actually travelled to California with my fangs in tow? I have a set of fangs, I think I'll go to Los Angeles. And I never got to use those fangs.
Q: How was the transition moving from the East Coast to California. Was there a big culture shock?
Yes, there was. I was living in New York City for a long time and very much felt like my soul was in New York City. I liked the pace of New York. And I moved out here and I stayed at a hotel for a month and I just made phone calls from my room. I'd order a large pot of coffee in the morning and just called everyone I knew in the business and then I lived with a friend from grade school, and then another friend from grade school, so I'd sleep on their floors. Then I got my first manager and agent and just went from there. And got my SAG card out here.
Q: That's the only way you can get work out there is to have an agent, right?
Pretty much, yeah. It's hard. They're connected with all the shows and movies. And the first movie director that I ever worked with was Clint Eastwood, and he's the one who gave me my SAG card. I was playing a dead body. I went to Central Casting to get my SAG card because at the time, back then, you could accrue vouchers towards your SAG card if you worked on a Union production. Well, they needed someone for the movie ABSOLUTE POWER and I was the dead body of the President's wife. I was laying on a cold metal slab with a toe-tag, a sheet over me, and E.G. Marshall was mourning over me. I was never a fan of Clint Eastwood then, afterwards I was his biggest fan. He came over and pulled down the sheet, and he put a golf tee between my toes. I'm a golfer and we got to talking about golf. Then he said to his producer "Well, we can't waste this girl, put her in something else". So I came back four days later and he put me in a scene with Gene Hackman and they treated me like a queen. Then, I wrote them a thank you note afterwards and he said, let me see your reel, so I sent them my horror movies. Then I went in for an audition and got a part in IN THE MIDNIGHT OF GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL (1997). It was all based on the tape I had from VAMPIRES & OTHER STEREOTYPES.
Q: That was twenty years ago.
Noooo. I'm that old?
Q: After the movies you did a lot of sitcom stuff...
Yes, I have.
Q: How did you get into the comedy, that's completely different than the horror...
As it turns out I'm a really funny person. I'm very funny. And thank God Hollywood caught onto that like wildfire. We've got to have this girl in a comedy...I don't know. I have a very dark sense of humor and I wanted to develop that. I found that out by playing odd characters. For example, in VERONICA MARS I played a transvestite MILF.
Q: I saw that...
They were auditioning transvestites and they just weren't finding anyone who was feminine enough and so, I'm muscular, I guess, and decided to hire me instead. And then on VIP I played a character named Liz and we decided she was Liz the Les, the lesbian. On another movie I played a dominatrix who was doubling as a nice wife. And someone asked me if I wanted to do that as a profession and I said "No, thank you." Everything had a bit of a twist to it. I love comedy.
Q: Any interesting stories, like from TWO AND A HALF MEN?
I was trying to quit smoking and Charlie was just tempting me with cigarettes the whole time. He and Jon Cryer were just wonderful and I liked watching them, especially Jon Cryer, do comedy, seeing how he gets to a new joke. It was right before the writer's strike last year.
Everybody has been really good that I've worked with. I've been lucky that way. I've been on THE JAY LENO show a bunch over the last five years doing comedy skits. One of the last characters I played was a Pakistani whore.
Q: Have any horror movies come along?
If I could get a good horror film out here I'd do it. I want to do adventure, I'm very athletic. I want to do those post-apocalyptic things.
Q: I remember a while ago you were trying to get on HERCULES and XENA when those shows were around...
I had to ride a horse and do a sword fight in an audition room. It's not that easy. And then pray to some god in front of a fire. And probably had to sacrifice a chicken. I auditioned for Jane in Tarzan. Xena and Hercules I auditioned for so many times. Even with TWO AND A HALF MEN - that's a show actors audition for over and over and over again before they're hired - I was lucky. My episode was entitled "Something Like Necrophilia" and originally I was up for the part of the Frenchwoman who is basically like a corpse while you're making love to her". Then they hired a French girl and gave me the other role.
Q: But you did play a demon on CHARMED?
I did. I was a demon version of Alyssa Milano. I think I was a pretty kick-ass demon, too. I told them I had lots of practice, going in. I think the blood pellet helped in the audition--no, I'm kidding. But I did say "Hey, I have my own fangs" and they said, "That's okay, we don't need your fangs", and I said "But I've done this part" and they said "Ms McLauchlin, it's only five lines". "Just letting you Know. I played a Succubus before--" and they said, "No,"This is just straight-on demon." I said " I can suck the life out of a man" and they replied " Yes, it seems like you could but this is just a straight up demon for CHARMED." And I was "Alright, alright, but you can see me be killed by a chainsaw" and they were "Ms McLauchlin, do you want the part or not?"
Q: You also recently got your Masters? What prompted that.
Yes, I just graduated from getting my Masters in psychology. I had my undergraduate degree in psychology and used to work a lot with the mentally ill homeless people in New York, and started this psychodrama group at Bellevue... I've always been interested in Mental illness and thought it would be a good idea when I'm older to get into something else, and segue-way into that. There's not a lot of challenging roles you get in acting or modeling and the last two years have been the worst in the entertainment industry and it was a good time for me to go to school. When the writer's strike hit it was hard to make a good living. The business has just started to pick up the last part of this year. It's kind of a different landscape. I think it's smart to have something else. I can't be playing a demon vampire when I'm sixty...
I'm going to get an internship. It's totally new. I've never gotten a "normal job".
Q: Well, there should be no lack of clients out there.
I know. I was offered a group of actors...I might. It takes a lot, not the easiest career path to choose. I'm not sure where I'll end up in my internship but eventually I'd like a private practice. And I'd be an actress by day and therapist by night.
I never started off completely sane, like most creative people.
Q: There's a sitcom coming up next month you're on?
There's an episode of RULES OF ENGAGEMENT. It should be on in February, I just shot it. I play the trophy wife. And then I'm also in a film called "LOSING CONTROL", which was written by a biophysicist, about if love can be scientifically provable. I play a news reporter. I'm as straight-forward as you can get. And now pilot season is going so I'm gearing up for that. And now that I'm graduated with school I'm thinking of finishing a script I've been working on, a coming-of-age story in the PUNK ROCK HARDCORE scene of the 90's.