Actress Priscilla Barnes was thrust into the spotlight after replacing Suzanne Somers on the ’70s TV show “Three’s Company.”
Barnes, who also starred in such movies as “License to Kill,” “The Devil’s Rejects” and the cult classic “Mallrats,” will appear this weekend at Mighty Con at Pheasant Run Resort’s Megacenter, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles.
Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $10 or $15 for a weekend pass. More information is available at www.mightycon.com.
Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Barnes about her career.
Eric Schelkopf: You’ve made a lot of different career choices. Of all the projects you’ve been involved in, do you have any favorites?
Priscilla Barnes: Probably my favorite would be my next role.
ES: So, you never look back, you’re always looking forward?
PB: I think that’s the way to live your life.
ES: One of the roles that you are probably best known for is your role on “Three’s Company.” Did you feel a lot of pressure replacing Suzanne Somers?
PB: I’m sure I did, yeah, at that time. I think I was 22. I think you feel a lot of pressure at 22 to do anything.
There was a lot of attention. It was my third series, but I hadn’t done anything that had the worldwide fame that “Three’s Company” had.
I worked a lot before that, so I wasn’t really used to instant fame. I was just used to working.
ES: Did you like being part of that show?
PB: Yeah, I mean Joyce DeWitt is still one of my best friends. Don Knotts was certainly one of my dear friends before he passed. I made a lot of wonderful, lasting friendships from that show.
ES: It seems like you’ve done a lot of different roles. What draws you to a role in the first place?
PB: An artist is an expression of something that you’re attracted to, or that you can express yourself through. It doesn’t matter what medium it is. It can be acting, it can be painting or mixed media. There are so many different types of artistic endeavours.
It’s something that you identify with, that you understand. It’s an expression of your spirit.
ES: “The Devil’s Rejects” is also one of your well-known roles. Why did you want to be part of that project?
PB: I auditioned for the role I got cast in, and I also auditioned for another role in that movie, that the porn star Ginger Lynn ended up playing. She’s a real porn star, so I’m certainly not surprised that she got it.
At that time, I really wasn’t that familiar with Rob Zombie as a musician or his first movie, “House of 1000 Corpses.” There was a lot of buzz about him, and after working with him, he became one of my favorite directors.
He loves artists and actors. He lets them go and just create. He’s one of the great people to work for.
He understands what actors go through, so he knows how to communicate with them. He lets them know what he wants, and then gets out of their way, and lets them do what they do.
ES: And then of course, there’s “Mallrats,” directed by Kevin Smith. What intrigued you about that project?
PB: I really was a fan of “Clerks.” I was going for something in “Mallrats” that I didn’t accomplish. I was trying to make it less sexual, but it still became a cult classic.
A lot of talent was in there. You have Ben Affleck and then Jason Lee, that was his first movie; he was a skateboard star.
I really am a fan of Kevin Smith. I think he’s an extremely intelligent, interesting human being.
ES: Do you have any advice for someone trying to break into the acting business?
PB: Gosh no, I wouldn’t be so presumptuous to give any advice.
Never give advice unless asked, darling.