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Sweet Little Queen

Interesting interview about shooting video with the actress who played Alice

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How old were you when you appeared in the “Don’t Come Around Here No More” video?

I had turned 21 four months prior to the interview for the music video. I had moved back to Los Angeles from central California (lived with my sister for two years while getting over the death of a boyfriend). I moved to L.A. with a physically abusive, rage-aholic boyfriend. My self-esteem was very low and my boyfriend was extremely jealous. After [i hid] the bruises for months, my mother and sister-in-law just showed up one day and moved me out. He stalked me for a while after, but my brothers took care of that (clandestinely).

Where were you living at the time?

Having just left [the] abusive boyfriend, two or three months prior, I was living at my mother’s house in Chatsworth, CA. My mother was the driving force behind my return to acting. She always supported me and was my grounding force [in my] years as a child actress. When I lost roles to the likes of Jodie Foster, Kim Richards, Helen Hunt, she would remind me that I always crossed paths with these blonde “all-American girls” (crazy, huh? that is what we, the blonde, blue-eyed, thin girls were called) at interviews and that I should be flattered to be in their echelon. My mother made sure I was never in danger of becoming a drug-addicted Dana Plato or Kim Richards.

What music videos, shows, or movies had you appeared in prior to that?

My very first acting job was a Barbie Beach Bus commercial at 6 years old. I would estimate that as a child I did over fifty commercials, for McDonalds, Hostess, Shakey’s Pizza, Manwich, Bryant air conditioners, Crest. I did one feature film, Harper Valley PTA with Barbara Eden, and was a recurring character on Family with Kristy McNichol. I did many guest-starring roles in other series and a lot of after school specials.

How were you cast in the video?

My agent, Joanie Roba, was contacted and asked to send models to an interview for a Tom Petty music video. She told them that I was one of her clients but they said they were looking for a model, not an actress, and besides, they knew of me and didn’t think I [had] the pretty “Alice In Wonderland look” they wanted. Joanie told them that I had grown up and that they should at least meet me. They agreed. [Joanie then] told me that they weren’t really interested but that I should go nonetheless to get my name out there.

They were looking for a sexy Alice, so my mom and I went shopping and found a tight pink puff sleeve T-shirt, skintight black jeans (at the time they were called peg-leg pants and were basically all spandex), and a pair of kitten heel Mary Janes. I asked my mom to come with me since she had always been with me as a child actress. She chose to wait in the car and I found out later that she didn’t want me to be seen as a child.

When I came into the home where the interviews were being conducted, all I had with me was an actor’s headshot and résumé. I immediately thought my agent had really missed the mark on this call because there were about 10 to 15 girls in the waiting area with skimpy, tight clothes and they had full photo albums of themselves in different outfits and poses. Though I felt really out of place, I was never a quitter, so when called, I did my very best. In the interview room, there was the editor and about four other people. They asked me to mug for the camera and make as many faces as I could. I did surprise, anger, sadness, joy, shy, strong, come hither…etc. When I left, I told my mom that I knew I didn’t get the gig or a callback because I didn’t look as sexy or made-up as the models.

I was really surprised when I got called to come back. I went to three more interviews. The first two were very much like the first except they wanted me to do more specific faces. On the third interview, there was a big dining room table where they had set up a camera at one end and had me sit at the other end. The table was full of people who were going to work on the video (maybe 10 to 15 people).

They told me that they were waiting for Jeff Stein (the director) to return with a part for the camera and would I mind just hanging out and chatting with everyone until he returned. So we chatted for about 20 minutes. They asked me questions and we all talked about all kinds of things. Then, out of the blue, the editor said, “Thank you for coming,” which meant the interview was over. I thought I had completely blown [it] because they didn’t wait for Jeff to return. I said something to the effect of, “I thought they wanted to do more filming.” The editor said, “Oh, we were filming. We just wanted to see how animated you were without knowing you were being filmed.” I found out later that Jeff had been watching me on a screen in the other room.

I left a bit confused because it was very unusual in comparison to acting job interviews. On the same day I got a call from my agent saying they loved me and that I got the job.

Do you remember what your reaction was when you were cast?

I remember distinctly my reaction when I heard I got the part. My brother Patrick was a huge Tom Petty fan and had been constantly calling me to find out if I had heard anything about the music video interview. MTV was very new at the time and it was the coolest channel to be seen on.

I called my brother to tell him and you’d think I had told him that I was going to meet the Queen of England. He and I celebrated together. We got together and he filled me in on everything Tom Petty. He told me to ask Tom how he broke his hand and if he still had some particular guitar. Thank heavens for that because it was a conversation starter for Tom and me.

Where was the video filmed?

It was filmed at SIR Studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. The set was elaborate and beautiful. The massive black and white checked set was really something to behold.

How long was the shoot?

We started filming the video on a Friday around 10 a.m. It was the latest call time I had ever had. We started with wardrobe and generally took our time because the band members were straggling in on their own time. We shot till after midnight the first day, then Saturday we began at 10 and went nonstop until Sunday morning at about 9 a.m. (23 hours straight). It was grueling, but that is really the fun of acting—the coming together of professionals to make the best piece of work they possibly can. The cast and crew were determined to get the best footage no matter what it took.

The hours were long and exhaustion kicked in on the second day of shooting after about the 18th hour.

[One of] the two hardest parts [was] laying under the cake table for an hour and sometimes with my head cocked backward in an effort to make the angle look natural—as if I were actually made of cake.


The other difficult part was the shot in the coffee cup. The crew began filling up the cup with water from the bathroom about an hour or two before we filmed the shot. But within a very short time, the hot water ran out. So the tea cup was filled with freezing cold water. If you look closely at my face, you can see I am having a difficult time breathing normally. I also hated the fact that the costume was going to be ruined by the frosting on the donut/inner tube as well as the tea-stained water.

How was it to work with Tom Petty? What was he like?

Petty didn’t interact much with me. We chatted while on set waiting to get direction and begin filming. While on camera, he came alive and acted. His style was subtle so most of his shots were close-ups. He kept his movements slow and tight, never raising his arms or kicking out, just small, purposeful movement. It was easy to work with him because I was the opposite—grand and sweeping movements. He played his character well and had no advice for me.

Petty was a southern gentleman. He was very soft-spoken and seemed very shy. I was confused by his demeanor because, at the time, rock stars were out-of-control, narcissistic, decadent egomaniacs. Petty didn’t have any of these traits.

I dated the drummer, Stan Lynch, for five years after the video and would see Tom on tours and various band appearances, as well as hanging out with his wife Jane and daughter Adria. Through that time, Tom was always quiet, calm, and easygoing. His wife, on the other hand, was agoraphobic and tended towards drama. At concerts, she would have a hard time going out into the audience to watch and would sometimes stand up and almost run to get away from the crowds.


What did you think of the video?

It always amazes me that a director can keep the big picture in his mind (and stick to it) but then dissect the film and break it down to individual shots, always keeping in mind the desired end result.

I was thoroughly satisfied with the video. I was so proud to be associated with it. At the time, it was right on the money! Petty was already on a course for legendary status due to his musicianship and lack of gimmickry. I would cringe if it had been a formula type video that was typical during that time.

In fact, I really thought everyone would lose to him. Between you and me, Jeff Stein was told that MTV “owed Don Henley a win.” Never knew what that was about, but I honestly think Gabriel blew everyone away.

What did your parents think of it?

My mother was always my biggest fan. She always supported my acting work. My father never said a whole lot to me about my work on TV or the video, but I would hear from his colleagues that he had kept them abreast of everything I was working on and when it was going to air.

What did your friends think of it?

Marc, this one is kinda complex because there was the reaction back then and my then there is my retrospection now.

On the night of the MTV World Premiere, I went to the director’s house to watch it with the crew and a few cast members. I had been looking forward to seeing it. When it came on everyone got silent and stood in front of a big television in the living room. When it was over we yelled and cheered for each other’s hard work. It was like being on a team that won a first place trophy.

My group of friends, maybe 10 or 15, got together at someone’s house and had their own screening. Cell phones at that time were very uncommon, so I had to wait to talk to them until the next day.

While at the house of the director (whom I really didn’t know except from brief interviews and the shoot), someone said I had a phone call. It was bizarre because none of my friends had Jeff’s number; in fact, I don’t even think I had his number. I [got] the phone and it was Stan Lynch (Petty’s drummer) calling from his grandmother’s house in Ohio to ask me for a date. I was so impressed with the fact that he had tracked me down that I said yes. So began our romance.

As I get older, it still comes up all the time. Usually it’s my friends who ask someone in the room, “Do you know who she is?” Without fail, they say, “No.” That is quickly followed by, “Well, do you remember the Tom Petty video with Alice in Wonderland?” When they used to play MTV on TVs in bars, it inevitably came on when I was there. Especially in the first five or six years. Whoever I was with either subtly told people it was me or (depending on the alcohol level) start pointing at me and telling people really loudly, “That’s her! Right there! See, it’s her!” I never really cared either way about the notoriety then; it made me feel like people really appreciated my work.

On the other side of that, I couldn’t count how many men, of all ages, would whisper to me, “You know, I’ve always had a fantasy about Alice in Wonderland.” It was a creepy kind of flattery. I didn’t ever figure out what to say to them. None of them ever interested me enough to try that kind of acting.

Nowadays my friends and husband still tell people, “She’s the chick from the Petty video” and if [a] person is at least 35 years old, s/he immediately recognizes me. If anyone in the same room mentions Tom Petty or if the song comes on in a store, I know one of my friends is gonna say something. That’s not to say I don’t get a thrill anymore, I totally do. It never gets old to hear people say, “OMG! That was my favorite video!” Or when people ask if I did the stunt fall, what Tom was like, or “How did they do that?” Yep, still riding that wave!

Edited by Sweet Little Queen
a few errors in the text

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Did the video affect your dating life at the time?

Yes. Immensely. It changed everything.

Just before I did the video, I had been dating a guy (certainly not a man) who was physically abusive. A few months before I interviewed for the video, the loser I was with knocked me out with one punch. It is not hard to do with a sucker punch. It is not an easy situation to explain except that physical abuse in conjunction with psychological abuse is a “dog chases tail” existence.

I had left the guy, but he was stalking me. The end came when he showed up at my mother’s house on an afternoon when both of my older brothers were visiting. He came to the back gate and my brothers both jumped up and said they needed to talk to him first (they had seen the bruises on my arms before, and the sucker punch was the last straw). After they spoke to him, he just left. It was a year or two later that I found out that my brothers told him that if they ever saw him again or heard that he had been anywhere within a mile of me, they would take care of business.

So when I did the video, I was fresh out of hell.

On the first day of the shoot, I met the drummer Stan Lynch. He was 29 and so attractive to me at the time. I didn’t even consider that he would be attracted to me because he was a cute musician at the height of his fame, and besides, there were three beautiful models on set (in the black and white slinky muse outfits) hanging out with the single band mates most of the time.

There were two occasions on set when I felt that perhaps he had noticed me. When we were [about to do] a camera run-through, the three guys (Benmont Tench, Stan Lynch, and Howie Epstein) were arranged around a very tall and wide chair that I was sitting in (the scene where Howie serves me the cupcakes and then each band member steals them one by one). While we were all making small talk, Stan did a very dramatic sniff in the air and said, “Wow, what is that perfume you are wearing?” I replied, “It’s called Sweet Honesty.” And without skipping a beat, Benmont said, “I think he meant me—it’s called Filthy Liar.” We laughed, me especially, because it was such perfect timing. Though it dashed what I found out to be Stan’s icebreaker line.

Later, Stan approached me and complimented me on the very first shot I had done with the handheld camera guy (who was the first to give me the “always had a fantasy about Alice in Wonderland” line).

So for the rest of that first day, it was a little easier for us to have conversations.

On the last day, he stayed (after 24-hour nonstop filming) even though the band had been dismissed. After that last shot in the teacup, he asked me if I’d like to go to breakfast. As much as I was coming out of my skin with excitement and flattery, I declined because I was exhausted.

So he took my phone number instead.

He called me a day or so later and asked me out. This began our five-year relationship. I went from being a starving actress to the girlfriend of a rock star. When we began dating, I was driving an old, mustard-colored Chrysler Newport (440 engine!) that was truly an eyesore. Stan drove either his Black Jaguar XKE or his restored red 1970s convertible. It was a beautiful, huge, heavy old car. I think he was embarrassed by that car.

We [had] met in March and he had invited me to spend Easter with him at Don Henley’s house on Mulholland Drive in Hollywood. I, of course, accepted. My baptism into this world was unbelievable to me, even to this day. When we entered, we did a lot of introductions and shaking hands. Then after a while, we were sort of sent out to the backyard for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. But before we walked out I had noticed about three drop-dead gorgeous women sitting on Don’s large curved couch. I said to Stan, “I feel bad for those girls. Nobody is talking to them and they aren’t even talking to each other.” He snickered and said, “Those girls are brought in for anyone who doesn’t have a date. They’re probably Playboy bunnies.”

Reeling from that weirdness, I stepped out to the yard and saw Mary Kay Place and many musicians who were well known. I had a cocktail with Mary Kay Place. That was surreal.

Then it came time to sit down to eat on a beautifully laid out table under a huge old tree. Next thing I know, this woman sits next to me and starts talking to everyone. Like the life of the party had just shown up, the whole table came alive. The man sitting across from her was wearing a checkered suit, a checkered shirt, a checkered tie, checkered shoes, and a checkered hat. It was the most fun outfit I had ever seen. Then I realized that his wife was the woman next to me. When I turned to sneak a glance at her, I was breathless because it was Bette Midler. She told some jokes that day that I tell people to this day, always giving credit for the joke—“Bette Midler told me that one.”

Don stood up and explained that “This ham is from so-and-so’s in Virginia, this one was flown in from so-and-so’s in France...” Then he announced that the dirty rice and gumbo was from his mother and had been flown in fresh that morning.”

It was a long day and Don asked me if I could start the tea kettles (I happened to be in his kitchen with the staff) while the staff began prepping desserts. I agreed easily because I was a little uncomfortable being a small-time actress around some very famously artistic people. I filled about four tea kettles and was standing there in front of the stove when someone says right in my ear, “A watched pot never boils.” I turned and it was Jack Nicholson. All I could manage was a kind of huffing giggle.

The reason I started telling you about the Easter lunch was because when Stan asked me to go, I asked what I should wear. He asked if I had anything “Easter-y.” I told him I would find something appropriate, but he said, “No, let’s go together and find you something.” I was so embarrassed to have to tell him that I couldn’t afford to get a new anything. He said he was going to get it for me.

[The] Saturday [before Easter], I came to his house and he had ordered a limo. We went to the Laura Ashley store in Brentwood where he had made us an appointment to shop. We were escorted to a beautiful dressing room, much like a bridal salon, where two women waited on us hand and foot. I left there with a few new skirts and as many shirts.

The first time I went to Stan’s apartment I thought it odd that his living room had been converted to his bedroom. After touring with him, it dawned on me that, after having spent so much time in hotel rooms, it made sense that the first thing you saw when you entered his apartment was the bed.

During my time with Stan, I met (I’ll probably not remember all but my faves): Timothy Hutton, the Williams Brothers, Warren Zevon (he came over to get his career going again with Stan’s help), Eric Martin (Mr. Big), Maren Jensen (Battlestar Galactica; she was with Don Henley), “Weird Al” Yankovic, Jon Anderson and Chris Squire (the band Yes), double-dated with Mimi Rogers (Tom Cruise’s first wife) and Don Henley, Ric Ocasek and his wife Paulina Porizkova, Bob Dylan, Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox (Eurythmics), Sammy Davis, Jr., Bill Cosby, David Letterman. And was in the same room with David Bowie, George Harrison, Elton John, Paul Simon.

I traveled the continental U.S. constantly to be with him on tour. We never moved in together but I spent the full five years living out of a suitcase. He made room for me in his closet, but I never really felt like we were in sync after the first year or so.

I never really felt that Stan loved me completely. I felt that his emotions didn’t really scratch the surface of what it means to love someone. He was a great guy, but we were worlds apart. Besides, he had no respect for my friends or family, so I didn’t spend much time with either (I always regretted choosing him over them).

What really confused me during my time with him was this: he wanted me to be available to fly anywhere, at any time, to be with him on tour or at the beach house, and I loved him so fiercely that I would go to him anytime at the drop of a hat. But, at times, he would get pissy about small money matters like having to pay my cab fare to get to the airport. There was no way I could hold a job and keep our relationship alive.

The end of us began in a strange way. I remember the very day that I began to pull away from him.

I was at his beach house in Florida, where we spent a lot of time together. He had already left to begin recording in Los Angeles. I stayed on after him. I called a friend of mine in Los Angeles and told her “Come to Florida. I have the beach house to myself and a grocery account and gas account. I’ll have your ticket at the airport...whatever we need. Just come for the month.” And what she said to me threw me back into reality after about four years of this jaded life: “Wish, I have bills to pay. I have a roommate who depends on my half of the rent. I have a job. I’ll get fired if I just get up and leave.”

I had seriously forgotten what it was to support and depend on myself. Worse yet, in the back of my mind, I knew Stan and I were not soulmates.

So I got a menial job at a pharmacy. Stan asked me to come out on tour a couple times, but I stuck to my guns. I began to like being independent.

We drifted apart then back together for about six months. Then one night I tried to talk to him one more time about our relationship, but he didn’t get it. So I never went back and I’ve lived in the real world ever since.

After him, I dated for about six years until I met my husband, Yigal. I dated all kinds. My thought on dating was to never say no to anyone who asked me out unless they gave me the creeps or were too forward. I took it very seriously that you can never judge a book by its cover. With this philosophy, I went on dates with a Foley artist, a really strange and moody poet, a guy who was seriously dumb as a brick, a guy who asked on the first date if I’d ever tied a man up and spanked him, a guy with Tourette’s, a deaf man, two jewelers (both extremely hairy, like even in a dress shirt it flowed out the collar), a reformed alcoholic (that was tough), a hairdresser, a guy who was void of any opinion or the ability to make a choice, an attorney (who felt even murderers deserved the best defense), a guy from Beirut who was the product of first cousins, and other strange men. I didn’t sleep around, just dated around.

I met Yigal through a mutual friend, Mike. I had gone to high school with Mike and he invited me to come to his band rehearsal on a Friday night. I could hardly take my eyes off Yigal. I thought he was so handsome. To this day he is the most handsome man I have ever met (except for a guy in an elevator of my apartment building carrying a bike; [he] said “Hello, it’s a gorgeous day out there today,” and I quite literally mumbled and stammered a string of unintelligible sounds while staring at him wide-eyed).

[Yigal] and I eloped to Vegas and were married by an Elvis on 6/8/97. Under pressure from friends (not family), we decided to have an actual wedding (on our one-year anniversary). So we had a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-themed wedding. With Edward Scissorhands music.

Yigal is of Polish descent and his family still speaks Polish in the home. He was born in Jerusalem, raised in South Africa, and came to the U.S. as a teenager. With Yigal, I broke away from my habit of dating drummers (Stan was the third in a row) and switched to guitar. Yigal writes and records all-original music and I’d say he never goes a day without working on some instrument.

He is still dreamy.

Did you receive fan mail? If so, do you still have any of it?

I didn’t receive any fan mail after the video. If anyone had tried to find me it would have been a little difficult because I was a member of SAG before they joined forces with AFTRA and modeling was not at all my background. If I didn’t already tell you, I was the first SAG actress to do a music video. MTV was [still fairly new] at the time and I was one of the first contracts written for this type of film. I am unsure how it worked but I know it was the first time that I had to sign away any rights to my own image if it was picked up by satellite or any other devices by earth or “any other planet.” It was so funny at the time, but now I get it.

While dating Stan, I was more recognized, especially in his circles.

Found it here


Published two parts of the three. I hope that the last part will be of the next few days

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3 part

Did the video generate any controversy that you know of?

It did indeed. After the video was released there was a great big uproar about how the video promoted violence against women and the use of drugs.

After the Alice in Wonderland video, I was invited to do another video for the song :cool:“Forget about me, forget about these eyes” [“Make It Better”]. While filming the video, someone was doing a documentary about the band’s roots in Gainesville, Florida. While I was in the makeup chair, the crew came in and asked if I would respond to some questions. One of the questions was “How do you feel about the women’s group rallying against the video due to its violence against women?” Another was “Do you think that the fact that Dave Stewart gives you a mushroom in the beginning to start the hallucination was promoting drug use?”

I was too young to articulate what I was thinking at the time, but my thought on violence against women was “It’s just a video!” It doesn’t have any deeper meaning. It is a fantastical, funny, imaginative concept, committed to film. It is not a statement video with a hidden message.

When they asked about the drug use, my first thought was “Drugs? Huh? What are they talking about?” I guess I was naïve to drugs at the time, though I had dabbled quite a bit, but I never made the connection at the time.

I don’t think the whole interview made it to the documentary, but after the fact I was surprised that anyone would have been offended by it in any way because it was rock and roll. What’re you, new? If the music industry didn’t have sex and drugs, they quite possibly wouldn’t have true rock and roll.

By the way, the second video sucked. Terribly. In fact it is very hard to find on the Internet.

The concept (again Jeff Stein) was that the band was playing the song in my head and in the end Tom swings out on a Q-tip. There were midgets (or little people) involved and guitars hanging from the top of the set. If you looks closely at the video you can almost read on Mike Campbell’s face the embarrassment of being a part of the debacle. He was dodging the guitars that were dropping from overhead. In one shot, Tom’s microphone, which was on a swivel and spun around as he sang, hit him in the mouth and they were afraid it had chipped his tooth. The video also involved a 25-foot [tall] ear that the guys climb out of. Look closely and you can see where, before [the shot of Tom exiting the ear], Benmont, who had swung out of control, slammed into the ear and damaged it. I think we all decided to wipe that video from memory.






What were you paid?

I got the one-time payment of, I think, $2,500. Since I was a starving actress, I managed to make it last about two months. I didn’t even get to keep the costume because it was ruined by the tea and frosting. But hey, I got to keep the spare torso cake and bring it home for family and friends.

Wait, I did get to keep the wonky glasses that Petty wore in the video. Petty gave me his and said, “It’s okay, they got me two pairs.” And being a wordy person, I remember being disappointed that he would say two “pairs” instead of “pair.” (Talk about stupid stuff that we remember.)

The payoff was the short term and long term fame it got me. In fact, I was [recently] in a credentialing class in Omaha and they went around the room and each person (maybe 15 attendees) had to give some info about themselves. When they got to me I gave a spiel about human resource onboarding and recruiting systems I had consulted on, [said] that I was originally from California… They asked me to tell an interesting thing about myself. I really hemmed and hawed trying to think of something interesting like…I have four kids? I love the beach? I have two chinchillas?

[Then] one of the girls from my company, Linda, who was next in the interrogation, said loudly, “Seriously, Wish? I’ll handle this: she is Alice from the Tom Petty video.” Every single head turned! All of a sudden there were conversations sprouting and people asking “Oh my god, seriously?” By the time they had finished the uncomfortable introductions, they had the video cued up and played it for everyone in the class.

I still have a great pride in that video, even these 28 years later (just round it to 20, Marc. K?). I was riding pretty high after that, feeling pretty good that even the younger people in the room remembered the video, until…a young, pretty blond girl said, “I can’t wait to tell my mom. She really loved that video.” Yep…her mom.

No matter, I’ll be talking about it to anyone who will listen (and still make sense of the words) in the convalescent home.

If you ever met other women who were female leads in a mainstream ‘80s rock video, who?

I never met another woman from the rock video world because I was not a model. I was an actress through and through. My agent at the time recommended that I open up to the option of modeling and print work but I didn’t have any interest.

If you went to college, where and what did you study?

No, nowhere, and nothing! But if I could do it all again…I’d be…an actress.

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What are you doing these days?

I’ll go back as far as 1992. I worked for five years at Walt Disney Feature Animation. I started as a production assistant on Hunchback of Notre Dame. I moved up to assistant to the production manager on Hercules. And my last year or two was as the coordinator for the camera department.

My claim to fame there was this: I had film returned to me from Technicolor for the new release of Beauty and the Beast, and I spliced [a] new scene into the old film for the two directors to approve. As we watched, I noticed that in two frames, Belle’s legs are missing. So we rolled it back and I showed them. After a private powwow in the theater, they said, “That is the original footage from the movie, and nobody ever caught it.” [it] didn’t get me fame around the globe, oddly enough.

In 1997, I married a fabulous musician/salesman (very much the same as actress/waitress), Yigal Cohen. (My maiden name was Foley so my name in the credits of Hercules was Wish Foley, which everyone at Disney thought was hysterical even though they had a guy named Geefwee Boedoe.)

About a year ago I began learning computer stuff (thoroughly boring, but pays really well). Specifically, recruiting and onboarding systems. So I help a client personalize the company’s optimum applicant tracking system. So I guess I make human resources departments’ dreams come true!


Where do you live?

I am born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. I lived in the Bay Area from 2002 through 2010. Moved to the godforsaken state of New Mexico and existed in their waterless, freezing, zero-scaped dirt farm until 12/31/11. I played Powerball on our way out of Albuquerque. On New Year’s night we pulled into Texas. On January 1st, on our drive from Dallas to Houston, I checked my Powerball numbers and found I’d won $10,000. My husband and I still feel that was the only fond memory of New Mexico. I now live in a suburb of Houston.


What was your future husband’s reaction when he learned you were in this video?

Oh, he milks it like everyone else. It is a conversation piece for a salesman. I don’t mean to sound jaded in any way, because I still get a kick out of it. I just know that it comes up quite a bit in his and all my friends’ conversations. My sister-in-law has (or had) a Facebook page named “I know that chick from the Tom Petty video.” Love it!


Wish described this photo as "Alice-y."

Tell me about your kids.

I have four kids. I didn’t start my family until I was 33 because I didn’t take being a mother and wife lightly. I knew that the decision would be life-altering and had to really search myself to make sure I had what it takes. I knew I would be giving up a lot when I had kids.

Had in vitro, had a boy in 1998. His name is Mickey Cohen; didn’t know there had been a gangster with that name until two weeks before delivery. He is 14 years old and he and his best friend are planning on going to MIT; thus, I am back to work. Mickey is a straight-A student. He has always been a responsible, sweet boy, and is already a fabulous guitar player. He is already getting invites from colleges to check out their schools online. Mickey was so easy to care for, right from birth, that we were lured into having another child.

Next go-round we ordered a girl, paid $800 extra for sex selection, but got twin boys, Buster and Clyde (now 12 years old). Buster sings and does photography and Clyde is an amazing dancer and drummer. Buster has a slightly raspy voice and loves singing in the school choir. I think he’ll make a great lead singer someday. Clyde, who was born three minutes after Buster, has the most incredible sense of timing and ingenuity with percussion instruments. And though they say that drummers can’t dance, he is a great breakdancer. His goal, at this point, is to be famous.

I credit my dad for naming them because, while I was hugely pregnant, sluggish, and [as-yet unaware of] their sexes, my dad said, “In keeping with your nomenclature, you should name them Bonnie and Clyde if it’s a boy and girl.” We were actually going to christen them with those names until we found out it was two boys. We kept “Clyde” and chose “Buster” for the other, in admiration for Buster Keaton (me) and Buster Poindexter (Yigal).

We were happy to quit after three boys, but nature kicked in, we got pregnant naturally. We found out I was pregnant on my birthday, October 16. When they did the ultrasound, the woman thought I was weeping with joy. I was not. I was freaking out because I already had three children under three years.

We had our daughter Charlie (as in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Mickey named her. I was an at-home mom and homeschooler for the next 11 years.

Charlie is 11 and all-girl; she can’t wait to wear makeup, the more sparkles the better, and she loves anything pink. She is already doing some acting and I am actively looking for an agent here in Texas. She and Buster were in a recent rock video. We did the 48 Hour Film Project here in Houston in November 2012.

After she did that video, they called her back on three occasions to take on more roles. Perhaps being a stage mother is in my future.

Buster didn’t really enjoy the filming. He couldn’t stop giggling and grinning so some of his work ended up on the cutting room floor.

What do your kids think of the video?

The kids didn’t really understand how popular the video was in its time. So [they] have only recently discovered that their teachers or their friends’ moms would be impressed by the revelation of who their mother is/was. After they let word out, the video has been shown in their classrooms.

What did you think when you first heard from me?

I was delighted. You have been so forgiving of my nightmare schedule and I thank you for sticking with me and roping me back in when I get too caught up with the everyday necessary work. Sending you my responses has been sweet, and sometimes bittersweet. I liken it to walking through the garden that is my life and enjoying not only the beautiful and plentiful flowers around me but also enjoying the dirt that surrounds them and made them grow.

Recounting to you my time with Stan made me a little sad (and almost angry) because I was so malleable at that time and I gave everything up to be with him. I get upset about how much time I innocently invested in him and then how stupid I was to have stayed on so long after I knew it was unhealthy. I try to never look back with a negative eye, so I have been contemplating the wonderful, positive changes and lessons that were brought on by that experience.

Also, I lost my mother last August and I am still struggling with her passing. She was my greatest supporter throughout my life and was the most positive loving person I have ever known (and I have known many people from many walks of life). One of her greatest messages was to always look for the positive in very circumstance. But I still cannot find anything positive about her death.

In recounting her devotion I have written some of this through tears. But I thank you for that as well.


Has anyone else ever interviewed about this? If so, who, when, and for what publication?

Yes. I was contacted by Rob Tannenbaum to give him a blurb about working on the video for a book he co-authored, I Want My MTV. Even though it was just a short blurb that got into the book, it was great talking to him because he was familiar with all the players I talked about. I gave him a lot of dirt off the record. For [you], I didn’t hold back, much.

Have you appeared at any fan conventions to sign autographs? If not, would you?

I have never done anything like that. I didn’t even know that there was such a thing. Yes, I’d love to do that. I just can’t imagine who would be interested.

Did you stay in touch with Tom Petty? Are you still in touch? If not, when were you last in touch?

I didn’t keep in touch with Tom after Stan and I split up. I think that because Tom and Stan had such ugly relations at [one point], I would be considered the enemy to a certain degree. (I did keep in touch with a friend of Stan’s, Marty Jourard—he was the sax player for the Motels. He still gigs around in Seattle and sits in with different bands that come through town.)

I did go to a Petty concert in 2011 and two of the people I was with asked if they could send a note backstage to Tom telling him I was there. I told them I didn’t mind but it had been close to 25 years since I had hung out with the band. So the notes both went back separately and we never heard anything from anyone.

I am not sure how I feel about that. At first I thought that they’ve probably heard from tons of people with their own “remember me?” notes and why should I be any different? But then it kind of bothered me that they (if the whole band had known about the note) were so very disinterested. If not nostalgia, then perhaps curiosity on their part. But I finally got over myself and remembered that I am just some chick who was in their video a long time ago. So I got over it and moved on.

Anything you’d like to add?

I am proud of being in such a popular video and flattered that people remember me and my performance. I had my three minutes and they were fabulous!

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