Cheryl Ladd ('The Perfect Wave')
'Still a Perfect Angel!'
Cheryl Ladd initially came to Hollywood in 1970 to begin a career in music. Indeed, she was known as "Cherie Moor" when she was the singing voice of Melody on Hanna-Barbera's Josie and the Pussycats animated series.
She soon began to land non-singing roles in commercials and episodic television — including guest appearances on shows such as The Rookies, The Partridge Family and Happy Days.
The Charlie's Angels series made her an overnight star, and Ladd took the opportunity of her sudden popularity to further pursue her musical interests, guest-starring in musical-comedy variety series and specials, performing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl XIV in January 1980, and releasing three albums, enjoying a Top 40 Hot 100 single and a Gold record.
In September 2000, Ladd starred on Broadway, taking over the title role from Bernadette Peters in a revival of Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun. She played the role until January 2001, when Reba McEntire took over.
Having done a lot more film roles, TV roles, and even in 2005 publishing an autobiographical book which focused on her love of golf, 'Token Chick: A Woman’s Guide to Golfing With the Boys,' Ladd is now starring alongside Scott Eastwood (son of Clint) in the new inspirational film, 'The Perfect Wave.'
Scott Eastwood delivers a breakthrough performance as Ian McCormack, a rebellious young surfer who impulsively decides to leave home and travel the world’s most exotic surf spots. But living in the moment can have its thrills – including a romance with beautiful kindred soul Annabel (Rachel Hendrix) – as well as its sacrifices.
And following a horrific accident and near-death experience on the Island of Mauritius, Ian receives a glimpse into eternity that will change his life forever. Patrick Lyster ('Black Sails') and Cheryl Ladd ('Charlie’s Angels') co-star in this inspirational true story about the power of faith, the love of family, and one man’s search for the perfect wave.
Chatting recently with the lovely lady herself, Cheryl Ladd, we discussed her role in 'The Perfect Wave,' her time spent in Cape Town, her TV roles on both Charlie's Angels and Vegas, and even the new book that she is contemplating for 2015.
I watched his interview on The 700 Club via YouTube and found it engaging viewing, especially when he was talking about seeing the Afterlife for 15 minutes. Have you spoken with him, the real Ian McCormack whether it be before, during or after this film? “Just before we started, yes, I had the opportunity to have dinner with him at the directors house. A little later then he and I went and sat in a quiet corner and he walked me through it, bit by bit, moment by moment. What’s extraordinary about Ian is that every time he gets to the part where he’s in the presence of the Lord it’s really hard for him not to cry. He’s so moved, because as he tells it when he gets to that place where he was feeling all that love coming his way I think it just move his heart every time.”
“Because I’ve worked with a lot of really good actors and they couldn’t do that. It’s just so real for him. I mean, this really happened to him and so when he feels those waves of perfect love coming back to him he gets overwhelmed every time. And it’s very moving and very heartening to believers.”
Did he instruct you on how his mother really told him she had reacted at that turning point of the movies, perhaps? “All he told me about her was that she was very real, very present, very humble and very loving. Those were all his words. Kind and gentle. There was no show. She was just very real. A true believer,” she adds.
Have you ever been given less to go on for a character before? “I think the one element, in speaking with the directly, that came from all his words was the power of that mother’s love. The power of that mother’s faith. That being a mother and having prayed for my own children and grand children, I could really relate. My mother had been very, very ill several years ago and I found myself on my knees in a hotel room praying for her life. So, I had already lived those elements of what that mother was about and known that intensity of that love for her child. And the fact that she had this premonition when he was thousands of miles away was pretty remarkable.”
Although sadly the dishes she was holding at the time didn’t make it through the entire scene! “Exactly,” she laughs, “she just knew, she had this deep vision and sense that he was struggling and that he was in big trouble. And she just ran into his room to be in amongst his things, to be in his space. That part of it was so interesting to me that she didn’t just drop to her knees in the kitchen. She ran into Ian’s room where all of his things were around her and spoke to the Lord there. Which I think is a very powerful moment in the movie.”
What was it about the role of Mrs. McCormack that you took your interest when you first read the script? “Well, I love the faith-based ones. I’m always attracted to them because I always want to perform that sort of truth, and belief, and faith. And all of those things that actually hold us together and can also blow us all apart. So any time I can play something like that and bring a character to the screen that people can always relate to, I’m always interested in that.”
‘The Perfect Wave’ is a spiritual movie, and like all movies of this ilk comes with a message - one that each viewer will take away all of their own. But having been on set, what did you yourself take away from the experience? “Having had the experience doing this film I feel much closer to the Lord. It has opened up my heart even more to the belief that I am a Christian and he is my Savior; and that has been the case pretty much my whole life.”
“Although, you know, I did drift off and wasn’t as connected my whole life as perhaps when I was younger as to how I am now. We all wander a bit of a path and I, in particular made him an afterthought. He was there, but he was over there. I think a lot of young people do that, they kind of know the truth, they wander from it and then they find it again. If they’re lucky. I found it again and it’s been great. It’s been wonderful.”
“One of the amazing things about doing this film that has certainly never happened to me on any other project that I’ve done is that when I would go to the set for the first few days there would be this couple just sitting there, on the set. I finally went over to them and said, Are y’all in the movie? And they said, ‘No, we’re just sitting here praying for everyone - for their safety, their health, for the movie.’ It was really powerful. It was really powerful. Really amazing.”
Shot in South Africa, Australia, Bali, Mauritius, New Zealand and Java where were your days spent filming? “I was in South Africa. And it was gloriously beautiful and I’d never been there before. It took me 56 hours to get there, mind you. I just didn’t think I’d ever get there,” she laughs. “I had six connections to make and I missed every one of them! All because my first flight was so delayed. Yeah, it was so crazy. But it was really nice being there once I gotten there.”
“Have you ever been to Cape Town?”
No, but it’s a place I’ve always wanted to go. Are you now telling me that I should add it to my bucket list?! “You should. It’s a bucket lister. It really is. It’s like no other place I’ve ever been. It’s ruggedly, kinda almost frighteningly beautiful. That table mountain jutting way out up above and the point where the two oceans meet. There’s more sharks than anywhere else also. There’s something kind of intensely masculine about it, if you know what I mean. It’s powerfully masculine in its beauty. And yet there’s beaches and palms and so it’s beautiful in that way also; but it was definitely overwhelmingly powerful.”
So, after having first been one of the singing voices on Josie and the Pussycats to now being a part of an incredible true story as ‘The Perfect Wave,’ with a major stop in-between for Charlie’s Angels, of course, can you tell me to date which role still sticks with you as being the one that when you were undertaking it at that time you just knew you had finally made it in the business? “I think when I walked out on stage for opening night of ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ on Broadway … and I was 49 years-old! That’s when I had finally made it, because I had been wanting that experience my entire life. Since I was a little girl. So that was the one when I kinda smiled. Every night before I made my entrance I’d look up into the rafters and thank God. Because God’s timing is perfect, because if I’d had it before I would not have enjoyed or even appreciated it nearly as much as I did when I was 49.”
Your acting resume is stellar, but is there anything that you haven’t done much of before that you’d like to now tackle on screen, perhaps? “I’d like to do more comedy. I think comedic things are really fun to do. You know, it’s always like one of those things that you know it when you read it. It’s always in the material. There’s some edge to a character, or some area that I haven’t played.”
Looking back at the whole phenomenon of Charlie’s Angel’s, what comes to mind first? “I have to love it,’ she laughs. “It was so successful that it gave me a near forty year career. So as difficult as it was at the time … because although it was my biggest success it was at a time when my marriage was falling apart and things were not good in my personal life. So it was an odd juxtaposition of success and struggle. But overall I’m very grateful for it as it gave me a long career and made me a household name. It made me millions of fans, who have been loyal and wonderful and I really appreciate that. So yeah, it’s been a really interesting journey.”
When you came into Charlie’s Angels in season 2 to replace FFM, you were also the smallest by far of the three Angels! So did that play into any of the scenes on purpose, perhaps?! “Well it did because I came in as her kid sister. And I was in fact five years younger. So yes, I came in as the kid sister and so my size actually worked for me in that context.”
Did you also have fun working on Vegas? “I did,” she answers, adoringly. “It was. I mean, working with Jimmy Cahn is an E-ticket ride anyway. And I loved all the young people on the show also. Yeah, it was a great experience. I loved it.”
So, what’s next for Cheryl Ladd? “Well, I’m building a house. I’m on a short hiatus here for another five months or so and after that I have a couple of things in the works that I really can’t talk about yet. I’ll let you know when I can though,” she smiles.
Well, being that we’re not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing, and being that you’re an accomplished writer and a golfer, will this be another Golfing For Women book, perhaps? “I’m contemplating a book, yes, actually. Nothing to talk about just yet, but yes that is in the works for next year.”
Is there anything you would like to say, perhaps? “Wow,” laughs, “You know what, that stumped me,” she again laughs. “I don’t think anyone’s ever really asked me that question before. I guess, the fact that I’ve been incredibly blessed and I count my blessings every day and that’s a good way to start a day.”
Finally, we here at Exclusive Magazine love Penguins, so we wondered if you do also? “All I can tell you is that penguin movie, ‘March of the Penguins’ killed me,” she laughs. ‘It just killed me! I thought they were the most remarkable creatures that I’d ever seen. Isn’t it amazing? So yes, I love penguins too.”
If you could have a Penguin for a day, what would you name it?! “Hmmmm, let me think about that ….. Tux! Short for Tuxedo,” she gently giggles.
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
'The Perfect Wave' Blu-ray™ and DVD special features include an interview with director Bruce Macdonald, "The Perfect Wave: It’s Not Just About Love” featurette, 'Perfect Wave' music video, “Collide: Uphill Struggle Of A Downhill Skater” featurette, Behind-the-Scenes footage, and more!
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