Five Favorite Films with Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's
The pixie-like pop punk rocker talks about sci-fi geekery and her new comic, Lady Robotika
Speaking to Jane Wiedlin on the phone, one might find it hard to believe the sweet and perky voice on the other end belongs to a sci-fi geek and punk rocker who got her start as early as 1978, when she and Belinda Carlisle first formed The Go-Go's. One might also be surprised to discover that, after some acting and a solo singing career, Wiedlin reunited with her bandmates to tour, at age 42, once again as the Go-Go's. This month, the band kicked off their "Happily Ever After Farewell Tour," and Wiedlin released the first issue of Lady Robotika, a comic book starring herself as an alien-abducted rocker who is turned into a cyborg and forced to perform music. Sound intriguing? We thought so, and decided to chat with Wiedlin about her favorite movies and what it was like working on the comic. Read on for the full interview!
#1 for sure is Blade Runner
. I've been a big sci-fi geek since I was a little kid, and it was just done so well. It felt like that's what Los Angeles was going to look like in the future, and you felt Harrison Ford's turmoil as a blade runner. Everything about it was so real, and so cool, and everyone that was cast in it was so good in their roles, and so attractive. Even though the future looked spooky, it was also mesmerizing. Sean Young... Who knew she was so crazy? She was so great in that movie. And then when she finds out she's a replicant, it's so heartbreaking. I could watch that movie a hundred times and I don't even care which version I see; I'm fine with the narration, I'm fine without the narration. It's just a great movie. When you've seen it so many times, I guess it doesn't matter. Like, it's impossible for me to go back in time and see it for the first time without narration and see if it would have made it confusing or not, which, I guess, was the studio's worry, that people wouldn't be able to follow the storyline. But, you know, I'll never know. [laughs] All I know is it's the best science fiction movie ever made.
#2 is Showgirls. Again, a movie I've seen at least a dozen times, and I know that everybody gets it now, but I was a true believer right from the beginning. It is, really, the accidentally funniest movie I've ever seen. It never gets any less funny. There's just something about watching Elizabeth Berkeley in that role, when she's like flopping in the water like a fish, or when she's in that club, and Cristal Connors pays her $500 to give Zack a lapdance, and she's all flapping around on his lap. It's so cringeworthy, but it's so funny at the same time. And I'm normally not really a fan of cringey humor -- shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm
-- I can't even watch those shows because I end up running behind the couch, I'm cringing so bad. The thing about Showgirls
, and how earnest everybody was, and how over-the-top it was -- I just love that movie. I practically have it memorized.
I think #3 would be The Empire Strikes Back
. To me, clearly the best of the six, like way, way ahead of the field -- the six Star Wars
movies, not my list -- and here we go, Harrison Ford again. Harrison Ford was like my generation's greatest leading man. He's going to be our Clark Gable or whatever. He was so good. That movie just had plenty of story and action, and my problem with a lot of sci-fi is that it's all action and not enough story, not enough character development, and not enough relationships between the characters. It's all shoot-em-up, which is good; I think guys like that. But I like my shoot-em-ups with relationships and character development and lots of story. And, you know, lots of snappy lines done really well by the actors. Another thing is, it's the last Star Wars
movie before the cute came in. And once they brought the cute, it was like "Ugh! It's too cute!" They should have made six movies for adults and six movies for kids, and then everybody could have been happy. I'm going to get death threats now, for criticizing... I kid because I love! [laughs]
The next one would be Star Trek IV
, because it was the best Star Trek
, and because I was in it. [laughs] Does it count as a plug if it was made a million years ago? I mean, it was
the best Star Trek
, so there you go. And it was about saving whales, which I would agree with, and it was the first time that they really let the characters get kind of funny and more relaxed, and I think that was a really good direction for them to go.
#5, I'll put Galaxy Quest
. I know Galaxy Quest
is not a great movie, but I love that movie, and I've seen it over and over and over, and I still love it just as much. I think Tim Allen portraying a Kirk-like character is so damn funny. I think that's one of the best "fan" films ever made. And the fake Spock guy was great, yeah. That movie's really funny. We saw it when it first came out -- my family has a tradition of always going to a movie on Christmas afternoon, and we went and saw that one. It was such a great family moment, too. It brings back good memories.
Next, Wiedlin talks more about her love of sci-fi and what it's like to work on a comic book.