Lea Thompson has a lot of film credits to her name, but the one she always gets asked about is Back To The Future. The trilogy has never lost one iota of charm over the years, and that says a lot, as it’s about to turn 30. Thompson sat down for an interview recently and talked about how lucky she is to be known for a film that aged her with makeup before her time.
“It’s had a big resurgence. My mother-in-law said, ‘My great-grandchild loves the movie!’ That’s four generations. I feel lucky to be famous for ‘Back to the Future’ because of the fact that my character in the movie aged and people aren’t freaked out to see me now!” Thompson told ABC News.
Lea, who says it took about three hours for the makeup artist to age her for several scenes in the films, admits she took some of her character’s wardrobe and wigs when shooting wrapped, including the prom dress Lorraine wears to the Enchantment Under The Sea dance. Because the films jump back and forth over several years, Lorraine spends time as a teenager and as a couple of different versions of Marty McFly’s mom, so her wardrobe was pretty varied. Thompson said she actually brought one of the wigs to the set of her ABC Family series Switched At Birth so that an actress–who was playing a younger version of Thompson’s character–could use it.
Lea Thompson also talked about how Eric Stoltz–who was originally cast as Marty–helped land her the role, saying it was awkward when he was fired. But for fans of the movies, the idea of another actor playing Marty is unthinkable. Actor Christopher Lloyd said at a recent anniversary event that he and Michael J. Fox always had wonderful chemistry together, which made the job easy.
“It was love at first sight. Everything just happened so easily with Michael. He has a comic flair, very spontaneous, had wonderful energy. It just all came through. And the chemistry we had between each other — I felt we never had to work for it. It simply existed,” Lloyd said.