Galligan at the Chiller Theatre Expo in NJ, October 2013
|Born||Zachary Wolfe Galligan
February 14, 1964
New York City, New York, U.S.
If you stop and think about who was in the 'Lassie' movies, it's difficult to think who was in them, apart from Elizabeth Taylor. You remember the dog, not the people! So if you're going to be in a movie, and it's called 'Gremlins', it's going to be about Gremlins, and what people are going to remember are the Gremlins.
The gremlins are clearly the ones have the most fun in the film, trashing the town, going to the bar, smashing things, etc. It's all gleeful chaos, which makes the movie fun.
Three years is a lifetime in Hollywood. If your career starts slipping in L.A., you can really feel it. All of a sudden, the people that you were beating for a part start beating you.
I knew a ton of actors and was friends with them, but I never dated actresses. I tried to date 'normal' people because the Hollywood dating rule is 'one star per couple' because it's quite a challenge to match the egos of two actors.
L.A. is a very strange place. On the surface, it has an innocent appearance, like the stranger with the pleasant face that smiles and shakes your hand. But then you learn it is actually a lot less nice than you think, and there's a whole deeper, darker level.
Being on a lunchbox was awesome, and being on a thermos was pretty cool, too.
The people in New York want to achieve something; the people in L.A., they just want to achieve success.
There's no substitute to actually being in the room and having people in the room feel the force of your audition. It's very hard to beat that.
Kevin Bacon and I went up for the same stuff, and people would say, 'You and Kevin have the same quality.' I was like, 'I do?' I remember seeing 'Footloose' and thinking, 'How do I have any kind of quality that that guy does?'
After 'Gremlins' came out, I should have packed up everything, moved to Los Angeles from New York, and dedicated myself to being a full time film actor. I had the world at my feet.
Discovering L.A., in particular in the early '80s, was pretty spectacular; it was fun and carefree, and there was not nearly as much traffic as exists today. It was very much the last gasps of the Beach Boys' ideal view of L.A.: sun, the beach, cars, blondes, etc.
I saw Tom Cruise at every audition I went up for, and he was a friendly go-getter back then. You gotta remember, in New York I would go up for something, I would sit, and in the room would be Matthew Modine, Matthew Broderick, Andrew McCarthy, Tom Cruise, and Kevin Bacon.
What drives that desire to destroy Paris Hilton? What drives that desire to venerate Angelina Jolie? I do understand it, but it still baffles me. It baffles me when people treat me specially and differently, because I just want to look at them and go, 'What are you talking about? I'm just a person.'
I have a complicated relationship with the horror genre. I love it; I loved it as a kid growing up, and I watched Chiller Theater in New York. So I loved it, but then you do feel if you do it too much, you're stuck there.
River Phoenix and I were friends for nine years, and I watched him grow and mature, and I also saw him struggle. I watched him deal with the whole up and down aspects of Hollywood and saw him bounce back, so when he passed away, it was such an enormous shock.
Some people have a blog that's, like, 'Today I brushed my teeth.' Well, who cares? Who cares that you brushed your teeth. Okay – you brushed your teeth! That's so massively egocentric, it's just ridiculous.
I was never really acting. I was not taking it seriously. Acting was very much a hobby for me. It wasn't really until I was finishing college and doing it sporadically that I began to take it seriously.
Before 'Gremlins,' I was a normal person, then within two weeks of the movie coming out, I couldn't walk into a store without people turning around and staring. It's exciting and also scary because everyone starts telling you how amazing you are.
You have to determine what you are and send the messages out to people, like, 'Hey, I'm a screenwriter – look at this.' You can't sit around, wondering why people aren't calling and asking about my writing.
I think one of the reasons 'Gremlins' lasts and some other films don't is because I don't think the movie has a whole lot of dated things – sure, the cars, my hair, and few things here and there that date the movie – but it takes place in a sort of everytown, in a sorta non-specific time, and that gives the movie a timeless quality.
If you put up a blog, people can cut out the middle man and get material to you. Which is really helpful because a lot of time there's really cool stuff out there that we just don't see. Because, y'know, the agent is acting in our best interest, but it does sometimes prevent some of the good stuff from getting through.
I love England and I love English culture, particularly English pop culture.
I had a blast in the '90s, perhaps too much fun, and maybe I should have worked a lot harder and partied a lot less, but I definitely don't regret the 12 years I spent living out in L.A.
You don't get as invested in someone in 90 minutes as you do over 13 hours of television show.