Phoenix Film Festival: Actress Dee Wallace talks ‘Cujo’

Actress Dee Wallace recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about her upcoming appearance during a special screening of the classic horror flick “Cujo” at the 14th Annual Phoenix Film Festival.

In “Cujo,” which will screen 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 4 at Harkins Scottsdale 101, a friendly St. Bernard contracts rabies and conducts a reign of terror on a small American town.

Listen to “Breakthrough Entertainment’s” full interview with Wallace by clicking HERE. The following is an excerpt from the interview in which the actress discusses what she learned from her character – Donna Trenton.

I didn’t have children at the time and I look back and think I would give myself up for my kid like that. Now that I am a mother, I understand how you would die for your kid; you would face death in order to save your child. Of course, I didn’t really know that at the time but I knew that through Donna. For me, that is what the entire thing was about. No matter what you are in fear of – even death – you will conquer that fear in order to take care of your kid.

I think that [‘Cujo’] is a good film. It is a visceral fear that everybody has that something good – and even the goodness within ourselves – can be affected by something outside of ourselves; that we can lose control and evil takes over. I think that that is a really common fear with everybody and that is what Cujo represents. He is this beautiful, sweet dog who was attacked by a bat and loses his consciousness to evil.

I think that my job as an actor is to cross that line and taking at least part of me into believing that this is really happening. The more real that it is for me, the more real that it is for my audience. But I will tell you that even knowing that those dogs were trained to go after toys, when they came at me to attack and play that part of their scene, it wasn’t very hard to get into that fear. Those St. Bernards are huge dogs and when they are 5 inches from your face and are slobbering and barking … it is pretty easy to cross that line.” – Dee Wallace

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at

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