Almost forty years ago I had the incredible experience of playing The Childlike Empress in Wolfgang Petersen's now classic film The NeverEnding Story. I never could have imagined at the time that the film would have had such an impact on so many lives, or that its popularity and relevance would only increase through the decades. This post isn't the place to explore the many reasons why I chose to step away from Hollywood after that film. I'll share though, that walking away was a great decision.
Of course, it wasn't a decision without some sacrifice.
I love acting. I have always loved acting. Leaving Hollywood of the 80's was never about me not wanting to be an actor. Sometimes when you walk away from something, you are walking away from something that you love. And that's ok. It is also ok to come back to the thing you love, when the time is right.
When I decided to embark on producing and acting in Man & Witch, it was very important to me to do that on my own terms and for the right reasons. The reasons are actually pretty simple. The first reason is that I love acting in films. Hollywood shouldn't get to decide whether I do that or not. And the second reason is you. When I realized that many fans of the NeverEnding Story around the world after all this time were still excited about the idea of me doing another film, it seemed to me that the best way to honor the journey that we've been on together for so long would be to make a film that celebrated the genre, and the many joys of 80s fantasy.
Man & Witch is a much smaller production than the NeverEnding Story, and it has nothing like the massive marketing machine of Constantin and Warner Bros. behind it. The script and the edit didn't go through thirty rounds of executive notes, and Stephen Spielberg didn't help Michael Hines, the director, do an "American" cut of the film, as was true for Wolfgang's production. None of that matters. You're going to love it, anyway. I had fun making it, even though it's been an almost impossible amount of work. And you are going to have fun watching it.
Now that Hollywood has gotten its act together - enough at least to end the strikes - let's get back to what doing what we dream, shall we? My team and I have a lot of news to share soon. Things are about to get very busy in 'The Contented Kingdom.' Thanks so much for being here with me on this new adventure. - Tami Stronach.