Exclusive Interview : Bill Plympton


Cheri from “Hair High” interviews her creator!

Cheri from “Hair High” Interviews Bill Plympton

The fifth animated feature of two-time Academy Award® nominee Bill Plympton, the critically acclaimed “Hair High”, will open in Los Angeles on Friday, April 13, 2007 for an exclusive week-long run at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 Theater.

An outrageous Gothic myth from the 1950’s, “Hair High” is the legend of a teenage couple murdered on prom night who returns as undead skeletons one year later for revenge. The film is a unique romantic high-school comedy with a zombie-horror twist.

“Hair High” features an all-star cast including the voice talents of Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Silverman, David Carradine, Keith Carradine, Beverly D’Angelo, Martha Plimpton, Eric Gilliland, Ed Begley Jr., Michael Showalter, Zak Orth, Justin Long, Craig Bierko, Tom Noonan and animators Matt Groening and Don Hertzfeldt.

Maverick independent animator Bill Plympton self-financed the film, co-produced by his friend and distant cousin, actress Martha Plimpton. “Hair High” features songs by Hank Bones and Maureen McElheron.

Produced, written and directed by Bill Plympton, the film is also the first animated feature to be completely drawn (30,000 drawings) live on the internet via webcam–the Plympton Ani-Cam. The film had its world premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival, enjoyed a very successful run on the film festival circuit, and received celebratory reviews during its New York screening before finally opening in Los Angeles. “I’m so excited to release my new animated feature in L.A., the capital of the animation world. After receiving the Winsor McCay award earlier this month at the Annies, so many people asked me when they could finally see ‘Hair High’,” says Plympton referring to the Annie Awards, the animation equivalent of the Oscars. “So, I’m very pleased to present the long-awaited L.A. premiere of my film.”

Also included in the screening will be Bill Plympton’s Oscar®-nominated animated short “Guard Dog”. Several surprise guests will be in attendance on opening night this Friday and Bill Plympton will introduce the film and do personal drawings for fans on both Friday and Saturday night. To buy tickets now, visit laemmle.com.

Exclusively for Moviehole, the heroine of “Hair High” Cheri caught up with her creator Bill Plympton in his New York studio over the weekend.

CHERI: Thanks for casting me in your new animated feature, “Hair High”. Did you ever have a crush on a girl like me in high school?

BILL: First of all, I wasn’t the most popular guy in high school. I was sort of the artist geek guy. To get girls to talk to me, I’d draw their portrait. But no, you’re not my type. I like more voluptuous women. You’re way too skinny and your hair is way too big.

CHERI: That’s not a very nice thing to say. But how about my sexy Sarah Silverman voice?

BILL: Oh yeah. Sarah Silverman is a hot babe. I’d definitely do her. And coincidentally, she’s a real sweetheart to work with. But she’s not into cartoonists and she has a boyfriend.

CHERI: One thing I don’t understand about “Hair High” is how I fall in love with that dweeb character, Spud. He drives around in a Vespa and has no sex appeal like hunky Rod.

BILL: That’s a central theme in the film. You’re supposed to mature away from those superficial football jocks and start dating guys that are sensitive and who will love you for eternity. Besides, if you notice, throughout the film, Spud’s little hair flip grows larger and by the end it’s like a large penis. It’s what’s called a sexual metaphor. Hmm…I never thought of that.

CHERI: Do you ever fantasize about having sex with a cartoon?

BILL: As a kid, I used to draw fantasies of the popular girls in school in sexy poses undressed. And I suppose all of my lead characters from “I Married a Strange Person” were the hottest. Although, Darlene (the Beverly D’Angelo character) would be good in the sack. But I’d never marry her.

CHERI: Where did you come up with the name Cheri?

BILL: When I was in school in the 60’s, Cheri was usually the name of the sluttiest girl in the class for some reason. You’ll also notice that Rose McGowan’s character in “Grindhouse” is also called Cherry.

CHERI: I should be offended, but that’s okay. You’re the boss. Why did you have to kill me off at the end? Now I can’t do a sequel.

BILL: That’s the whole point of the film. The 50’s and the early 60’s were like an era of romance. It’s like that popular song back then called “Teen Angel” about a young couple, just like you and Spud, whose car gets stuck on a railroad track. He pulls her clear of the car but she forgets his high school ring and runs back into the car and dies a horrible train wreck death. But it’s okay because she died for love. And that’s what the story of Spud and Cheri is all about. Even though you died and returned as skeletal zombies, it’s okay because your love is eternal.

CHERI: Thanks Bill. I hope I can be in another one of your films. Do you want my headshot?