In this compelling interview and Elvira collectible reveal, Cassandra Peterson, star of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, sits down with Randy Falk from NECA to share her all-time favorite horror movie, discuss her new book, and talk about her new and exciting Elvira projects.
Elvira: Mistress of the Dark came out in 1988, over thirty years ago, and yet it’s still one of the most famous and beloved comedy horror classics around. Right up there with Frankenstein, Dracula, the Addams Family, and all the other greats, Elvira has etched her name into horror movie history with her haunting beauty and mystic powers.
In this interview, Randy Falk from NECA sits down with the wonderful actress who plays Elvira, Cassandra Peterson, as she opens up about what this cult classic film means to her, even now after so many years have passed. Touching on some crazy stories with Elvira fans, her newly release Elvira book, as well as sharing her favorite horror movie – *cough* Dracula’s Daughter *cough* – Cassandra divulges lots of fun information from her personal life before displaying the new NECA Elvira collector’s figure.
The Elvira action figure is a must-have for anybody who calls themselves a big fan of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. Featuring Elvira’s classic black dress and signature hairstyle, a tiny ceremonial dagger, a spooky skull cake prop, and a golden chalice spewing green smoke, this bendable, life-like Elvira figure will bring your favorite horror angel to life in an enchanting way.
Whether you go with the Standard Edition figure or the Signature Edition (the Signature Edition comes with Cassandra Peterson’s authentic autograph on a card suitable for framing) you’ll love having this masterpiece in your collection. Even Cassandra herself said this is the most life-like Elvira figure she’s ever laid her eyes on!
Closing out the interview, Cassandra touches on a couple of new Elvira projects she has been working on, including a documentary about her life, a six-episode biopic television series, a Broadway Elvira musical adapted for the stage, and potentially even another Elvira book. Stay tuned!
Read Full Interview Transcription Below:
Marc: Hi everybody, Marc Summers here. Coming to you with an exclusive interview. Now today’s guest needs little introduction. I am so thrilled to welcome none other than Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira Mistress of the Dark, right here to the Haulathon stage. In our exclusive chat, Randy Falk from NECA covers everything from her new action figure, her book release and goals for the future. So Randy, take it away.
Randy: Hi I am Randy Falk from NECA, and I am here today with Cassandra Peterson, better known to you all as Elvira Mistress of the Dark. And thank you for joining us and sitting down with us here today.
Cassandra: Oh, thank you. I am thrilled.
Randy: So you have been very busy, you have a book that just released recently and you've been on an extensive book tour.
Cassandra: I have been, virtual and real, whatever that is. It’s been really received well, I’m very very happy.
Randy: How has it been getting back out there and traveling around getting to you know, interact with the fans and sort of you know get that face-to-face contact again after everyone being locked up for a while?
Cassandra: Well unfortunately, I haven't done a lot of that. I have done a little bit of book signings but just in LA and New Jersey. I wish I could get out and be back with the fans again, I really really do. I miss doing the conventions, I miss seeing the fans. Sort of a bummer, but it's nice to at least be back and doing it small scale.
Randy: Over the years I've even seen you at some of the conventions, I know you've done a lot of signings and appearances. Do you have any, you know standout memories or fan encounters/interactions that sort of resonate with you that you, that you know, recall?
Cassandra: Oh yeah I’ve had some pretty crazy ones I'm going to tell you, you know of course people have a lot of Elvira tattoos. And I’ve seen some tattoos in some places you might not ever want to see them. That’s one of my most exciting things. The other part, the other thing I see that I just freaking love, is I’ll meet fans who will come up to me and they’ll be crying and sobbing and saying I changed their life, that when they were younger, they were bullied, or they didn’t feel like they fit in, and that they saw my movie Mistress of the Dark and it made such a gigantic impression on them it actually changed the course of their life. That’s hard to believe but it’s happened to me now so many times, since so many people have said it that I got to believe it's true and that is the best part about being Elvira.
Randy: Yes, that's fantastic. Now when your book came out, simultaneously the news broke all over the media, with you coming out. Were you surprised with the reaction and response that received?
Cassandra: Yeah, I came out of the coffin, finally. I knew it would be a big deal, that’s why I didn’t do it for so long, you know. I wanted to keep the mystery about the character, and so I just have made great efforts to keep my personal life separate and apart from Elvira.
Randy: Are you happy with sort of the coverage and how it's been handled and received by your fans and your following?
Cassandra: Yeah, I didn’t think it would be quite as big a deal as it turned out to be but I am happy with it. I lost a few fans, people unfollowed me, but you know I gained so so many more fans. And I'm so happy that they, you know LGBTQ community really really has embraced me with this. I mean I have a huge gay fanbase and they were thrilled and happy and you know said they love me even more so it’s really a good feeling. I was scared to do it, I was really worried, I felt like maybe they’d think I was a hypocrite, you know, and not telling the truth about my relationship. It wasn’t so much I didn’t tell the truth it’s just that I didn’t say anything about it ever. So, I am thrilled and happy and relieved that my fans are still with me.
Randy: So over the last year we’ve gotten to collaborate and work together a little bit on developing some new Elvira toys and action figures, so what is it like for you to see yourself in figure form, in 3-dimension plastic toy?
Cassandra: Yeah well, I love it. Can I show the form here?
Randy: Yes please do.
Cassandra: Here she comes. Oh my god, I love this one, it is absolutely the best one I have ever had. It can bend. The legs and everything, and it looks like me. It is really really an awesome beautiful piece. It has real clothes, uh oh, and it’s just really the best best figure I have ever had done of Elvira, I love it. That’s how much I love it.
Randy: Thank you so much. When you started out as the Elvira persona, and started doing this some forty years ago, did you ever envision or imagine that you yourself would become an action figure or a collectible in this way? Like up there with the greats, like Frankenstein, Dracula, Elvira's right there. Did you ever think that would be your reality?
Cassandra: Hell no. When I started it, I am amazed it went longer than like a month. You know, I mean the show was so cheap, so low budget, the crappiest worst movies. I really was like I don’t know if this is going to really fly, you know. And then here I am forty years later still doing it, so… I guess it worked out, right?
Randy: Yeah totally, I mean I wanted to be in the Elvira business so that says something right there, right?
Cassandra: Yeah and you know, I was a huge huge horror fan since the time I was a kid, so to be lumped in with people like you just mentioned, you know Dracula, Frankenstein, Werewolf, any of those is just like amazing to me. I mean sometimes I think about that and it blows my mind. I’m like, I am one of them now, we’re in the same club.
Randy: Is it surreal for you to think that thousands of fans all over the globe really, have Elvira collectibles in their house, have little plastic replicas of you on their shelf, like what is that like, you know, for you to think about?
Cassandra: Thrilling. I mean to see myself as like you know, an action figure or little plastic thing it’s like, it’s hard to believe that it’s me, you know. I don’t know, every time I see one I kind of like, my heart does a little pitter patter.
Randy: That’s cool. Hey as long as the excitement is still there after all the time that you've been doing it, that means a lot.
Randy: We mentioned some of the greats like Dracula and Frankenstein and the classic universal monsters, and our fans always want to know more about you and what you like. Do you have a favorite monster movie or classic monster?
Cassandra: Dracula's Daughter. And I saw that movie, wow, I think you know when I was a kid, and it's just an amazing movie. It's funny that Dracula gets all the, you know, attention and Frankenstein and all the dudes, it was kind of a boys’ club. So I think it was a very overlooked film and if anybody gets the chance, check out Dracula’s Daughter. It was made in I think 1939, and it’s intense. It’s a really really good movie, and it was I think one of the earliest films that really starred – you know, horror films - that starred a woman, so it was great to see that, and I loved the character in it. The actress was amazing.
Randy: Excellent. Alright that's on the watch list everyone, so look out for that one. That’s Elvira’s pick, so we gotta check it out. Do you have more stories to tell, like do you foresee doing another book? Is that something you could love doing – I know this one has only been out for a little while but do you think that is something in your future?
Cassandra: I actually do because when I first wrote the book it was so damn long I had to cut out a ton of stuff. I mean I had stories that I just had to make shorter and I had some things that happened to me that just, I wanted to put in the book but I didn't want the book to be as long as the Bible, you know. So the publishers were like you really have to get rid of about half of what you’ve written here. So that was hard to do but I'm glad I did and made the book a little more you know, move along a little quicker. But I think there's probably enough material there that I could honestly do another book someday. I don't think I want to do that again right now, I just got done with this one and it was quite a job man. Sitting down and writing every day for a year, it was intense. Until I really got an agent and I got a book deal, I was not very serious about it. I wanted to do it but I was so busy doing all the other stuff you know, that being Elvira entails. So yeah finally finally I had the time to do it and actually the pandemic as horrible as it is, gave me a little bit of extra time that I needed to finish it up.
Randy: Celebrating 40 years and you have the book, you have the pinball machine, new line of toys and collectibles. What's next? What does the future hold for Elvira Mistress of the Dark?
Cassandra: I’ve already got a bunch of irons in the fire. I've got projects I'm beginning to work on now and one would be a documentary about my life, kind of using the book as the blueprint. Another one would be a biopic where it’s a movie or six-part television series with another actress playing me, of my whole life. I was thinking Dolly Parton perhaps you know, I don’t know. And then the other one that I’ve always wanted to do was a stage show, like a Broadway show of Elvira Mistress of the Dark. Kind of a cross between Hairspray and Rocky Horror. I just think a musical of that movie would be freaking awesome, I really do, and I'm going to work very hard to get that going in the next few years or whatever.
Randy: That sounds fantastic, I would definitely line up to see that so, make it happen.
Cassandra: I’ll get you to the front of the line.
Randy: Thank you for joining us today, and remember to visit Haulathon.com for more on the Elvira figure, and thank you Cassandra.
Cassandra: Thank you for doing this.
Marc: Hope you enjoyed spending time with Cassandra and Randy, and if you're one of her many fans with one of those commemorative tattoos, why don’t you tag us on social at Haulathon. We can't wait to see what it looks like. And don't forget you can pick up the NECA Elvira action figure right now at Target stores, and at Target.com. And if you're outside the US, why don’t you visit Haulathon.com? Next time we're going to see you collectors with more exciting news.