The movie Caddieshack is so well-known to so many people, from baby-boomers to students of American pop-culture, that some can even recite lines from the movie. Say that you’re interviewing “Lacey Underall,” and everyone knows that she’s connected with Caddieshack. And the “she” who played her is Cindi Morgan, who also starred as “Yori” from the first Tron.
Since Tron Legacy was just released last fall, we started our talk there. What did the star of what she calls “classic Tron” think of the newest version? “I thought it was fantastic,” Morgan said, “all the great special effects. It was really interesting, where they took the story.”
How she came to be in Tron is the story of how Hollywood works, at least at that time in the late 80s. The story she tells has some interesting holes that it’s hard to pick through. She says she was dating a guy who said he was in a cartoon but didn’t decribe it, then she switches into talking about a time later, during a period where she “hadn’t worked a lot since Caddieshack,” she had what she describes as a “run-in” with one of the producers, where she says she “just came to do my job, and that’s it.”
She didn’t identify the producer, or explain what happened in detail, or which movie the encounter was connected with, and since I only had a good five minutes, which I hit on the head, pretty much, there wasn’t time to press her on the issue.
Moreover, at that point in our conversation, this blogger became overly senstive to the idea that it was easy to perhaps say the wrong thing to Ms. Morgan – just being blogger honest. That whatever’s happened to Ms. Morgan (and perhaps she’s saving her anger for her book) it’s clouded her view of men in Hollywood. But also that she put herself in an environment where the kind of men she needed to deal with to get work thrive, and perhaps on some level believed she needed to be around men like that to get ahead.
Now, it feels a lot like she’s angry. There’s nothing at all wrong with that, but everything wrong with covering it up. It’s bottled-up there; why not release it? Actress Sean Young, who starred in No Way Out and Blade Runner excellent at talking openly about sexism in Hollywood, and reminds you that she was ‘blacklisted’ after her drunken verbal assault on Director Julian Schnable at the 2006 Directors Guild Awards, as you can see from my interview at last year’s Night Of 100 Stars Oscar Party:
But I digress.
Ms. Morgan got a call from the director of Tron, which she says is “unusual,” that a director would call, and read a part of the movie script with Jeff Bridges, said “Thank you,” and left. And, next thing you know, she was cast in the roll of Yori. The person who took her to lunch and talked about the “cartoon” was talking about Tron. He didn’ get to be in it, but she did – something Morgan learned 20 years later.
Because so much of what Cindi said was “coded” the question to ask was obvious: is the work climate better for women in Hollywood today? Morgan says she’s not in Hollywood anymore, but “the more things change, the more they stay the same. Some (men) still need a map and a calendar, but God bless them.”
One thing that’s obvious from our conversation is Cindy had a Hollywood experience that reads like an iceberg: we just saw the tip of it. Whatever happened to her, it’s seemed to cloud her ability to joke about it, and the men who she encountered, some 20-plus years later.
As to what she’s doing now, it’s finishing a book on Caddieshack, which means Cindy’s aware of the movie’s impact on popular culture. As to her favorite lines, Ms. Morgan thinks Bill Murray had the best lines like “Freeze Gopher!”
Cindi explains that Lacey Underall is a real person, but her last name wasn’t “Underall.” Additionally, Morgan says that she played against type, as Cindy describes Lacie as a “carnivorous female of biblical proportions who could have anything she wanted.”
But maybe’s Cindy Morgan wasn’t playing against type at all. Morgan said she “got nervous” when she realized she was the only person reading for the part (another story not told) and said that she hoped the person reading with her was a man, and if so, she would “make him sweat.”
She’s good at that.