An Interview With Actor Peter Barcia
Stage actor Peter Barcia is one of a small group of actors
who worked for Andy Milligan both on stage and screen and has lived to
tell the tale. He appeared as "John" in Milligan's Legacy
of Horror, as well as acting in Milligan's unfinished masterpiece
House of the Seven Belles. Peter was kind enough to contact
me concerning Legacy of Horror, and what developed from
this communication is the interview you are about to read...
Cinefear: Peter, tell us a bit about
your self and how you got involved in acting...
PETER : I AM FROM BROOKLYN, N.Y. AND AFTER 25 YEARS,
RETIRED FROM THE BELL SYSTEM AND LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES. ACTING HAS ALWAYS
BEEN MY AVOCATION. I HAVE DONE COMMUNITY THEATRE IN B'KLYN AND HERE IN
FLORIDA , WHICH IS WHERE I CURRENTLY HANG MY HAT. I HAVE WORKED WITH MANY
THEATRE GROUPS BUT NEVER HAD THE TIME TO PURSUE ACTING PROFESSIONALLY.
IN 1965 WE MOVED TO STATEN ISLAND TO PROVIDE A MORE SUBURBAN LIFE STYLE
FOR OUR CHILDREN, AND I GOT INVOLVED WITH ACTING.
Cinefear: Could you tell us just how you became
aquainted with Andy, as well as becomming involved in Legacy
PETER : I WORKED WITH SEVERAL S.I. THEATRE GROUPS. AND
IN THE LATE 70s ANDY SHOWED UP ON THE SCENE . NOBODY KNEW HIM BUT WHEN
HE SAID HE WAS TO BE DOING SUMMER THEATRE AT ST. STEPHENS CHURCH IN TOTTENVILLE
(STATEN ISLAND IS DIVIDED INTO LITTLE NEIGHBORHOODS OR VILLAGES SUCH AS
TOTTENVILLE,NEW DORP,GREAT KILLS,ETC.) ALL OF US S.I. ACTORS WERE DELIGHTED
. ALL OF THE ACTORS EXCEPT FOR A FEW MANHATTEN ACTORS ANDY PICKED WERE
FROM HIS SUMMER THEATRE GROUP FOR LEGACY.
Cinefear: Could you tell us a bit about Milligan's
personality, some claim he was manic, did you ever happen to witness this
so called "Manic" side of him....
PETER : ANDY WAS A VERY LIKEABLE PERSON . I CONSIDERED
HIM TO BE A LITTLE ON THE GENIOUS SIDE . WITH ANDY EVERYTHING WAS RUSH,RUSH.
HE WAS NOT MUCH OF A THEATRE DIRECTOR, HE WAS ALWAYS GETTING READY FOR
THE NEXT PLAY BEFORE YOU EVEN FINISHED THE ONE HE WAS DOING. I CAN REMEMBER
TRYING TO LEARN LINES FOR THE NEXT PLAY BEFORE I HAD THE LINES DOWN PAT
FOR THE PLAY WE WERE DOING. BUT YA HAD TA LOVE THE GUY .
ANDY HAD HIS CRABBY DAYS BUT I ONLY SAW HIM "LOSE IT " ONCE.
WE WERE REHEARSING "MRS. WARRENS PROFESSION"
AND A LOCAL ACTOR, BUT NOT ONE ANY OF US LIKED, KEPT INTERRUPTING WITH
"WHATS MY MOTIVATION"... ANDY WAS PATIENT FOR A WHILE THEN THE
ACTOR ASKED WHAT HIS MOTIVATION WAS ,ONE TOO MANY TIMES . ANDY FACE TURNED
BEET RED AND HE SCREAMED "I DONT GIVE A FUCK WHAT YOUR MOTIVATION
IS JUST DO IT ! OR GET THE THE FUCK OUT... " DURING THE FILMING OF
LEGACY HE WAS A PUSSY CAT. ONE MORE PERSONAL FACT ABOUT ANDY . YOU WANTED
TO STAY AS FAR FROM HIS FACE AS POSSIBLE WHEN SPEAKING TO HIM AS HE HAD
A BAD SINUS CONDITION AND HIS NOSE USED TO RUN INTO HIS WALRUS MUSTACH
LEAVING HIM WITH A PRETTY BAD ODOR.
Cinefear: Could you tell us a bit about your co-stars
in Legacy of Horror ( Elaine Boies, Marilee Troncone,
Chris Broderick ).
PETER : ELAINE, JACK, JASON AND LISA BOISE WERE ALL IN
THE FILM . WE HAD BECOME FRIENDS. ELAINE WAS A JOURNALIST AND THEATRE
CRITIC FOR THE STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE THE LOCAL NEWS PAPER. SHE DIED IN
2002 FROM LEUKEMIA. HER HUSBAND JACK -- THE PATCH EYED SAILOR IN THE GRAVE
YARD WAS AN ENGLISH LIT. COLLEGE PROFESSOR AT S.I. WAGNER COLLEGE. HE
DIED FROM PROSTATE CANCER IN THE LATE 80's.
LOUISE GALLANDA"JENNIFER" AN EX-STATEN ISLANDER NOW LIVES WITH
HER HUSBAND JOHN SCHIUMO A NON-ACTOR WHO ANDY RECRUITED TO PLAY "ITO"THE
HOUSE BOY AND PROBABLY TURNED IN THE BEST PERFORMANCE OF US ALL.
DALE HANSON "REGINA" MOVED TO L.A. AND WAS IN A CLAUDE VAN DAMM
STANLY SCHWARTZ "ROBERT" WAS A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER. HE TRIED
ACTING WITH SOME NYC GROUPS AND WE LOST TOUCH.
JOE DOWNING "JAMES" WAS ONE OF ANDY'S GAY FRIENDS FROM NYC
CHRIS BRODERICK "CARL" WAS A KID WHO CAME TO CONGRATULATE ME
AFTER A PERFORMANCE OF "ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST" AND
TOLD ME HE WANTED TO BE AN ACTOR. DURING ANDYS SUMMER THEATRE RUN HE WANTED
ME TO DO "THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST" BUT I WAS TOO EXHAUSTED.SO
I RECOMENDED CHRIS. THATS HOW HE GOT IN THE FILM .
ALTHOUGH HE WAS NOT TO HAPPY HAVING TO WEAR THOSE DIME STORE FANGS ANDY
MADE HIM WEAR.HE WAS EVEN LESS HAPPY WHEN HE FOUND OUT ANDY WAS GOING
TO SET HIM ABLAZE IN THE FINAL SCENE. WHAT CAN I TELL YOU CHRIS ,YOU WANT
TO BE AN ACTOR YOU HAVE TO PAY YOUR DUES.
ANDY ALWAYS DID PLAYS THAT WERE PUBLIC DOMAIN SO HE WOULDNT HAVE TO PAY
A ROYALTY. WE ALL LIKED ANDY.
Cinefear: Could you tell us abit about where the
film was shot, and how long the shoot took?
PETER : THE OPENING SCENE IN THE LAW OFFICE WAS SHOT
IN A OFFICE IN MANHATTEN CHOSEN FOR ITS OLD FASHIONED FURNITURE (ANDY
FELT DOING A MOVIE IN A PERIOD WOULDNT DATE IT ), SOME WAS SHOT ON THE
STREETS OF TOTTENVILLE, ALWAYS BEING CAREFUL NOT TO GET A MODERN AUTO
IN THE SHOT. BUT MOST WAS FILMED IN AN ERRIE OLD MANSION ANDY HAD PURCHASED
AT THE LAST STOP OF THE S.I. RAIL ROAD ,TOTTENVILLE. IT WAS PARTIALLY
ON THE BAY AND NEEDED A LOT OF WORK BUT IT WAS LIVEABLE. I DONT KNOW HOW
LONG IT TOOK TO FILM . ANDY USED TO BUY "ENDS" OF FILM HE EXPLAINED
TO ME THAT THE PROFESSIONL FILM COMPANIES STOP FILMING LONG BEFORE THEY'D
RUN OUT OF FILM AND ANDY USED TO BUY THE LEFT OVERS OR ENDS CHEAPLY. WHAT
A GUY! CONDITIONS WERE PLEASANT AND ANDY PROVIDED LUNCH. HERE'S AN INTERESTING
TID BIT, IN LEGACY I THINK ITS JAMES AND REGINA WHO RECEIVE A TELEGRAM,
THE MAN DELIVERING THE TELEGRAM IS ANDY MILLIGAN ALA HITCHCOCK. ON THE
WAY OUT HE STEALS A LITTLE TRINKET.
Cinefear: We had always suspected that Legacy
of Horror was actually a very gory film, very much like Milligan's
early work I had long beklieved that the film was heavily cut to accomodate
an "R" rating. Do you have any recollections of the film being
bloodier than it ultimately appeared on video?
PETER : YOU ARE RIGHT, IT WAS GORIER. FOR INSTANCE WHEN
"ROBERT" GETS DIS- EMBOWELD IN THE CELLAR, ANDY HAD A CLOSE
UP OF SOME ONE TEARING OUT SOME CHICKEN GUTS AND CHOPPED MEAT FROM A PLASTIC
ANDY CUT A THONG OUT OF THE PITCH FORK THAT PIERCED MY THROAT TO MAKE
IT LOOK AS IF IT HAD GONE THROUGH. I SPIT AND DRIBBLED CHERRY JUICE ALL
OVER THE PLACE AS MY HAND HAD BEEN NAILED TO THE WALL..... CUT,CUT,CUT.
Cinefear: Was the films title always Legacy
of Horror, or had it been called something else? Also, was Milligan
spontanious, or was everything tightly planned?
PETER : AS FAR AS I KNOW THE TITLE WAS LEGACY
OF HORROR BUT I WAS TOLD IT PLAYED IN THE TIMES SQUARE AREA AS
LEGACY OF BLOOD.
WE GOT SCRIPTS DAY TO DAY AND MEMORIZED ON LOCATION. NO SPONTANEITY.
Cinefear: Overall, do you have good memories of
working on the film, and did you save any momentos from the shooting?
PETER : GOOD MEMORIES, NO MEMENTOS, EXCEPT COVER JACKET
PHOTO FROM VIDEO BOX AND OF COURSE THE MOVIE ITSELF.
Cinefear: Did you have any continued communication
with Andy after Legacy of Horror?
PETER : I DID ANOTHER MOVIE AND A HALF WITH ANDY, "HOUSE
OF THE SEVEN BELLES", WHICH HE ABANDONED HALF WAY THROUGH,
AND A MOVIE ANDY MADE FOR WALTER KANE ,ONE OF HIS GAY FRIENDS, AND IT
WAS CALLED "JUNGLE BUST". I NEVER SAW THE FINISHED
FILM . MY PART CONSISTED OF NECKING WITH A GIRL IN A MOVIE THEATRE.
ANDY CALLED A FEW WEEKS AFTER THE SHOOT OF LEGACY AND
ASKED ME TO MEET HIM AT A STUDIO IN NYC WHERE I HAD TO VOICE DUB SOME
OF MY DIALOG THE CAMERA SOUND DID NOT PICK UP.IT WAS SO INTERESTING, AS
THEY ALSO ADDED THE MUSIC,THE SOUNDS OF DRIPPING WATER FOR THE CELLAR
SCENES, THE FERRY BOAT WHISTLE, THE TICKING CLOCK. ANDY KNEW SO MUCH ABOUT
AFTER HE LEFT S.I. HE BOUGHT A HOUSE ON 8TH AVE AND ABOUT 36TH-37TH OR
38TH ST. IN MANHATTEN, IT WAS A 2 STORY OVER A PIZZA STORE. HE TOLD ME
HE PAID $38,000. IN BACK TAX OWED TO THE CITY BY THE PRIVIOUS OWNER.
HE RENTED AN OLD FACTORY LOFT TYPE OF BUILDING AROUND THE CORNER ON 9TH
AVE AND DID PLAYS THERE . I INSTALLED AN INTERCOM SYSTEM FOR HIM THERE.
AND SAW A PLAY THAT DALE HANSON WAS IN. THE TOTAL AUDIENCE GATE WAS 3
PEOPLE, ME, MY WIFE AND ONE OTHER PERSON. ANDY COULD CARE LESS. HE WAS
DOING SOMETHING HE LOVED.
Cinefear: What does Peter Barcia do these days in
terms of acting?
PETER : IAM ACTIVE WITH "VENICE LITTLE THEATRE"
HERE IN SARSAOTA AND WON BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR AWARD AT A DINNER GIVEN
BY SARASOTA MAGAZINES THEATRE ARTS AWARDS 2003. I WAS NOMINATED IN 2002
FOR A "HANDY" AWARD FOR MY ROLE AS LT.COL JESSUP (THE JACK NICHOLSON
PART ) IN "A FEW GOOD MEN"), I HAVE GROWN A
BEARD AND WILL AUDITION FOR THE ROLE OF TEVYE IN "FIDDLER
ON THE ROOF" IN NOV. 2004.
Cinefear: Any plans for acting in more films?
PETER : THINK I'LL STAY AWAY FROM FILM . THERE IS NOTHING
LIKE A REAL AUDIENCE.
Cinefear : What does the future hold for Peter Barcia?
PETER : I'LL KEEP SHARPENING MY SKILLS AND BE READY FOR
WHAT EVER MIGHT COME.
Andy Milligans LEGACY
OF HORROR is available via Cinefear Video. Just click on
the title and be sure to have plenty of booze on hand once the film arrives.
Here is a photo gallery supplied by Peter Barcia detailing
the shooting of Milligan's unfinished film, HOUSE OF THE 7 BELLES
(1979). These photos are from his personal collection, and have never
been seen by the outside world before. Enjoy!
PETER BARCIA ON LOCATION 1979 "HOUSE
OF THE SEVEN BELLES"
HERE'S ANDY MILLIGAN LOOKING THROUGH HIS TRUSTY CAMERA 1979
MY WIFE DOLORES AS ONE OF THE SEVEN BELLES 1979
ANDY MADE ALL OF THESE GOWNS. Peter Barcia say's
" ANDY MADE ALL THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTHERN LADIES DRESS WITH HOOPS,
HE WAS A WHIZ ON A SEWING MACHINE ".
HERE'S ELAINE BOISE AT THE ENTRANCE TO CHRIST EPISCOPAL
CHURCH S.I. 1979 REHEARSING A SCENE FOR HOUSE OF THE SEVEN BELLES.
DOLORES BARCIA AND SCRIPT GIRL
PETER BARCIA: EXCELLENT AWARD WINNING CHARACTOR ACTOR
,DOES DIALECTS, CONTACT AT DABARSH@aol.com