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Actress Gets Taste of Show Biz During Filming of Horror Movie

June 11, 1987|GEORGE STEIN | Times Staff Writer

Little Carrie Lorraine was at a movie studio with her mother when Bruce Willis walked by. The Bruce Willis, the one who plays supercool detective David Addison in the television series "Moonlighting."

"O-o-o-o-h!" screamed Carrie. "There he is!"

Sitting in the kitchen of her Torrance home the other day, Carrie munched a cookie and pondered for the first time whether youngsters might scream like that someday when they see her.

No, she said at first.

She thought some more, frowning a bit.

"It could happen," she finally conceded.

It could, indeed.

Carrie Lorraine--Bruce Willis fan, Brownie, third-grader at Towers Elementary School, devourer of peanut butter sandwiches, lover of Twinkies--is also Carrie Lorraine, who plays the leading role in the horror movie "Dolls."

The movie already has garnered the sort of favorable reviews that mean, if not the success of a box-office monster, a respectable showing nonetheless.

In the movie, Carrie plays the daughter of a vacationing--and quarreling--couple forced by a storm to take shelter in a Gothic mansion where an elderly couple make a seemingly innocent line of dolls. By the end of the picture, amid the requisite amount of gore, the dolls have taken care of all who lack the innocence of childhood.

Our Carrie, naturally, escapes. Her parents in the movie do not fare so well.

Her real parents are doing quite well, thank you, although her mother, Lisa, worries a lot--about the scariness of the movie (she wouldn't let Carrie see early versions); about kidnapers (she asked that Carrie's last name not be used); about all the driving on freeways for auditions; about Carrie's classmates resenting her fame; about her very verbal daughter becoming a brat.

"She was a little spoiled after she came back from Italy (where "Dolls" was made). She was the only child around and anything she wanted, they usually got it for her," she explained.

Take the food, for example.

Carrie, who is half-Italian, did not take to Italian pasta. The movie people contacted the U. S. Embassy and American ingenuity proved equal to the problem. Skippy peanut butter and Twinkies in bulk were secured. And it turned out that others on the set had been silently yearning for such treats.

"Pretty soon, the whole cast started coming in," Lisa said.

Carrie--as center of attention--attracted perfect strangers in Rome. They would spot her on the street and with Italian effusiveness, exclaim, "Bella! Bella!" and give her cheek a good hard tug.

"I was almost bella- ed to death," complained Carrie, ever the dramatist. "My cheeks still hurt."

Carrie has the presence of a professional but she does not come from a show-business family. Her father drives a truck. Her mother worked for May Co. until Carrie's auditioning interfered.

She began her career as a natural showoff, dancing to the country-Western hit "Elvira" by the Oak Ridge Boys. When she was 3, she looked at the television one day and said, "I can do that."

Her mother said no.

But her mother was overruled.

"I bugged my mother enough to get me into the business," Carrie said. They sent a picture of Carrie to the Herb Tannen Agency.

"They liked me and called me into their agency and then I went on audition and I got it," Carrie said.

The rest, as they say, is show-biz history.

She threw carrots at Joanna Cassidy on "Buffalo Bill." She had a bit part in the video "Mad Max/Beyond Thunderdome," starring Tina Turner. "I was the only one to get her autograph," Carrie declared.

It was her part in the "ALF" television series that did her in at school.

She played the impossible daughter of a movie producer.

" My father is a producer and he says all actors are idiots ," she says in the show. The tape was played in classes.

Apparently some of the youngsters at the school thought she wasn't acting.

"Just because I'm in the movies, they think I'm a hotshot--snotty," she said. "They think I'm a brat. They definitely tease me."

It took five auditions to get the part in "Dolls," which earned Carrie something "in the low-five figures."

"It was the fifth callback and I was tired of driving up there," her mother said.

"I got it, though, didn't I?" responded the star.

Her ambitions include playing Annie in "Annie." She has seen the videotape "millions of times."

What would she like most of all?

A computer, she said. And a ride in a limousine.

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