Monday, September 21, 1998
Taken to Gayheart
By LOUIS B. HOBSON -- Calgary Sun

Rebecca Gayheart just debunked that enduring
Hollywood urban legend that actresses don't greet

the day before noon.

When Gayheart called from her Los Angeles home
at 8 a.m., she'd already been doing interviews for an hour.

"I'm pleased to say I'm too busy these days to
sleep in. I'm doing interviews for Urban Legend in

the mornings and then rehearsing for the rest of the

day," explained Gayheart, who opens next month

opposite Rhea Perlman in the L.A. premier of the

hit Broadway play, The Last Night of Ballyhoo.

In the teen horror film Urban Legends, opening
Friday, Gayheart plays a college student and the

potential victim of a serial killer who dispatches his

victims in the manner of famous urban legends.

That means babysitters had better watch out when
the phone rings and anyone driving down a lonely

road had better not look in the back seat of their car.

Last year, Gayheart was one of the few college
students who survived the slaughter in Scream 2.

"In Scream 2, I was basically the comic relief. I
was an obnoxious sorority girl. The Scream movies

are spoofs of the teen slasher movies. Urban

Legends is horror-suspense. This time the thrills are for real."

Making Urban Legends forced Gayheart to face
the one irrational urban legend fear she had.

"When I was a preschooler, friends at school said
they had heard that the kid Mikey on the TV

commercials had exploded because he washed

down a box of Pop Rocks with a bottle of Pepsi.

"My best friend dared me to try it but I was too
frightened. In the movie, my character does try this lethal combination."

Gayheart is not at liberty to reveal what happens
when her character combines Pop Rocks and Pepsi.

Urban Legends turned out to be a scary project but
not because of the material.

"(Co-stars) Jared (Leto), Joshua (Jackson) and
Michael (Rosenbaum) spent most of their energy

trying to scare us girls. They'd hide behind doors

and jump out or phone us and make weird noises

"After a while, it makes you really paranoid of
every noise and every sudden movement."

When Urban Legends finished filming in Toronto
last year, Gayheart barely had time to unpack and

repack her suitcases before heading off to South

Africa to film Hangman's Daughter, the prequel to

Quentin Tarantino's From Dusk to Dawn.

"I play a young Christian missionary who gets bitten
by a vampire and turns into a really nasty bloodsucker."

For Gayheart, making the movie was nothing
compared to being in Africa.

"I went on a safari and it was astonishing. When
you're out there, you realize just how insignificant

we really are. I can hardly wait to return to Africa

on my own for an extended vacation."

For someone born and raised in Pinetop,
Kentucky, Gayheart says she always knew she wanted to be an actress.

"I knew there would be absolutely no opportunities
if I stayed in Pinetop, so at 15 I left home and

moved to New York. I waited on tables, found

myself an agent, got some modelling work and

studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute."

Gayheart's big break came when she was 17. She
was chosen to be the Noxzema Girl.

"I made money and it got me in to auditions. The
following year, I was cast as the bad girl Hanna

Mayberry on the (now defunct) soap opera Loving."

After 18 months on Loving, Gayheart relocated to L.A.
It was a big move that paid off big time. In a few

months, she was starring in the NBC miniseries

Invasion which led to a recurring role on the

short-lived Earth 2 and a 10-episode stint on

Beverly Hills 90210 playing Luke Perry's ill-fated


"Beverly Hills 90210 opened the doors for feature
films. I got to play the girl who tries to seduce Tim

Robbins in a hotel elevator in Nothing To Lose.

"Tim is one of the tallest people I've ever met. They
had to put me in really high high-heels. I almost got

whiplash trying to kiss him."

Then came roles in the independent films
Somebody is Waiting with Natassja Kinski,

Hairshirt with Neve Campbell and Jawbreaker with

Pam Grier, all of which are scheduled for release

before the end of the year.