Derek de Lint on Bulletin Board
While you're certainly a well-known actor already, it looks as if you're well on your way to "cult" stardom with
P:TL. Any thoughts on how you (and your family) will handle such fame and attention? Or, perhaps, have already been called
upon to handle it?
I'm an actor now for twenty two years. And the first ten,
twelve years I strictly worked in Holland. And I did
everything I started on stage, and then I did film and TV
and I did some, I think some very interesting films in
Holland before I worked internationally.
But I captured a large audience after I did some TV shows in Holland. And it looks like it's the same--almost like it's the same
thing---happening here in North
America now. Because you are a lead in a series, and on
the tube every week. Especially because
people are tuning in because of the characters.
I know you probably hear it a lot, but I have to say it
anyway, I love this show. I was wondering, though, what
you love about this show. What attracted you to this role?
What do you like about your character? Do you model him
after anyone in particular? -- Vanessa
Well first of all I'd never done,
believe it or not, I'd never done sci-fi in my life
before. So the whole genre is new to me. Not to look at
it, to watch it. But for me to act in it is a whole new
experience. What I like about the character, if
someone would ask me if what kind of profession would you
like to play, a doctor, a lawyer or -- now I'm not talking
about the villains, I'm talking about the good guys.
I would love to, I'd never thought about it, but I'm sure that I would be delighted to hear that I would have to play a clairvoyant.
Or a very very mysterious guy like Derek Rain, who has his own resources and who is a single guy and he doesn't get involved
really with women. And you hope -- I mean it's a wonderful part
to play, it's very, very different from life.
AREA 52: Right. You had been doing a lot of romantic leads. I mean you talked
about your work on China Beach...
DEREK: Yes. I tease them all
the time that I want more sex in the show. But I think
now they all agree that I need a love interest, because
it's kind of ridiculous. I mean this guy has no life,
Did you know you had your own website on the WWW? Whenever I want information on a person, place or thing I do a
web search for it. Last summer after watching P:TL for several episodes, I started up my unofficial Poltergeist: The Legacy
-- Clarianna Demonbreun
I was overwhelmed by it. And then I tried to set up through our publicist here in Vancouver, to have our own address
that I could use with my home
computer. Or with a computer in the production office. But that didn't work out. But, yes, I am aware of Clarianna's web site,
and I am very impressed.
What do you guys (stars, crew and families), who've been transplanted to beautiful British Columbia, like
to do in your free time. I realize that free time is at a minimum during shooting, but even then you must have things you like to do
to relax. If you know what some of the others like to do, please feel free to include that info, too.
sounds silly, but besides of the hobbies I have or so,
it's just such a incredible experience to do this with
your family. To go away from your country, start a whole
new life in a whole different country, different language.
And for my kids to survive, you know, here in public
school -- In a different language, it's --
that's the biggest challenge, it's the biggest adventure.
It's just the five of us being here, and trying to survive
and having such a wonderful life.
But if you ask me like what kind of hobbies
you have, well I love to read. So when I'm home and when
I'm in the production it's hard to read, because you have
to memorize so many lines, and you have to work on your
But now the show is over I love to catch up
with reading, and I love to -- I do it both in English and
What made you decide to leave Europe and start appearing more in North America? Was that a conscious decision, or did it
just kind of 'happen'?
I was -- in
1973, before I switched from the Academy
of Art to a theater school in Amsterdam, I made a big trip
by myself for three months going to Canada, cross country
Canada. I went from Vancouver all the way -- I went by
Greyhound -- to ... in Mexico.And, you know, from Vancouver to Seattle, Seattle to Portland, Portland to ... all the way. And it
was an incredible trip, and really, it really made a big impact on me.
And then I went to theater school, and I was
with very, very young people how had never been out of
Holland. And it's always been in my mind to go back to
the States. And when I finished the theater school and
started to work in the theater, and then I start doing
films, every now and then when I had saved some money I
would just go New York, and go to L.A.
And so long before I start to work as a
professional actor and I was actually thinking about a
movie career, I was already visiting New York and Los
Angeles. So by the time when I suddenly was confronted
with the fact that you're not always working as an actor.
(To say it in a nice way.) I would
scrape all my money together, and I would got to L.A. or
New York and hang out there and see shows. And see
Broadway shows and go to movie houses, and try just to
find an agent. And so for -- the reason why I'm telling
you this all is that long before I was actually trying to
find work, I was already getting used to going to the
Which sci-fi series were you offered a part in several years ago which you didn't take?
I read for the role of the Captain in Deep Space Nine. And it was between Avery Brooks and me. And Avery got it, and I
didn't get it. I don't know why -- for what reason.
But I must admit that I freaked out, because my agent f***ed up and he didn't really tell me there would be seven years in
syndication. And at that time we were not even considering going to the States. And especially not taking three boys and raising
them in Los Angeles.
So I think I didn't do a very convincing
audition for the whole network and everything. But one of
the guys, the top guy of Paramount was there, John Symes.
And he's working now for MGM, and he's now my boss
overlooking Poltergeist. So when I met him in the
beginning of the first season he said, "Oh, I remember you.
You were there for Deep Space Nine."
Do you feel a little funny playing a character who has the same first name you do? Ever wonder when your
costars/director/writers (and the fans!) mean *you* or your *character*?
It's never happened before in all
those years, all those parts, I've never played a Derek.
And it was not because I play the part. I remember I
heard -- I was in a jury for a film festival in Belgium
when I actually heard about the series. No, no I was
shooting in England when I heard about the series. And I
decided to go to L.A. just for a few days, to fly to L.A.
for a few -- just to meet Richard Lewis, the creator of
the show. And I had a very nice talk with him,
and he told me about the series, and he told me about
Derek Rayne. And I remember I was sitting there on his
couch in his office and I heard the name Derek, spelled
exactly the same way. And I thought it must be an omen.
It really crossed my mind like this part is for me.
He was once with his wife, he was in a small town in northern California. And he was
walking there and there was a sign for a shop, the shop
was closed, but it was a tailor, and the tailor's name was
Derek Rayne. And this was long before he created the show,
and he always remembered that name. He thought it was a
great name. So it was long before he even knew about me.
But it is odd, it's weird because people talk about Derek,
and -- also for guest actors who are, you know, just on
the show for one or two days, it's easy to remember my name.
Do you personally believe in the supernatural and have you ever had an encounter?
-- Donna-Ruth Love DeBoer
I'm not --excuse me, how can I
say it?-- I'm not living totally obsessed by it. I have
some amazing experiences myself, especially with
clairvoyance. I've been to a couple of clairvoyants, and there's actually one guy in Holland who said amazing things. Really really,
really, really amazing things.
Yes. Well, things he could never know. And by that time I didn't even know. And of course you sometimes have those
incredible coincidences, or how you call them, that you say something that the other is just thinking something and you speak it
out. But there's nothing really like, you
know, like ghost appearances or all that kind of stuff
that I'm fighting in Poltergeist. No, I've never
What challenges do you encounter when trying to act around the computerized special effects that are not there yet?
It's hard. We did a show where we
were getting attacked by all kind of wasps, something like
small -- I'm not sure if you've seen the show yet, it's
called "Lights Out." It's little flies, deadly flies. So
they were not there, so we had to act. And I remember
that I saw stuff from Who Framed Roger Rabbit and all
these films where the actors are working with animated
figures and they're not there yet.
So it was quite an experience to do it. But I tell you, to play that you are attacked by a wasp who's not there yet, is a very funny
thing to do. Because you are making all the movements and then later on they put the thing in. But that was the only time that we
had to act with something that was not there.
If you could have anyone guest star as a love interest who would it be?
So many, there are so many. My God.
I mean, I don't want to name one because there are so
many. Sometimes when I'm watching a film, I see a wonderful actress, so gorgeous, so sexy, so nice. You know, easy in her
skin, talented, everything. And I don't even know her name. And I think, "Oh my God I would love to have her on the show. I
would love it."
But it's hard to say. It's like naming a favorite author. There's not a one that would make me say, "Okay, that's the one I'm
waiting for." I worked with actresses on the show.
They were not so much love interests, but they were just
guest actors. And I had never heard of them until I
worked with them, and they were wonderful. So I don't
know. You can always name a star, but they will never
come on the show anyway.
Last season Helen Shaver directed an episode of Poltergeist: The Legacy (and did a wonderful job with it, by the way). Do you
have any interest in doing the same?
-- Mary W.
No. It is such a hard, first of all your power -- not so much your power, but -- how should I say it? -- your input is very limited.
Martin Cummings is going to direct an episode I think this year. And Helen Shaver's going to direct one again. And I love it; it's
wonderful, there's nothing better than to be directed by your fellow actors, it's just great. But for me to do the same thing I don't
really -- first of all I have enough difficulty still with playing the lead in English. Although I speak English almost like my own
language. But still there is a certain difficulty in it.
Does the show deal with good and evil in a Judeo-Christian definition of evil, or just basic, all-around, every kind of
good and evil?
-- Devin T.
I understand your question well. There are two answers. One for me and one for the show. I think for the show it is very
black/white, a good and evil.
For me personally I don't -- I think I am as
bad as good. I really believe that every human being has
bad in himself. So I personally I would love to see much
more a subtle version than just the devil in disguise.
But that's the personal, that's my personal
opinion and that's not the show. The show -- part of the
show is this big effect and everything, and that's what
people like to see.
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