Trail Tales Cast Chat with Leigh Taylor Young


Sometimes you just have the best luck when the unexpected happens. My cell phone started ringing at about 5:30am and jumping to my feet I grabbed it to answer. Leigh Taylor Young! Asking her to please give me a moment I grabbed everything I needed... but it took a while for my brain to perk up... I was just an honor to speak with her. I would've gotten up in the middle of the night... GLADLY!
Leigh Taylor-Young's answers are in gold.

"Now the thing you need to know is that it's so long ago for me. It was just one week, so I'll just have to do my best."

Casting Process...  do you remember the process?

They just offered me the role.

At the time of the filming, where were you living?

I was living in Los Angeles.

I flew out to the set, 'cause when you're filming an episodic they move very quickly. So I was cast and flew, then I think there was a day of wardrobe, settling in, then immediately to the shooting.

When did you get your script?

I got the script before I accepted it. I had a script. Then, of course they change stuff. When I got there I got a new script. They do that all the time, they make this change or that change, so they put in different colored pages. How many changes I can't really remember.

Impressions of the cast?

Well a couple of things occurred. My Make-up artist, whose name was Nanette Moore... No No More... became a life long friend. She's one of my best friend to this day. From the very first day when she made me up and I remember Stephen Baldwin because he was.. [laughter] so mischievous... so welcoming... so funny.

He's funny... he's outrageous! He knows no fear and in that context, immediately, he made me feel welcome, very flirtatious, but in a way that made me laugh.

I remember the young man that played the Indian. He was very sweet and he and I ended up talking at great lengths about environmental matters which I've always been very involved in.

And Anthony Zerbe?

You know, he and I, being... well just very professional, very mutually respectful... it's like when we got together to do our part it was fun because... we could really let our own professionalism and our characters have a little fun. It was just like we had a lot of history behind both of our careers... and when veterans get together, its fun to act. And he's a marvelous marvelous actor. It's just like falling into a vat of honey when you get to work with somebody who's that good! Because, always when you get to work with somebody really good it brings you up and you bring them up and you really get to have fun.

Had you seen the show before you filmed?

Not really, very honestly, I judiciously watch T.V. based on... time. I'm a busy person.. I always have been busy so I don't make a point of watching a lot of T.V. unless it's something like this morning. I was up to see Howard Dean on Meet the Press because it was important to me. If it's important to me, I'll watch it, but just generic... it isn't a judgment, I'm just interested in other things. So I don't think I had seen it... I think I'd seen it as I surfed through, and I love that time of history.

I come from a rural-, both my grandparents were farmers in Kansas and Iowa, so that whole flavor of the world.. I have a sensitivity to it. It wasn't difficult to get into it quickly, because I didn't come from city roots. I came from those kinds of people, really Western, Heart-of-America type people. So, that town... and also as an actor, the minute you arrive in a place with that much colorfulness to it. Like the town was all created. It's not difficult to get into the spirit of it pretty quickly. The wardrobe does it, the language does it, the story.

Then *Teacup* had such a great character... all of that helped me to kind of flow into the story very easily. And Quickly. In television we learn to do it all very quickly.  I remember that it was a time, on the set, when it was cold. Really cold. I don't remember which season it was, I don't really remember when.. but I think fall, but Oh My God it was cold... and there were days that were great, thankfully enough, but it was cold.  Made me think of what it was like back then, when you didn't have a lot of things to keep you warm and clean.. 'cause the streets got kind of muddy. It was very cool... cause it was probably like it was.

Well, I loved Tucson, Oh My God; I just fell in love with it. It was so beautiful and that town was amazing, what they did with that and I liked everybody very much... so it was a very good experience... and then meeting this wonderful woman who took care of all of us. A lady who went on to become the top make-up artist for 90210, now she does Charmed....and did Walker, Texas-Ranger. She has a long, long history.

Again, one of the most memorable people was Stephen Baldwin. In his absolute, sort of 'joie de vive' and mischief... made me feel so welcome.

Any other cast members that you remember?

Well the character of *Teacup* was a piece of bliss.

Was this your first Western?

I think so, I've worked so long.. I don't look back at all. I do a project and it's complete for me... so I don't think about it much.

What are you doing these days?

Like everyone in Hollywood, we're all looking for work these days... there's a terrible paucity of roles because of reality programming taking up a lot of space... the business is going through a lot of change.. and no one knows where it will settle. Doing a small movie next month. "The A list".

Do you have any pictures from the set?

No.. I really don't take those... but you know, that's a good idea... to take a few photos during the process. You know, I would love to get a copy of the episode that I was in. I would love to see it again... a few years ago, it had occurred to me to get a copy of my work... so much of my work I've gotten by going back and ... you know, it's kind of amazing. Some fans in Canada for Peyton Place, just wonderful people, just sent me all the episodes of Peyton Place that I was in, and there are about 80. And that was from 1966. You can imagine how much work went into it.

      She does have an email listed for contact, but things are so hectic that Ms.Taylor Young wanted me to alert the fans that it may take some time to hear back from her and due to the overwhelming requests for pictures she is unable to offer those at the moment.   
Thanks also to Cindy for the use of her screencaps.