Website last updated: 8-12-2016

SEPTEMBER 2004
INTERVIEW WITH PAPILLON SOO SOO FROM AVTAK

By: Anders Frejdh
Published:
2004-09-06
An interview with actress/model Papillon Soo Soo that was done by Papillon's Convention Agent, Laurence Wreford, a friend of ours. Papillon talks about her career and A View to a Kill (1985) in particular, and how she got involved in the film industry in the first place. Laurence kindly let us reproduce the entire piece on FSWL.

We think it is an interesting piece to read and hope you enjoy it. Having met Papillon in person, we know she is a great human being as well.

How did you get the part in A View to a Kill, Full Metal Jacket and Split Second?
First question of how I got the part in AVTAK. Good chi and better chi. I believe everything you have in life comes from a greater source. I hope it doesn’t sound arrogant that I was born to play Pan Ho in AVTAK. I remember watching Roger Moore in a TV programme called The Saint when I was about 8 years old. I was really fascinated by the halo around the character's head and never imagined that years later I would actually meet him on a film set. I was an ugly duckling and wore these NHS brown framed bottom of bottle glasses as I am as blind as a bat and I was terribly shy (I couldn’t even look my form teacher in the face when I was 14/15). Thank god for contact lenses as when I discovered them I became more confident and realised that I was actually okay but this was much later.

It's a miracle that I won a part in a Bond film with no acting experience. The producers, Michael G. Wilson, the late great Cubby Broccoli and his daughter Barbara, John Glen were intrigued that I shared the same name as a character in the Paris dining room scene where one of 007's counterpart agent is killed by a poisoned butterfly. I believe they also felt my cheek bones and physique matched Grace Jones who played May Day. They had seen 100s of girls all over the world. I really believe it was fate that got me the part because all the odds were stacked against me otherwise.

As for FMJ - again fate as it can't be a coincidence. I was walking outside my front door and walked straight into one of the actors from the Bond film that had played Roger Moore's stand in. He told me that they were looking for girls for a new Stanley Kubrick film on the Vietnam War. I had heard of Stanley Kubrick because when I was a teenager I saw a 2001 Space Odyssey - I actually fell asleep during the show! During my school break I used to hit the library and go through a magazine about films (I can’t recall the title of it) but I remember seeing a story about Stanley Kubrick. Then when I was on the set of AVTAK the continuity lady told this really amazing story about SK as she had worked with him and Jack Nicholson on the Shining - I won’t repeat the story as that would be gossiping. My agent got in touch with the casting director and they sent me a script and then I went and met SK where they videoed the scene I had learnt and that was it.

With Split Second - the casting director knew of my work on FMJ.

What was it like working on each film and do you have any memorable memories?
The most memorable moment was meeting Roger Moore finally coming out of that 19 inch box from my childhood days and saying good morning to me on the Paris film set on AVTAK. Film work is hard as you have to be up very early and I’m not too good in the mornings and you work very long hours. But hey spare a thought to the nurses who work in dirty NHS wards for long hours for which they are under remunerated or try be a dustman or work in McDonalds for a day.

Working on FMJ was (sorry to be such a rude gal) was like a 24 hour orgasm! Only because I was working with the late great Stanley Kubrick and the very talented Matthew Modine. SK actually said very little to me on the set. It was a very zen experience in the sense that he was so silent but it was a silent understanding as I believed I knew what he was after in the frames he was shooting. I was absolutely clueless on AVTAK but that time I had gained some confidence and was able to express myself much better.

Split Second - well what can I say sharing the makeup room, same film set, same space, and same world with Rutger Hauer who has a predilection to Enya, the Irish songstress which I could hear playing from his dressing room. Just being around Rutger who has this otherworldliness sends you to 009 at the speed of light!

Were there any extra bits you had in the films that were cut out of the final version?
Yeah I did a nude scene with Matthew Modine for FMJ that was cut out, so now you know what happened after I picked up the two GIs for $10.00 (I wasn’t too beaucoup then!) I think the scene didn’t meld with what SK wanted to get across in the film that war is mean and look what happens to people involved in the war machine. I think FMJ is current for what is happening in Iraq - you get boys and girls who were all sweetness turning into monsters torturing and abusing prisoners.

What was it like working with Alison Doody on AVTAK? Are you still in touch with any of the cast?
Alison was absolutely a laugh and the most beautiful girl. She had the most infectious laugh as well. You could hear her laugh for miles. Unfortunately I am not in touch with anyone from those days as I think we have all lived in different continents at different times. I did see Michael Wilson, the producer of the Bond films a week before Cannes last year.

Did you attend any of the premieres of the films you were in?
I only attended the London premiere of AVTAK and I arrived in a rickshaw. It was a fantastic evening with everyone there including Duran Duran who sang the title song.

In your death scene in AVTAK did you do your own stunts when you were being washed away?
I did do my own stunt when I was washed away by thousands of gallons of water that was tipped from a great height and was saved by a wet suit that also kept me buoyant, so there was no chance of drowning.

In FMJ was that your own voice or were you dubbed? What was your reaction when your famous line "me so horny, me love you long time" were you in two hit songs?
That was also my own voice in FMJ and I wished I patented those lines -" me love you long time...me so horny". I still get ribbed by some friends with those lines and especially when I heard that those lines were used in two songs which were hits. I composed a rap tune back:

"Me love you long time
But how come me get no bling,
When all over them play dat thing,
Me love you long time,
But where’s me bling,
When all over America,
Dem play that track,
And you see it flying off the rack."

Which film did you most enjoy working on and why?
I couldn’t really say which was the most favourite film I worked on is as I enjoyed every minute of each for different reasons. I loved the comradeship on the Bond film. I think you need to spend time with people and I did have that opportunity on Bond as my original contract was for 17 weeks and I ended up staying 20 weeks. I loved the fact that
on Bond you join a family. I used to get my alarm call from Barbara Broccoli herself at 5 a.m. who is now the Co-Producer with Michael G. Wilson. I loved FMJ because it was working for Stanley Kubrick who I will never forget. He had such a huge presence and I would agree with a lot of people who consider him a genius. I think we all have the possibility to go above time, space and motion. I hope that doesn’t sound ethereal. I mean just to do something extraordinary with our life; to be original, to be a flame of light for more than just oneself.

Have you done any other TV or film work apart from AVTAK, FMJ and SS and have you got any other plans to do some more media work?
I have been involved in a few TV commercials but would definitely love another part in a big blockbuster or something or a Quentin Tarantino movie. He seems really good at resurrecting people like me who have been out of the picture so to speak.

How much fan mail do you receive and do you enjoy signing autographs?
I have been getting a lot of fan mail of late and of course I love signing autographs since I am no Liz Taylor who apparently has a rubber stamp for signing letters which I read in an interview with a famous person who wrote to her - he was most surprised when he rubbed at her seemingly signed in ink signature that it didn’t rub off! Even some things get tedious when you are a big star like that. But I am not in that place as I am so far down in the food chain I am just grateful to be remembered. I also thought at the time when I read that story about Liz that may be she has arthritis. I think the person who wrote to her was lucky to get the rubber stamp as often when you are that famous you get the PA to the PA pee peeing the signature. I wrote to Prince Charles a few years back and got a reply from one of a number of his private secretaries but was pleased to receive the royal crested letter nevertheless. Be grateful for small mercies!

Would you ever be interested in attending a convention?
As for attending a convention it would depend what was involved and I would only involve myself if there was a donation to my favourite charity, Leukaemia Care. About the time when I was doing the Bond film there was a young lad called Michael Wright who fell very sick with leukaemia and he died just before his 17th birthday in April 1988. He would have been 33 this year and his mum has been a very good friend for all these years.

Photo above:
From left to right: Alison Doody, Grace Jones, and Papillon Soo during a break of filming AVTAK in France.

Visit Papillon Soo Soo's official website:
panho.webs.com
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