So what did you think when you found out there was going to be a new Witch Mountain movie?
Andy [the director Andy Fickman] called me from the get go... And said, "We're doing a continuation, I would like to get your thoughts on it. I've been a big fan of yours,I loved this movie I loved it when I first saw it. Can you come in and talk to me about this?" So I said, "sure" and I went in and he showed me the original script they gave him. And he started writing some more ideas and that's what we came up with. It's really exciting and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. [Richards has a decent cameo in the new film.]
Did you have any stipulations for the new movie, like it must include this or that from the originals?
Yes, I did. I wanted to make sure that people knew somehow there was a connection to me to them in some way. Which I think you see in the film. I think you kind of get that when Anna Sophia walks away. I think you can kind of feel that. I just wanted the audience to somehow know that not everybody helps these kids get away. I wanted there to be something in that time, in that space, some sort of connection between me and them. That was pretty much me. Andy said to me at one point, "Do you want to be hovering around in a spaceship overseeing everything?" and I didn't want that because wanted to speak, I wanted to talk. I didn't just want to walk in and walk out either. I wanted something between the kids and I. It worked out just the way I wanted.
What was it like teaming up with your alien brother Ike Eisenmann (who is also in the movie with you) again?
That was really fun. It was great seeing him. It felt like we hadn't not done it in a long time, if that makes sense.
Did you two teach the new aliens Sara and Seth any alien tricks?
They didn't have the same kind of powers as us. Their powers were a little more advanced. I was showing them how we used our fingers. And yeah, they didn't need to do any of that, they're more advanced. We used our hands, the harmonica...
There was no harmonica in the new movie, I was sad, did a miss a reference to it somewhere?
No but I did notice that along the way and I told Andy and we were so far into the film and I started thinking: Wait, shouldn't she be carrying something? Or, where's the harmonica? And we were like, "Oops, it's too late now." But I know that Andy would have thought of that if it was important, because he didn't miss a thing. I actually mentioned an animal, and he was like, "we're bringing in a dog." Because I thought there has to be an animal in this thing somewhere. It's a Disney movie!
What memories did shooting this film bring back for you?
Well my favorite movie out of the old movies was Escape To Witch Mountain. We were working with horses and bears, and when you have a great friend like Ike and a great director... it was a great experience. Working in that castle, they told us that there was an ape living downstairs, and I still believe that it's there. And I'm still scared of that basement. Making that movie was so much fun, from the animals to the marionettes.
Are you OK with the updates that were made in the movie? There are a lot more chase scenes and explosions.
It's 2009, things change. I'm a creature of habit, so in the beginning I wanted it to be as much like the original as possible, but that's not reality. And reality is, this is a new generation, and people want to see Witch Mountain again. And they also want to see a big Tron character and explosions. But Andy knows what he's doing. I know my kids want to see it. And if you want to see the originals, they've been rereleased on DVD, you can have the best of all three worlds.
What about the decision to keep the kids powers in their minds, no finger-pointing or purple lights?
I love the movie the way it is, but I liked the little hand stuff. But, as I said, Andy knows what he's doing. But hey, there's always a continuation on for the next Witch Mountain. Who knows what's coming out next. Maybe there could be another movie, with purple lights coming out of kids fingers.
Has there been talk of putting out another Witch Mountain after this one?
You never know.
What's one thing that you noticed that audience members should keep their eyes out for, that references that past Witch Mountains?
Oh I'm not going to tell...there's a camper. Look for me and Ike and look for the Camper.