Interview: Diane Franklin Talks About Her Darker Side In ‘WAKING NIGHTMARE’

Note: This interview was conducted during the 2023 WGA and SGA-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, Waking Nightmare, being covered here, wouldn’t exist.

PopHorror recently got the opportunity to speak with 80s icon, Diane Franklin. We discussed her latest film, Waking Nightmare (2023), and some other upcoming projects. Not to mention revisiting this curly-haired beauty’s legendary career. 

Waking Nightmare

PopHorror: It was great checking out Waking Nightmare (2023)

Diane Franklin: Oh. You got to see it?

PopHorror: Of course, I have to watch anything you are in! I am a huge fan!

Diane Franklin: Yes!         

PopHorror: There were quite a few intense moments between Jordan (Shelley Regner) and Danielle (Diane Franklin) in Waking Nightmare. How was it filming those scenes?

Diane Franklin: Shelley is an older actor playing a younger character, so I felt like she could handle things. That made it easier on our relationship because she is a seasoned actress and we could just go at each other with such intensity. We had just great trust in each other. I really enjoyed working with her. We had such a blast!

PopHorror: You are a mother, so did you channel some of your motherly instincts into this role as Danielle in Waking Nightmare?

Diane Franklin: I am so glad you asked that. I did channel this energy as if this was my child and if anyone messes with my kids that is not okay. It is that intensity that I brought to this role as a mother with how far one would you go for their child.

David Naughton in An American Werewolf in London

PopHorror: How was it working with the horror icon, David Naughton, from An American Werewolf in London (1981) in Waking Nightmare?

Diane Franklin: Oh Wonderful! I remember him for An American Werewolf in London. He was so cute and such a heartthrob back then. Now working with him I was like, “It’s David.” That teenager in me went all crazy, but I had to play it cool. It was lovely working with him. He is a consummate professional and an excellent actor. Actually, the scene I did with him was the first scene I shot for Waking Nightmare. This scene is toward the end of the movie when you watch the film. I really enjoyed working with him and it was such a great opportunity for me as an actress.

Diane Franklin and John Cusack in ‘Better Off Dead’

PopHorror: You are quite an icon as well! Your brown curly hair made quite an impact in the 80s mainstream movies like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures (1989), The Last American Virgin (1982), and Better Off Dead (1985). There are also your contributions to 80s horror in Amityville II (1982) and Terror Vision (1986). What was your favorite 80s character to play?

Diane Franklin: I have to say Better Off Dead because of the comedy and I loved playing Monique! I talked with a French dialect. I just adored the character as she is a great role model. So, if you haven’t watched Better Off Dead, I would give it a try.

Cover of Diane Franklin’s first book

PopHorror: I give Better Off Dead two thumbs up! You have written books as well about your experiences in the 80s. Can you tell me more about this?

Diane Franklin: Yes, I am an author. I started with an autobiography, Diane Franklin: The Excellent Adventures of the Last American French Exchange Babe of the 80s. The longest title ever written [laughs]. I did that because I wanted to make people smile when they read it. The book was for those people that wanted to know about my career, how I grew up, how I became an actress and film star, and what it was like in the 80s.

Kimberley Kates, Alex Winter, Keanu Reeves, and Diane Franklin in ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

PopHorror: Do you have any convention appearances planned soon? We need you in Detroit! Hint. Hint.

Diane Franklin: Please. I am trying to get into Detroit. Let the conventions in the Detroit area know they can contact my agent. I would love to come to Detroit! If anyone is interested let me know! I have something in New Jersey planned, but oops I can’t announce that yet. I do have Pensacon planned in Florida in February 2024. I am supposed to go to England in October 2023 for the premiere of a short film called Pareidolia (2023) and my fans in the UK can get tickets to this event. 

‘The Dark Room’

PopHorror: Do you have any film projects in the works?

Diane Franklin: I am going to start filming a series soon, but I am not allowed to talk about that quite yet. I did a movie called The Dark Room that is supposed to be released in October of 2023. I play a psychiatrist.

Diane Franklin in ‘Waking Nightmare’

PopHorror: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Diane Franklin: I think my role in Waking Nightmare is very interesting. People have never seen me this way. If you want to continue to see me as the Princess from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures or as the French exchange student from Better Off Dead then don’t watch this film. Well, you have seen the film. You know.

PopHorror: Yes. You may be a little vicious in this role [laughs].

Diane Franklin: Yep. I am a little vicious [laughs]. It’s definitely different from how people are used to seeing me.

The infamous ‘Ricky’ picture

PopHorror: I could talk with you all day about your career, but guess I need to wrap things up. I do want to let you know it is always a pleasure talking with you.              

Diane Franklin: Merci [said in French accent]. Oh, wait! Before we go, I have one more thing to tell you. I am now the owner of the original ‘Ricky’ picture.                                                                                                       

PopHorror: That is so awesome!! That is the greatest ‘Chrisss-maaas Present.’ [laughs]

PopHorror would like to thank Diane Franklin for this interview. 

Check out Waking Nightmare! It will be released on August 18, 2023, on digital platforms. 

Stay tuned to PopHorror for all your news, reviews, and interviews!

About Englewood29

A woman with a life long love affair of horror movies that enjoys supporting the horror community through her writing. .

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