Interview with Judith Hoag

The TMNT, Halloweentown, and Nashville Actress Speaks with Legendary Women back during Awesome Con 2015

  1. You’re definitely a cultural touchstone for many girls and boys, now men and women, after originating the role of April O’Neill. What’s your favorite thing someone has said to you in light of that?
Judith Hoag as April O’Neil in the 1990 Film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I have so many stories so this isn’t doing justice to all of them. What comes to mind first is I had a fan who had written on my Facebook that his parents were abusive and that he had a hard time at home growing up, but that he could watch The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and pretend that I was his mom. Also, there was a child who had leukemia and he got better. I didn’t do it, the doctors did, but he was having a hard time eating. So I would go and feed him and at least bring him toys and do things to help him. So if anything that I did helped, then I’m very honored by that. They say that acting isn’t brain surgery and it’s not, but I like to think we’re still able to touch the heart.


2) You’ve built up a huge and impressive body of work since the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) movie, both in genre roles and mainstream roles, which expose you to a large number of fandoms. Which do you end up having the most interaction with outside of TMNT?

Yes. I’ve been lucky to be in things that really stick with people. I’ve been also in a series of films with Debbie Reynolds and Kimberley J. Brown called Halloweentown, so I have fans come up to me to ask about that. I have the Nashville fans too. So it’s really interesting because I have people come up to me for several things that really stick with them. I had some girls this evening who were into Halloweentown but had also seen even obscure things I’d done like I was on a CBS show called Swingtown that lasted one season, but they [Awesome Con attendees] really liked that.

As one of a family of witches in Halloweentown

3) One of our writers is a big fan of Big Love. She wants to know what your favorite scene or scene partner was while playing Cindy.

In Big Love working with both Jean Tripplehorn and Ellen Burstyn, of coruse, but also I’d say [working] with Bill Paxton was great. I just was so excited to work with Ellen. When I got the role I was thinking she’d be great as my mom. I hear about it as I’m about to get on a plane to go to South Africa, but I think that even as exciting as filming in South Africa was, I was more excited to be working with Ellen. In other projects, I also really enjoyed working with Helen Mirren in Hitchcock.


4) What projects do you have coming up next?

The next project…I signed an NDA so I can’t talk about it, but you can find it online. It’s a summer blockbuster that will be out in 2016. I’m also looking at some scripts, and I’m producing and working with my company, and I also do coaching.

Hmm, we think that the sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 might be it!

5) What is your advice to young women or young actresses getting started in Hollywood now?

I think that you have to be prepared to pick yourself back up. It’s about being able to bounce back. It’s not the kindest industry to be in, but it’s about going back and finding those opportunities and working toward them. You also need someone around you as a good support system. I really like working with younger actors and actresses, and it’s definitely about having faith in yourself, knowing you can do it, and just working through it, because it’s a business that’s not always fair. I believe in mindset and you have to go in with the right attitude to keep at it.


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Finally, we’d like to thank Ms. Hoag and her team for granting us a great interview!