From 'The Outlaw Josey Wales' to 'Twin Peaks' and 'Northern Exposure', Geri Keams has made an impression in cult and blockbuster projects alike. But there is more going on than meets the eye...
Twin Peaks Archive: When and how did you start acting?
Geri Keams: In 1970 I was a freshman at the University of New Mexico. I was 18 years old when there was a "cattle call" for a film called "The City" starring Anthony Quinn. I got the one line and did a scene with Mr. Quinn who gave me my first acting lesson (look him in the eye when I said my line) I was very nervous. I got my SAG card in that made for TV movie.
TPA: How did you land the role of 'Little Moonlight' in 'The Outlaw Josey Wales'? What was it like filming the movie and working with Clint Eastwood?
GK: I was a junior at the University of Arizona and living on food stamps when I auditioned along with hundreds of other hopefuls. They were looking to cast someone who could speak "Indian". I spoke fluent Navajo and was called back a few times. The last time, my car broke down and with dirt and oil under my nails, I had to speak Navajo with Clint's producer, Fritz Manes, the director of the film, Phil Kauffman. They also had to make sure I could ride a horse so they set up a ride at Old Tucson. That evening I got the call that I got the part. Working with Clint Eastwood was a dream come true. I was treated like a real star with all the perks and I was living in a dream each day I was on the set. It was hard work being in the harsh elements of Arizona and Utah with the sun, wind, and rain but it was worth every minute. I had no idea at that time that "The Outlaw Josey Wales" would become a classic. I was happy to have "rid wit ya!" as the line went in the movie. Clint Eastwood was a true professional, he directed the film but didn't tell you how to act. He said, "you got the job because we knew you could do it"; he called "action" and left the acting to the actor. He rarely took a second take. Off camera he was quiet but nice. He would often treat everyone to dinner and everyone on set were "taken care of" first class. I remember one day making a remark that I 'd really like an avocado and there was a box of fresh avocado on set the very next day!
TPA: How did you get the role of 'Irene Littlehorse' on 'Twin Peaks'?
GK:I got the job through my friend Michael Horse who told the casting woman about me for this scene. Michael had a recurring role in several episodes as one of the deputies in the sheriffs office. It was a referral that worked out, although, I still had to audition for Caleb Deschanel who directed the episodes.
TPA: You had a scene in the studio in the Sheriff's conference room and on location at 'Dead Dog Farm'. Did you film any other scenes that were cut?
GK: There were approximately 3 scenes at Dead Dog Farm. I was on set for a day; with a 6am call. The first scene was a driving in scene, the second scene was inside the house Kyle wanted to buy and the last scene was in "my real estate office". I had a call the day before but they never got to me. I spent the whole day in my dressing room waiting I remember being at the Lynch Studio in Van Nuys and watching a scene in the warehouse where they had a scene with lightning strikes and that scene went most of the night. They finally sent me home around midnight. I remember being freaked out when I recognized one of the grips who played the part of the "evil" guy with the long hair!!!
TPA: You've continued to act through the years, but that's not all. Tell us what else you've been up to?
GK: I've worked throughout the years and have enjoyed each project. I take it as it comes. I married a guy who's a space scientist..works on the satellite that is going around Saturn and it's moons. I keep busy teaching art, acting, and Native American culture in schools, helping my husband run a warehouse business, and as for the next acting job...I'm getting ready for a play at the Mark Taper Theatre in Los Angeles called, "Palestine, New Mexico", a comedy/farce. I play an avant garde, ultra, healer woman named Maria Fifteen (15). Other than that, I'd love to be in a Twin Peaks movie!!!
Twin Peaks Archive thanks Geri for her time! We also hope she stars in any upcoming Twin Peaks film or internet series...
(c) 2009 Twin Peaks Archive