Cindy Morgan’s next move was carefully thought out – as she passed on two projects that have gained cult status but weren’t right for her – “Motel Hell” and “Porky’s”. I turned down ‘Motel Hell’ – absolutely not,” she emphasized. “I thought it was socially irresponsible. I know horror is a genre but I didn’t want to contribute to it. As for ‘Porky’s’, there were sex scenes in it – and I think sex is a wonderful thing, but I don’t think it portrayed women in a good light. Lacey had control over her sexual situations – and I just felt Porky’s was a mockery of women.”
After guest starring on some of the more popular shows of the ‘80s – such as “ChiPs”, “Vega$” and “The Love Boat”, Morgan landed the role of Lora/Yori in Disney’s groundbreaking film, “Tron” – the first film to use computer generation. Even with her technical knowledge, Morgan found the language of the script mystifying. “I had no idea what I was talking about half the time,” she laughed. “I’d walk up to Steven (Lisberg) and say, ‘If I don’t know what I’m talking about how will the audience know?’ You never win an argument when you say ‘this line is stupid’ to the director – who also happens to be the writer.”
Morgan also had to prepare herself for the change in location for filming. “Caddyshack was a completely different experience,” she said. “It was a location shoot, you never knew if the camera was rolling or not; I remember Harold Ramis saying, ‘Go over to Chevy ask him to sing you a love song.’ And I did, and Chevy snorts the salt and launches into ‘I Was Born to Love You’ and I look out of the corner of my eye and they’re filming it.”
With Disney, it was a whole different story. “We were on the studio lot most of the time. This sound stage was completely empty, completely painted black and there was just nothing there! It wasn’t green screen. We shot it in black and white because there was nothing there! Bruce, Jeff and I would run from point A to point B and say our lines. And since you couldn’t put down a mark because it was all black you had to train yourself to run into the scene and hit it dead on. It was tightly choreographed. The reality they found was in each other’s eyes because there was nothing there!”
Despite the lack of acclaim for “Tron” early on, the film has become a classic to many. When it came time for “Tron: Legacy”, Morgan found herself on the outside looking in – though she isn’t complaining. “The biggest favor anyone ever did for me was doing ‘Tron: Legacy’ and not putting me in it,” she exclaimed. “The most wonderful things happened. Fans would ask ‘why?’ and I would say ‘don’t ask me!’ And I made sure I had websites and told fans speak from your heart and say what you think. People took it personally; one wants to get a personal connection with a character. There was that connection with Yori/Lora.”
As for Tron 3, Morgan is ready either way. “It’s rumored I will be in Tron 3 – the link on IMDb goes to Disney’s page – so take what you will from that,” she said. “I only have two rules: Always Respect Disney and No Whining. You always have to leave a back door open – don’t pin a person down. Just say ‘I’m here’ and see what happens.”
As for other future projects, Morgan is currently writing three books about her time in Hollywood and filming Caddyshack. “I have the rights to the book and 1,700 behind-the-scenes photographs from Caddyshack,” she explained. “The book is 80% done – the photos need to be put in the correct order, but I am hoping to have it out by Christmas.”
Morgan stays active in charity work, remaining supportive of the military and the families of military personnel – a cause very close to her heart. “My father was an immigrant from Poland and part of the 10th Mountain Division,” she beamed. “He lied about his age to fight for this country. It’s not about anything political – they’re overseas getting shot at – lets support them so they can fight bravely and come home safely. It’s all about supporting those in uniform. I remember the look of the soldiers coming back from Vietnam and don’t think that should ever happen again.”
Morgan will crown a winner to the Yori Lives Contest – which she has been running through her website and social media, on Sunday, June 9. Morgan herself is a big proponent of fan interaction – as evident from her use of Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. “I totally get it – it shows a personality, an attitude and all kinds of interaction can happen,” she said. “I am so happy with social media – I started off in broadcasting so this is my backyard!”
She also travels the country to attend conventions, where she interacts with fans and always feels a warm response. “To come into a city and have people welcome you like a friend or family is just such a honor and real fun to do.” Morgan continued, “It’s a working vacation, but I like the connection with the fans. You get to know what they want to see, what they’ve enjoyed in the past and it’s fascinating and educational.”
Coming from a Catholic school education, Cindy Morgan has made the most of her career. She “walked into college with a stutter and came out in broadcasting.” She has been part of two of the biggest projects in cinematic history and has survived the hardships she has faced with grace and humor. She prides herself on her involvement in charities and her interaction with her fans and will add author to her long list of credits sometime this year.
Cindy Morgan has done things the way she feels, always sticking to her guns in a tough business – while becoming the woman she is today; all while carrying the spirit of that girl who arrived in Los Angeles without a care in the world – and she wouldn’t have it any other way.