Imagine being stung to death by bees while trying to take a "Wicked Dump?" That would really STING, don't ya think? Well, Loris "BILLY" Sallahian has BEEN THERE and DONE THAT, and now the one-time camp "BAD BOY" is back to talk with us about it! So grab your bug-spray, take off your bathing suit, and join us as BILLY reminisces his first SLEEPAWAY CAMP summer AND the new one to come!
How did you get involved with SLEEPAWAY and What was it like for you on the set? Very simply, my agent sent me to see Robert Hiltzik and he liked my take on a 'bad boy'. I was trained for years as a method actor, worked primarily in theatre, and was ready to become the next "DeNiro". Totally unprepared for the wonderful sideshow that "Sleepaway Camp" would become. Looking back, I wish I had let myself have as much fun as John and Tom had. They truly had a ball.
Who did you hang around with most on set...and what did you do for fun? Mostly Frank Saladino, who was one of the nicest Brooklyn boys I ever met. I wish I knew where he is now. Otherwise, I pretty much kept to myself, though Felissa and I had a birthday party for John Dunn, All of us did go bowling once, but all the fun pretty much occurred on the set. There, you could really get a laugh! Do you keep in touch with anyone from SLEEPAWAY these days? Honestly, not until this web site did I ever run into anybody again. Now I've reconnected with Robert ,Tom, John, Felissa ,Jonathan, Desiree, and so many others and we have Jeff Hayes to thank for that. That really was a twist of Fate. All of us are rediscovering each other and forming some great friendships. Did you have a cast of your face made for the infamous bee-sting scene? There was no cast made because you never saw my face (the dummy was covered with bees) but that shot haunts my mother to this day. It's not pleasant seeing your son turned into a bee hive.
What was make-up master ED FRENCH like to work with? I don't remember too much about him except that he did a lot with very little. So did everyone on the production side. Their ingenuity pulled this film together. Robert was so young and so visionary. Willy "MOZART" Kuskin said that you used to give him a hard time on the set...treating him as if he was just like his character MOZART, What can you tell me about this? Maybe he was mistaking you for someone else?? Absolutely! I don't recall anything about it. Not guilty!
Tell us some intereresting stories or trivia you can recall from making SLEEPAWAY. The skinny-dipping scene is what you guys always asked me about so, here's the story; The production schedule was pushed farther back into the fall and it was damn cold. I agreed to do the nudity the scene required but I was very shy. Of course, we filmed it on a cold, foggy night at 1:00 a.m or so and it was my last night of shooting before going home. It was supposed to be a closed set but someone forgot to tell the locals who had set up picnic baskets and lawn chairs along the lake where we were filming to watch the action. The sight of all the naked "filmstuds to be" bouncing into the freezing water set them into some rather questionable behavior and set me walking off the set (Remember guys, I was very young back then!). It wasn't until Robert came and chilled me out that I was able to come back and finish the shoot. A true testament to the director's patience and faith. Now, of course, I probably would have done an encore!
What did you think of the SLEEPAWAY CAMP REUNION? I was very tentative about going because I really didnt think anyone would be there. When I arrived with my best friend, Liz Salisbury (a real babe by the way!) we were totally freaked by the turn out. I had no idea so many people loved that film and followed it so closely. It just goes to show you, it's always what you least expect! What do you do these days? Well, after doing a couple of broadway shows and films in the following years, I signed a recording contract and was lead singer for a pop group called LEGEND and shortened my named to LORIS DIRAN. I went solo after a couple of years and put out a few records. I took a break after my last record for the European market and am starting to record again with my talented and accomplished co-writer and producer, Michael O'hara, who wrote so many hits for so many great artists. While I was working on my music career, I found my other talent in high fashion and I was hired to worked on styling many celebs for Gianni Versace, Claude Montana, Calvin Klein and Chanel. As you can imagine, I've been busy!
How do you feel about SLEEPAWAY CAMP all these years later and what do you think of the revival? I'm still not sure why it's struck a chord with so many younger people. I guess there's no science to show business but I think it's reviving all of the original crew's enthusiasm about this insane industry and it's all good! Are you excited about being signed on as COSTUME DESIGNER for RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP? Excited is an understatement! I can't say much about it yet but I can say this is gonna KNOCK YOU OUT!!! For you, what is the best thing that came out of SLEEPAWAY CAMP? For myself, it's the idea that something we created and forgot about so long ago took on a life of it's own. All that enthusiasm we poured into that project propelled it forward and brought it back into our lives reminding us that anything is possible. Life's possibilities are endless...
We send a mega thanks to LORIS for sharing his "Stinging" Memories!!