INTERVIEW: Tami Stronach
– By Chris Barnes
So, an introduction…
I’m an 80s kid. The NeverEnding Story. The Childlike Empress. Tami Stronach. <nostalgic siiiiiiiiiiigh…>
Tami. Tami, Tami, Tami. Can you believe it, over 30 years later, The NeverEnding Story is still following you around?
No, it’s crazy–and really awesome. I feel very lucky to have fallen into being a part of this magical story.
I’m guessing you never expected such a fuss when you were working on it?!
Not at all. We thought a small handful of people in Europe might see it because it was filmed in Germany… and so we somehow didn’t understand the scope of the project.
When did YOU know that it was going to be such a popular movie?
As soon as I saw the sets I knew that something really special was in play.
Do you spend a lot of your time involved in NeverEnding Story activities – like attending conventions on behalf of the movie?
For most of the last thirty years I didn’t spend any time engaged with it. I was a dancer, actor and choreographer in NYC with a busy, almost grueling schedule. It just didn’t really fit into the projects I was doing, and I think I wanted to prove myself in the downtown theater dance scene on my own merits as an adult. But after having my daughter I founded Paper Canoe Company to create family entertainment. I suddenly really craved making stories that the whole family could enjoy and of course that is the kind of story that The NeverEnding Story is. At around the same time I was invited to a convention and I met fans of the film and it hit me that I was being a little bit silly hiding from this really special experience. I also think that as an artistic director, professor and a mom so much time had gone by I wasn’t worried about being defined by that moment in time. It was time to relax and enjoy connecting with people over our shared nostalgia and love of a great story.
We heard recently you were set for a comeback, in a comedy. Can you tell us anything about it?
I have been acting in the NYC theater scene for the last decade so the acting bug didn’t go anywhere, even as I was dancing and choreographing. But I wasn’t doing commercial acting. Recently I started receiving some scripts for films and Ultra Low caught my eye. I have a short cameo where I play… myself. It was so fun to be back on a movie set. I’ll be doing more, if anyone will have me.
Do you think there’s a reason we haven’t seen a NeverEnding Story remake?
Yes I think the author Michael Ende was pretty unhappy with the films. I imagine having someone take your baby and change it is never easy. I don’t know, of course, but I suspect the estate might be wary of committing to a re-boot. Or maybe there are other hurdles? I will say there are quite a lot of fans of the film still out there, and people ask me about a re-make on Twitter a lot. It may be that for some ideas, even if there is a will, there isn’t a way. But we can all keep hoping.
To keep up with Tami:
Twitter: @neverendingtami, @papercanoecompany
YouTube: Paper Canoe Channel