Wayne’s World hit theaters on this day in 1992 and Tia Carrere, who played Wayne’s girlfriend Cassandra, celebrated the 25th anniversary of that release by recalling her best and worst memories from the filming of that now iconic movie. Adapted from Saturday Night Live skits, Wayne’s World starred Mike Meyers as Wayne Campbell and Dana Carvey as Garth Algar, but also featured a long list of celebrity cameos and guest appearances. For Carrere, it was the rock-centric performances that stand out most in her mind, however. As she reminisced on her rocker alter ego, Tia also considered what a Wayne’s World 3 might look like, hinting that she would happily bring Cassandra back for one more film.
Tia Carrere Remembers Wayne’s World 25 Years Later
Playing Cassandra on Wayne’s World was more than just another acting job for Tia Carrere; it was a learning experience. She told Yahoo Movies that preparing for her Wayne’s World role required her to learn how to play the bass guitar and how to speak Cantonese fluidly, as well as having to learn her lines. Tia revealed that she comes from a diverse background with a melded ethnicity of Filipino, Spanish, and Chinese, but speaking Cantonese, even memorized lines, was something new to her and posed a linguistic challenge.
“My Cantonese dialogue, which was the bane of my existence. I was so afraid. You have to learn it in a musical way, like high and low. It’s a musical thing,” explained the Wayne’s World actress. “I still have it memorized 25 years later.”
Tia recalled that Mike Meyers, in hoping to add a measure of humor to the scene in which Wayne and Garth meet the band, created the perfect role for her. With cultural diversity at a low in Hollywood films, Meyers gave Tia an opportunity to star as one of the few Asian-American leading actresses of the time. The idea was to create a rock band who were heavily accented and struggled with the English language once off stage. But what started out as a gag ended up launching Carrere’s career.
“It was a gag in the film, but thank God he wrote it that way; otherwise it would have been another blond-haired, blue-eyed girl in the lead,” said Tia. “It got me in the door, and it changed the game for me. This movie put me in a position to get True Lies.”
Wayne’s World Isn’t Over, As Far As Tia Carrere Is Concerned
ABC News reported that Carrere looks fondly on her experience in Wayne’s World, but, even though she had a great time becoming the hard rocking Asian girlfriend, the feature film adaptation of SNL’s Wayne’s World skits was never expected to do well. In fact, Tia reveals that it was the lowest budgeted film for Paramount Pictures that year. Wayne’s World didn’t even get an official premiere.
Now, 25 years later, the film and its ensemble cast is still celebrated and remembered with new generations coming to the films for the first time and finding something new to love. Carrere said she will be reprising her Cassandra character live on stage in March, hinting that the performance may include another playing of “Ballroom Blitz,” originally written and performed by Sweet.
“I haven’t sung ‘Ballroom Blitz’ in about 25 years, and Comedy Central asked me to do this special that’s coming up in March that’s called Comedy Jams,” said Ms. Carrere.
Tia said she just recently took her 11-year-old daughter to see Wayne’s World in the theater for the 25th anniversary showing. The actress said her daughter loved the film, adding that getting to share the experience with her daughter was an “awesome” experience in itself.
Ms. Carrere shared that she often gets stopped by Wayne’s World fans and says the line most often quoted to her is “‘We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy,” adding that she never fails to feel humbled by the immense reach and feelings of good will that Wayne’s World generates among fans.
For the future, Tia Carrere is open to a third Wayne’s World film and even has some thoughts on how a new sequel would go, considering how long it’s been since that first film.
“We’re all going to walk out on our walkers, and I’m going to come out in my muumuu from Hawaii, eating papayas.”
Tia Carrere will next be starring in the Sean Hoessli comedy, Palm Swings, due out later this year.
[Featured Image by Paramount Pictures]