I’ve recently had the pleasure of corresponding with the lovely Annabel Schofield, an international fashion model of the ’80s who starred in ad campaigns for the likes of Revlon, Gianni Versace, Yves St. Laurent and Levi’s. And yes, you probably remember her from an iconic commercial in which she famously uttered: “Excuse me, are those Bugle Boy jeans you’re wearing?” But there’s much more to Ms. Schofield than meets the eye, including her serial novel The Cherry Alignment, which semi-autobiographically explores the life and times of an actress working in Hollywood in the ’80s and ’90s. In fact, this novel began as a screenplay, and there’s no doubt that it would make the perfect long-overdue HBO series with a focus on the decade of decadence!
Annabel Schofield in the 1990 film Solar Crisis
In addition to writing and modeling, Ms. Schofield has acted and produced. Starring in films like Solar Crisis and Exit in Red, this Welsh beauty also appeared in the beloved nighttime soap Dallas. Not to mention, she runs her own photographic production company, Bella*Bene Productions. Check out her blog The Cherry Alignment for some amazing insights on 1980s fashion, music and film. Annabel even shared some of her 1980s knowledge with Mirror80 via email for the interview below…
Two of Annabel Schofield’s many cover shots (Photo credits: James White for German Vogue, David Bailey for Harpers & Queen)
Annabel, thank you so much for being willing to share your ’80s memories with Mirror80! As an international fashion model, you must have traveled quite a bit. Were there any cities that epitomized ’80s cutting edge style at that exciting time?
I honestly think London as far as cutting edge style, due to the New Romantics, the tail end of Punk, Vivienne Westwood, Katherine Hamnett, Body Map, Buffalo style which was created by Ray Petrie and all the resulting street styles. In Paris, things were much more Haute Couture oriented and I really never spent much time in Milan. It always seemed to be about very expensive knitwear whenever I was there! New York was and remains mostly about commerce and big brands, although the emergence of hip hop at the start of the ’80′s ended up influencing leisure wear to this day. But in London we ALL dressed up, both boys and girls all the time; especially for the clubs. I really miss that sartorial creativity. Now it seems that girls just want to show as much flesh as possible.
You participated in ad campaigns for some beloved fashion brands during the 1980s. Who were some of your favorite designers from that decade?
I was obsessed with English designer, Antony Price; I bought my first bespoke dress from him when I started making big modeling money. Also Katharine Hamnett for day wear; I loved Versace, and I was very proud of a St Laurent jacket that I bought. I had a few bits ofKenzo, a stunning Yohji Yamomoto jacket and quite a few pieces by Jean Paul Gaultier. But my primary allegiance was to Azzedine Alaia. An absolute genius who knew how to make a woman look subtly stunning, classy and curvaceous.
You delivered the famous line “Excuse me, are those Bugle Boy jeans you’re wearing?” while driving through the desert in a black Ferrari. Besides being asked to repeat that line on command more than a few times, how else did that iconic commercial impact your career?
Well, it seems to be the only thing anyone remembers! I still get men asking me sureptitiously about it to this day (rather creepy!). I have to tell you, I had NO idea that it was going to be that big. I did half a day’s work – it’s basically one shot of me in close up. I wasn’t allowed to drive the car, although they did allow me to go for a spin with a stunt driver. I guess the resulting residuals allowed me a greater freedom to turn stuff down that I didn’t want to do?
Annabel Schofield in Solar Crisis
In Solar Crisis, you play a genetically engineered human. Despite all of the drama that surrounds your character, you have such a calming, regal presence on screen. Plus, you rock some of the most stylish space wear since Sigourney Weaver in Alien! What was it like on the set of that film with such a powerhouse cast?
It was amazing – one of my best experiences as an actress – the original director, Richard Sarafian made a stunning and weird film which bears little relation to what was actually released. Sadly, he was replaced. What I remember most was laughing all the time on set. The lines were so pseudo scientific and I was supposed to have an IQ of 1000, so attempting to come out with all this gobbledegook while keep a straight face was a perpetual challenge! It was lovely being surrounded by all those gorgeous, talented men, of course and the costumes were very cool. It really was a joy, I was extremely lucky. Plus wearing flats is always a pleasure!
Annabel Schofield with Larry Hagman in Dallas
You played Laurel Ellis on Dallas–a show that featured some signature ’80s fashionand interiors! Any fun wardrobe or set memories you’d like to share?
Oh those clothes were a nightmare! I remember when I first started they were all about listening to me and keeping me natural and lightly made up, but little by little, the shoulder pads got bigger, my hair got higher and my lips got redder. I ended up in a white fur coat, but I started out in jean shorts! I gave up after a while trying to influence fashion on Dallas.
Annabel Schofield as Alex Noffe in the 1990 film Solar Crisis
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the interview, which will be posted on Monday… A GREAT BIG THANKS to Annabel Schofield for sharing her fashion expertise and ’80s memories! In the second half of the interview, she discusses some of her favorite ’80s music, actors and night spots, as well as her novel The Cherry Alignment.
Annabel Schofield in a screen shot from Solar Crisis
Last week Mirror80 published Part 1 of our interview with the lovely Annabel Schofield, an author and producer who enjoyed an acting and international modeling career in the 1980s and 1990s. Ms. Schofield shared her thoughts on ’80s fashion, and she reflected on what it was like to act and model in the midst of the decade of decadence! Today, Annabel discusses her ’80s memories, as well as her serialized novel The Cherry Alignment, which semi-autobiographically explores the life of an actress in 1980s-90s Hollywood. Her blog of the same name is a wealth of information on 1980s fashion, film and music. Read on for more fabulous ’80s details…
Your blog does an amazing job of showcasing 1980s music, fashion and film. Will you indulge us in a little trip down memory lane?…
De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising
Favorite 80s bands?
I was heavily into Prince, Big Audio Dynamite, Gwen Guthrie (and a lot of soulful dance music,) De La Soul, Public Enemy, Talking Heads, I have to admit to a tiny bit of Madonna & Michael Jackson but I was much more interested in underground music. Hip Hop in general, Grandmaster Flash, Eric B & Rakim, Schooly D, Beastie Boys, a lot of reggae.
Favorite actors to work with?
This could get me in trouble! Howard Keel fromDallas, Ben Cross, Patrick Macnee, F Murray Abraham, Patrick Warburton, Eartha Kitt, Dorian Harwood, Tim Matheson. Definitely not Charlton Heston!
Annabel Schofield and Larry Hagman in Dallas
Favorite 1980s nighttime destinations?
Crazy Larry’s, The Wag Club and the Cafe De Paris in London, Paladium, Danceteria, Area and The World in New York, Les Bains Douches in Paris.
Did you make any interesting interior design purchases during the 1980s?
No! I was traveling too much. I bought an apartment in London in about 1982 and promptly went to live in New York. I used to buy bits of artwork and things when I was traveling, but I spent most of my money on music, travel and clothes.
Annabel Schofield and Mickey Rourke in a screen shot from Exit in Red
Your serialized novel The Cherry Alignment recounts the ’80s in wonderful detail. What inspired you to revisit the decade of decadence for this piece?
It started out as a screenplay. I was watching a really bad film about 9 years ago that attempted to depict an acid trip, with very limited success. I thought that with the access we have nowadays to VFX and CGI that it would be possible to make an amazing psychedelic film with 3D effects, etc. Once I had that basic idea, the rest just kind of fell into place. The original screenplay took 3 weeks to write. The resulting novel took 5 years, but I do go into a lot more detail.
The other reason is that there seems to be a lot of misinformation flying around that the 80′s was some kind of a joke decade with terrible clothes and makeup. It was an incredibly fun, creative time and I don’t know anyone in my circle who ever wore pink leg-warmers! I remember once being at the Camden Palace (club) in London and looking around. Virtually 90% of the club kids went on to become stars, if not super stars: Duran Duran, Boy George, Hayzee Fantayzee, George Michael, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Sigue Sigue Spuknik, Bananarama, Spandau Ballet, Sade….the list goes on and on. A huge amount of talent came out of that era, and that’s just in the musical arena.
The Cherry Alignment by Annabel Schofield
The 1980s are back in such a big way! People of all ages are taking an interest in the fashion, art and interior design of the decade. Even those who didn’t live through that time are wanting to know what it was like to be a part of the ’80s scene. If you were approached about bringing your novel to the screen, would that interest you?
HELL YES! That was the original idea, but I think now it might be better served as a cable TV series….and if you’re reading this, Miss Kristen Stewart, I want you to play Angelika!
In addition to modeling, acting and writing, you’ve worked in film production and direction. Your documentary Face Valueexplores the world of modeling schools. How can we view it? Is it available for purchase?
Sadly not. I had a rather fractious falling out with my producing partner and now it’s tied up in legal nonsense. I remember when I first tried to pitch the idea of a reality show about modeling , NOBODY was interested. And along came Tyra Banks and the rest is history. Oh well….
What’s next for Annabel Schofield?
Gosh, I’m always looking for new challenges. I’m really enjoying creating the blog, and the overwhelming positive response is heart-warming . Hopefully, we can get it to the screen. Otherwise, I’m in LA, I have my stills production company, Bella Bene Productions, and I also have a couple of potential film projects (as producer – I have no plans to make an acting comeback any time soon!) on the horizon. But ideally, it’s all about The Cherry Alignment on HBO!
Once again, a BIG thank you to Annabel Schofield for sharing her ’80s expertise with us. It’s been amazing to hear about the fashion, music and pop culture of our favorite decade from an artist who was front and center during that exciting time. And we certainly won’t be surprised when The Cherry Alignmentcomes to HBO as that long-overdue series we’ve been waiting for…
After checking out the Facebook page of former Vogue cover girl Annabel Schofield, I was pleasantly reminded that the British beauty once starred in Dallas.
Uh-Huh… Yup, back in the day, when the oil-drenched soap opera was still watchable, Schofield played one of J.R Ewing’s many bits-of-fluff, the innocent and naive Laurel Ellis.
Schofield was brought in after Ms Ellie’s husband Clayton Farlow, played by Howard Keel, had a heart attack that left him feeling impotent and unwanted.
Clayton then saw a portrait of Laurel Ellis [Schofield] in an art gallery window, and tracked her down to a little flower shop.
Love a bit of trivia…
Laurel’s evil ex then started blackmailing someone and a murder took place. This saw Clayton being framed for a crime he didn’t commit.
J.R Ewing steps in and frames someone else for the murder, and blackmails Laurel into having sex with him (the scoundrel) in order to clear Clayton’s good name.
Of course, this was in the days when soaps were gripping. Not like the down-market version currently on the box, that is dull as dishwater by comparison.
Of her days on the soap, Annabel tells me, “The best thing about being on Dallas, was being on the same show as Brad Pitt!”
And the worst thing? “Not having any scenes with Brad Pitt, so we never actually met… Boo-hoo!” she said.
Now, 48-year-old Schofield, a successful producer, has just launched a fantastic on-line novel The Cherry Alignment, which, she describes as a combination of “sex, shopping and psychedelics”…
After browsing across it, I feel a potential Showtime mini-series is in the making!
Since her days on Dallas, the talented Ms. Schofield has starred in a number of movies including the memorable 90s thriller Exit in Red opposite Mickey Rourke, as well as a bunch of prominent TV roles.
But clearly, it’s writing that is Schofield’s calling… So, check out The Cherry Alignment online now…
As you can see, it’s clear the years have been kind to “our” Annabel, um, it’s a shame the same cannot be said for Larry Hagman…
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