It's the M-E-G! The Kathy Kamhi Interview

Interview by Jeff Hayes


Katherine Kamhi has been acting since she was a child. In the early 80's, she was a series regular on the ABC television Soap Opera ALL MY CHILDREN and later went on to become a series regular on the CBS soap opera: THE GUIDING LIGHT. She has starred in After School Specials and guest starred on many TV series, including NYPD BLUE. She has also played many lead roles in theater productions in both NY and Los Angeles. Chances are you've seen her in atleast one of the above mentioned productions... But it was a revolutionary little horror flick made in 1982 that would bring her 'cult' infamy! And as we all know, that little movie was SLEEPAWAY CAMP. Kathy played "MEG," queen of the counselors and got the chance to play a real "bitch" of a character! From her ARMY-SERGEANT audition to her skin ripping demise, Kathy takes us back to SLEEPAWAY CAMP and into her current productions in this exclusive SLEEPAWAYCAMPMOVIES.COM interview...

How did you get involved with SLEEPAWAY CAMP? I got an audition through my Agent. I remember Robert asked me to do an improv where I was supposed to be a very mean army sergeant! Shortly thereafter I got the part. What was it like for you on the set? Well I never did a horror film before, so it was intriguing to see fake heads and stuff. Also, I was so used to working with adults all the time so it was cool to work with people that were my own age. Tell us an interesting memory you have from on the set of SLEEPAWAY CAMP. Hmmm, well I dated Tom Van Dell ("Mike") for a little bit when doing SLEEPAWAY... he was so funny, I thought he was gonna be the next Robin Williams! How did you feel about the whole MEG and MEL romance aspect of the story? It was very strange! I never thought an audience would buy it... But I think Meg had other motives besides love or lust. It was all about Power... to have more power... that is what her character was all about. How did you feel about throwing Felissa in the lake? It was hard... I didn't like doing it, the poor thing! She is one of the sweetest things in the world... so pretty and talented... it was hard and I didn't want to hurt her.

Felissa goes for a little swim.
Director Robert Hiltzik goes over the "Lake Throwing" scene with Kathy and Felissa.

What is your favorite scene in the movie? The shower scene... that was so cool... Tell us about what it was like filming the death of Meg? Well I couldn't show my Grandmother or anybody... it's spooky... it was filmed in the middle of night and I had to imagine having a knife getting stabbed down my back... .so I had to imagine the most intense pain there is! When I fell from out of the shower, I fell forward onto 2 mattresses. I had a fever when they did the stab-down-the-back so when I got to lay on the floor for a few hours that worked out good! (laughs)

What was it like working with ED FRENCH on the stab effect? Ed was great... the scar was so realistic! I remember he had like heads and stuff in his freezer (laughs). I remember him putting white paint on my face to make Meg look dead. What was your reaction to the film when you saw it for the first time? I Immediately critiqued my performance! (laughs) But it was really cool... I never expected the following would become what it has... The movie was fun and different... The following year I got a role in SILENT MADNESS because of it... It was weird because that movie was shot in 3D but it wasn't released in 3D!! How do you feel about the movie now, almost 20 years later!? I Still have the poster! My 6-year-old daughter saw it hanging in the garage and freaked out! The whole knife and bloody sneaker really upset her so I had to take it down. I Haven't seen it in a long time. How does it make you feel to know that over the past 2 decades, SLEEPAWAY CAMP has grown an amazing cult following?? It's fantastic... no film deserves it more... it's an honor to have been a part of it!!

What was your first impression of the Official SLEEPAWAY CAMP Website? I think what you're doing is great! My mother found it a few months ago and pointed it out to me... I was reading the inetrviews and everything... it's great! Tell us what's going on in the life of Kathy Khami these days, including any recent projects and anything else you'd like to share. Well, after SLEEPAWAY CAMP, I appeared in the soap opera GUIDING LIGHT for 4 years... then did an off-broadway show for a year... I did some guest spots on TV pilots including a guest spot on NYPD BLUE about 4 years ago... I recently did 2 independent films... 1 of which is at festivals now called 3 DAYS OF RAIN with BLYTHE DANNER (Who is Gwenyth Paltrow's Mom), Lyle Lovett, Harry Dean Stanton, and Don Meredith (who's son was the director). It recently appeared at TRIBECA FILM FEST in NY which is a film festival created by Robert Deniro for the first time this year! The movie got great feedback so they are looking for a distributor... Tell us about the character you played in 3 DAYS... I played a CHICAGO PAROLE OFFICER ... I am the main character's parole officer... checking her for drugs and giving her advice... And what have you done since 3 DAYS? I did a film called PRISONERS OF FREEDOM... about the Holocaust... It was directed by the head of the Syracuse University Film Department, Owen Shapiro. I Play one of the only fictitious characters in the film, a documentary film-maker making a film about European Refugees that came over during the war and what they went through. Tell us about your family. I have a 6 year old daughter, Madeline, and she is doing commercials... She did one for Tropicana Orange Juice and a Public Service Announcement about world hunger which will start airing soon... And I have a 1 and a half year-old son, JACK. My Husband is Bureau Chief of the show: INSIDE EDITION.

Madeleine (looking like a young MEG)
Madeleine & Jack!

What was the most important thing that you got out of SLEEPAWAY CAMP? It taught me to take any role in any production more seriously because you Never know what's gonna happen! I was doing ALL MY CHILDREN at the same time as I was shooting SLEEPAWAY CAMP... ABC sent a limo back and forth from the set. SLEEPAWAY CAMP was a lot of fun and with ALL MY CHILDREN, I felt like I had to be more serious. How would you feel about being somehow involved in the upcoming sequel: RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP?? 100% YES!!!!!!! Meg can come back (laughs)! Have you ever been recognized by someone as being "Meg" from SLEEPAWAY CAMP? YES! Absolutely! I've had people say, "Did you do a horror film?" I would say "Yes" and they would say "It was that SLEEPAWAY CAMP movie!!" If I put together another SLEEPAWAY CAMP Reunion, will M-E-G be there?? OF course she will, absolutely!! I'd love it!! Do you have anything you'd like to say to all the MEG/Kathy Kamhi FANS out there?? Thank you for supporting the film and for having great taste!!! To Enjoy SLEEPAWAY CAMP, you have to be smart... so if you're a fan, I know you got some brains!!!!!

I would like to send a Special thanks to KATHY for taking the path back to CAMP with us!! The M-E-G is back and there's no stopping her now! I'd also like to give a shout out to Mike Medina for his help and dedication to SLEEPAWAY!