Interview: Debbie Lee Carrington: Actress ‘Idy’
Debbie Lee Carrington is a busy actor having roles in numerous television projects such as Seinfeld, Bones, Nip/Tuck, and ER. She can be seen most recently in the film Bitch Slap that can be found on DVD. Prior to that body of work, she had roles in several George Lucas projects including Return of the Jedi, The Ewok Adventure, Howard the Duck, and a small 3D project called Captain EO, playing the role of Idy, the two headed creature that serves on EO’s crew.
We stopped to catch up with Debbie on the opening day of the Captain EO Tribute at Disneyland to talk about some of her memories from the project.
EndorExpress: Hi Debbie! On Captain EO you played the character of Idy –
Debbie: Yes, I played Idy the Geex – I played half of the Geex.
EndorExpress: And who played the other half? Do you guys still keep in contact?
Debbie: Ody was another actress named Cindy Sorensen and yah every now and again we bump into each other and talk on projects and things.
EndorExpress: We’re all huge fans of Captain EO. What was the process like getting onto this project?
Debbie: It was actually one of my very first jobs and I remember that I auditioned for it, but don’t remember how I got it. I do remember that it was kind of a technical aspect because they had to find two actors that they liked who were the same height and could be in this costume together. We were wearing this back-brace because we were two heads and three legs in one body. So they not only had to find an actor with the right personality and the right talent, they had to find another actor to complement that and be in the same size range. So that was a little difficult. I never had to play one character and coordinate with another actor for the one performance before.
EndorExpress: Being that Captain EO was a Disney project, there was a lot of merchandise sold during the original release. Do you have any of those old Idy & Ody toys?
Debbie: I gave them to my nieces! [Laughs] But I saved my security pass that Michael had signed and I’ve got some of the original cast & crew sheets and things like that. I saved a lot of things. One thing that is very special to me is a storyboard from Captain EO that Michael had signed.
EndorExpress: That is amazing! Now, I’m sure you’re eager to see Captain EO again as we all are. Do you have a favorite memory from working on this project?
Debbie: It was all just mind boggling and unforgettable. I mean, I remember the first day at the table read sitting around on the studio lot with Francis [Ford Coppola] and Angelica [Huston], Tony Cox (Hooter), and Cindy waiting for Michael Jackson to arrive. All of a sudden he shows up coming through the giant stage doors with his glasses, his glove… and he came in. Francis went around the room and introduced everybody. Michael was painfully shy! Very surprising.
Francis would say, “Debbie, this is Michael.” “Michael, this is Debbie Lee Carrington.” He [Michael Jackson] would look down and say, “Pleased to meet you.” Just having him walk in the door with that first impression, with the light behind him, it was just amazing. And then the process of getting to know Michael and really sharing moments and seeing him dance – the whole THING was one of the most amazing jobs I’ve ever done.
EndorExpress: And I think being a part of his ‘crew’ really added to that.
Debbie: Oh yes! Part of his crew. Captain EO was our boss so we were very close with Michael. It was all very fun. When Michael would dance, you know, that was a whole other thing. He would snap into another person and it was just so magical and impressive. You’d get chills watching him dance.