Speedbumps: Flooring it Through Hollywood
By Teri Garr with Henriette Mantel
"...the popular Oscar- nominated actress muses about movies, men, motherhood, and MS in a book that is both Hollywood hilarious and personally moving.
I was originally up for the principal female role in Young Frankenstein . Mel Brooks was directing. He had just finished Blazing Saddles , and was at the top of the comedy world. Mel had picked me out of five hundred girls, but admitted that he was still trying to convince Madeline Kahn to take the lead role. After I auditioned three times, Madeline finally did decide to take the part of the fianc e. I was crushed. I’d never come so close to getting a major part in a major movie. But then Mel told me that if I came back the next day with a German accent I could read for the part of Inga, Gene Wilder’s buxom lab assistant. A German accent in twenty-four hours? Luckily, I was still on The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, and, as fate would have it, Cher’s wig stylist was German. So, I sat in on Cher’s hairstyling session (that gave me hours of study!) and emerged with a perfect German accent when saying, 'Mein Gott, zis vig veighs forty pounds.' That would translate to the script!
"There was one last thing I needed for Inga. Or two, actually. I realized Inga’s part was really all about the boobs, so the next day I went in to the audition wearing a bra stuffed with socks. People pay over five thousand dollars for a boob job today. Mine cost under five dollars at Woolworth’s, and got me the part, my biggest to date. I was thrilled. I’d been chosen by one of the best. My career was finally in motion. I got to thinking that I should have stuffed my bra with socks for every audition."