T-minus 10 days until the SyFy premiere of The Asylum's Mega Python vs Gatoroid, and since I've already brought you profiles on the film's director, Mary Lambert, as well as its screenwriter, Naomi Selfman, it seems like the perfect time to profile the films stars, Debbie Gibson (Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus) and Tiffany (Mega Piranha).
Let's go ahead and get the elephant in the room out out the way: both of these women used to be teen idols, radio princesses, and yes, there was the perception of a bit of a rivalry between them - both struggling for the attention and allowances of the same demographic at the same time - but truthfully that perception seems to have come more from us than it did them. In fact, rumor has it that the very pairing of these two came at Tiffany's suggestion to play up their supposed rivalry. At the end of the day, both are seasoned performers with more than two decades under their belts in the industry of celebrity, and while the lion's share of media attention this film is receiving is due to the past careers of its stars, I'm here to talk about Debbie Gibson and Tiffany the actresses, not the former pop-divas we all know and love. After all, these are grown women, artists in transition, and what they're doing will always be more interesting than what they've done; thus is the evolving nature of art.
We'll begin with Ms. Gibson, because as Hollywood beginnings go, hers is definitely one of the coolest I know of: her very first film role, though uncredited, is in Ghostbusters. I shit you not. In the scene where Louis (Rick Moranis) is pursued by the dog/demon/Gozar thing through Central Park and ends up outside the Tavern on the Green, there is one table among the fabulously disinterested clientele celebrating the birthday of a young girl, as denoted by the presence of balloons; the young girl is Debbie Gibson. After this inconspicuous debut, Debbie went uncredited twice more - in Sweet Liberty and The Manhattan Project - before her music career blew up and next thing you knew, outside of a "90210" appearance as herself, acting had to retreat to the back burner for a few years. When the ever-shifting tides of popular music forewent bubble gum for grunge, Ms. Gibson fluttered for a few years about the reality television circuit for before launching a full-blown acting career at the start of this century. Since then she has worked steadily in independent films, on stage, in TV series and whatnot, but it wasn't until 2009 when Ms. Gibson signed on to a little film by the name of Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus that the public really sat up and took notice. And wisely so: as captivated as we were by the fresh-faced teen-idol she was, the adult, mature, sultry and alluring Debbie Gibson was well worth the wait.
Tiffany has only recently transitioned into acting, while at the same time continuing her music career and releasing an album every few years (in fact, only a week or so ago Ms. Tiff released her latest single, "Serpentine," a country-ish, sassy ballad featured in MPvG and available on iTunes now). Though she started this last decade with a few guest spots here and there, some playing herself, some not, it wasn't until 2009 that she began to attract roles in films that didn't require her to sing. Necrosis - a zombie/ghost story involving the Donner Party - was the first such film that came along, and though the role it gave Tiff was still supporting, it reintroduced her to the celebrity sphere in a way that some brilliant, forward-thinking people in the industry leapt on, casting her in her first ever lead role, last year's SyFy Original triumph, Mega Piranha. And not only did she fit the lead like a glove, we, the world, loved her in it, enough to demand another go around. For additional info on Tiffany's burgeoning acting career and her involvement in Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, check out this interview conducted recently by the Daily Herald.
So there you have it, two women, two decades, two scarily-similar career trajectories. But now that they're together, playing to our gossip and long-simmering adolescent fantasies, things just feel...balanced, you know? Like at long last life is ready to start making sense. Tune in next Saturday night, January 29th, and watch the New World Order begin.