Robyn Bliley starred as Julie Young, a member of the monster-fighting WINR team, in the American-made series Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero in 1993. Her other television credits include: Weird Science, Step by Step, Murphy Brown, Night Stand with Dick Dietrick, and Beverly Hills 90210. More recently, she has worked behind the camera as a producer and director. In 2007, Ms. Bliley answered Brett Homenick’s questions about what it was like working on Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero.
Brett Homenick: How did you get started in acting?
Robyn Bliley: I originally started off as a model at around 15 years old. I had always thought I would go into the fashion business as a designer. However, in my last year of high school, I decided to take an acting class and loved it. I went to college in Texas and appeared in several stage plays and musicals while still modeling to make a little spending money.
On a whim, I went to an open call for an Oliver Stone film. He spotted me in line, and I read for a part. I never got the role, but I worked on the film for several weeks as a stand-in, photo double, and extra. That movie, JFK, is the first film set I’d ever been on, and I loved the process of filmmaking. After college, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
BH: What led to the role of Julie Young in Ultraman?
RB: I auditioned for the role of Julie Young and, after a couple callbacks, got the part.
BH: Did you have any familiarity with Japanese sci-fi movies or TV shows before taking the part?
RB: No, I didn’t have any familiarity with Japanese sci-fi before Ultraman.
BH: What memories do you have of your co-stars?
RB: Kane (Kosugi) was fantastic. He was so sweet. We had a lot of fun on the set.
Harrison (Page) was the seasoned pro of the cast and the more serious one out of the rest of us. Rob (Roy Fitzgerald) was the funny one. He was always cracking jokes on the set.
BH: Do you remember working with the guest stars like Bill Mumy and Jeffrey Combs?
RB: I have vague memories of working with Bill and Jeffrey. I didn’t have many scenes with them when they guest-starred on the show.
BH: What was King Wilder like as a director?
RB: I loved King. He did a good job directing a challenging show.
BH: It’s well-known that the show had to be made quickly and for very little money. What was it like working under those conditions?
RB: Ultraman was particularly difficult, as an actress because all 13 shows were shot completely out of order. We would shoot little bits and pieces of several episodes at once, so keeping track of the story lines was a challenge. But it was a blast to shoot. It’s not the best representative of any of our acting talents, but a fun show to work on.
BH: Did you get to work with the Japanese side of the production at all?
BH: Do you have any other stories you’d like to tell?
RB: We were always playing practical jokes on the set. I love a good laugh.
BH: Did you ever get a chance to see the show?
RB: Yes. I still want to get the DVD series. It’s available on amazon.com.
BH: What did you think of working on Ultraman?
RB: I’d do it again in a second. I feel really fortunate to have worked on a show with such public interest.