Actress, songstress, socialite and now radio show host on VNDC Radio (Vietnam Radio Washington), Olivia Maxwell has worn a lot of hats in her fascinating life. The London born Virgo's life has spanned the entertainment spectrum from child star (Little Darlings) to society belle to Bennington College wild child to now host of the cult hit O Show on Sunday nights, where she has featured guests including SCENE Editor in Chief Peter Davis and Paul Morrissey. Her web site is OliviaMaxwell.com. Olivia is infinitely interesting and I interviewed her earlier this week:
The Corsair: Describe to me your early childhood?
Olivia: I was about 5 my brother 3. It was so magical...there are super eight's...my mother was so gorgeous and my dad was so groovy...imagine being on the set of a movie...early 70's like 1975 (The Corsair falls into a reverie, then quickly revives) It was...all bagpipes being played , little churches, old men in Irish sweaters smoking pipes, sheep!!! I played with the sheep! I spoke to them...they were everywhere! small dogs! The scenes had loads of fiddles and harps in them, the dancing party scene for the wedding I'll always remember the magic that was in the air....it was windy, very green, no fighting of my parents, tons of artists and actors throwing me and Jonathan my bbrother up in the air...and that rough magical sea! Gardner McKay was really also in love with my mother and she he...unrequited...I picked up on all that. It was just so amazing...my karma with Ireland started there. Achill island, was enchanting...mostly hills and farmland, you never saw a bus or any other car on the road. the roads were small. I t was like living in a fairy tale. Cracking fires, to stay warm...and all the music! as soon as we got back to New Jersey the marriage ended in a very hate filled divorce. my childhood turned into a NIGHTMARE. This is why karma with Ireland and me is so huge...Frank Murray...2002...manager of Pogues, tour manager of Thin Lizzy (with) whom I had a relationship and managed me nearly 28 years later and my totally Dublin feature story...all KARMA
The Corsair: The divorce ...
Olivia: My dad after the divorce had a sail boat...the 'JOLI' I had great memories of 5 day trips going to Newport, R.I, all over Long Island Sound. We had little sleeper beds and wore harnesses, the boat was sometimes on 80 degree angle with the jib up cruising very fast in those rough high waves! I got the splash on deck...we'd stop at Mystic Seaport-those moments resonate. At home all I wanted to do was go buy albums-I was obsessed with music-another Karma thing, I loved the mamas and papas-OBSESSED...15 years later Tamerlane Phillips in LA becomes my boyfriend and to this DAY one of my very best friends-I know the entire family.. MUSIC again! 'The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia' was shot in Chattanooga, TN...I sat on Dennis Quaid's lap in his trailer, he had(which I now have) a rattlesnake cowboy hat. Always fun...I sat on his lap and he played his acoustic guitar and sung songs like 'I am a freeborn man, ' and his originals...we laughed! Then may she RIP-Sunny Johnson was my night time babysitter at least 3 times a week we would watch horror flicks in her hotel suite and laugh together, a mother figure as my mother was never on sets-after their divorce...She died 3 years later...so sad. I loved being on that set cause there was a BAND! I was always around that rock band...Dennis fronted the band , Keith Allison was on guitar (Paul revere and the raiders') ----'Little Darlings'-shot in Georgia.
The Corsair: Yes! Let's talk about Little Darlings, directed by your dad Ronald Maxwell
Olivia: Kristy MacNichol was THE BEST! Her and her girlfriend Ina would take me to amusement parks and Kristy always made me go on the rides , like 'The Swings' I was so scared of! Loads of cotton candy, all kinds of fun! I remember she ate Cocoa Crispies in her trailer and she'd invite my brother and I in for a bowl! SHE WAS THE ALL TIME COOLEST- Tatum (O'Neill) was a HUGE SNOB. I did NOT like HER! Matt Dillon was also cool. I loved the peach ambrosia on the set and my dad allowed me to sit right next to the actors as they did their scenes----
Th Corsair: Talk about Gettysburg.
Olivia: Gettysburg- That was a blast. I turned 21 on that set. I worked very hard as a P.A. and was by no means given ANY special treatment. I flirted with all the movie starts, I was bad---I dated Cooper Huckabee(True Blood) now filming with Quentin Tarantino in NOLA----He is a born again Christian so that did not last-but to this day a BFF. We partied at the 'Farnsworth House' The South was great---the cast were always method---heavy drinking---like we were in a civil war--but the fun parts...The Confederate cast left---then a whole OTHER VIBE came onto the set---The union troops. Jeff Daniels NEVER went out. The rest did and of course when the Union troops came...The Irish Brigade! Brian Mallon was genius, he played General Hancock. A great friend of Ron's and mine to this day and the great Irish actor Barry Mackevoy.
The Corsair: What ws the set like?
Olivia: The knew how to have a great time. It was funny my dad kept Cooper there the entire shoot cause he played Harrison the SPY...I think it was because he knew we were dating and I moved into the Gettysburg Hotel w him...we shot the whole movie on the actual battlefield...It was also MAGICAL!
Gods and Generals-less magical...but I bonded with Mira Sorvino, Donzaleigh Abernathy, daughter of the great Mr.. Abernathy bff w Martin Luther King and Malcom X. I also started to date Rory Mallon..a bit part he had , a cool singer/songwriter from Michigan, Brian Mallon's nephew. CT Howell was always a SWEETHEART on Gettysburg. We shot that in Stanton -VA...9/11 hit day of shooting...I have a story now on this----
The Corsair: Yeah ...
Olivia: I was all ready packed to head to NYC I saw a small TV in DAYS INN check out counter--'a plane went into the World trade Center building'---I knew...I AM a NY er---I unpacked and said..I am staying another 2 weeks-fine the production payed...I had a bit part in ..anyways ended up in the directors cut came out this past summer...but I knew it was no fucking mistake-in NYC that shit don't happen-I knew it was WAR. I watched it unfold in my hotel room---miserable. My dad made a HUGE announcement on the set---it went like this_'THEY WANT US TO STOP SHOOTING OUR FILM, THEY WANT ALL AMERICANS TO STOP. WE WILL NOT. WE WILL KEEP GOING CAUSE WE WILL NOT CAVE IN TO THEIR EVIL ILL WILL-THOSE THAT NEED TO LEAVE LEAVE -BUT HOW MANY OF YOU WILL STAND WITH ME-' nearly 98% of the set remained and the filming did not stop..but every HOUR my dad led a 5 minute prayer and 5 minutes of utter silence on the set on that day. true story-the night before (I was not there) my dad had some governor over for dinner and Karen his wife couldn't believe it as nor anyone could---the night before 9/11 my dad always has political debates he said 'It's a matter of time only before the terrorists will hit the world trade center in nyc---a matter of time. ps-I was the only girl in Gettysburg I had one line-'I thought the war was in Virginia.' HA!