Wayne's World's Tia Carrere Is the Remedy for Your Political Despair

Wayne's World's Tia Carrere Is the Remedy for Your Political Despair
Paramount Pictures
President Trump’s attempts to “make America great again” by detaining refugees, reinstating laws that threaten the lives of women, and inappropriately tweeting up a storm have been infuriating. It makes you misty-eyed for the good ol’ days of the '90s, doesn’t it? There were candy-colored Baby-G watches to sport, Furby toys to talk to on lonely days, and hilarious, now-iconic movies to watch.

So here's one thing that can lift our spirits amid the chaos: Wayne's World is being rereleased after 25 years for a two-day run February 7 and 8 in select theaters across the nation.

The city of Aurora, Illinois, where the film takes place, has even planned a series of events running from February 3 to July 4 to honor the wacky buddy flick. Wayne’s World superfans can visit the city to take part in lookalike contests, air guitar competitions, and a world record attempt at head-banging to "Bohemian Rhapsody."

It's been a quarter-century since the cult film was released, so let's recap: The feature-length comedy was inspired by a Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as avid rock fans, Wayne and Garth. The two guys host a public-access TV show titled Wayne’s World from Wayne’s parents’ basement. The show’s success catches the attention of a producer (played by Rob Lowe), and Wayne and Garth make a deal to sell the rights of the show. At a concert, Wayne is smitten by Cassandra Wong, the singer and bass player of the metal band Crucial Taunt, and the adventure spirals from there.

New Times chatted with Tia Carrere, who played the badass rocker Cassandra Wong, about politics, the film that catapulted her to stardom, and what she’s up to now.

"I was heartbroken when Hillary lost," Carrere says of Clinton's run for the White House. "A lot of people in this nation, women in particular, were wondering what we can do now and not despair. We’ll continue to be involved and engaged however we can.”

In the meantime, Wayne’s World serves as a decent distraction from politics, Carrere says, noting she rewatched the film about a week ago at an event in Los Angeles. She says the comedy, which was released in 1992, launched her career. “It was a genius piece of work and the pop culture phenomenon for our time. Mike Meyers and Bonnie and Terry Turner wrote a hilarious script.” She smiles as she recounts the scene where Wayne begins conversing in cantonese with Wong.
Who can forget the infamous "Bohemian Rhapsody" scene in the movie? But there were other special moments in the film for Carrere. Though she became well known as an actress, she had initially wanted to be a musician. “I love the ballroom blitz scene because I had to learn all the songs and learn to play the bass. I’m really proud of the scene.” Since Wayne’s World, Carrere has won two Grammy Awards for her Hawaiian music albums in 2009 and 2011.

After decades of an active acting and music career, Carrere is planning her next move. “I’m a mother of an 11-year-old, a Girl Scout troop leader, and a member of the PTA. My focus right now is to have some time and space, but I’m figuring out what I want to do next: continue to make music, film and television, or do a one-woman show and sing some of my music.”

What does Carrere miss most about the '90s? “Doc Marten boots. I need to go out and get a pair,” she laughs.
click to enlarge PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Paramount Pictures
Wayne’s World
Tuesday, February 7, and Wednesday, February 8, at theaters across South Florida, including at O Cinema Wynwood and Regal South Beach.. Visit waynesworld25.com for tickets and showtimes.
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Minhae Shim Roth is an essayist, journalist, and academic.
Contact: Minhae Shim Roth