“Very classy”. It’s one of the few lines she speaks in the movie “Can’t Buy Me Love”, but those two words are what best describes actress Ami Dolenz.
The 1987 coming of age movie that showcased nerdy Ronald Miller (Patrick Dempsey) buying the affections of Cindy Mancini (Amanda Peterson) also contained a number of firsts for the daughter of famous “Monkee” Micky Dolenz. Not only was it Ami’s first feature film role, but it was also where she met co-star Darcy DeMoss (Patty) for the first time as well. The two instantly connected and have been best friends ever since.
Following the breakout success of “Can’t Buy Me Love”, Ami would go on to appear as Melissa McKee on the daytime soap “General Hospital” and star in such films as “She’s Out of Control”, “Miracle Beach”‘, “Witchboard 2: The Devil’s Doorway” and Pumpinkhead II: Blood Wings” to name just a few.
What you may not know about Ami is that, in addition to being an amazing actress, she also has a passion for art and writing. She is currently working on a children’s book,“Harold and Agatha and the Mysterious Jewel”, in which she will both write and illustrate.
I had the opportunity to speak with the beautiful and multi-talented artist from her home in Vancouver and discuss “Can’t Buy Me Love” and the bond she shares with Darcy DeMoss. Ami also talks about her passion for art and storytelling as well as her own “metal” connection.
If there’s one thing I learned about from our conversation, it’s this: When it comes to cool, Ami Dolenz is in a class by herself.
goJimmygo (gJg): I wanted to talk to you about the 25 year anniversary of “Can’t Buy Me Love”.
Ami Dolenz (AD): It’s so weird and hard to believe that its been that long.
gJg: I spoke with Darcy DeMoss (Patty) a few months ago and she said the exact same thing.
AD: You interviewed one of my BEST friends. Darcy and I have known each other for such a long time. It was one of those things where we just instantly connected; we keep in touch a lot. I love what she’s doing with the animals. I’ve been to Shambala quite a few times. That whole movement is so amazing; it means a lot to me.
gJg: How did you become involved with “Can’t Buy Me Love?”
AD: I was just starting out as an actress at the time, and initially auditioned for the role of Cindy but ended up getting the role of Fran; which was great. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to get my chops going; memorize lines and hit my mark. Amanda (Peterson) did such a great job as Cindy. I met so many amazing people while working on that movie.
It was so much fun just to be there with everyone and be a part of that experience. It’s a point in my life that I don’t ever want to forget.
gJg: What do you remember most about your experience making the movie?
AD: When we made the movie, it was around the time of my 18th birthday and it was the first time I was on a location without my Mom along. It was also where I met Darcy for the first time. She bought me a cake to celebrate my birthday. We’ve been best friends ever since!
gJg: Do you have any favorite scenes?
AD: I really love Darcy’s scene where she’s in the car with Patrick. Of course, I’m also pretty fond of the party scene too (because, I’m in it).
gJg: You went on to appear in “General Hospital” and then the movie “She’s Out of Control” with Tony Danza. What was it like working with Tony?
AD: Tony was a fabulous person to work with. He’s also a great tap dancer and showed me some of his moves. It was funny because our paths seemed to keep crossing. I first met him when I was on “Star Search”; we were both in a comedy sketch together. Then a few years later, I met him again for “She’s Out Of Control” .
gJg: What attracted you to the horror genre for films like “Pumpkinhead” and “Witchboard”?
AD: Believe it or not, I’m actually a scary movie fanatic. I love horror. In fact, the original “Alien” is my all-time favorite comfort movie. I can watch it over and over.
gJg: Your father is hugely into music. Did he encourage you to try to get you into music while you were growing up?
AD: He did in a way, when I was younger. I used to play his drums. I also have a tape of me as a child signing “Blue Suede Shoes” with him. But acting was something I really wanted to do.
gJg: What was it like growing up with The Monkees?
AD: I remember we had a beautiful house in the Hollywood Hills that people would always come and visit. One of my best friends growing up was actually Alice Cooper. I even remember one of my first days in school; my teacher asked me who my best friend was and I said, “Alice Cooper”…
gJg: Do you have your own “rock star” moment?
AD: I once did an episode of “The Adventures of Superboy” where I actually got to play a rock star who needed to be protected. My hair was wild and I got to “perform” on a huge stage. I particularly remember the scene with my limousine pulling out and everyone pounding on the car. That was a fun gig!
gJg: What are you working on right now?
AD: I’ve been taking art classes here in Vancouver. I do charcoal and some ink projects. I’m also self publishing my own children’s book, “Harold and Agatha and The Mysterious Jewel”. It’s very exciting but a lot of work. I’m going to be doing the illustrations myself as well.
As far as acting goes, I have a few things going right now, but I can’t really talk about them…yet.