More: So the talk about how you didn’t get along was wrong?
CW: (Pause) We had our moments back then…I’ll put it this way: we came at things differently, but we always ended up in the same place at the same time. Always. She gets things right away and I’m the opposite—I’m a slow learner. Like all the dancing we did on the show—Penny’s a dancer, so she’d be able to do the dance immediately. But it always took me longer to learn the routine. We share the same sense of humor, though. Sometimes during the rehearsal process, we locked horns, but we always agreed on the humor of the show. We were always in sync.
More: You must have rubbed elbows with some famous faces back then. Tell us a story?
CW: I have some wonderful stories. Like meeting Cary Grant—I couldn’t even speak when I met him! I was at a function at the Hollywood Race Track and I heard my name being called—his voice was so familiar, I sort of recognized it instantly—and I turned around and all I could think was, Cary Grant said my name! He was in an all white suit and he was standing there in this beautiful light, it was just magical. And then he looked at me and said, “Well done”—he was a fan of “Laverne & Shirley”! I couldn’t believe it. And before then, back when I was a waitress, there was the time I waited on Jim Morrison…
CW: I’m saving that for the book I’m hoping to write someday!
More: I’d buy that book! Ok, last question: is it true that you screen-tested to play Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” movies?
CW: I did! But we don’t necessarily want to view that screen test, you know? (Laughs) I don’t really know what happened, I think George Lucas might have wanted to go younger. I was already starring in “Laverne & Shirley” by then.
More: Or maybe it was because Carrie Fisher was the only actress who could pull off the braided buns on the side of her head!
CW: Maybe! Who knows? Heck, it’s true, though: I could never have pulled it off, especially with my thin hair, but she looked good in those “cinnamon buns” as I call them!
Laverne & Shirley: The Fifth Season on DVD (paramount, 29.99)