1985 – Geex, Idee, Captain EOFebruary 19, 2011
Woman on left, Cindy Sorenson (Geex)
Woman on right, Debbie Lee Carrington (Idee)
EndorExpress: Being that Captain EO was a Disney project, there was a lot of merchandise sold during the original release. Do you have any of those old Idy & Ody toys?
Debbie: I gave them to my nieces! [Laughs] But I saved my security pass that Michael had signed and I’ve got some of the original cast & crew sheets and things like that. I saved a lot of things. One thing that is very special to me is a storyboard from Captain EO that Michael had signed.
EndorExpress: That is amazing! Now, I’m sure you’re eager to see Captain EO again as we all are. Do you have a favorite memory from working on this project?
Debbie: It was all just mind boggling and unforgettable. I mean, I remember the first day at the table read sitting around on the studio lot with Francis [Ford Coppola] and Angelica [Huston], Tony Cox (Hooter), and Cindy waiting for Michael Jackson to arrive. All of a sudden he shows up coming through the giant stage doors with his glasses, his glove… and he came in. Francis went around the room and introduced everybody. Michael was painfully shy! Very surprising.
Francis would say, “Debbie, this is Michael.” “Michael, this is Debbie Lee Carrington.” He [Michael Jackson] would look down and say, “Pleased to meet you.” Just having him walk in the door with that first impression, with the light behind him, it was just amazing. And then the process of getting to know Michael and really sharing moments and seeing him dance – the whole THING was one of the most amazing jobs I’ve ever done.
EndorExpress: And I think being a part of his ‘crew’ really added to that.
Debbie: Oh yes! Part of his crew. Captain EO was our boss so we were very close with Michael. It was all very fun. When Michael would dance, you know, that was a whole other thing. He would snap into another person and it was just so magical and impressive. You’d get chills watching him dance.
Debbie, OC Register, February 23 2010
Carrington had a speaking role and a distinctive costume for EO.
“I’m half of the three-legged, two-headed character called the geex,” Carrington says. “We are the navigator and the pilot for Michael Jackson, who is Captain EO.”
She says a body cast was made for her and another actor while they were lying down and “connected” at the hip. From there, a harness was made to keep them together while in the furry costume.
“It wasn’t very comfortable,” Carrington says. “It was actually quite challenging to coordinate and walk together with the other actor because we had to act as one.”
Director Francis Ford Coppola spent the first part of the rehearsal period with the cast, including Jackson and Anjelica Huston, doing improvs. The purpose was to get them to open up to one another and act like a team, just like in EO, Carrington says.
“Michael came out of his shell after the first day,” she says. That led to a fun, playful environment on the set, complete with practical jokes, Carrington says.
Both Collette and Carrington saw Captain EO for the first time in many years when the film came back to Disneyland earlier this year in California.
Carrington has continued in the entertainment industry with acting work and stunt jobs. She says that she and Jackson remained friendly and, although he invited her to his house, she never went.
“Looking back, I wish I had,” she says. “I always thought ‘Well, we’ll work together, we’ll see each other again at another time.’ Unfortunately, it never happened. Then we lose him and you realize the permanence of that.”