D23 had the chance to speak with actress Illeana Douglas (Ghost World, Goodfellas, Cape Fear), who plays the band’s manager in Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Douglas talks about what it was like jumping in front of the camera with the famous rockers, riding the attraction after it was completed, and joining the long list of celebrities who entertain thousands of park guests each day at Walt Disney World.
What was your reaction when you got the call to play Aerosmith’s manager?
Illeana Douglas: At first I thought it was a joke. Growing up, Aerosmith was my favorite band ever! It was the first or second concert I went to and so of course I wanted to do it. How I was cast has been a total mystery to me. You wouldn’t think I’d be the choice. I was doing The Drew Carey Show at the time playing his girlfriend. So it may have come from that. Drew did something for Disney [Sounds Dangerous] and it was right around the same time. Whoever pitched me I’m glad that they did.
What was it like filming with Aerosmith?
ID: It was absolutely hysterical. No one could remember any of the lines. We had to do the whole thing as one take. So if somebody messed up you had to do it again. Between the four guys in Aerosmith, I’d walk on and then they’d say, “Maybe we should ask our…” And I’d say, “Manager! I’m the manager! Okay, let’s take it again.” They messed up so many times—I think Steven just put it in his own words. “Yeah, make it happen!” They were the nicest group of people.
What was it like going on the attraction for the first time?
ID: Riding it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life—I guess because of the lights being out! And they had an Aerosmith concert at the opening. They were just the best. I have such fond memories of that. I got autographs from everybody. And more times than not, people have come up to me and ask me about it. I think they’re going to mention a movie I’m in. And they say, “You’re on a ride in Disney World!”
What’s it like being a part of Walt Disney World history?
ID: Growing up in Massachusetts I think I went to Disney World once, but I was such a huge fan of Disney animation. Who doesn’t want to be a part of Disney? I’m a fan of Snow White and all the movies. I didn’t think about it at the time—I was thinking more about the fun Aerosmith thing—but as the years have gone by and the way people keep coming up to me, I am thrilled to have been a part of it. It’s such an elite group and somehow I snuck in there.
For more exclusive interviews with the stars who added their talents and voices to many of Walt Disney World’s most beloved attractions, check out D23-s Honey I Shrunk the Audience and Journey into Imagination with Figment with Eric Idle and ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter with Kathy Najimy!
By D23′s Jeffrey Epstein