To millions of teenagers, Michael J. Fox’s Back to the Future hero Marty McFly was the epitome of cool. And that includes his original co-star, who in a new interview opened up about her memories of filming the 1985 blockbuster.
Claudia Wells, now 50, played Marty McFly’s girlfriend Jennifer Parker in Robert Zemeckis’ first Back to the Future (she was replaced in the sequels by Elisabeth Shue). And ahead of her appearance at an upcoming fan event, she spoke to Australia’s Daily Telegraph about the influence Fox had on her as an 18-year-old — including the fact that their onscreen smooch was one of her first kisses.
“While in the fifth grade, I played a kissing game with friends, and I remember a boy kissing me, but aside from that I hadn’t really been kissed. I had just graduated from high school, so I was very young, but I was also very shy and inexperienced around boys.
“We were the perfect height — he never seemed too short to me — and yes, he was a good kisser! I’m telling you all my secrets now!”
That wasn’t the only first that Wells experienced with Fox on the Back to the Future set.
“When Michael put his hand in the back pocket of my jeans — like a real boyfriend! When I was in high school I never had that. I would always see the girls with the guys and they’d be cuddled together and I’d be sitting on the side, alone, eating my sugar cookies thinking: ‘Why can’t that be me?’
Initially, it wasn’t clear Wells would appear in the film, given that after being hired she had to decline due to a prior TV commitment. Nonetheless, when original star Eric Stoltz was replaced by Fox, Zemeckis and company needed someone who’d match better with the shorter Family Ties star — resulting in Wells nabbing the part for good.
“The girl they picked for the role was 5 feet 7 — I’m 5 feet 3 and a half — which was too tall for Michael, so they came back to me. … I ended up getting my part twice!” During filming, Wells remembered sitting with Fox in between takes and listening to music. “Michael really did teach me about being cool.”
And according to Wells, her connection with the leading man hasn’t diminished over the past three decades, as evidenced by their recent reunion:
“It was during the 30th anniversary celebrations, and when we saw one another, it was like no time had passed. We were just staring each other and gushing about how much we loved one another while catching up on each others lives. It was beautiful.”
“There’s a special connection — a chemistry of sorts — between us that just hasn’t changed.”
You can read more of Wells’ anecdotes at the Daily Telegraph.
Watch a trailer from ‘Back to the Future:’