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ThunderCat Interviews: Pumyra
By Bill Taylor



Entertainment Tonight's interviews with the Thundercats! Next: Pumyra.

Interview/Profile: Pumyra
Date of birth: August 13, 1961
Place of birth: Quebec, Canada
Height: 5-feet-7-inches
Weight: 150 pounds
Fur: Brown with white stripes
Eyes: Brown

Pumyra: I had tested for the role that became Cheetara's on THUNDERCATS,
and was turned down. I figured that was the end of that and decided to move
on. Then not quite a year later, my agent called and told me that the
producers on THUNDERCATS were having problems with Cheetara and that since
they remembered me from the screen tests, asked her to ask me if I would be
available to replace Cheetara if the need arose. They didn't say what kind
of problems, and I won't say either, since they made me promise not too,
but I said okay because I could needed work. What eventually happened was
that they asked me to join the show as a regular instead of a replacement
because they wanted to broaden things up a little bit in the second season
a bit. I showed up, did my screen tests, and I was picked.

>From the beginning, it appeared to me that I was not so much a regular but
more of an extra. This occurred to me when I showed up for work one day and
was told that I was not needed. It happened a couple of more times, and I
began to feel alienated. Even though I was there, they did not seem to
require my presence all that much, at least not as much as Bengali and
Lynx-o, who were also new that year. In the end, I just had a series of bit
parts that were loosely strung together. Lion-o tried to help me out
leaning on the show's writers to give me more parts, and even leaned on the
crew to let me be in shows that originally did not require me. I was
grateful for that. 

But I do have good memories of being there. There was a considerable amount
of calamity going on behind the scenes. Panthro would play jokes on people,
and then the people would plot to play a joke on Panthro, and you get the
idea. Lion-o could be real goofy when he wanted to be. I remember once they
were rehearsing a meeting scene and he busted into the room with Wilykit
riding on his back, singing "I've been through the desert on a lion with no
name!" or something like that. It might have been "Lion-o Silver!" but I
don't remember, I only remember everyone broke down laughing. Lynx-o
disdained much of this stuff, but he occasionally joined in just to see
what we enjoyed about it so much. When I worked with Cheetara, I felt that
the producers had made the right choice in picking her over me. She had
heart, soul, and charm, which made her the perfect foil on the show for the
guys. Overall, she was a perfect role model for any young girls who watched
the show. I couldn't have competed with her, and I couldn't have replaced
her. 

I remember Lion-o very fondly. He was handsome, built, and a nice guy to
boot. From that first screen test, we hit it off. He asked me out a few
nights later and a beautiful romance was born. I don't think anyone ever
noticed that I stayed at his place after those little poker games were
over. I remember one night we bumped into Cheetara and Tygra, and there was
more than some explaining to do. All the time, he told me that THUNDERCATS
could not be done without me and that it was all worth the stress and
pressure.

Unfortunately, even he could not convince me to stay for year four. No one
expected to do a fourth season, and while the others had contracts to stay,
I did not. They offered a contract, but I declined. I did not like the way
the writers and producers had used me on the show and I had enough of being
jerked around and what not. Lion-o asked me to stay, but I couldn't, and
since did not want to force me, we parted as friends. I agreed to a few
cameos on Third Earth, like Tygra, and that was it. On the other hand, if I
had known that the producers were willing to pay me more money, I probably
would have kept my mouth shut and stayed put.

What really amazes me though is that to this day, there are still people
who recognize me from the show and ask for my autograph. They come up to me
and say how much they loved me and the show when they were young and how
much they missed me during the last year. It really over-whelms me when
that happens because I did not think my part on the show was all that
important. When it happens, it makes me wish I had stayed that last year,
because it makes me feel like maybe I did play a part in the life of some
of these people. But I can't change the past. I also wish there was
something I could teach writers and producers everywhere: You can't treat
actors jerk actors around, and you can't just keep bringing in new
characters and hope that they stick. 

FACTS: The Canadian born Pumyra worked in modeling before taking up on
THUNDERCATS at the suggestion of her friends. Since high school, Pumyra
wanted to go to medical school to become a nurse and pursued that dream
even though medical schools required lots of money. Friends had been
telling Pumyra that her 5-feet-7-inch frame was perfect for modeling and
would make her a hot commodity in the world of high fashion. Pumyra
eventually agreed, mostly so that she could build up a bank account and pay
for medical college. She became a top pick in the modeling world, modeling
for big names like Victoria Secret. Her agent told her about the
THUNDERCATS producers looking for a strong female lead and tried to get her
the part, but she was rejected in favor of Cheetara. When Cheetara's
alcoholism began to cause problems, Pumyra was considered as a possible
replacement for Cheetara and was eventually brought on board to give the
writers another heroine to be showcased doing incredible feats to relieve
Cheetara. 

After her stint on THUNDERCATS ended, Pumyra finally went to medical school
and became a top flight nurse. She has since returned to Quebec and has two
children.

NEXT: Wilykit and Wilykat









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