Judy Shimizu


Tell us a little bit about yourself in general.

I'm 20 years older and not any taller (4'11"), but I still get carded/ID'ed. :)

I was married for 10 years, but alas, that came to an end.
No children, but we had the most wonderful pets.
I live in Orange County, CA. now.

I work in the Mortgage industry for a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank.
Prior to that, I worked for a 'U.S. Government Agency'. Sorry...it's confidential.

Riding motorcycles has been a hobby for about 20 years now.

I love musicals (Les Miserables - my favorite), art, and all types of music.


Are you surprised that you are being interviewed because of a character you played in Beauty and the Beast, a television series which was cancelled nearly 20 years ago?

No, I'm not surprised. The love I had for the show lingers still...and I know that if the fans loved the show half as much as I treasured being IN it, there is no doubt that this will continue on....and so will the interviews.


Why do you think the show is still remembered and celebrated by its fans after all these years?

The show touched us in ways that society or current shows cannot even try to emulate.


Have you ever been a part of another project that had this kind of devotion?



Did being a part of BATB affect your life?

Yes. I was going through a difficult relationship with my then-boyfriend when I was first asked to come on the show. He was becoming quite abusive. I couldn't wait to wake up at 5am to get to the set...and escape from 'reality'. The cast and crew were my family for a few precious years. It was there (on the set) that I was surrounded by love. With that, I had the strength to leave that spirit-consuming relationship.


Do you ever hear from anyone else associated with Beauty and the Beast?

Yes, but I prefer to keep that confidential.


Going back to the beginning, how did you get your part?

My casting director, who was a friend for a few years, told me about Beauty & the Beast, and she wanted me to go to a call. At first I thought...a woman who falls in love with a man in the form of a lion is silly...and I told my casting friend, 'Thank you but I'll pass on this one'. But knowing how I am, she insisted and kept insisting, saying how much she KNOWS I would like being on this show. I succumbed and reluctantly went. One show was all it took. I was hooked.

And yes, I thanked her soooo much!!!!


In which episodes did you appear?

In almost every episode.



For us fans, the tunnels are sort of real, and we understand you are a fan of the show. Does having also been part of it, and having worked in it, spoil some of the magic we fans find in it?

Perhaps a little. But understand that there were great special effects too. We would walk down circular stairs in a dome-shaped construction....and when I saw that particular show on TV, I was wonderfully shocked that all that wasn't there, was there!!! It was magic being IN the show, and magic seeing it on TV. I was so blessed being a part of both worlds!!!

One thing the TV captures that we couldn't...was Vincent's voice!!! He'd speak so softly and gently into the microphone that we could barely hear him. YOU were able to hear him on TV...and cooooo.....


You were one of the extras and had no lines in the episodes. What kind of direction did you get from the directors, as background people?

We each had different personalities, and being on the set continuously, the directors (and Assistant Directors) would place each of us in particular spots (ie. next to Catherine/Vincent/etc.) for visual attraction and congruent action. Of course, we had to emulate emotions accordingly to the scene(s).



Did you have only the part of Tunnel Dweller, or did you ever play any other background parts?

I played a woman at a bar (sitting next to Catherine) and um...on a separate show, a 'lady of the evening'.


You have probably worked with different directors of the episodes. Did you find any differences in their perception of the tale?

Yes. From working on almost every show, there were differences due to their own personalities and directing backgrounds.


Can you tell us something about costuming? How was the clothing chosen for each person?

We were fitted in the beginning. We tried on so many variations! Thereafter, the garments were ready for us, hung with our names on them. There were layers upon layers of clothing...leather, wool, cotton, etc. The only bad thing about the clothing was that when I was tired, the clothes were so comfy, that I wanted to curl up and go to sleep in them!


The tunnel garb all seems to be heavy clothing. Was this a problem at all when filming in warm weather?

They kept the temperature nice and cool on the set. Otherwise, on locations, it got a bit hot. Surprisingly, merely removing the finger gloves made a cooling difference!


Your character wasn't identified. Did you ever speculate about who your character was and how she came to be in the tunnels? If you did, would you tell us about her?

Judy or Keiko (my Japanese name) had parents who were severe alcoholics. They were terribly abusive, even when she was a child. She was never bathed, hardly fed or cared for. One cold rainy night, her parents beat her almost to death...and she barely managed to run away. She crawled into a dark alley...freezing cold, drenched, and was bleeding and dying. She doesn't remember how long she was there.
She awoke in Vincent's arms...and passed out again. She opened her eyes and saw Father...and passed out again. When she finally awoke, she was in a different world...where she was finally accepted and loved.


What is your fondest memory of Beauty and the Beast?

This question could take pages to answer. There was no particular fondEST memory.
There was something to hold on to everyday.


What was the atmosphere like on the sets?

Hm...atmosphere could be taken a few ways. On the set, it was often smoky with the fog machines...or windy with the commercial-sized fans in the 'tunnels'.

Or ... it was tough some days with the long hours. But everyone had such a wonderful attitude that the hours raced by.


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