Lea Thompson ("Lorraine Baines McFly")

Lorraine BainesPadding into the kitchen in bedroom slippers, wearing a turtleneck sweater, striped blouse and polyester stretch pants is Loraine Baines McFly, a plumpish, middle-aged housewife who pours herself a glass of vodka before joining her family for dinner.

Jumping into a dressing room in a T-shirt and black mini-skirt is a pretty 24-year-old actress with shiny chestnut hair, perfect skin and a dimpled smile.

What do these two women have in common? Simple. They are both Lea Thompson, a talented young actress who meets a difficult acting challenge head on in "Back to the Future."

As Lorraine Baines, Thompson portrays a flirtatious young 17-year-old high school student attending Hill Valley High in 1955. Thirty years later, she is Lorraine Baines McFly, an unhappy housewife who married her high school sweetheart and had three children.

"When I first read the script, I thought it was such an interesting story," explains Thompson. "But the fact that I get to play more than one character is really exciting. It's a real challenge for an actress, so of course I wanted it immediately."

Thompson, who was born in Minneapolis in 1961, had to do plenty of research to get a feel for teenage life in the '50s. "Usually I go back to high school to study for a movie, but there's no way to go back to a '50s high school, so I tried to read magazines, watch movies and talk to older women who were in high school in the '50s. Once I got to see the sets, and had my hair done and got into costumes, it was all like being zapped into the past, and the character just came to me," she says.

As for the aging process, which took place in a make-up trailer each day for several weeks, Thompson says she got used to the three and a half hour sessions and the gradual process helped to prepare for her 47-year-old character.

"One night I left my old age make-up on, drove home and walked in the doorway while my mother was staying with me. She took one look at me and said 'cowabunga!' I had almost forgot I had it on, but she insisted 'You don't look like me, you look older than me!' And of course, she was right."

After several months in production as a teenager, circa 1955, Thompson admits that she grew very fond of the time period. "There was just a lot of fun and innocence about the 150s," she says. "I also enjoyed the hair styles; it's kind of sculpted with a whole different feeling. And I love the cars. I've got a '55 Chevy."

A professional dancer at the age of 14, Thompson won scholarships with both the American Ballet Theatre and the San Francisco Ballet before deciding to pursue a career as an actress at the age of 20.

Following a move to New York, she was cast in several commercials before winning a small role in "Jaws III." Her next role was that of Lisa Lietske, Tom Cruise's girfriend in "All the Right Moves," which brought her to the attention of critics and audiences alike. That part led to A challenging role as a teenage guerilla fighter in John Milius' adventure- drama, "Red Dawn." She has also starred in Universal's "The Wild Life" and will be seen in the upcoming British feature "Yellow Pages."

Steven Spielberg presents a Robert Zemeckis film "Back to the Future," starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson. The screenplay is by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, with music by Alan Silvestri. It is produced by Bob Gale and Neil Canton. The executive producers are Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. The director is Robert Zemeckis.

as of June 5, 1985

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