Notable TV guest appearances
Among the many memorable scenes in the landmark film Apocalypse Now, the Playmates' show at the Hua Phat installation still lingers in the memory, after 22 years. It was undoubtedly the defining moment in Cyndi Wood`s acting career, a true piece of Movie history.
Cyndi played "Miss Carrie Foster", a Playboy Playmate of the year. Of course Cyndi was well chosen for the role, having been the Playmate of the year in 1974. Few people will forget the sight of Cyndi jiggling across the screen, swinging her hips, and working the crowd of G.I.`s into a frenzy, culminating with her shaking her breasts which causes the soldiers to storm the stage to get closer to the dream girls.
Fans of the scene, and of course, the lady herself, got to see more of the bunnies in a scene lifted from the cutting room floor, and included on the 2001 "redux" release of the film, in which her psychologically intense 15-minute scene with actor Sam Bottoms after the Playboy helicopter breaks down on the river is shown to the world. *Click here to read a transcript.*The Bunnies are prostituted, in return for fuel for their downed helicopter, in a scene which showed the paralells between the young soldiers, and the glamour models, whose lives are both exploited.
Cyndi felt that director Francis Ford Coppola "wanted to give a girl in a magazine a platform to make a statement about what it was really like to be celebrated for your beauty.
"After I was Playmate of the Year I went for almost two years without going on a single date, and I was very lonely. Men who would go out with me had a hard time just being themselves because they'd created this illusion in their minds of who I was and it had nothing to do with who I was at all. Francis wanted to capture some of this kind of thing because the guys over in Vietnam went through the same thing: a lot of loneliness, a lot of feeling separate, wanting to connect with the opposite sex and never having the opportunity."
As with most of the Apocalypse cast, Cyndi's experience on the notoriously over-budget, disaster-struck film was one of the most significant experiences in her career. The production was imperiled by a horrific typhoon, the death of fellow crew members in a freakish helicopter accident and rumors of witchcraft and curses placed on the production. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, the 1991 documentary on the making of Apocalypse, tells only half the story of the wild times behind the scenes of the Vietnam epic, says Cyndi.
"If a hundred years from now they decided to make a film about what really went on over there, it would be ten times more interesting than the movie itself. At times, everything was so surrealistic that, honest to God, I thought I was really in Vietnam. It was an amazing life experience that I will always remember."