Zach Galligan on Phoebe Cates' monologue controversy in 'Gremlins'

"Gremlins" star Zach Galligan speaks with Yahoo Entertainment about the infamous scene in his 1984 creature feature favorite.

Video Transcript

- He slipped and broke his neck. Died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus.

KEVIN POLOWY: I showed "Gremlins" to my daughters the other night, and one of the first questions I got from somebody after I told them that was, did you fast forward through the Santa Claus scene? Which I didn't. And I did-- and I ended up having that conversation. That scene has sort of taken on a life of its own over the years. What do you remember about shooting that scene?

ZACH GALLIGAN: Well, I actually remember a lot of it. Because if you really look at Phoebe Cates's role, she doesn't really have a whole lot to do in the films if you take that story and her Christmas secret away. So we shot the scene-- she had been rehearsing it relentlessly. She had really a phenomenal work ethic for, you know, we were both 19 at the time. She would rehearse it every day. She'd say, what about this way? What about that way? What about this way? And she'd probably rehearsed it maybe, I don't know, 100, 150 times.

So by the time we got there, she absolutely nailed it, and did a phenomenal job. The studio was like, what is this? Like, they just couldn't-- they were like-- some people were like, is this real? Is this a joke? Is this supposed to be funny? So we had to go and tell Phoebe that we were going to cut the scene. Or that they were going to cut the scene. I didn't have any cut.

She was not happy about that, and Joe was not happy about it. And so basically he had final cut, and when it came time to leave it in or take it out, he just decided, you know what? I'm making an executive decision, and I'm leaving it in. So he left it in, and the rest is history.