Q&A: Claudia Wells from original ‘Back to the Future’ discusses legacy of the blockbuster film

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Claudia Wells, Michael J. Fox, and Christopher Lloyd in the 1985 film “Back to the Future.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Universal Pictures | Daily Texan Staff

It’s been three decades since Marty McFly used a time machine to step into the future, but the impact of the movie still lives on.

The Daily Texan spoke with Claudia Wells on the legacy of the blockbuster movie “Back to the Future.” Wells is most commonly known for her role as Marty McFly’s girlfriend, Jennifer Parker, in the trilogy’s first film.

DT: Could you have ever anticipated when you filmed the movie that it would become such a phenomenon?

CW: Never. I don’t think anybody could have. God anointed that film and has blessed it. It just continues to grow. And every generation continues to love it because parents introduce their children to it. I think there is a special “Back to the Future” love that is just something magical. 

DT: What does it feel like to meet so many fans that love your work and the timeless Jennifer Parker character?

CW: I’m incredibly honored by it, and it is always a blessing to meet fans. It brings me incredible, great joy and I adore the ability to be a part of that. I went to an event where there was a 3-month-old baby dressed exactly like Jennifer Parker. It’s mind-boggling. It’s extraordinary to me that people take that character so vividly. It’s indescribable how much that touches me.

DT: Do you still keep in touch with your old “Back to the Future” castmates?

CW: I’m terrific, great friends with the cast and production team. I’m in touch with everyone. They’re family to me. The whole world of “Back to the Future” is like a family. There is a love that’s intrinsic and infused among everyone. So anything that I can have to do with that movie or the people involved — behind the camera, in front of the camera, with the fan base — I’m all in. It’s a huge and important part of my life. I take it very seriously. I honor the love of that movie and I’m grateful for every single bit of it. And the fact that I got to be a part of it and get to continue to be a part of it is a major part of my life.

DT: What are your future plans with acting?

CW: The acting passion is still in me and it has bubbled back up to the surface. I’m going to be doing a movie that is filming in the Czech Republic in April. I’ve done a lot of small, independent feature films when people find me, and now I’m making myself more available. I’m also producing and hosting a documentary based on a friend of mine, and there is also a reality show about my life and my store that is in the works. 

DT: Do you think there might be a future where we see you as Jennifer Parker again?

CW: If there is, I’m all in. I love anything to do with the film. I would adore being Jennifer again. She is always inside me. It was just a very special experience, being able to bring her back to life (in a video game, ”Back to the Future: The Game”).