Saman­tha Mathis Back in the Spot­light


In 1993 Saman­tha Mathis’s world was shat­tered when her boyfriend and The Thing Called Love costar River Phoenix died of an over­dose at 23. “I’ve talked very lit­tle about it,” says Mathis, 48, who was with Phoenix when he died at L.A.’S Viper Room night­club. “There’s still so much sad­ness around the fact that he’s gone. He meant so much to so many peo­ple.” The daugh­ter of the late ac­tress Bibi Besch, Mathis be­came one of the most sought-af­ter stars of her gen­er­a­tion by ap­pear­ing in youth-ori­ented hits such as Pump Up the Vol­ume. Af­ter 30 years in the busi­ness, she doesn’t miss those fast-lane days. “To be hot at a young age, you can suc­cumb to the trap­pings of Hol­ly­wood,” she says. “I’m not in­ter­ested in that any­more.”

Now she’s star­ring in the hor­ror film The Clove­hitch Killer—a movie that ter­ri­fies her. “It’s so creepy,” she says of its se­rial-killer plot. “Do you ever know who your neigh­bor re­ally is? Your fa­ther?”

“I’m re­ally blessed to have had my ca­reer,” says Mathis (above, in The Thing Called Love with River Phoenix and, be­low,in The Clove­hitch Killer with Dy­lan Mc­der­mott).

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