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).