I was recently reading an article on Claudia Wells, 50, at News.com.au. For those not familiar with Claudia, she played the role of Jennifer Parker, Marty McFly’s girlfriend, in one of my favorite movies — Back to the Future.
Starring Michael J. Fox, it was a blockbuster release in 1985. Fox played the role of Marty McFly who traveled back to his family’s past in a time machine cleverly disguised as a DeLorean sports car.
Towards the end of the article, Claudia answered the question on what she would do if she could really travel back in time in a DeLorean.
“I would go back in time to hangout with Jesus. I’d just hold his hand, look in His eyes and just take Him in and have a good chat.”
Claudia Wells is a Christian and if you go to her Facebook page you will see her feed filled with inspirational Biblical quotes.
It took a bit of digging but I discovered an interview with Smashing Interviews Magazine on how Claudia became a Christian.
She wasn’t raised in a Christian home, but when she was 15 years old she was chosen to play a role in the popular TV show Herbie, the Love Bug starring Dean Jones.
During filming, Jones shared Jesus with Claudia — on how she needed to fill that hole in her heart with God otherwise she would end up into drugs and alcohol.
Dean and his wife took Claudia and her mother to church with them every Sunday. At that time they attended The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California.
“Through him [Jones] I became a born again Christian and that has been my spiritual path ever since no matter what has been going on, good or bad in my life.”
And it hasn’t always been good. There were two sequels following Back to the Future (Back to the Future II and Back to the Future III) and Claudia only played Jennifer in the first. In the two that followed, Marty McFly’s girlfriend was played by Elizabeth Shue.
Claudia said she had to pull out of the sequels because her mother was dying of breast cancer.
According to News.com.au, Claudia almost didn’t play Jennifer in the first movie. Producer Steven Spielberg had originally chosen her to play Jennifer, but Claudia, then 19, was working in a TV series and the producers wouldn’t release her for the movie.
So Spielberg went with another woman and initially Eric Stolz as Marty McFly. However, after a few weeks of production, Spielberg decided to use Michael J. Fox instead.
However, it seems the other girl (5′ 7″) was now too tall for Michael J. Fox. By this time, Claudia (5′ 3″) was mostly done with her responsibilities in the TV series and the producers released her for the Back to the Future roll.
She has played only a few roles since turning down those sequels, but has no regrets on her decision to leave the series.
Twenty-five years ago she started a men’s clothing store Armani Wells. Basically she buys clothes worn by celebrities and sells this high-end, barely used apparel — Prada, Versace, Canali — at substantially reduced prices.
She is also a founding board member of a nonprofit organization called Kids in the Spotlight that works with foster children. During ten week programs, the kids learn how to produce short movies, including writing scripts and learning how to act.
After the kids choose which script is the best, professional directors and camera men are brought in to produce a show based on the winning script — starring the kids.
Once a year, the organization hosts an evening similar to the Oscars. The foster children from the different programs are brought together for one finale. They are dressed to the hilt and with real stars in attendance, they watch their shows on big screens.
For that night the children are treated like celebrities. In an interview with Huffington Post, Claudia said the program gives these foster children “a real hope for the future.”