I was listening to Funkadelic‘s brilliant debut album the other night and I remembered that the El Supremo funkateer, George Clinton, had a cameo appearance in “P.C.U.”. The film is a comedic send-up of militant identity-politics on college campuses in the 1990s, on both right and left, which would be epitomised in earnest by John Singleton‘s Higher Learning, released a year later*. I also remembered one of the lead actresses, Sarah Trigger, who played new student “Samantha” and wondered what had happened to her.
I crushed on her for a while in the 90s, but then I’m a sucker for ginger hair and green/blue eyes. I didn’t realise she was born in London, which would’ve made her even more attractive to me. She apparently moved to the U.S. when she was eighteen. Her birthday is five days after mine, though she was born two years before me. She seemed to do a good job of hiding her “Laaan-dan” accent, ‘cos I was convinced she was American.
My favourite role of hers, though, was in the ‘Gen-X’ (blech!) romantic comedy/drama (blech!) Don’t Do It, which was released in 1994. Trigger played ‘Alicia’, struggling through a relationship that seemed doomed from the beginning. I don’t remember much from the film, other than Trigger projected a vulnerability that cut through the knowing smarm of some of the other actors’ lines and performances. ‘Course, now everyone probably remembers the film only for the appearance of an up-and-coming Heather Graham, before her big breakthrough as “Roller Girl” in P.T. Anderson‘s 70s/80s epic, Boogie Nights. I suppose I’ll have to watch “Don’t Do It” again, to see if it’s aged well – I’m guessing maybe not.
After that, well, she sorta dropped off the radar. She did appear in a few teevee movies and in the Tarantino-lite Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead. I do recall watching a bit of that, but never got all the way through it. Her last appearance (according to IMDB) was on CSI:Miami in 2005. She went on to marry Jon Cryer in 1999. Cryer, who most of us remember as indie-kid misfit “Ducky” in John Hughes’s “rich-boy/poor-girl” 80s romance, Pretty In Pink, had a string of teevee flops before having a ‘hit’ with Two And A Half Men. Yep, the very same show that Charlie Sheen was appearing on before he had his spectacular meltdown/burnout. I couldn’t tell you about the quality of it, as I’ve never actually watched one episode.
They had a son together before splitting in 2004. Things started to get a bit weird for Sarah after that, it seems. She married David Dickey (no idea who he is) and had another child and then she and Dickey split up. She took up with a guy named Eddie Sanchez. Meanwhile, she was battling with Cryer over child support payments that he wanted to drop. Cryer lost the payments battle, but things got sinister for Sarah.
In 2009, she was arrested for child neglect. The child in question was her second, not her son with Cryer. Then came the strange allegations that she was looking to hire a hitman to dispose of both Cryer and Dickey. Of course, these are the allegations of Hollyweird gossip vultures, but they’re enough to effectively kill off her acting career once and for all. Even if she returns to the UK (very unlikely), her reputation and the child-neglect arrest will certainly follow her.
Most of the public support fell to Cryer, with Trigger being called a “bitch”, “whore” and “gold-digger”. It’s a sad situation and as with these things, no-one really knows what went on in their marriage. Perhaps Cryer was neglectful or even mildly abusive – or possibly Trigger does have psychological issues. Nothing more has been reported about the child-abuse case and the news stories stop in 2011.
I hope for her sake that she is alright and if she needs help, getting the help she needs. I also hope she doesn’t become just another footnote in a seedy Hollyweird gossip book. She was a promising actor – good-looking and talented. I mean, she may never have reached Streep-level, but she could’ve carved out a nice career for herself. As Bill and Ted would say “Dudes, this is bogus.”
*”P.C.U.” may also be a lightweight college gross-out comedy, the “Animal House” of the 1990s, as well.