The memory of Wendy Peffercorn in her red bathing suit will live on for-ev-er. Marley Shelton, who now stars in NBC’s Rise, can’t believe that the comedy, which hit theaters in April 1, 1993, became the hit it did — and that people still recognize her as the famous lifeguard.
“I’m shocked! Initially, people liked the movie but nobody thought it was going to have the legs that it did and become this cult classic. I think it had something to do with it being this very coming of age story,” Shelton, 43, told Us Weekly in an exclusive interview. “It’s such a fun movie — there are so many great throwback moments. I think it’s still relatable. Something about baseball and adolescence and that simpler time in life, I think people really relate to.”
Shelton, who was only 18 when she landed the role of Wendy, admitted that it surprises her anytime someone brings up the film to her. Wendy played an “older woman” that Squints, a young boy in town, had a crush on.
He pretends to be drowning in the town’s pool that she lifeguards at, so that she can give him mouth-to-mouth. When she does, he kisses her. At the end of the movie, it’s revealed that the two eventually got married.
“I’m always so flattered when people recognize me from it because it was 25 years ago! I’m like, ‘Wow thanks, I’m glad you recognize me as Wendy Peffercorn,’” she told Us. “I love when we get sent pictures of people dressing up as them for Halloween. It’s such a riot. There are some great costumes out there that probably rival the original.”
She continued: “Online, my husband found someone who made a whole clothing line. They printed fabric with Wendy in the bathing suit. He bought one online to tease me and wore it to my birthday party.”