The transcript below is from the video “Why This Mortal Kombat Star Disappeared From Hollywood” by Looper.

Looper (YouTube Channel on go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games):

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras was once a regular fixture on our screens, but her acting career has dwindled over the past decade. Join us as we explore why she stepped back from Hollywood, despite being a major sensation.

Born Bridgette Wilson and raised in a small town in coastal Oregon, she competed in the Miss Teen USA pageant at age 16. Wilson won the contest and became only the second-ever girl from Oregon to hold the title. In a post-win interview, Wilson told reporters that she hoped to pursue a career in the entertainment industry and credited her family with helping her win the title. She told the Associated Press…”

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras:

“I went in and I was going to give it my best shot, and whatever my best was, I was going to hope for the best…There are 51 beautiful girls here. I’m a sincere person, and I believe in myself, and having my family here was a help.”

Looper (YouTube Channel on go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games):

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras quickly secured a small role in ‘Saved by the Bell’, and her popularity grew throughout the early ’90s. After an appearance in the Arnold Schwarzenegger-led blockbuster, ‘Last Action Hero’, Wilson-Sampras was cast as Adam Sandler’s love interest in the movie ‘Billy Madison’. The role she’s best known for almost didn’t happen due to her work with Sandler, but a twist of fate would make sure that audiences always thought of Wilson-Sampras when they thought of Sonya Blade.

Scene from Mortal Kombat movie:

“It’s an honor to finally meet you, Sonya.”

Looper (YouTube Channel on go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games):

Though it was critically panned, the ‘Mortal Kombat’ movie was a big deal for the actors starring in it. Wilson-Sampras initially lost out on the role of Sonya Blade to a then-unknown Cameron Diaz. As Wilson-Sampras told The Hollywood Reporter…

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras:

“I went back and auditioned and met with them so many times. Probably seven. I kept going back and going back.”

Looper (YouTube Channel on go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games):

The decision was taken out of Wilson-Sampras’ hands when she was cast in ‘Billy Madison’. Plus, the producers had been wowed by Diaz in ‘The Mask’. Diaz trained to play Sonya Blade while Wilson-Sampras shot her film with Adam Sandler. A producer on ‘Mortal Kombat’ told The Hollywood Reporter…

Mortal Kombat Producer:

“As soon as we saw the dailies from ‘The Mask’, there was no question that [Cameron Diaz] was a star. We put her into training, because she had not really done this kind of martial arts work before. She broke her wrist right before shooting to the point where she couldn’t do the martial arts stunts we needed.”

Looper (YouTube Channel on go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games):

With that stroke of Diaz’s bad luck, Wilson-Sampras finally ended up landing the part of Sonya Blade. While other cast members had months to train for the film, Wilson-Sampras had to work on her fighting on-set in Thailand. She also had a health scare after arriving on set, and told The Hollywood Reporter…

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras:

“In the very beginning, I dislocated my shoulder. I did a partial dislocation, but it was weird because I was totally fine…They popped it back in and we kept going. It was all good.”

Looper (YouTube Channel on go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games):

Some people might expect tales of diva behavior from a former pageant queen who no longer works in Hollywood, but all signs point toward Bridgette Wilson-Sampras being a trooper on the set of Mortal Kombat. The actress told The Hollywood Reporter…

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras:

“I did all of my own stunts and all my own fighting, which was awesome. I didn’t have as long to prepare as everyone else did because they were able to work with the trainers for a few weeks prior to the filming.”

Looper (YouTube Channel on go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games):

After ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Billy Madison’, the roles came fast for Wilson-Sampras. The horror flick, ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’, kept her busy, and she closed out the ’90s with a few minor parts before starring in the remake of ‘House On Haunted Hill’. Her last major role came in 2001, when she appeared opposite Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey in the romantic comedy, ‘The Wedding Planner’. During this time, she was also dating tennis superstar Pete Sampras, who would change the course of her life.

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras in a movie scene:

“I think you know what I’m talking about.”

Looper (YouTube Channel on go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games):

The actress married 14-time Grand Slam winner Pete Sampras in 2000. The pair met by chance after Sampras spotted her at a Los Angeles movie theater. He explained to InStyle Magazine…

Pete Sampras:

“I said to my friend, half-kidding, ‘’I’d love to meet her.’”

Looper (YouTube Channel on go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games):

The friend introduced the couple and the rest is history. The pair dated for nine months before Sampras proposed at his Los Angeles home. Sixteen weeks later, they held their wedding in the backyard. Sampras rented a massive tent to cover his private tennis court and turned it into a reception hall. InStyle reported that even Elton John dropped by the ceremony to play a surprise 45-minute set. Wilson-Sampras told the publication…

Pete Sampras:

“That’s one of my most vivid memories of the wedding.”

Looper (YouTube Channel on go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games):

Sampras also revealed to InStyle that he was ready to step out of the spotlight with his new wife and said…

Pete Sampras:

“When you win matches, it’s a short-lived high…This was something I was committing to for life. Tennis will one day stop, but I’ll always have Bridgette. That’s the biggest reward of all.”

Looper (YouTube Channel on go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games):

The Sampras’ marriage has endured for two decades. Since that ceremony in their home, the couple went on to have two sons. Christian Sampras was born in 2002, and Ryan Sampras followed in 2005. Meanwhile, Pete retired from professional tennis in 2002 after besting his career-long rival, Andre Agassi, in the finals of that year’s U.S. Open. Bridgette Wilson-Sampras continued to act sparingly in the years after her sons were born, but interviews from around the time of her final film made it clear that she was ready to live a quieter life outside of Hollywood. She told Pregnancy magazine…

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras:

“For now, I want to be there when [the boys] wake up and I want to be there to put them in bed.”

Looper (YouTube Channel on go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games):

Wilson-Sampras didn’t enjoy being apart from her children, and she shared that feeling with the magazine. She explained…

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras:

“It was very hard for me to leave my kids. It was just devastating to have to get a babysitter that wasn’t family. We went through some nightmare experiences with babysitters, but when you find that right person, to still be willing to go out to dinner and not lose your relationship with your husband…that was work for me. I was like, ‘I love you and all, honey, but I’m busy. I got my babies!’”

Looper (YouTube Channel on go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games):

While she’s almost certainly gotten better about separation in the decade since, Wilson-Sampras has not yet returned to acting.




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