POP INTERVIEW: Actress Tanna Frederick

Long time no see, Tanna! We last spoke for Yahoo! Shine, and an interview sequel is long overdue.

Frederick is back as director Henry Jaglom’s source of on screen inspiration and working on her own Iowa-driven projects…

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Since I last chatted with you, a lot has and is happening. You’re working on a film set. Please tell us all about it: the film’s expected date to go see it, the story and why your character is so integral to the murder mystery.
I just finished wrapping the movie “Ovation” co-starring with James Denton (“Desperate Housewives”). Director Henry Jaglom had been wanting to do a film in which the entire story takes place backstage with actors coming on and off-stage, but showing where the real drama takes place — which is while the actors are going through a play, and never really showing the actual play being performed. That was our structure for “Ovation.”

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You do film and stage nicely. So as the story takes place amongst fictional play cast members, how much of that was familiar to you? Did you act like yourself when you are really involved in a play?
I’ve done theatre since I was a kid, and I love the theatre and every element, good or challenging, that comes with it. This particular movie was a third installment in a trilogy about a character which appeared first in “Hollywood Dreams,” then “Queen of the Lot,” and now has evolved into her character we see in “Ovation.” She’s a full fleshed character, it’s not reality TV, so I am not acting as myself in the role, I’m playing the character Maggie Chase. I acted as that character would act with the circumstances surrounding her if she were in a play.

The play that we were doing within the movie, “The Rainmaker” by N. Richard Nash, I am familiar with as we have been running that for ten months at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. It’s a classic role that I love, and the cast, set, and audiences have been wonderful.

You are finally getting your first self-made movie out there. And now, making your second movie also based in Iowa. What are your favorite movies with Iowa as a backdrop? How are you going to change Iowa into a place of interest with your future films?
Iowa is already a place of interest – more and more films are being shot there and have been shot there, and I’m just a lucky cowgirl jumping on the bandwagon.

You work all the time with director Henry Jaglom. Why are you his muse?
I don’t know, but I’m a very lucky lady.

Did he lead you any into developing your own films? Did he sort of teach you what to do on his own sets?
Having worked on six films with Henry, I have not missed the opportunity to watch his process and learn as much as I could. There are certain things that I have used in producing and directing my own work. “Garner, Iowa” was made on a shoe string budget, and Henry has taught me great methods as well as stories he passed on from Orson that I found helpful.

His newer film with you, “The M Words,” is hailed as a “feminist project.” Are you a feminist in some respect? Or if you aren’t, did you conflict with the material’s ideas?
I don’t see it as a feminist project. I see it as a rich emotional comedy that will expose the taboo subject of menopause. Both men and women discuss the subject, all of their emotions about it, and hopefully people will leave the theatre feeling the subject is now fair game and on the table for discussion with those they love.

How can people help your ovarian cancer walk drive?
Just click on runforher.com and donate to the cause. I’ll be running on November 11 in the race.

Nicole Russin aka. Richárde

Nicole Russin aka. Richárde

Nicole Russin, also known as her alter ego Richárde, is a bestselling chef, experienced print journalist and beauty/editorial model. You may visit her official website at NicoleRussin.com.