What drew you to this project?
Truthfully, I was kind of scared of a comedy. As an actress, drama is my thing. I wasn’t sure I would know how to guide a comedy. But after being encouraged by all my fellow directors and talking to the writer and really getting to know the characters she wrote, I just fell in love with these two complicated, lonely older people. It helped me recognize that this is not your over-the-top, laugh-out-loud comedy. It’s a sweet, make you giggle, shake your head, and walk away with a big smile romantic comedy.
Where you were born and where you were raised:
Born in Detroit and raised in Grand Rapids, Mich., which is the second largest city in Michigan. It was a great place to raise your kids but way too cold for me.
What do you hope viewers walk away with after seeing this project?
A big smile on their face and in their hearts. And the knowledge that you’re never too old to find love, just don’t compromise your moral standards to get it.
Who are your personals idols in the industry?
Not idols, but I greatly admire the work of Viola Davis, Meryl Streep, Spike Lee, George Lucas (I’m a huge Star Wars fan), Charlize Theron … way to many to name.
Performer you would drop everything to go see:
Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Janet Jackson and Barbara Streisand.
Pop culture guilty pleasure:
The Wizard of Oz, “Big Brother” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”
What’s on your music playlist?
I love oldies (60’s-70’s are my oldies) … and show tunes. I’m truly a lover of all kinds of music. I don’t think there is a genre I don’t like.
MAC or PC?
PC — I can’t figure out how to make the mouse do what I need it to on a Mac.
Worst job you ever had:
I would have to say there were plenty I wouldn’t want to do long term. At the time, they served the purpose and I was grateful to have them. I’d have to say there isn’t one.
Three things you can’t live without:
My relationship with God. My children and grandchildren. The ability to express the creative side of myself, both in front of and behind the camera.
Celtx, and all of the search engines, because I always seem to be working on and researching film stuff.
Last book you read:
The Shack, it’s an awesome book.
Last good movie you saw:
The Hunger Games and I also enjoyed Think Like a Man.
Some films you consider classics:
All About Eve, West Side Story, Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, My Cousin Vinny, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Ten Commandments, Gone With the Wind, Gypsy, … please I could keep [going] if we had all day.
Favorite screen or commercial opportunities:
Playing Sidney Poitier’s mother in flashbacks in The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn; directing a 20-minute short about bullying: “Five Smooth Stones;” and directing a PZI Jeans commercial with LisaRaye in it.
Co-directing the first 11 pages of a feature to be shot soon – Uncle Tom’s Cabin,.It will be told in a new way that allows you see that Uncle Tom was not a sellout like he has been portrayed in many films and plays; lots of indie shorts and commercials; and principle acting roles in films, commercials and industrials.
(Photo by Tammy McGarity)