All About Tanna: An Interview with Tanna Frederick, Part 1 of 3

“When talented people are interesting, it’s amazing. That’s like Tanna.” – Director Henry Jaglom, Hollywood Dreams

In her debut role as Margie Chezik, the effervescent Tanna Frederick manages to create a character who is equally zany and tragic. Margie isn’t just complicated, she’s a full-bodied enigma whose cunning is hardly limited to her interaction with the other characters. By the end of the film Hollywood Dreams, a film about a deceptive, ambitious, but ultimately troubled young actress, the audience knows that it has been taken in by Margie, too. And thanks to Frederick, we enjoy every second of it.

TheFilmChair: I just watched Hollywood Endings and I have to say you were fantastic. I’m always excited to talk with people when I’m very impressed by what I’ve seen.
Tanna Frederick: Thank you.

FC: You can take my word, or you can take the New York Times’s, I guess. You’ve been getting great reviews. How does that make you feel? This is your first on screen performance. What does that do when you are getting NY Times raves, Oscar and Golden Globe talk?
TF: It makes me feel wonderful. It’s really exciting to know that you can choose the track that you want to follow out here. You can do art that inspires you and that’s challenging and you don’t have to necessarily compromise between commercial and independent. I think that has a lot to do with the technology we have now, and a lot of films now are being produced by the independent world, a lot of the valuable films. I think that I’m very fortunate to have made “Hollywood Dreams” at a time when people are hungry and want something from independent films. I feel really lucky in that sense. And then to have found a director like Henry Jaglom who I just jive so well with and who jives with my idea of fun and art. It’s a total blessing.

FC: When you talk about independent, now, he’s old school independent. He’s been around, making movies his way. You just completed, or completed last year, principle photography on another one of his movies, and you are going to be in another Henry Jaglom film.
TF: Yeah, the one coming up. Everyone was left hungry, which is a good thing, to know what happened to my character Margie Chezik in Hollywood Dreams. Did she make it? What happened to her life? So were actually doing a sequel to Hollywood Dreams.

FC: That’s awesome.
TF: It’s called Queen of the Lot. There’s a scene in Hollywood Dreams that was cut out, but we are putting back in at the beginning of Queen of the Lot where I say, “I’m going to be just like Norma Shearer. I’m going to be queen of the lot.” That opens the next movie and it’s about Margie when she’s successfully made three big commercial films. She’s now Cinderella, but what does Cinderella have after she has a prince? What does Margie have now that she’s famous? She’s sort of lost and dealing with addictions and trying to figure out why she’s not happy still. It’s going to be with the same cast, David Proval, Karen Black, and then Noah Wyle is stepping in as the romantic lead. So I’m really excited about that. We’re shooting that this summer.

Irene in Time is the second film we completed, and it’s almost finished. It’s being edited and ready for rough cut screenings. It’s scheduled to be released in a September/October time frame. It’s a completely different character from Margie, which was fun for me. With Henry, he’s so open. He’s so respectful with people’s talent and range. I just really said I wanted to do something different. Margie was so bold in the movie, and my character in the next movie is very subdued. It’s a great, different character. It’s more of Jaglom’s magical realism, women’s films, where it’s about fathers and daughters. My character’s father died at a very young age, so she’s on her search, trying to find her ideal man, which is hard for her to find because she can’t find someone who’s just like her daddy.

All About Tanna continues here.

Hollywood Dreams is available on DVD May 6. Pre-order at

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