1Q: Tell us how you became involved with The Happiest Place On Earth, and how you prepared for the part.
My manager at the time saw the casting notice for The Happiest Place on Earth and submitted me to read for the role of Maggie Price. Preparation for the part truly commenced at the callback auditions for the role. The callback audition consisted of two and a half hours of screen tests, reading select sides from the script with various scene partners, and in-character interviews. It was my most intense audition to date and the most fulfilling in terms of creating an environment for me to become completely immersed in the material.
2Q: Cinequest Film Festival is hosting the World Premiere of The Happiest Place On Earth. Explain to us how it feels to bring this film before audiences for the first time, and what do you think their reaction will be to your film?
The fact that The Happiest Place on Earth is being shown for the first time at Cinequest makes the journey traveled to complete the film even more rewarding. The cast and crew put so much of themselves into this film and I’m excited that we now have the opportunity to share what we created with the world. I can’t predict what the audience reaction to the film will be like but I definitely think that the story will resonate with many viewers.
3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making The Happiest Place On Earth.
The Happiest Place on Earth centers on a time in Maggie’s life that is simply heartbreaking. Living her life at that point was both the best and worst experience of making the film. It was gratifying as an actor to have the opportunity to dive into such meaty material. On the other hand there was certainly an emotional toll that was paid in order to do so.
4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?
We all strive for happiness and we have ideas about what we think will get us there. The Happiest Place on Earth illustrates the struggle that occurs when our life doesn’t unfold as planned. The film touches on current topics that many viewers will relate to and in turn will provide a cathartic experience for the audience.
5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won the Oscar for The Happiest Place On Earth. Give us your acceptance speech.
First and foremost I would like to thank God. With God all things are truly possible. I would like to thank my husband Jesse. Your unfailing support and encouragement are invaluable. My beloved family, thank you for always being there when I needed you most. My agent, my manager, my team. I would not be where I am without you. The amazing cast and crew. Unwashed Entertainment, GnC Films. A special thank you to all the people who donated to The Happiest Place on Earth fundraising campaign. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you to Yvonne Suhor for getting me started on my acting journey and for your sage advice. To Bonnie Gillespie for helping me to figure out how to live my dream. I would also like to thank Gregory Kurczynski for submitting me for the role of Maggie and for continuing to be one of my biggest cheerleaders. Thank you to the Academy for this honor and to my fellow nominees; I am humbled to be in your company. Thank you.