Actor Chris Messina, who also directed (and starred) in Alex of Venice was recently interviewed by The Sun Break and had nothing but incredible things to say about Mary’s performance in the film.
Now that you mention Mary Elizabeth, I thought she was phenomenal in the role of Alex. Can you talk about how she became involved with the film?
The script got to the part where a lot of actresses wanted to play the role. I got to read and meet a bunch of terrific people. I had been a fan of Mary’s since “Smashed.” I saw her in that and thought she was amazing. She came in and read and she was fantastic. It was clear right away that she was Alex for me. Not only is she so good, but she has a very easy quality that I think any director would love to work with. She’s a team player who brings all of it everyday. We didn’t have trailers. We would say, “The sun looks good over there, let’s jump in the car.” I needed an Alex who was going to be a leader and show by example: this is the kind of film we’re making and I’m up for some running and gunning. Mary was amazing. The trick with Mary was staying out of her way and not saying too much. She did that performance on her own. I was able to capture.
I enjoyed that performance because there were so many choices she could have made in that character, but she played such a subtly great performance.
She’s like Michael Jordan. The producers and I said that we could move on after a take, but it’s so much fun to watch that we would want to watch her over and over again. She was spectacular. I would work with her again in a second.
Her performance has gotten a lot of nice reviews and I’m happy about that because she’s such a nice person and she’s so good in the movie. There are a lot of performances like this that are very subtle and not a lot of huge fireworks that go off. I was hoping that writers and critics would recognize her for her subtlety. And they are and that’s very, very nice.
You can read the full interview by clicking on the link above, with Messina even saying that they hope to take the film to Europe for another festival!