Saturday, July 7, 2012

Actress Marissa Merrill Interview (Exclusive)

Updated 2013 Marissa Merrill Wallpaper exclusives, click this link!

Above Pic: Marissa Merrill, July 2012, Genna Evonne Sandler Photo Dan's Movie Report. Click on pic for wall paper size!

Above Pic: Marissa Merrill, (C) October 2012 Beau Pollock

See Marissa Live November 23rd 2012-December 23rd 2012 @ Pacific Repertory Theatre in Carmel, CA Contact:  PacRep Box Office

See Marissa Live August 25th 2012 at Chroma Coalition body painting event, follow link @

The 2012 year of action on Dan's Movie Report takes a knife edge, zombie killing slide to the left. Although actress Marissa Merrill is a newcomer to the scene, mark my words, she will be a force to reckon with. Her expressive face, coupled with her aggressive physical prowess, and superior intellect, makes watching the film Dead Season exciting. Marissa is an outgoing person with distinct ideas on films, acting, modeling, live theater, ranch life, and chats at length about all of them exclusively with Dan's Movie Report. Enough of my rambling on, it is Marissa's time to unleash her “triple threat” energy, my audience, you have been warned haha, enjoy the exclusive photos also!

I was searching through your website, I found hardly any background
info, describe a bit about your childhood, and upbringing.
I grew up in Salinas, CA in a house on a cul-de-sac with three
sisters, so, naturally, our house was the main hub of the
neighborhood. Neighbor kids were constantly running through, I was
always putting on a show in the backyard, and the carpet was thrashed.
When I was in high school we moved to a house my parents built on my
dad’s family’s ranch.

Were you wild as a kid of rather reserved?

I was a little wild but very focused. My mom always tells the story of
me running around the neighborhood naked every time someone left the
front door open, and the one of me coming home from my first ballet
class when I was 2-years-old and telling her that the other girls
weren’t doing the moves right. I made friends and put on shows
everywhere I went. We had a deck in the backyard that, to me, looked
like a stage. I’d hand-write a script based on my comprehension of
“Charlotte’s Web” or whatever book I found interesting at the time,
cast neighbor kids, and hold daily rehearsals during which I’d get so
frustrated with everyone’s short attention spans and lack of acting

I’d also choreograph dance performances that were usually more
of a success since I could teach and perform them in one day, but
would get frustrated with the neighbor kid audience’s attention span.
Luckily my dad had his video camera, and would record them all for me.

Then, when I was 11, my dad got me my own video camera and I started
making short films with my sisters and cousins. I’d record the script
on my karaoke machine and play it while filming so it looked like it
was dubbed over, then edit the footage on our VCR player.

Did you ever get into fights?

I’ve always been pretty peaceful, but I do remember getting into a
shoving match with a boy in first grade. I remember being scared, but
every time I got shoved to the ground I’d get up and shove back until
he finally ran away. I also remember a neighbor boy making some “your
mom” joke that I didn’t understand, and I flipped him over my shoulder
to the ground. I didn’t get messed with much after that. My sisters
kept me tough.

Acting was a desire early on?

Oh yes. My dad got a video camera on my first Christmas and I lit up
every time I saw it. I watched “The Wizard of Oz” when I was
2-years-old and decided I was going to be an actress. I was obsessed.
I was constantly re-enacting the film and making my sisters and
parents play every role except for Dorothy, which was of course my
part, until my mom finally got a local children’s theater to put me in
a play when I was 5 (they usually didn’t allow children under 6) and I
played my first principal role that same year.

On your site it says actress turned model, are both descriptions
accurate, do you want to focus more on the modeling or are you waiting
for that cool acting gig to pop up?

Acting has always been my dream. When I moved to LA, everyone was
encouraging me to model, and I turned my nose up to it, until I met my
good friend, and spectacular model, Dominique Claire. She taught me
the art behind modeling, and it’s since helped me pay the bills and
release some creative tension while struggling to be paid as an actor
in LA.

Chatting about your modeling, I was searching through your modeling pics and found you have had a wide variety of shots taken and many diverse looks, is there one look you say is the most accurate representation of Marissa, or does it vary from time to time?

I view my looks as a tool and never get attached to them being any
certain way. I love changing my look for work and have so much fun
pulling every different look off. I’m still eagerly awaiting the role
that requires me to shave my head! The real me is sitting on my
family’s ranch by the ocean in a farm dress and curly blonde hair.

Did you ever go on a modeling shoot and were completely unhappy with
the photos, and asked not to have them published?

Luckily, the only shoots I’ve been unhappy with have been test or
trade shoots. I’m usually very disconnected from the outcome, but I
have had a few shoots that I felt I posed my ass off, but that didn’t
translate clearly in the photos.

Who are some of your favorite photographers you have worked with, what
attracts you to their work? (Names and websites would be cool)
My two most favorite photographers to work with are Rob Fabiani and Ward Robinson Rob and
I would meet at his house or mine with a 12-pack and shoot all
day/night, or run around downtown LA finding cool backdrops and just
play. He knows when I’m in the groove and this weird connection
happens where I’ll know when he snaps even if I can’t hear the camera,
and magic happens. Below are 2 exclusive shots from Fabiani, both can be made wallpaper sized by clicking! 

Ward was similar, and just fucking incredible. We’d meet at his studio or my apartment, dress up, and just play until we were grooving. He’d take my breath away with the beautiful images he’d capture, like it wasn’t even me in them. They both know how to do their job so well that I can get lost in whatever character/storyline I’ve got going in my head and trust they’ll capture it even better than I’m imagining it. Below is an exclusive pic from the talented Ward Robinson, which also can be made wallpaper sized!

I noticed some of your modeling pics are very sexy, Would you ever do
a Playboy spread if asked?


On to the movies, Have to start with Dead Season, how long was your
portion of the shoot?

We shot for three weeks in Vieques, Puerto Rico and had quite a few
pick-ups in LA that stretched over a year or so. I had to keep
changing my hair back and at one point there was a miscommunication
and I chopped it all off, so in the first few scenes I’m wearing
extensions. Adam called it my tarantula hair.

Corsica said she would use her intellect in escaping the zombies, how
would the Mighty Marissa destroy zombies?  On your resume, your skills
list zombie killer!

I definitely feel more prepared for an apocalypse after shooting this
movie and have started viewing almost every object as a potential
weapon. I think Tweeter made a wise choice in carrying a machete, as
apposed to Elvis’s heavy sledgehammer. Light-weight, long and
effective is the way to go. (Ed Note: Marissa is a brutal and effective zombie killer!)

Above Pic: Dead Season Poster (C) Image Films

If I Dan, needed protection from a zombie, how would you protect me?

It’s hard to say, as so much depends on the circumstances, but if you
got bit I’d have to kill you. (Ed note: Get bit and then hide!)

How about the physical aspect of the movie, was it fun to get to run,
jump kick etc on Dead Season, use your athleticism?

I loved shooting all the action scenes and wanted there to be more. I
really wanted to do my own stunt driving on the island, but that was
the one thing they wouldn’t let me do. They were fine with me throwing
a molotav cocktail though! That made me a little nervous. I remember
complaining at one point that Scott had all these cool kicks and I had
none. I’ve been a can-can dancer and can kick pretty high, so I wanted
some bad-ass kicks. I think I got one in the film.

Share a funny story from the Dead Season Set?

Oh, there’s so many. We were all sleep-deprived and I think being at
the top of the Bermuda triangle made everyone a little nuttier than
usual. One of the first few nights, a bartender threatened to shoot
Scott for spitting on his deck. I would ask every local how they ended
up on that particular island and would only get one of three answers:
they grew up there, were running away from something, or went on
vacation there and never left. Strange place, Vieques.

Any scrapes and bruises on the Dead season Set?

Plenty. Luckily, none too serious. I was stung by a few jellyfish, a
wasp, was covered in mosquito bites, got my elbow slammed into the
rusty old train, and pulled a muscle in my leg while fleeing some
zombies. I got Todd back for the elbow slam by kicking him in the
chest a little too hard when I scramble away from him into the bunker.
He had a full boot-mark on his chest. He was proud of it. Our amazing
DP, Jeff Peters, had a foot covered in blisters from a pile of red
ants he stepped in while shooting. Every critter stung and every plant
was covered in spikes. I’m really surprised and grateful that there
weren’t more injuries.

What are some of your other favorite Zombie films?

Dead Alive”. Adam brought all the zombie films he had on DVD to the
island and I had enough down-time to watch this amazing Peter Jackson
film, and fell in love. Adam also introduced me to “Evil Dead 2”. I
now love Bruce Campbell and am so honored to have worked with Danny
Hicks who plays Lesh in “Dead Season”.

With your love of the outdoors, athletics, would you ever want to be a
stunt woman?

I would love to do all my own stunts on films I’m acting in. Stunt
school may be in the near future for me. (Ed Note: Ok now we are talking action!)

The short film Solipsist is fantastic, how did your role come about?

I found the casting, as I did for “Dead Season”, on Craigslist. Andy
had me in for an audition and told me to move like seaweed. I’d played seaweed as a kid in a production of “Pinocchio”, so I knew exactly what he meant. I was so thrilled when he sent me the storyboard and asked me to be a part of it. He’s amazing, and I’m so honored to haveworked with him on such an amazing film.

How long did your filming portion last?

I just had one fitting and one day of filming. Andy and his crew did
all the magic. I just sat there and swayed while they pulled costume
pieces over me, painted me, and poured sand over me.

Emotions without speaking, how did you get into the mood of the character?

I just went to that place that I go while meditating and doing yoga. I
turned my mind off and just flowed with the other actress.

I don't know much about your other films End, Photographic, and The
Symphony, Maybe shed a bit of light on them, are they available?

Oh boy. “End” was my first feature (a zombie movie with no zombies!)
that I was asked to do by the director, Megan Welch, who had helped
out on my first acting gig in LA, “Men, Interrupted”, a pilot in which
I played a post-op male-to-female transgender. It was a learning
experience for all of us, and I was grateful to gain the experience of
being on set and carrying a character through a feature.

I got involved in “Photographic” by my friend, Jill Evyn, who plays the
lead. We were both fresh out of acting school and eager to sink our
teeth into some intense characters. Through filming, I realized that
the director and I had some serious creative differences.  I have not
seen the completed film.

The Symphony” I booked right out of acting school. It’s about an artist who’s slowly killing himself to leave a legacy, his album. I play his neglected girlfriend.  This shoot was interesting and intimate, as Michael Lapointe, the director, was the only crew, so it was usually just Michael, the two other actors, Michael’s dog and cat, and I on set in Michael’s apartment. I barely understood the script at the time, but loved Michael’s focus and passion.

How about writers, actors, and directors you wish to work with and who
do you enjoy, do you have one or two you see all of their movies
regardless of genre?

I really admire Meryl Streep, but who doesn’t. I feel I learn something new about acting every time I watch her. Her performances inspire me. She makes magic even if the script is terrible. The first time I thought about directing was watching “Moulin Rouge”. I love Baz Luhrman’s style and attention to detail, along with his use of music. I was, however, disappointed in “Australia”, but love his three other films. I love Christopher Guest as an actor and director and could die happily if I ever got to work with him. I’m also a huge Almodovar fan.“Talk to Her’ and “The Skin I Live In” blew my mind and made me feel like nothing I’ll ever write will ever be worthy. John Waters. ‘Nough said. I hope “Fruitcake” gets funding, because I have not had enough filth!

Above Pic: from Marissa's twitter, Cabaret live!

How about live theater, I noticed you are currently involved as a Kit
Kat girl in Cabaret,and have done other work as well, do you enjoy the
medium as much as the film work?

I grew up doing at least three plays a year. Live theater is like
nothing else. I love it. It’s very different from film, though acting
is acting, and both make me miss the other. I love the rush of live
theater and the energy you bounce off the audience, but I also love
the intimacy and adventure of a film set.

Must be harder to be "On" every night as opposed to film work, were
cut can be yelled.

I love the constant “on” of theater. It makes you have to fully
commit. You have no choice. You also get to go home and think about
your performance and build on it the next night, unlike film. You
don’t get a second chance that day, as in film, but you get to brush
off the night before and start brand new from the beginning with a new
audience each night.

Share a story from any live theater experience, anything funny or horrid.

There are horror stories from every show I’ve been in. When I was in
“The Snow Queen”, I think I was 7, the entire cast got food poisoning,
and I missed the only show I’ve ever and will ever miss. We had people
holding buckets backstage for the lead to run off and puke in. One
scene, we were all in masks, and kids ran off puking through they’re
masks, vomit oozing through their mouth, nose and eye holes. It was
pretty epic.

What about future goals for Marissa, ever want to direct or write?

I’ve always loved writing and am working on a few scripts of my own as
well as collaborating with my grandfather who writes wonderful short
stories. I love writing, photography and acting, so I’d like to try my
hand at directing someday. I’ll never be done learning.

Final thoughts?

Thank you so much! 

That is a wrap! Marissa is ready for action, time for Hollywood to take notice, time for some new blood infused to the static and often boring film world, where stars are churned out by the studios without any real talent or depth. Watch for updates on Marissa and Dead Season contests in the near future!

For More information on Marissa, follow these paths to higher zombie killer enlightenment, which happen to include nice pictures, hahah, don't be afraid.

Official Site: 

Update 7-29-12: Marissa participates in the Trend Vision Awards as a Model. Sexy and forceful, Marissa struts on the runway with her stylist Paul Awh below.

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