Tanna Frederick - Living Her Hollywood Dream

By Terry Keefe
Venice Magazine

With her starring role in filmmaker Henry Jaglom's newest feature, Hollywood Dreams, Iowa native Tanna Frederick has crafted a fearless, can't-take-your-eyes-off-her performance that will definitely get this young actor noticed by the powers that be. In the film, she's also playing an Iowa actress desperate to get noticed by the powers that be. And to bring it all full circle, the way in which she originally met Jaglom was a lesson in the chutzpah needed for young actors to make themselves noticed by, well, the powers that be. Frederick remembers that she was waiting tables while in a theater company, and another actor came in and mentioned that he had just been in a Henry Jaglom film.

Although Frederick didn't know who Jaglom was at the time, her actor pal offered some words of advice. As Frederick recalls, "My friend said, 'Henry Jaglom is a brilliant director and, supposedly, if you write him a letter and tell him that you love his films, he'll cast you in a movie.'" Frederick went ahead and wrote Jaglom a note telling him how much she loved his film Déja Vu, even though she had yet to watch it. Sure enough, Jaglom called and invited her to a screening of his film Festival in Cannes, a picture which captures Cannes better than any fiction or non-fiction film ever has. And it was after finally seeing an actual Jaglom movie that Frederick had a life-changing epiphany.

"Coming from Iowa, and having seen mainly commercial films, and not having been introduced to anything like that, it was just this moment where I sat in the theater and cried afterwards. Because I could feel that this was the reason that I was acting. This is what I wanted to do in life, to make films like this, to blur the lines of reality and affect people, like Jaglom does."

Jaglom soon gave Frederick a job in his office which led to Frederick's doing her own staging of, and starring in, one of Jaglom's plays (also his first film), A Safe Place. Ultimately, Tanna was cast in Hollywood Dreams.

While there are similarities between Frederick and her character, Margie, there are also plenty of differences. Margie carries some deep psychological scars, which are the source of her need to be loved, via the bright lights of stardom. Margie also proves to be quite ruthless, as in All About Eve style ruthless. Taken as a whole, Dreams is actually one of the best primers on becoming a successful Hollywood actor ever made, and anyone familiar with the acting game will experience déja vu at some of the films truisms.

Elaborates Frederick, "I think Margie's everybody I've known out here times 50. It was really great to be able to channel all these people who I've watched struggle, and win, and lose, and fall in love, and give up love."

Next up for Frederick is Irene In Time, another collaboration with Jaglom. Says Frederick of this serendipitous partnership, "Henry has a lot of stories to tell. He's a master storyteller, and I just feel fortunate being the voice of some of these stories."