This is My interview with actress Donna Glee Reim of Massachusetts,She is the mother of Suzanne Prunty along with her daughter Meredith Prunty, All who share the love of acting. Donna shares her IMDB site here along with her ever growing blog http://grannyglee.blog.com
I conducted the interview with Donna via email from my Maine home. Her experience in front and behind the camera is rather unique and compelling.
By Ne.Hollywood.com’s Craig W.Goedecke
1. What inspired you to get into acting and what was your first role in either theater or movies?
First, I am a retired nurse and practiced my profession until I was 72 when I had a major heart attack. Probably would still be nursing if not for that. I was looking for something to keep me out of mischief when my daughter Moira came up with the idea of doing background acting. She found out the details on how to do it and the rest is history. Shortly after I registered with the casting agent, I was cast in a the background of the TV show “The Brotherhood” I found out that Jody Purdy was looking for upscale patrons for a restaurant scene so I asked her if I could be in it. She said that the patrons were supposed to be French. As i am part French, pushy me told her that I was French so she cast me in the Pink Panther 2. As I received vouchers for that movie, I was SAG eligible so I joined SAG.
2 What was it like to grow up in the Great Depression and did you ever think that you were going to get into movies?
When I was growing up in the Depression in the Dust Bowl, I was always a dreamer. It was a harsh childhood as not only were there the elements of tornados and duststorms, but I was one of eight kids and my family was poor. We made it through the Depression because we all worked. We grew most of our food and besides farming, Papa did odd jobs to bring in money. Since I had no kids living close to me, I would create my own entertainment. That situation also taught me to be self reliant. I rarely went to movies, but read about them in magazines and the newspaper. I loved Shirley Temple and wanted to be like her. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would be associating with the stars of movies.
3. You played a nurse in Shutter Island,did you go to an audition for that role or did you just fall into the role by chance?
There was a casting call for Shutter Island so I went prepared. I had read the book and I knew they were looking for nurses so I went in my lab coat and had pictures of me in my uniform. When I checked in I also said I was a psychiatric nurse in the 50’s. So, I covered all the angles and sure enough I was one of the many applicants that was picked.
4. You were in Bride Wars and GrownUps, which of these two movies did you like the least?
I loved working on both movies. Adam Sandler sets are so great. He is such a kind but funny person. But, as I was sitting next to Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway for several days, I have to say that I did particulary enjoy that experience. Kate and Anne are so incredibly beautiful but sweet. Once Kate looked at me and apparently my necklace was crooked so she straightened it for me. Also, one morning after an all night shoot, Anne came into the set all smiles, and said, ” Shall we all dance now?” Both she and Kate had been up all night so I was amazed that they both were so cheerful.
5, Your daughter Suzanne and your grand daughter Meredith both act, Do all of you sit around the table at home and talk shop and exchange stories about acting?
Well, of course, after a day on a major set, we do like to share our experiences and there are always something interesting going on. That is one reason I enjoy this profession so much.
6. Who are your favorite actors and what movies do you like to watch when your at home?
I have to admit to being star struck. I love movies and love associating with the stars. One thing I do want to mention, is that I have yet to experience any tempermental actors. I am so impressed with there professionalism. I have worked with Richard Gere, Leonardo de Caprio, Jeff Bridges, Steve Martin, to name a few but I must say that Mark Ruffalo is one of the actors that I really enjoy working with. He was incredible on both movies in which I worked :”Shutter Island” and “What wont kill you”
7. You mentioned you had a great experience with Bill Murray,what was he like and did he make you feel at ease when on Set of Moonrise Kingdom?
Yes, Bill Murray was incredible. When I was first taken to the set, I was waiting to be placed. He came over, took my arm and said “Here, I will take you to your seat”. Then during the afternoon while the scene was being shot, he kept us entertained by squirting us with water(we were supposed to be wet because we had come in out of the rain” Everyone in that scene were joking with the background. It was a fun day.
8. You worked on GrownUps and I hate You Dad, Did you enjoy working on an Adam Sandler movie?
I adore Adam Sandler and hope he makes more movies in this area. His sets are so relaxed and fun. I also was in Grownups 2 so have been in 3 of his movies.
9 Who is your favorite Director?
I have had such a wonderful time with all the directors, I find it hard to pick one as the favorite. I have to say that I am particularly fond of Martin Scorcesse as not only was he incredible to work with, but he forgave a faux pas that I made. It was late night and I was sitting in holding. The production assistant told me to hurry to the set so of course I went running to where I was supposed to sit. Well Mr Scorcesse was sitting where I was supposed to sit so I said to him”Marry, you are in my chair” He hopped up and apologized then everyone started laughing at my boo boo. I should have just waited or at least addressed him by Mr. Scorcese instead of calling him Marty. But it was late and I was tired and that is what everyone was calling him during the day so I guess that is why I blurted it out. Anyway, some directors would have booted my off the set, but he just laughed and later when I asked Mark if I should try to apologize, he said no that Marty thought it was funny too.
10. When did you get your first SAG card?
As I have said before, I got my SAG membership as soon as I was eligible. Some actors prefer to wait, but as I was already 75, I really didn’t see any sense in waiting. I love doing background and I keep auditioning for speaking roles, but there are so many fabulous actors out there with so much more experience, I doubt if I will ever get one. But, I would be happy to continue doing background as long as I am able.
Thank you Donna for your time and I wish you the best of luck in your tremendous career in acting.
My last interview with the Prunty family with be with Meredith Prunty,A rising star