My interview with Massachusetts actress Meredith Prunty, the youngest of a third generation Screen Actors Guild member Family. I asked Meredith a series of questions via email from my Maine home recently and she gave me a very interesting insight to living in a very talented family.
Here is my interview with Actress Meredith Prunty.
1 How old were you when you got your first role in a featured movie,television?
I started doing summer theater productions with Jodi Purdy’s South Shore Theater when I was 14. I fell in love with acting and soon started auditioning for everything that I could. I started getting roles on Boston University student films and locally produced Indies such as “Missing William” and “Mark of the Dog Rose”. I gained a lot of experience both with the auditions and the acting. I also was lucky to land the lead on the anti-bullying song “The Same” by Michael and Marissa. That video went viral and was seen everywhere around the world on sites such “PBS Kids Go!” to “Yahoo!Kids”. It even appeared on a Taiwan site so my name really got out there. The first movie role I was offered was for a movie titled “Abused in America” by Toronto Pictures. My role was “Valerie” and I was going to play a child runaway trying to make it on the streets. I liked the role because it was going to challenge me as an actress and raise awareness on child trafficking. I did a lot of research on child trafficking and ended up doing a paper at school on the subject which I later posted on my blog. Unfortunately, that production was delayed and by the time they were ready to film, they had decided to film without a SAG agreement. During the delay, I had become SAG so ended up declining the role. I have learned that this business can be fickle so I try not to get emotional about opportunities lost. Everything happens for a reason and I ended up keeping busy regardless.
2.What inspired you to be an actress and who is your favorite actress or actor ?
My Nanna (Donna Glee Reim) is my inspiration. She always would tell me stories of the fun time she had on the sets and she encouraged me to try it out. She brought me to every class and audition and was always there for me since my Mom worked. When I started out – she talked to me about how actors can channel emotions through acting and how it can be a great way to express yourself in a positive manner. I also have to say that Leonardo Di Caprio is an inspiration too. Nanna told me of when she was on Shutter Island how dedicated he was regardless of how many takes there were – he would bring 150% effort every time. I would love to work with him one day. Also – from my own experience, Adam Sandler is a great inspiration. He continues to produce movies that are quality and whenever we are on the set – he is always so cool to be around. Set protocol doesn’t allow us to talk to him unless he approaches us but he always says hello. He is just fun to be around because he has such great energy.
3.You have taken on a big role against Bullying and what motivated you in that Brand UR?
When I was playing the lead in the ”The Same” music video – I realized that I did not like the feeling of being an outcast. During the production, the other actors had to throw things at me and since I was in character, it felt really awful. That started my awareness and then I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of victims as well as the families of victims and it inspired me to do what I could to raise awareness. I formed my own Facebook page, and speak about ways to prevent bullying and what people can do to get help. There are a lot of resources out there and Massachusetts has some of the toughest laws on bullying in the country. When I was a Sophomore, I became a victim of cyber-bullying from two different people. I used the school and other resources to practice what I had learned. I am happy to say I was successful in both cases but it just goes to show that bullying affects everyone from Chess Players to Cheerleaders. The brand UR stands for being proud of who you are. I value diversity so it was a good fit. When they asked me to do a speech for them at their launch party, I jumped at it, and it never even occurred to me to be nervous. I don’t feel that being nervous is a luxury I can afford because it is so important to get the message out. I have done several speeches since and plan to speak at their Valentine’s Day event next year.
4.What do your friends at School think about your acting and your role as a official spokesperson in Brand UR?
I don’t talk about it much at school. My Coach and the teachers and Counselor are aware but I don’t think a lot of the high school kids know. Some of them noticed when they saw me on the Lifetime movie “Sexting in Suburbia” and perhaps there may be a few more that will learn when the “MTV Made” episode I was a “guest star” on comes out. Since most of the big featured roles I got were last summer, most people won’t be able to see me on the big screen until the movies hit the theater. The four years I have been pounding the pavement taking anything that comes my way is finally paying off. It takes a lot of dedication and perseverance to keep moving forward in this business.
5. You worked on That’s My Boy and GrownUps 1 and 2 What was it like to work with Adam Sandler?
I really enjoy working with Adam Sandler. I mentioned earlier he is really cool and always takes the time to say “hi”. He also makes sure to visit with the fans if they are hanging around outside of the sets. He comes from New England so I am always happy to be in his movies as he makes sure the cast and crew that are on the set are taken care of. He might be a funny guy and a great actor but believe me, when he is on the set, there is no doubt who the boss is. Last summer I was featured next to Alexander Ludwig (of the Hunger Games) on the movie “Grown-Ups 2” so every time I am in an Adam Sandler movie – my contribution grows. I can only hope for a speaking role next summer with his next movie.
6. If you didn’t do acting, what would have been your second choice?
I plan to go to school ito become a Nurse Practitioner. I have learned already how fickle this business can be and it will be good to have a reliable job that is flexible enough to allow me to be on the sets. I like taking care of people and enjoy particularly older people since that have such great stories to tell.
7.Do you plan to continue your acting when you go to college?
Yes, I plan on continuing auditions and acting while I am at school with a focus on films that are being filmed in the summer.
8 What actor or actress would you like to have sides with?
There are so many great actors and actresses that I would love to work with that it is hard to pick just one. I would like to work with anyone who really gets into character.
9.Coming from a family of SAG members,who really inspired you to act? and does your Grandmother give you acting tips?
Both my Nana and Mom leave it to the professionals when it comes to acting. I have taken classes around Boston and had so many experiences on sets, I feel very comfortable. They both gave me advice when it comes to auditions however. They helped me understand that if I give it the best I have then be happy with the experience even if I don’t get the role. Sometimes it could be because I don’t have the look they want or other variables. When I am done with an audition, I literally forget about it so if I get selected, I am happy but never disappointed if I am not selected. The other tip they gave regarding movie sets is always be professional, keep my commitment and show up on time. At the end of the day, people will remember the person who still had a great attitude.
10. Would you rather do TV or Movies?
I enjoy both but I am looking forward to seeing myself up on the big screen. I spent the summer on four movies “Grown Ups 2”, “The Way, Way Back”, “Labor Day” and “Backmask” so when they are released it should be fun. I also like TV because it really has a lot of instant feedback. When “Sexting in Suburbia” was aired my post on the “behind the scenes” received over 2,000 views overnight. It was amazing! I am now involved with a new web series ”Cheerleaders vs. Rednecked Zombies”. Web series are fun because they are faster pace and target an entirely different audience then movies and TV.
11. What type of movies do you like?
I’m a sucker for a good romance, but I also enjoy action packed films just as much.
12. Do you ever have any plans to go to Hollywood in California or stay in New England with the ever growing film industry?
I feel that the industry is growing enough here that soon it will support full timers. I know a few actors now that work full time in New England with a few gigs from NYC. It is exciting that we will soon have our first studio here as the big movies keep rolling in. I don’t have any plans to move to LA but I do have a valid passport and am willing to travel for the right role.
13. Last question for you Meredith ….What is your favorite junk food?
Butterfingers Candy Bars!