Most of the team was in place when I came on board. It was the same team that directed and endlessly acted in and produced Validation
, which is Kurt's [Kuenne] short film. [Shuffle
] Has a lot of heart, which all of Kurt's stuff always has. I loved the love story so much. Something about it jumped out at me.
You certainly sound like this, but we've gotta ask -- are you as optimistic as your character Grace is in the film?
[Laughs] Well, thank you. Um...I have my moments. I try to be. Right now it's easy to be because it's been a really great fall for me. I just got married.
Thank you. On October 1. I got a Carl's Jr. commercial coming out and a Pier 1 commercial running. The husband's got a couple commercials going so we've had a good fall. I've gotta say it's been easy to be optimistic. It's up and down in this profession but I think a big part of why Grace spoke to me was how pure her love was for Lovell [played by T.J. Thyne]. To be able to love somebody where all you really want is for them to be happy, you can't go in with any selfishness or other things that cloud up relationships. And I was really drawn to that, that basic level of where you really, truly love someone--the message of the whole story. I loved the script. I remember reading it when I finally got back, realizing, "Oh my God, I agreed to do this project and I haven't read the script. What was I thinking?" But in reading through it and crying as I read, being so happy that this is a really good script.
What was your impression the first time you saw the final product?
First time I saw it was terribly nerve-wracking because, right before we did the Hollywood Film Festival premiere, Kurt called me to let me know that they were going to do a screening at USC for Leonard Maltin's class. And of course, Leonard Maltin being a very famous film reviewer, it was a little bit of pressure because you're realizing you're walking in on 300 budding film critics to watch it with. [laughs] I went in and got to meet Leonard and he was amazing and terribly kind. And we all sat down to watch it and he sat right next to me. I watch the whole film for the first time with Leonard Maltin sitting next to me. It was a surreal experience...and then, after the screening, he leaned over to me and said, "Very good job." So it was a great diary entry night and a bucket-list check.
I think it's going to be a little bit surreal to see the screening and be able to look out at the audience and see a lot of faces from my childhood, friends from elementary school, high school and college, all showing up to say hi and support me. That was one of the things I was most excited about, that we were coming to this particular festival, so that I could share this with so many people that I care about. And show them, "Look, I'm not starving! I'm doing okay!"