Sedona Film Festival 2009

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Do you prefer one over the other?
Not necessarily. I think independent films give you the opportunity to do things a studio isn’t going to do and a studio allows you to do things an independent couldn’t afford to do. I’d say my most rewarding experiences in terms of filmmaking have been with independent films starting back in 1983 with Victor Nunez in Florida working on a picture called A Flash of Green.

Have you ever been to Sedona?
I have – I’ve stayed a few nights on my way to other places. It’s a rather odd place. It’s very beautiful but I did feel this vortex energy and I don’t know if I liked it or not. I loved the town and the geography, the mountains and the beautiful light, but there was something about that energy [laughs]. Maybe it was the frame of mind I was in. It’s a beautiful place – I love Arizona, New Mexico and the Southwest.

Marla Sokoloff: Play the Game

One look at 28-year-old actress Marla Sokoloff and you’ll instantly remember her from her roles on some of televisions most beloved series: Full House, Friends, Party of Five, 3rd Rock From the Sun, 7th Heaven, Desperate Housewives, and, perhaps most notably, The Practice, in which she played Lucy for six seasons. Born in San Francisco, this month’s covergirl began acting on TV when she was only 12 years old after discovering the craft through community theater. Marla flew to Sedona from LA three weeks after getting engaged to talk to Sedona Monthly about her role as Julie Larabee in Play the Game, a featured film in the Sedona International Film Festival.

Sedona Monthly: Tell us about the first time you read the script for Play the Game. How did you land the role of Julie?
Marla Sokoloff:
The script was sent to me by my agent and I loved it. I knew [director] Marc [Fienberg] was going to be meeting with actresses but not reading – it was a sit down meeting. I get frustrated when it’s like that because I’m not Scarlett Johansson or someone who would get an offer – I’m not great at telling a director they should give me a job. So I met with Marc and he told me he wouldn’t be auditioning, just making an offer. I knew it wasn’t going to be me [laughs]. I begged him right then and there to let me audition and read parts of the script. Even after I read with Marc – and he really worked me, it was a long session of trying different things – I didn’t get the job for two more weeks. I just didn’t know how it was going to end.

You got to work with some of TV’s greatest character actors with this film: Andy Griffith, Liz Sheridan, Doris Roberts and Clint Howard. What was that like?
I was really impressed with the cast Marc put together but I was also impressed with Marc’s personality – he’s such a great guy. For me, obviously working with Doris Roberts was insane. She’s great and her personality is a million times better than her comedic skills. It was cold where we were filming and I remember sitting in a tent with heaters and Doris was telling stories about auditioning with Shelley Winters. It was such a surreal moment. I wouldn’t even talk – I’d just listen to her and Andy Griffith and think, This is crazy. These are legends and it was like the best acting school you could go to. It was very inspiring.

The twist at the end of the film is fabulous and we don’t want to reveal anything to our readers, however, Julie plays a big role in the twist. What did you think about that?
I thought it was genius. You see so many romantic comedies with the quintessential “girl next door” or the ingenue, not a girl in control. It was hard to play as an actor because you don’t want to give anything away throughout the movie. It was tricky.

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