I recently got the chance to talk to Mary Mackey about her role in Robert Picardo’s new film, ‘Sensored’. Here, Mary talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew and about how she got into acting in the first place…
Hey Mary. Thanks for the opportunity to talk to you. ‘Sensored’ is in selected UK cinemas right now. I must admit, I’m quite shocked that this film has taken so long to make it to the UK….
What is the general plotline of the film?
Wade (Robert Picardo), a children’s’ book author, struggles with his perception of reality while trying to keep his frayed mind from unraveling. His stability and lucidity are in question as his thoughts are increasingly pummeled by the terror of his murderous fixations. The line between reality and delusion grows steadily uncertain as his fight between good and evil begins to dilute any chance he has at living in the present. In the balance hangs Wade’s only shred of existence, his legacy, and he will stop at nothing to merge it with reality.
Tell us a bit about your character in the movie…
I play Victoria, Wade Mixon’s psychiatrist. She is a caring professional that really believes in her clients. She wants to help Wade and tries to convince him that he is NOT A KILLER….all I can say is that I try 😉
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I have worked in San Francisco my whole life and was connected to the director and producers through David Fine. I was living in LA but auditioned for them when I was visiting my Mom in Los Gatos during the Christmas holiday. It worked out great. I drove up to Sacramento and auditioned for the part. I remember that it was a very cold day. Which is funny since, as I’m typing this, it’s 95 in Burbank. HOT!
The film stars Robert Picardo – (who I’m a big fan of, I won’t lie), Sarah Knowlton, Brian Rife and Michelle Page, with Ryan Todd onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew?
The cast and crew were amazing. Very fun, professional, and kind. Robert especially was great to work with. He was professional and delivered each scene like the pro he is. I thought we worked well together. I also loved working with Kevin Haskin on my character. When I drove in, the night before the shoot, we sat down and talked about the role. Kevin wanted me to use my words if some of his didn’t fit me. It’s so nice working with a flexible creative director like that. Ryan Todd, the director, was very supportive and nice. He directed me very simply with strong intention. Jo Haskin, the producer, and I had a wonderful talk and a few glasses of wine on my last day of shooting. We’ve continued our friendship to this day. That’s the best part of working – meeting great people – who may turn out to be lifelong friends.
Let’s talk a bit about you Mary. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I first got into acting to help me with my confidence on stage as a runway model. I was always so shy and uncomfortable in my own skin. Acting changed all that and once I started training I had a great career. I’ve been studying for over 20 years and have been extremely lucky studying with wonderful, insightful and talented teachers. Once I learned how to act I started pursuing commercials and stage work in San Francisco. My first stage role was playing Nurse Kelly in the play ‘Harvey’. What a wonderful play. I was cast in over 30 regional/national commercials and continued my pursuit of TV and film.
You’ve had some great opportunities in your career – who has been your favorite actor to work alongside with so far and who has given you the best advice?
That’s a tuff question. I’ve loved everyone I‘ve worked with. But working alongside Don Johnson was pretty cool. He was very supportive and respectful of me and a lot of fun to work with. I think working with Robert Picardo and watching him act was very insightful too. When it comes to good advice, that was always given to me by my teachers.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
Study with the best teachers – not necessarily the “named” ones. Study with the teachers that see YOU for YOU! That encourage you to find your way of working not theres. Audit a class first to make sure you like the way they handle their students. I would start in a smaller town first to build up the resume and to acquire a solid technique base. Moving right away to LA can be overwhelming if you’re not ready.
What does a Mary Mackey day usually consist of?
Working out, auditioning, and a lot of driving. I teach an acting class on Saturdays and teach privately during the week at my home studio. I’m constantly checking the acting websites to see what roles I can submit myself on. There’s so much more an actor can do on their own now to get work. I don’t think we should put all the pressure on our managers and agents to get work.
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
I just booked and shot a commercial for ClearChoice and have two short films coming out this fall. I’m also teaching a commercial workshop both at Nancy Hayes Casting Studios in San Francisco and at The IT FACTOR in Rancho Cordova, outside of Sacramento. One of the key components of being a successful actor is being confident and comfortable in your own skin and trusting your instincts. Because of what I went through, I know, that if I CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU! All you need is patience and dedication to the craft. Please visit my website at: www.knowingyou.net.
Thanks for the interview!