My life is definately not boring. Opportunities for fun seem to fall in my lap lately…too many to count and too many to take. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to welcome you into my pretend home on the set of the movie I had the pleasure of playing a part in last week.
Bubbly southern belle Meg Dure (in the green) played my mother and my friend, Crystal Hunt (carrying the bread) played my sister. This picture is from the first scene we did…where I’m about to open the front door to welcome my ‘mother’ in and ignore my ‘sister.’ You know…typical Thanksgiving forced family fun. The movie was filmed at Meg’s home in Athens…so I’m sure it felt funny to Meg …for her to be knocking on her own front door!
Filming started at noon and by the time we had gotten to the table scene, it was dark outside. None of us had eaten and those of us of drinking age had been sipping wine, scotch, and vodka all day. So, you can imagine this scene. We had to wait ’til the end of the first days filming before we could fill our plates …which was around eight o’clock. Meg had prepared the whole, real feast just for the film. She is everything that’s golden about southern ladies …bundled into the prettiest, most genuine God-given package. And you won’t wanna miss her recipe for Cranberry Casserole at the bottom of this post!
I can’t tell you how many times I read over my lines and still never managed to quote them exactly the way they were written. I had to keep them in my lap…while my on-screen brother, Dominic Leamon (seated to my left) had memorized his long, baptist-like blessing to a T. I’ll never know how folks can do that!
The second day of filming was easier for me. It started right around happy hour which typically is my most relaxed time. My on-screen daughter …back from rehab, Emerald Toller did an excellent job pretending a table full of critical, nosey family members were watching her play with her humongous plate of food while I had to shout at the empty seats. Not exactly sure why…but the shouting scene was the easiest and most fun for me. I really let it out! I can’t wait to see how the film crew puts all of it together to make it all look like we filmed that scene with everyone there.
There was a mini-party between each scene change. We were all becoming like family …the kind of family we’d all choose to be with at a Thanksgiving feast …the kind of family that gives hugs and laughter and genuine kindness. I miss ’em already!
Emerald Toller, pictured above with Meg and me played my anorexic daughter in the movie. She was the only one of us who is actually studying acting. She taught me to breathe through my nose and keep my hands in tight fists to help me with my emotional, shouting scene. I think it worked!
Nicole Bachiller is like a sister to me now. She wrote and produced this movie based on her own experience …which made it all the more important for me. She and the rest of the film crew are studying media and film at UGA and this movie will be ninety percent of their grade. Yes, I could feel the pressure! It is *story* that makes things matter and knowing that this movie was based on a true story …made it matter so much to me. This fact played a big part in me being able to put a lot of feeling into the shouting scene.
Alexander Fitchett AKA ‘Fitch’ is director of the movie. His out-of-the-box thinking, creativity, brain, and catchy name will surely plant him in a major directing role in the future. I loved his last minute idea …of ending the movie with a view of my on-screen daughters and me talking in the kitchen …viewed through the window from the outside. I bet that’s gonna look great on screen.
I learned a lot from this experience …about how tedious movie making is ….about facing my fear of cameras ….about how sweet and smart kids are who are twenty years younger than me ….and about how important relationships are. Who you know really is so important. If I didn’t have the generous Meg Dure in my life ….I would never have met Richard De Rose (the man in the far right in the above picture) who asked Meg if she and I would participate in this movie. Now I have a whole new set of friends and an experience I’ll never forget. The screening party will be November 30. I can’t wait for my real-life husband and real-life children to see what I was up to all last week! It was a hard week …with all the activities I had going on with my immediate family, my pickle company, and just being plain tired. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. ….except maybe a big dollap of Meg’s Cranberry Casserole! Here’s the recipe… and a pretty picture that Meg just emailed me…after whipping up the casserole just so I’d have a picture to post on my blog today. See? She really is the truest southern belle ever! Make it for Thanksgiving and then again for Christmas! And if you do, tweet me a picture of it at: @angieti so I can share it with my friend, Meg. I know she’d love it.
MEG’S CRANBERRY CASSEROLE
Side Dish or Dessert/ —Your Choice
3 cups peeled chopped tart apples
2 cups fresh cranberries (Meg uses one whole bag.)
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup sugar (Meg says ‘indulge yourself.”)
3 pks. (1.5 oz. each) Instant Oatmeal (Cinnamon Apple flavor)
3/4 – 1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
Face the counter. Mix flour and sugar in large bowl. Add apples and cranberries and toss to coat. Place in casserole dish.
Mix oatmeal, pecans, butter, brown sugar and spread over fruit.
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.
Oh, another thing – a dollop of vanilla ice cream —well, as you can guess is yummy!