4

"From Hollywood To Rose" is a comedy film that is making its theatrical release in Los Angeles after a successful run on the indie film circuit where it was awarded the title of Best Comedy at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival. Actress and producer Eve Annenberg plays the main character at the center of an interconnected group of eccentric strangers who meet and mingle one night via the LA Metro system.

Eve is a graduate of The Juilliard School for Acting and attended Columbia Graduate School of Film where she eventually dropped out to make a movie titled "DOGS: The Rise and Fall of an All-Girl Bookie Joint” that played on Sundance Channel.

Eve has since produced eight indie films and acted in an array of projects.

A woman of many talents, Eve has also worked as an Emergency Room nurse after September 11, 2001, and she also worked in a hospice all while writing, directing and acting in a movie titled “Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish” which went on to premiere at Lincoln Center.

Eve is currently writing her next screenplay titled "Lulabelle and Sydney on the Lower East Side" with her writing partner Stephanie Sharpe. Moreover, the novel of the same name is in the works with Jane Wright.

Eve recently discussed her life and projects via an exclusive Interview.

Entering the entertainment industry

Blasting News (BN): What initially inspired you to take up acting and how did you break into this notoriously competitive industry?

Eve Annenberg (EA): I decided long ago to take up acting as I couldn't 'not take it up.' I throw myself into producing other people's movies because I empathize with their burning desire to pull together variegated elements of the universe and create something out of nothing.

Top Videos of the Day

I feel for that impulse.

After 9/11, I went to Nursing School. I wanted a part-time vocation that concretely helped people, and again, I ultimately went back to acting. When I auditioned for Juilliard, I told myself that if I didn't make it in there or Yale or RADA, I would have to reconsider my convictions. But I made it. No one was more surprised than I was! And I have to tell you; I never feel like I am 'in' the industry. Every day I wonder how I can be more in it! Ultimately, I have these wonderfully creative friends and colleagues, and we touch base on a daily basis.

BN: What was it like to work as a nurse after September 11, 2001, and how did you find time to get into nursing given all your film projects?

EA: Nursing at any time is a learn-as-you-go job, despite all the schooling. Every day is crazy visual, and back breaking, leg cramping work. It was unforgettable work, and I'm glad I did it. There was a groundbreaking actress named Eleanora Duse in the early days of professional acting.

She became a nurse and nursed for twenty years after the outbreak of World War I. I took a sabbatical after a particularly grueling shoot and slipped into nursing school. Then I fit it in between films.

BN: How did you get into making movies and do you enjoy acting or being behind the scenes more?

EA: At Juilliard, I was told that I thought 'like a director.' I had no idea what my teachers were talking about. But after they told me that --and offered to send me to directing school in England, which I rejected instantly and regretted at leisure--I pursued the idea in my own way. I love both, but would like to spend more time acting right now.

BN: What kinds of projects do you enjoy working on most from a genre perspective?

EA: Funny enough, I love Noir and I've never had a chance to work on one. Right now, I am following the development of Sam Sandak's new feature. It encompasses some Noir, and I may finally have a chance. Also, I can tap dance which is a strange skill that cracks people up. I am waiting, nay, scheming up my chance to do that in a movie. I love action too, and I am constantly pestering my stunt friends! I love a lot of genres as long as they are well-written and entertaining.

Movies and other projects

BN: You have had films debut at venues like Lincoln Center, so how did that come about?

EA: When you make an independent film, you can't control where it will debut. I was lucky that when "Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish" was sold out at the New York Jewish Film Festival, it caught the eye of the programming team at Lincoln Center, led, at that time, by Scott Foundas. My first feature premiered in competition at an A-list international film festival in Rotterdam. That was a great experience. Indie films can be kind of like the Olympics. You slave away in obscurity for about three years and then if it goes well, every month for a year you are off to Europe or somewhere showing your movie.

BN: What do you like most about "From Hollywood to Rose" and what do you hope audiences will get from the film?

EA: What do I like most about FHTR? I like that it’s an original voice. Matt is a funny guy with a passion for characters. He is a people-appreciator, for the most part. Are his concerns for everyone? Maybe not. Is he speaking from the heart? Absolutely. So, I like working with someone who is compelled to be who he is, but who also appreciates indie-film history.

BN: What lessons did you bring from “Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish” to “From Hollywood to Rose”?

EA: Well, I eschewed co-directing as I wanted to free myself up for focusing on my role, but I should have bailed on the producing too! It's a lot of worry on top of what you are doing! And on top of those damn four inch heels! I never quite learn not to do too much. I knew from “Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish” to bring some of my wonderful colleagues such as the incredible composer Joel Diamond and one of a kind editor Jack Haigis. My own writing partner Stephanie Sharpe was running the set and my Columbia pal Branislav Bala was helping to wrangle post, and my very dear friend Anne Robert also helped. She has been an invaluable fellow traveler since my first indie effort in Boston called "South Street." To get rid of me in this business you kind of have to plan to pry my cold dead fingers off from around your ankles!

BN: How many films have you made to date and what were they about?

EA: I've made two films as writer and Director, "DOGS: The Rise and Fall of an All-Girl Bookie Joint", about four roommates on the Lower East Side of the 1990's who end up turning to bookmaking to pay their rent, and "Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish" about a middle-aged ER nurse who is trying to get her Masters in Germanic languages, forced to turn to rebellious Ultra-Orthodox delinquents who help her translate the story of “Romeo and Juliet” into Yiddish for her thesis. My next movie is "Lulabelle and Sydney on the Lower East Side" which is an autobiographic dramedy about the time when my elderly mother came to live with me in downtown New York, at a time when I already had multiple people living with me. In retrospect, the Lower East Side of New York was a tremendous muse for me. I've produced about eight indie projects, often for first-time directors, in various genres and they were mostly shot on location in New York City.

Rewards and future endeavors

BN: What have you found to be the most rewarding things about being a professional actress and what new projects and/or events are coming up soon for you?

EA: You get to walk in the door with your little box of stuff that you have inside you, drop all of your defenses, and try things out…and then try other things out. I just love that; it's very rewarding. I also love other actresses. Right now, I'm all excited about Nija Okoro.

BN: Where would you like to be in your career in a decade and is there anything else that you want to mention?

EA: I see creative people world-making around me every day. "Black Sails," "Girls," "Orange is the New Black," "American Gods," and I am in awe of the brilliance and teamwork that goes into those worlds and how profoundly they move me. I'd like to be walking in doors of worlds that haven't been constructed yet, bringing all of me, and meeting new friends.

BN: What else is going on for you that you would like people to know?

EA: Well, this year we adopted our three sons, and I've been pretty busy with them. But they keep asking, now that they speak English, "when we are making another movie," and I hope I have something to tell them soon!