Running Her Way
By: Lizzy Buczak
She’s hailed the Queen of Indies in Hollywood and she doesn’t even know it. “That’s so badass, thank you for telling me that,” she said humbly. Tanna Frederick the award-winning actress and director, founder of Project Save Our Surf, the Iowa Independent Film Festival and Project Cornlight, continues to shine in her latest productions.
Set in the Midwest in 1936, during the dustbowl, “Rainmaker” is a romantic comedy that debuted in January at the Edgemar Center of the Arts in Santa Monica. Frederick plays Lizzie, a plain, self-conscious Jane, living with two brothers and her father, whose convinced that she won’t ever find a man who will find her attractive. To cope with the pain and depression she works.
Originally from Iowa, Frederick tends to embraces characters that people can relate to, especially those from the Midwest who all have a little farm girl in them. “I love characters that inspire hope. Characters that have a transformation from being down trodden to having a 180 switch and realizing that their life is amazing.”
“Sometimes we have 90-year-old women who relate to the character and other times its 16-year old girls crying cause they relate and they feel the pain of not being good enough. I love that girls are able to realize something about their own beauty and specialness about their own self from my character.” The play is very uplifting to women, because in the end not one but two men are attracted to her. Score!
It’s obvious that although Frederick has relocated to L.A her heart is still deeply grounded in Midwestern soil. “ A lot of times the Midwest gets overlooked. There’s a misconception that in order to be a film maker or actor you have to live on the west or east coast.” Project Cornlight, equipped with cast and crew from Iowa allowed Frederick to go back and work with the people who inspired her.
“We made our first movie ‘The Farm’, which was incredible because it was awesome to be filming in pretty much my back yard with a crew.” Frederick, executive producer of Project Cornlights second movie, Just Beautiful, will play Mave, another strong female character. “Shooting there feels like home. I can dig into the emotions.”
With so much on her plate, you’d think Frederick wouldn’t have time for anything else, but she doesn’t give up on her hobbies; tae kwon do, running and surfing, just to name a few. Sometimes, she’s lucky enough to mix business with pleasure.
“With indie films, the directors are open to collaborating and getting your input and ideas. I included taekwondo do in my first bigger indie film. Surfing I haven’t gotten to yet but I hope to.” She’s referring to director Henry Jaglom, whom she’s developed a very sacred relationship with after rising to fame in his film, “Hollywood Dreams”. The next movie she’s filming with Jaglom, ‘Running Lucid’ is about a woman who runs. “ It explores women and what drives them to work out obsessively.”
Should we expect even more from Frederick in the future? Of course! Frederick enjoys being a chameleon, so despite her love for roles in romantic comedies, she’s waiting for the chance to tae on an action movie in the near future. She also hopes to do a larger budget picture, a biopic or something historical along the lines of ‘Lincoln’ or ‘Coco Chanel’. “Who doesn’t want to try on shoes of someone’s that lives a completely different world than the one your in?” Touché.