Tag Archives: Mary Crosby

Tanna Frederick: ‘M Word’ Feature Dramedy Hits New Menopause Territory

Times have SO changed from that “very special episode” of “The Waltons,” when Mama was acting a mite peculiar on account of the change of life.  Production has just wrapped on Henry Jaglom’s feature dramedy “The M Word” — and star Tanna Frederick says, “It will be like our first step on the moon of menopause stories.  It deals with everything having to do with our ovaries and then some.  M is for menopause, menses and men.”

Frances Fisher plays her mother who moves in with her after her mate (Gregory Harrison) is caught cheating.  Two aunts (Mary Crosby, Eliza Fisher) move into Tanna’s character’s two-bedroom apartment as well 

“Henry is not commenting on menopause, he’s taking you along for a ride,” she says of the director with whom she made “Hollywood Dreams” and other films, who is known for his improvisational work with actors.  “He really let the three women playing my aunts fly, and let them go into their own experiences with menopause.  They took it to a fever pitch that’s really funny.  We got some powerful stuff that I think will spark some groundbreaking talks between women and men.”

Well, at least it sounds as if Fisher’s performance will spark talk.   “She is hilarious.  At one point in a scene, she took the frozen turkey that she had for the family Thanksgiving and put it between her legs because she was having a hot flash,” Tanna says.  “I stepped back and said, ‘I don’t even know what to do with this.'”

 Tanna’s TV reporter character is fighting the closure of her station.  Her smarmy Sammy Glick-type boyfriend is played by Corey Feldman, and the corporate hatchet man who comes out to cut station staff is Michael Imperioli — who, of course, her character falls for. 

“Always in the past, Henry has sort of tiptoed around around the socioeconomic status of his characters.  In this, he dove right in.  It’s scary and sad what’s going on out there with all the cutbacks in jobs,” comments the actress.  “My character is faced with this question: Do I fall in love, or do I fight for what’s right?”  She reports that at one point she has a scene “that’s probably as close to a ‘Norma Rae’ moment as I’ll ever have,” leading a group of some 30 women in an office.  Women who are all, you guessed it, menopausal.

Henry Jaglom Touts Noah Wyle Performance, Pooh-Poohs Tabloid Tales

Tanna Frederick, Noah Wyle

Henry Jaglom is looking forward to unveiling a heretofore unseen Noah Wyle when his “Queen of the Lot” hits screens, beginning in October.  Says the esteemed indie filmmaker, “He totally breaks that ‘ER’ image.  He shows enormous depth and has a quality about him like those old movie stars – Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda – a kind of earnestness and charm.”

Speaking of his leading lady, Tanna Frederick, Jaglom adds that Wyle also “sparks with Tanna to an amazing degree.  She’s really met her match here.”

That sparking ignited tabloid reports that had the “Queen of the Lot” couple continuing their burning passion off camera, particularly as Wyle and his wife of 11 years separated last year.  However, Jaglom is quick to say, “They made that up.  Nobody was more surprised than Noah and Tanna to see that.  It’s kind of a tribute to their chemistry; people would like it to be real.”

Henry Jaglom

We erred the other day in indicating that Noah, as well as some others in the ”Queen of the Lot” cast, were playing themselves.  He’s playing the kind of reporter who covers celebrity scandals, as a matter of fact.  Jaglom stresses, “I surrounded Tanna and Noah with such a great supporting cast, I want to be sure they get credit.”  That cast includes Peter Bogdanovich, playing a “down on his luck director” who is a member of the multi-generational Hollywood family at the heart of the movie.  The matriarch is played by Kathryn Crosby, a.k.a. Kathryn Grant, a.k.a. Bing Crosby’s widow.  Mary Crosby is playing the daughter.  Dennis Christopher of “Breaking Away” also has a role.

“It’s a backstage look at the breakdown of the Hollywood studio system through this family.” And Frederick’s starlet character, Margie – who now goes by Maggie — is “a young woman trying to figure out a way to reconstitute it,” Jaglom says.

“Queen of the Lot” is the sequel to Jaglom’s 2007 “Hollywood Dreams,” which has acquired a cult following thanks to Tanna’s fearless performance and Jaglom’s way with Hollywood insider content.  Don’t be surprised if there’s a third Maggie film.  First, though, he’s making the movie version of his play “Just 45 Minutes From Broadway” – shooting now – with Tanna starring and Mary also in the cast.