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An Interview with Aniela McGuinness, Star of 73 Minutes

by Mike Haberfelner

March 2023

Films starring Aniela McGuinness on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie 73 Minutes - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?

 

73 Minutes follows an ambulance chaser lawyer, Monica (my character), who is NOT living her best life. She is in a job she hates, seeing a married coworker, when a stranger threatens to kill her mother and child if she doesnít bring a file to him within 73 minutes.

 

What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much Aniela McGuiness can we find in Monica?

 

This role was definitely a challenge. On the surface, Monica and I donít have much in common, but the emotional turmoil of life being a bitch and not going your way is all part of the human experience. So it was about tapping into that deep well.

 

How did you get involved with the project in the first place, and what drew you to it?

 

You know how Rob Schneider is in almost every Adam Sandler movie? At this point, that is me with a Lou Simon movie [Lou Simon interview - click here]. This was our fourth film together. If Lou calls, I say yes. I donít even need to hear the pitch. It is a chance to play with friends.

 

With 73 Minutes shot under pandemic/lockdown condition, you lacked a physical scene partner for pretty much the whole movie - so what can you tell us about that experience, and did this put any extra strain on you as an actress?

 

We got creative. Throughout the whole movie, I had a wireless earbud with Lou, the other actors, and the script supervisor on Skype. The other actors would be recording the audio of their side of the scene at the same time. The only problem was between scenes while I was struggling to stay in this panicked emotional state and Lou would be BSing, forgetting that she was unmuted. Letís just say there was almost a real murder.

 

What can you tell us about 73 Minutes' director Lou Simon, and what was working with her like?

 

Lou does it all. She writes, directs, edits, produces, speaks five languages, and makes more happen in a week than I do in a year. She is a flippen badass and just being around her makes me want to do better. Also, a heads up, her sixth language is sarcasmÖ so watch out.

 

73 Minutes wasn't your first time working with Lou Simon - so what can you tell us about your previous collaborations, and how did the two of you first meet even?

 

My first film was Lou was Hazmat, which is still my favorite. The director of photography, Anthony Dones, told me about the audition and I got lucky enough to book it. From that point on, I would get a random call from Lou every year saying, ďI wrote this thing with you in mind. Read it and tell me if you want to do it.Ē After I had breast cancer and a double mastectomy, she called, ďI want to write a story where a personís nipples get cut off, you up for that?Ē Of course, my answer was, ďHell yes.Ē That is our film 3 if you want to see more of Louís twisted mind.

 

Back to 73 Minutes - what can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

photo by Matt Lacari

It felt like a group of misfit teenagers sneaking out after curfew and doing donuts in the street. Covid lockdown just happened. The world was stopped. The roads were empty. And here we were with a car trailer filled with cameras driving down backroads trying not to get caught. We filmed almost the entire movie in less than a week. We didnít know if any of this would work. The whole thing felt like an experiment that might fail miserably but was worth trying just so we could play and make something.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I just finished a rom-com Lifetime movie called Best Woman. Yes, not really in the horror genre but was such a joy to make. Come to find out, itís a lot easier to act when you donít have to pretend your imaginary daughter is about to be killed.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to 73 Minutes?

 

I have had the absolute pleasure of working on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and a bunch of little movies here and there. Tons of commercials. But the craziest experience I had was getting to be at the Rock of Ages table read with Alex Baldwin, Tom Cruise, and the rest of the cast. I didnít know if I was going to be cast yet, but I was brought in to read a bunch of the small roles. When I sat down, I was next to Mary J. Blige, and she extends her hand and introduces herself, ďHi, Iím MaryĒ as Tom Cruise walks in in full costume, while Russel Brand gives Alex Baldwin a big hug. The whole thing was surreal. This biz can be wild sometimes.

 

From what I know, you have a background in improv comedy - so do talk about that aspect of your career, and in what way has it informed your acting?

 

I love improv. It was my gateway drug into acting professionally and remains my weekly gym where I get on stage with my team, Sick Puppies Comedy, and we get weird. The freedom to perform with no script and only succeed with the support of your castmates is pure crack. Itís also healing. Every month I volunteer and teach improv to cancer patients at Gildaís Club South Florida. It gives people living through some really hard shit the freedom to connect and laugh when life might not feel funny.

 

Actresses (and indeed actors) who inspire you?

 

When I think of my favorite actors and actresses they all have one thing in common. They seem like genuinely kind people. Like Tom Hanks, Keanu Reeves, Pedro Pascual, and Olivia Coleman. You can be a great actor but if you are a jerk, itís hard to look up to that type of person.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

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Forrest Gump and Dirty Dancing. There is something about the movies you watch as a kid that just sticks with you. I LOVED Everything Everywhere All At Once.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

Donít hate me, but I donít watch horror movies. I canít even watch the previews. I am a huge scaredy cat.

 

Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?

 

Instagram: @AnielaMcG

Website: ItsAniela.com

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD