Shooting Marie Callender’s.

marie-callenders-shoot-01I dunno about you guys, but I loves me some pie. Apple, key lime, chocolate cream, peach, blueberry, strawberry, razzleberry… You get it.

So when I got the chance to be obsessed with pie on camera for a paycheck, you know I pretty much cocoa-pie’d my pants in excitement!

Marie Callender’s only ever existed in the freezer aisle of my formidable East Coast years. But on the West Coast, there are like — real restaurants, with delicious HOT food. And margaritas the size of your head. Us actors would be playing the most enthusiastic Marie Callender’s servers ever there were.

marie-callenders-shoot-03We shot at a Marie’s along the coast. Chris Triana and I suited up in our incredibly sensuous uniforms for the day. I know — it’s hard to tell, but no, this hasn’t suddenly turned into a porno site full of the pornos. (Try to resist making out with the screen right now.)

I was even wearing black Keds with the black socks I had on when I got there…

The crew/client/agency (and on-the-clock Marie’s employees!) were SO much fun. We laughed so hard, we pitted-out our T’s.

I realized I have a lot of experience working with good looking food you’re not supposed to eat. Here I am, watching from the sidelines as the BBQ ribs get sauced…. the beer gets fluffed ‘n bubbled, the mac-n-cheese gets…. all smelly up in my nose. As your stomach rumbles, and you’re waiting for the lunch break, it’s TORTURE.

marie-callenders-shoot-02And it’s a different kind of torture if you’re an actor eating the food on camera. Think about your first bite into a smoky, cheeseburger, fresh off the grill. Then multiply that by 40. The burgers are constantly replaced, so you’re always taking that first beautiful bite. And there are spit buckets under the table if you don’t wanna swallow. I mean — It’s pretty much Game of Thrones-style feasting.

Then there were the shots outside in the neighborhood. With real neighbors actually sitting on their stoops, watching the action! I love the energy of that, and also the chance to go pet someone’s dog like I’m some kind of movie star. “Does your dog want an autographed headshot? I have like a million extra, so…”

One old man pulled up in a baby blue ’61 Chevy, as I was sitting on the tailgate of an SUV, waiting for my scene. The engine purred as he idled in front of me.

Guy: “You wanna put my car in your movie?”

Me: “Ha.” I’m wearing a brown T-shirt. I have no authority here!

Guy: “What are you shooting?”

Me: “It’s a commercial!”

Guy: “Wanna put my car in your commercial?”

I began to wonder if he just drives around looking for shoots, so he can make some money on that car. This is so LA, I thought. He kept idling. A person with actual status on set, approached the car.

Director: “Cool car, Man!”

Guy: “Wanna put my car in your commercial?” Well, we won’t say he didn’t try!

Director: “She’s a beaut!” He gave her a look, then walked away.

Then it was just me and car guy again. Looking at each other. Each wondering why the other was there.

FINALLY, it was my shot. Time to get amped up for some PIE.

marie-callenders-shoot-04ACTOR TIP: I always smile like that in front of the camera. I find that bearing all my teeth works for any genre and provides a warm environment within which to work (Not!). But on this occasion, it was cool.

Here’s the ad! It’s airing live on TV right now in SoCal. And if you’re not the least bit hungry for BBQ or pie by the end of it, something’s broken in your black little soul.



Chris Triana also did this Tequila Partida commercial which is a hoot. I support friends who support booze!

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