Over the past several months we have featured the work of Tahyna Tozzi-MacManus on various occasions, and she took time this week to answer more of our questions. For her interviews along with Tahnya’s blog posts, please go to our Special Features Page at this link: http://www.macmaniacs.org/special-feature.html
First of all, please update us on the status of OREN. When we last spoke, you had submitted the film to major festivals.
Thank you so much to everyone for their continued support. It really means the world to myself, cast and crew. Just wanted to say that!
Yes, we have submitted to a few different festivals. We will slowly be informed over the next 6 months if we will be screened at those. We did get into the International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts which was a last minute submission so that is wonderful. I never intended to submit to festivals so the fact that it had already been recognized is lovely. Already beyond any expectations.
In an earlier interview you mentioned that once you began filming OREN, everything came together quickly. How long did it take, and could you share any of the filming details with us? (such as where, when, etc.)
I guess it just became a snowball effect. To be fair, my producer Kai Lillie was incredible at pulling it all together. My crew were incredible - special mention to my DP Larkin Donley and the camera department. I also had an amazing production designer led by Govind Rae, Annabelle Harron for costume. Luke Baines, who is a great friend of mine, was basically king location manager plus production runner. I mean I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful crew. We shot the whole film over 3 days. It was long and intense hours and ridiculously hot! We were having a heatwave in LA so you can only imagine how it was to film a winter shoot. Everyone were complete troopers. No one slept. Everyone worked beyond what was normal all because they believed in me and the project. Chuffed by that!
You always seem to be creating something new. Are you working on any new writing projects now and/or do you have plans to write and produce another film?
I don't like being idle - it stresses me out. I think it’s important to keep creative. I know I'm a better person when I am. I have 3 scripts I am working on and I plan to direct a feature that is coming together - but I can’t tell you details just yet.
I’m terrified it will disappear…then what will I do?! I just have to concentrate on finishing the screenplay.
Things are pretty exciting right now - I have a new buzz. I’ve been working with a close friend of mine on several different branded content films. I produced a short film for an Australian jewelry brand that has just been completed which is nice. It was written and directed by a wonderful female film maker. We have access to the most beautiful people in the world so obviously we put them in our film. Things have been spiraling to unexpected but great heights. It’s keeping me pretty busy.
In addition to the above, is there anything special that you have been working on since being in London?
My waistline!!! It’s definitely getting stretched!! I love pub food! Haha
To be honest, London has been getting me back to my roots. I lived in New York before LA and have missed everything New York offered. London is very much a similar vibe. I have been studying a lot of theatre text and working with different companies. I shot a little video clip and have been doing feature readings with different groups of actors. Lots of yoga too! I need something to balance the amount of chocolate and hot chips I’m eating.
You have worked in many different areas of the arts, but is there one particular project that has been especially rewarding or fulfilling?
Each holds a special place. Any day I get to do what I love is a total blessing. I have to say OREN was a huge achievement for me personally of course…and I think a real standout for me was the play I put on - Savage in Limbo. I was 25 when I did that and I really am proud of how it came together.
I don’t know to be honest - I have only had great experiences. I hope it keeps going that way.
You’ve been very involved in theatre on many levels, but as an audience member, do you have a favorite theatre production? Why is it your favorite?
Tough one!! I couldn’t tell you! John Patrick Shanley is my favorite playwright but I also love Friedrich Schiller.
We recently went to see Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett - I forgot how much I love that play. Shakespeare of course- and I won’t lie and say I totally understand it all the time because I don’t. But that makes me dive in deeper to depict the language and the story, themes, characters etc. I like to be thinking long after the play is finished. I like to be entertained and even better love it if it makes me cry. I am also pretty camp and absolutely LOVE musicals - like seriously love them. I would do anything to be on the West End - I just can’t dance or sing like those performers!!! Ahhhhh I wish!!!
Tristan once told us you’re a genius in the kitchen, and that you make a killer Carbonara. As the chef in the MacManus family, what’s your favorite culinary creation?
Did he now? Well this week I have put us on a vegan detox. I guarantee you he hates everything I am putting in front of him.
In fact, he threw out the curry I made the other night. I’m sure he takes that statement back.
I don’t really have a specialty. I have pinched a lot from my mother and father. A great vegetable soup, any kind of salad and Italian dishes I usually make. When we’re not being too strict diet-wise I bring on the Carbonara and everything yummy!
We also have heard that you can play almost any musical instrument around. What’s your favorite, and have you ever taken lessons for any instrument?
Ah that’s very kind. I come from a very musical family. My sister is a musician, both my grandfathers are. I always grew up with music around and it was very much encouraged. I learnt piano at a young age so I was able to read music. From there every Christmas I was spoiled with a new instrument - guitar, drums, saxophone, accordion!! I absolutely love piano - I am not as good as I used to be or would like to be. But I absolutely love piano.
How are you enjoying London? Have you had a chance to see and do a lot? How did you like Glasgow?
I absolutely love London and loved Glasgow too. I have no problem playing tourist. I am always on those big red bus tours - usually alone. Hahaha
Finally (assuming it’s not repetitive of the above), what’s ahead for Tahyna Tozzi-MacManus?
If only I knew!!!
For more on OREN, visit http://theorenmovie.com
For additional articles and photos, see our OREN Pinterest Board