How Actress Annie McNamara Got Her First Movie Role in Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine’

annie-mcnamaraMany actors and actresses often have to wait years to work with Woody Allen, who is generally considered to be one of the top “actor’s directors” in film.  For example, Cate Blanchett starred in films for nearly twenty years before starring in Allen’s latest film, Blue Jasmine

However, another star of Blue Jasmine, Annie McNamara, is an exception to that rule.  After all, Blue Jasmine is her first feature film.

McNamara, who appears as Blanchett’s character’s friend in the film, is a member of Elevator Repair Service, a theater group that staged an eight-hour (!) adaptation of The Great Gatsby titled Gatz at New York City’s The Public Theater.  In attendance was Allen’s casting director Juliet Taylor, who later called McNamara and two other cast members for auditions.

She tells IndieWire, “I was already like, this is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  Woody’s casting director wants me to see her? It’s already amazing.  Then you meet Woody.  And they say don’t be upset, but it’s going to be a really short meeting, like the shortest meeting of your life and it doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything wrong.” 

As most people would do before meeting one of the truly iconic figures of their industry, McNamara fortified herself with some alcohol.  She went into a local restaurant and ordered some wine.  She explains, “I had two sips of Chardonnay, put my napkin on top and said, ‘I will be back in two minutes.'”

The first meeting went well and a second meeting was scheduled.  However, it was scheduled shortly after McNamara’s father passed away, and she wouldn’t have gone if her mother did not push her too.  So she went, still wearing the dress she wore to her father’s funeral!

After a total of four meetings, McNamara finally receieved a call that she got the part.  And while she speaks highly of working with Allen and Blanchett, she hasn’t quit her 9 to 5 job yet.  She admits, “I love acting, I love this experience, but I’ve never been one to live the lifestyle of paycheck to paycheck.  It’s wonderfully exciting I hope someone sees me in it and gives me another part in a movie.  But I’m not quitting my day job.”

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