An Interview With Actress Tanna Frederick

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Actress Tanna Frederick Photo by; by Rose Cefalu
Actress Tanna Frederick
Photo by; by Rose Cefalu

She’s starred in over ten films in her filmography. She’s worked with great actors like Michael Imperioli, Melissa Leo, David Proval, and Noah Wyle. You’ve probably never heard of Tanna Frederick. She’s an actress from Iowa making a name for her on the independent film market. Having been acting since her school days in the mid-west, she’s continuing to follow her passion starring in many indie films. I had the honor of speaking with her for an interview in which she spoke about her films, her comeuppance, and her desire to work with George Clooney.

I spoke with Ms. Frederick over the phone so I wasn’t able to have a true to life, face-to-face conversation with her but her personality seeped through the phone. At first I mentioned that I never laid witness to one of her movies. She so kindly took down my address to send me copies of her movies. Despite me knowing little to nothing about the actress, she was generous enough to treat me to a small catalog of her work.

Frederick grew up in Mason City, Iowa and grew to love the art of acting at a young age, around eight she tells me. “The community was really, really instrumental in helping me feel safe and build…a career, even as a kid…even though I wasn’t making money,” Frederick says. Though she was young entering the world of acting she was treated with the same amount of respect and professional courtesy as the adults. For her honors thesis project for theater in college, she wrote a one-woman show. In addition to writing, she also produced and starred it.


“It really is beautiful. It’s one of those where the budget was incredibly small and so everyone is working from passion and the heart”

–Tanna on her film Garner, Iowa

Since moving out to Los Angeles, she’s a completely different person, creatively. “I guess I’m much braver now that I’m in Los Angeles because – you know, you just have to go for it. In college you’re a different person, you’re young, you’re a perfectionist and once you move out here – or for me when I moved out to Los Angeles – it was like you just hit the ground running.” She continues with some sage advice, “The element of judgment on your own work, you have to remove that from yourself because so many people out here are going to judge your work as it is.”

With everything you do comes criticism, something Tanna doesn’t read or look into anymore.“If you believe all the good ones you have to believe all the bad ones.” A friend of hers Peter Bogdanovich (co-star of Queen of the Lot), told her to never pick out reviews. Instead, have an assistant weed out the good reviews, which may just be “three out of 100.”



“Love it or hate, I give everything to whatever play or film I’m in. If people love it, they love it, if they don’t, they don’t; that’s what art is. I don’t love everything of everybody elses.”


Tanna has appeared in 13 titles according to her IMDb page, the majority of which are directed by Henry Jaglom. Jaglom is “an actor’s director” who likes to work quickly, utilizing his magic in the editing room. Tanna has worked with Jaglom a record of six times including Hollywood Dreams, Irene In Time, Just 45 Minutes from Broadway, and the latest The M Word.

The M Word, coming out later this year, tackles on the subject of menopause. That specific topic of discussion is rarely touched upon in film and what The M Word wants to do is “spark dialog.” The film, as she describes, is powerful and uplifting to woman who may be ashamed of that transformation. In addition to Tanna Frederick, the film stars Michael Imperioli, Corey Feldman, Frances Fisher, and Gregory Harrison.

I’ve interviewed many people over my short history as a freelance writer but Tanna Frederick is by far the nicest. Her bubbly personality and passion for acting and even directing is present in her voice. I recommend you listen to the full interview located near the top of the page.



The set of films Tanna Frederick sent me. The note reads: "Jonathan - So great talking to you. Hope you enjoy the films. xoxo" Photo Credit: Jon Silva/ LazyDog Films ©2014
The set of films Tanna Frederick sent me. The note reads: “Jonathan – So great talking to you. Hope you enjoy the films. xoxo”
Photo Credit: Jon Silva/ LazyDog Films ©2014

Today, Friday February 7, 2014, I received the package Tanna sent me. She graciously sent me five of her films including: Hollywood Dreams, 45 Minutes From Broadway, Irene In Time, Queen of the Lot, and The M Word. Also included in package was a Save Our Surf (SOS) Con’Surf’vation t-shirt and a hand written note. Once again, thank you to Tanna Frederick.