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INT: Gina Mantegna

May. 4, 2006by:

Gina Mantegna plays rich girl Grace with attitude in the upcoming film UNACCOMPANIED MINORS (and yes, she's actor Joe Mantegna's daughter). Based on her interview, she seems to understand and embody her character well. She describes her character to be a snooty and over confident liar whose walls are broken down by films end. The experience will transform Grace along with all the other characters. Check out what she had to say about the film and character.

Gina Mantegna

We hear you play the rich girl with attitude.

I do. I play Grace Conrad.

Can you describe her a little bit more?

Yeah sure. Shes kind of the mature one in the group. Shes kinda the one who falls into it, but not willingly. The interesting thing about Grace Conrad is unlike the other characters her parents arent divorced, theyre actually divorced from her which actually quite interesting about her. My parents arent divorced. Theyre divorced from me. Im really the independent one thats always kind of leading everyone and Im mostly the sarcastic one that kind of brings the negativity to the group and Im kind of misunderstood so no one really understands why shes like that. I kind of lie to everyone in the beginning telling them I have a perfect life but then its not until later when through all of the mishap and everything that happens that we all kind of bond and become ourselves around everyone else.

How did you get cast for the role?

Well first of all I went to the first audition and met Paul you know the director, the producer and Alison Jones the casting director. Right off the bat I felt something there and I guess he did too and I just came in a couple more times after that. I didnt find out until like a month later that I got the part because it took them forever to cast my role. But, yeah I actually found out a couple weeks before I left to come out here.

Now you grew up in LA and in the industry?

My dad is also an actor. Hes Joe Mantegna so Ive kinda grown up around it, but he never pushed me into doing anything. It was all my doing.

So it was inevitable?

I dont know. I love doing it. Its such a natural thing for me. When Im in front of the camera you know its never freaking out nervous its just something that Im there and I feel it. A lot of people are born singers because when they get up on stage they can just sing and they can feel it. Im the same way with theatre and acting and being in front of the camera. Its just all the same to me.

You dad has done a lot of big time theatre.

Yeah me too. I started in theatre just like him. I got cast the role of Annie for like my first play and it was the weirdest thing because everyone is like she got the lead. Like whats going on? I did a bunch of plays after that and I kinda fell into film and here I am.

How are you balancing being in the industry and being a normal young lady?

Its not much to balance. I mean I been in as quite of as big of a picture as this one so its kind of difficult doing school and stuff. But other than that you just keep yourself grounded. You surround yourself with your friends and family. Its just work you know.

Being in LA you must meet a lot of girls like your character.

Yeah. I do. I go to school with all Grace Conrads. Thats what I think Paul likes the best. He was telling me a lot of girls came that were Grace Conrad. They were that girl. They were that rich prissy girl that liked to be pampered, but deep down inside she was really sweet. But, you know those girls they didnt have any realness to them. They didnt really understand and I guess the reason I got this part was because I understand it. Im around it so much and I understand. Its like my world at school.

How do you not become like them?

Well I guess its my family you know. Just being yourself and the way I was raised to never get sucked into that. I guess Ive always been surround by you know materialism and all that crazy stuff and jealousy. We all are inundated with that. But my family especially my dad who always taught me to never get sucked into that whole crazy cycle of Hollywood and stuff.

Was there ever a time where you saw any Grace in you?

All the time. The good part though. I think we all have a little bit of wanting to be pampered a little bit so.



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