Artist Spotlight: Laura Liguori
Laura Liguori stars in "Hollywood Girl: The Peg Entwistle Story," (publicity photo).
LOS ANGELES - After portraying Marilyn Monroe in the acclaimed play "Marilyn, Madness and Me," Laura Liguori is again portraying another tragic Hollywood figure when she plays Peg Entwistle, an ill-fated 24-year-old actress in the short film "Hollywood Girl: The Peg Entwistle Story."
The film, in which she serves as executive producer and stars in the title role, tells the story of Peg Entwistle, a 24-year-old starlet who committed suicide in 1932 when she jumped off the ‘H’ of the Hollywood sign after she was cut out of David O. Selznick’s “Thirteen Women.”
Entwistle’s suicide received widespread attention at the time, resulting in numerous newspaper and magazine articles and a legend that continues today as many have purportedly continue to see a ghostly figure of a young woman apparently haunting the Hollywood sign today.
Born in Scottsdale, Ariz. , Liguori was classically trained at the Oxford School of Drama in Oxford England, and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles before gaining acclaim for her stage and television work. Among TV credits are the sitcom “Suburgatory,” “Ugly Betty,” “Weeds,” the films “Growing Up Fisher,” “Love Lust,” and “Room Key.”
Today, she shares her story about her new film, her career and more:
Question: What led you to write, star and produce "Hollywood Girl: The Peg Entwistle Story"? What is the story about?
Answer: “Hollywood Girl: The Peg Entwistle Story, is based the on tragic ending of film actress and Broadway actress, Peg Entwistle. Peg is most remembered as the starlet who leapt off the Hollywood sign in the midst of the great depression and on the verge of her own career breakthrough in 1932. The story follows Peg in the last days and hours of her life, and her untimely tragic death. I conceived the idea for the film while sitting on my balcony, looking up at the Hollywood sign after receiving news that I had lost a role I had anticipated getting. I thought about Peg. Her story and the fact she gave up and how I was not going too. And decided something must be made about her story. I brought the story to producers, James Pomitcher and Veronica Barriaga of Arcane Pacific Entertainment. Pomitcher crafted the script.
Q: How were you able to get at the source material for this movie? Was it difficult to find the real story from hearsay or urban legend about Peg?
A: This is a dramatic fiction based on the true story. The urban legend is that she haunts the Hollywood sign. There aren't any urban legends regarding her suicide. It happened. There is a ton of information online, some of which is false of course. The film was written by the director, James Pomitcher. An actor himself, Pomitcher, wanted to go against the way the media had originally portrayed Peg, as a failed actress who couldn't handle rejection. Our script describes her as a vulnerable, passionate young woman, who fell victim to despair as so many others did during The Great Depression.
Laura Liguori as the ill-fated starlet, Peg Entwistle in "Hollywood Girl: The Peg Entwistle Story" (Publicity photo).
Q: What did your colleagues say about doing a period piece like that? Were they hesitant about the challenge of doing a period story and whether it would resonate with audiences?
A: Everyone..from all backgrounds and cultures. The young and the elderly can relate to this story. It tears at your heart strings.The music alone can bring anyone to tears.
Q: It's said her ghost still seen by the Hollywood sign. Did you talk to people that may have seen her?
A: There are many accounts that people have seen Peg Entwistle's spirit around the Hollywood Sign close to where her body was found below the H. I don't want to give a way to much about the film...but yes..it is mentioned.
Q: You recently premiered the film at the Hollywood Reel IndependentFilm Festival last month. What was the response?
A: We were so excited because we *won* best dramatic short film at the festival!!!
Q: You've done some films and a lot of television like the comedies"Suburgatory" and "Ugly Betty." Do you prefer film or television work?
A: I prefer good work, a strong script. The medium I portray it doesn't matter.
Q: What kinds of characters do you like to portray? Are you more at home in comedic or dramatic characters?
A: I love both. The other night I was playing a teenage heroine addict on stage and the next day I'm auditioning for a TV show where they are looking for the next Goldie Hawn! I'm not in this business because I think I'm pretty. I'm in it because I'm an actress, I can run the gamut from IBSEN's "HeddaGabler" to the upper class quirky girl seen on ABC's "Suburgatory."
Q: Where are you from originally? How did you get into acting and performing?
A: I am originally from Scottsdale, Arizona. How did I get into acting? It all started when I was 5 years old playing 'dress up. I just never grew out of it!
Q: What was your first acting role and how was that experience? Did you learn some lessons that first time on set?
A: The first feature film I was cast in was called "Phantom Love" directed by Nina Menkes. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. I played a french princess and got to ride a beautiful white purebread horse. Actually, it was the same horse from the movie "Narnia." In one scene, I was costumed in a beautiful wedding gown and had to ride the horse bareback (without saddle) down a steep hill. Even though, the horse was very well trained, something spooked it, and we took off like bats out of hell, down this mountain. I held on for dear life. Thank god, I took horse back riding lessons growing up because I could have easily fell off and broken my neck! But I stayedon, and held on tight to her mane, and we made it down. The footage turned out amazing, but it took me some time to catch my breath!
Q: What advice would you give aspiring actors about the entertainment industry?
A: Optimism is the key to success in this industry, because rejection is all too common. I’ve learned to keep my head up, be grateful for what comes and let go of what passes. As long as you give your best effort, Your dreams will not fail you.
Q: What is next for you?
A: I am currently starring in "The Gary Plays" series written by Murray Mednick. It is a series of six plays that will run together in Los Angeles at the Atwater Theatre beginning in May. I play the role of "Laura" whom is a mixture of the "Virgin Mary" and Sharon Stone'scharacter from Basic Instinct.
Q: Where can we find you on social media and online?
A: www.lauraliguori.com, and of course facebook.