An Interview with Actress Pam Eichner

{By Ellery Sadler}

Ok, y’all this is so cool and fun!!! I had the pleasure of seeing Pam Eichner in The Letter Writer, and then got to talk with her and ask her some questions about her life as an actress, her thoughts about our culture, and also hear about her hobby and  passion for diving with Great White Sharks … no, I’m not kidding. Her nickname is Sharkbait. And she is one of the coolest ladies I’ve met.

Pam Eichner interview

What is one of your favorite things about being an actress? 

Without question, my favorite thing about my film work is having someone walk up to me or send me a note telling me how much they were moved by work I’ve done.  That, for me is what it’s all about.  Making people feel something.  I love working on a film because you get very close with the group of you are working with in a short time span and each day is different as you shoot new scenes in various locations.  It’s an adventure!  I just finished shooting a film called Wayward:The Prodigal Son. I didn’t know anyone from that shoot when we started out, but I ended up with some remarkable friendships that are now spilling over into other work.  When EVERYONE – the director, the actors, the crew, the caterer – I mean EVERYONE comes together with a common goal in their sights – wow. It’s quite a rush!
pam eichner

In what ways do you think film impacts our culture? Does it reflect culture or direct culture?

This is a subject near and dear to my heart!  The answer would seem to lie in whether a film is made for a fast buck or is aiming to be art.  Films and social in reality feed off of each other.  Even though I’m a film actor, I very seldom go to movies because main stream films – for the most part – have nothing of interest to say to me.  Occasionally I get lucky as an audience and a gem comes along, a film that takes the time to chronicle something special.  Sometimes the “everyday-ness” of people can make for compelling drama, like in Ordinary People or Bridges of Madison County. I don’t see why main stream films need to be so – angry.  Angry films seem to be an epidemic! At the end of the day, film making is a business.  Film makers will put on the screen what the audience wants to see.  I’m only one person, but I try to make a difference by working in films that reflect a different social attitude – one of “class vs. crass.”  Personally, I love the old black and white films.  Give me Casablanca any day of the week!  I suppose we create our own social attitude to films.  We allow movies to validate their place in our culture by the films we are willing to pay to watch.
 

What is your all-time favorite movie? And what do you like about it? 

Easy!  My favorite film is the original Lion In Winter with Peter O’ Toole and Katherine Hepburn. Fantastic!  It’s brilliantly written and no matter how many times I see it (and we are WAY into double digits by now) I always find a nuance. I watch films differently from “normal” people. I often find myself playing a particular role in my head. I wonder what I would have done differently or what I feel was perfect. I’ve been known to buy a film that particularly enthralls me. I run it on my computer where I keep a mirror, then I play scenes over and over practicing the scene in the mirror to see what my facial reactions are. Without question my favorite films to do this with would be ANYTHING with Meryl Streep. She has such a delicious simplicity in her work, her eyes and body language are nothing short of magic!
 

I loved your part as Mrs. Fuller in The Letter Writer! It was so heartfelt and genuine. What was it like being a part of that film?

Wow – thank you for that!  I really loved being Maggy. That particular film has the been the gift that just keeps giving.  I still get fantastic mail from folks who see it and love it. I am so proud of The Letter Writer.  Forgetting that it’s one of my films, I think everyone should see it. Especially children. Everyone is so rushed now. We have tons of gadgets and things to make life easier and faster and we still can’t go fast enough!  Taking time to write a letter, to write a song, to find a friend in an unlikely place … these are all good things, slow things. The director of The Letter Writer, Christian Vuissa pretty much just turned me loose in that film and I really appreciated that. I loved how tired and weary I looked in that movie. It really fit the character. I had a few tricks to get that look!  It’s funny, when I was younger I was so concerned about how I looked on film. Now all I want to know is … do I look REAL?  I would love to do a role with a different hair color, different appearance entirely so that people would say, is that Pam?  I’d love that!
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For those of looking to get involved in the film/acting business, what is your best piece of advice?

My best advice? GO FOR IT! A fabulous acting coach named Molli Benson, in Los Angeles, turned my world upside down many years back. I wasn’t getting a lot of work in the beginning, I had myself convinced it was because I was in my 40’s – too old perhaps. She taught me that kind of thinking is rubbish! No matter what your look, your age your…whatever. There is work out there for you. Embrace your uniqueness, grab it, and run! You’ve got nothing at all to lose and, maybe, a lot to gain.  
Pam Eichner 
 

How did you get started in the acting world? What sparked your interest?

My reached in the fifth grade insisted I play the role of Fagin in our class production of Oliver.  I was NOT happy!  For openers, I did not want to be a man (I was a fifth grader, remember!) and I had less than no interest in being on stage. Something just went “click” inside of me on opening night!  I discovered  that I was quite a ham and positively LOVED being in front of an audience. From that day to this, acting is my favorite form of creative expression. I get “on set withdrawal” between films – I can’t wait to be on set again!
 

What would you like to be remembered for?

Oooooh – neat question!  I’ve never thought about it.  My instant response to that is to say I hope, with every fiber of my being, that my children will all burst out laughing when they remember me.  I hope I have made their childhoods something mystical, unique, and crazy fun!   I hope, hope, hope I have shown them how I was hand picked to have these two particular sets of twins and I adore them to pieces.  As for how the rest of the world will remember me, I hope I will not be remembered as normal!  THAT – would be awful!  I have SO much neat stuff to do still.  So – stand back!  I plan to leave my mark as someone who loves purple and bright orange, who always wears shark T-shirts, someone who finds the humor in everything, a person who helped create lovely films. A person who loved deeply.
 

 And I’m so excited to see this when it comes out! What is your latest project? 

Are you sure you want to get me started on this topic? I may never stop! I have just wrapped on a film with award winning director Rob Diamond called Wayward:The Prodigal Son.  As the title suggests it’s a modernized telling of the classic story of the prodigal son, with a dying father seeking to bring home his wayward son and reunite his family. Luckily for me – Rob added a strong wife and mother role to the story. Wayward is slated for a Summer 2014 release.  I hope everyone reading this will like Wayward:The Prodigal Son on Facebook. (I would love that!!!)
wayward the prodigal son

 

pam eichner

 

Pam Eichner is an amazing Utah based actress. Her latest movie Wayward: The Prodigal Son, is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2014. She is the proud mother to two sets of twins, has an incredible sense of humor, and loves to dive with Great White Sharks. Check out her blog and keep up with her adventures! 

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