in which she played one of Reese Witherspoon’s
enthusiastic, gum-snapping best friends, which catapulted Ubach to a higher
comedic profile. She reprised her role in 2003’s sequel, and had a memorable supporting
role in 2004’s Meet the Fockers, playing sexy maid Isabel, the
deflowerer of Ben Stiller’s Greg.
Ubach’s latest role (above) finds her costarring alongside veteran
actor Kurtwood Smith (That ’70s
droopy-faced indie stalwart Richard
Edson (known to an entire generation as the unruly valet from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and up-and-comer
Eyal Podell. A character-driven piece about a group of chronic, blue-collar fantasists and ex-cons who plot for
control of a venerable diner after the owner has an “accident,” Hard
Scrambled is written and
directed by Chicago-based playwright David Scott Hay, and was chosen from a
national script search sponsored by critically acclaimed trade magazine Creative
to answer a few questions via email. The chat is excerpted below:
Brent Simon: In Hard
Scrambled you play Crysta, a waitress, which is of course the stereotypical
job of aspirant actors-in-waiting. Any real-life experience slinging hash
(browns, that is), pie, etc.?
Alanna Ubach: The only job I had waitressing was at my
sister’s old restaurant, and of course playing Naomi in the movie Waiting.
BS: Hard Scrambled
is all about dreamers and schemers — what sort of crazy schemes have you
concocted in real life, whether they worked out or not?
AU: I had an ongoing daydream of being a rock star, and marrying
Adrien Zmed from Grease 2 when I was
nine. Those didn’t come true. I dream of being 5’5” (note: Ubach is 5’2”). Perhaps
one day they’ll invent a surgery to stretch short people’s limbs, and my dream
will come true!
BS: A familiar question, I’m sure, but were you driven by a
“performance instinct” growing up, and were you considered funny by your
classmates and friends in your teen years?
AU: I was very sarcastic, and as loud as a 90-year-old deaf
woman when I was a kid. I loved to imitate everyone in my family and make
everyone laugh, so yeah, I guess I was driven to perform at a very young age.
BS: Are you desperate to explore the relatively darker tones
of something like Hard Scrambled in
other projects, or it is more a case of, “Que sera sera.”
AU: I want to explore as much as I’m given the opportunity
BS: What can we expect from Patriotic Bitch, your one-woman show — has it already had
its debut? And what’s the status on Equal
Opportunity, and what sort of character do you play?
AU: Patriotic Bitch
made its debut at the McCadden Theatre in
and got great reviews. I’m now in the early stages of getting it primed and
ready for NY. Equal Opportunity will
be playing at the Aspen Fest and I play an all-American secretary with a very
dry sense of humor.
Presented in 16×9 widescreen on DVD, Hard Scrambled’s
listed special features include interviews with Hay and the actors, cast and
crew bios and an amusingly billed “anatomy of a failed scene.” The two-disc DVD
also includes a dozen modules on the essential topics of producing and
directing. From screenplay structure, continuity and working with actors to financing,
editing, publicity and distribution, there are more than two-and-a-half hours
of bonus materials to complement the briskly paced, 84-minute feature
presentation. For more information about Hard Scrambled, visit the
eponymous web site by clicking here.