Gianna Simone was born and raised in Boston. She packed up her bags and headed for Hollywood to become an actress. Simone’s first full-length movie roles included “Sunshine Away” (2008) and “3rd Shift: Michael’s Lament” (2009). Now, she plays Val, a pregnant, first-time mother in the new film “Mother’s Day.”
“It’s beautifully written and each of the characters are interconnected the way Garry Marshall does films,” Simone said in an exclusive phone interview. “There’s nine mothers and I play a pregnant mom, the mom to be. We’re all interconnected in our own ways. I work at a restaurant with Britt Robertson, who plays Julia Roberts’ estranged daughter. Each character brings you to a different mom’s story.”
Can we expect your character to have a baby in the movie?
“You’ll have to go see it to see that. But I am nine months pregnant, to give you a hint.”
There is such a star-studded cast. I mean Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson. What was it like working with those ladies?
“It’s quite a blessing to work on a film with such an amazing cast,” Simone answered. “I choose to work with the best of the best so I can become that. That’s my takeaway for everything that I do.”
I saw Garry Marshall about two weeks ago at the TV Land Icon Awards. He presented an award to John Stamos.
“Now it all makes sense because John Stamos was at the premiere. I said, ‘I think Uncle Jessy just walked by.’
What was it like working with Marshall who directed this new movie?
“I actually Skyped with Gary Marshall before I did the film,” the actress said. “He makes you so comfortable. He actually told me when we were Skyping, ‘Don’t change your hair, don’t change your look, we just want you. We hire them because we want them.’ To have anybody tell you to be you is so rare nowadays. Especially to have a huge icon like Garry Marshall tell you to be yourself sends a huge message. It really made me feel at ease to be the character.”
What would you say makes the perfect Mother’s Day gift? Maybe a clothing item, jewelry or a gift card?
“I think the best thing we can do is spend time with the people who are mom’s. I think spending time when them and letting them know how much we love them is the best gift.
Finally, what kind of message do you want movie goers to understand when they leave the theatre?
“I think that we’re all connected,” Simone explained. “Like I said before, we’re all from the same place. God loves us all equally and we should love each other equally. We’re stuck with each other so let’s get along.”
Look for “Mother’s Day” in theaters everywhere starting today. It is 1 hour and 58 minutes long with a PG-13 rating.