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Interview: Marlene Forte (Fear the Walking Dead)

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Marlene Forte is a very talented and hard-working actor that always delivers. Not only is she just an all around awesome person but she has a hell of a lot of range and can play any character she portrays flawlessly. She has a very impressive resume that includes acting in a variety of films and TV shows such as Fear the Walking Dead, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Star Trek, A Haunted House, and a ton of other projects. I was lucky enough to talk to her recently about a number of things and it was my absolute pleasure to get to speak with her because she is just a very sweet person that is also very down-to-earth and just a cool person in general.

Todd Martin: Where are you from originally?

Marlene Forte: I was born in Cuba but was raised in New Jersey. I’m a Jersey girl at heart!

TM: How did you get into acting and what was your first role?

MF: The first time I acted was when I was 10. It was for my school’s stage production of Great Expectations. I didn’t have a huge part as it wasn’t a speaking role but sitting on the stage and looking out at the people in the audience I knew that I wanted to act because it was such a great feeling. My first professional acting job came later when I was in my mid-twenties. I did an Alka-Seltzer commercial. It was in Spanish and was my first union job.

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TM: It’s obvious that you’ve always enjoyed acting, but did you ever have any other career goals?

MF: When I was younger I wanted to be either a teacher or a lawyer. It was later on that I realized that I would much rather play a lawyer in a movie or on TV than actually be one!

TM: So what has been your favorite role so far?

MF: I really like TV roles and can say that Celia from Fear the Walking Dead has been my favorite role so far. She is a very complex character and has been the most complex role that I’ve had. If I had to describe her I would say that not only is she a mother, but she’s also fearless and what I would consider the keeper of lost souls. The writers on the show are fabulous and it’s just a lot of fun to work on the show.

One of the reasons that I like Celia so much is because she’s a strong female character. One of the producers on the show is Gale Anne Hurd who is associated with several strong, kick ass women characters such as Sara Connor from The Terminator and Ripley from Alien. Wanted to be Ripley when I was a kid!

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TM: In addition to acting you’ve also produced and directed as well. Which do you prefer?

MF: Acting is my favorite but I also enjoy directing as well. I hope to direct more in the future.

TM: Who are some of your influences?

MF: My dad. He took me to the movies when I was a kid and introduced me to movies and theater at an early age thanks to his love of film and television.  I would also have to say Rita Moreno, Linda Hamilton, Sigourney Weaver, Bette Davis, and Susan Sarandon as well. I’ve been heavily influenced by any women who played strong female characters on TV or film.

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TM: What is your favorite movie of all time?

MF: Rope. I love Hitchcock!

TM: What is the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?

MF: The original Night of the Living Dead. I watched it once late at night when I was a kid and it really scared me. After I saw it I didn’t want to be buried and said that I would only be cremated after I died because I didn’t want to come back as a zombie!  It still scares me to this day!

TM: Who would you like to work with in the future?

MF: Definitely Anthony Hopkins. I would also love to work with Rita Moreno as well someday.

TM: What do you like to do in your spare time?

MF: I enjoy gardening and decorating. I’ve got my own tools and enjoy fixing and working on things too.

TM: Are there any upcoming projects you’d like to talk about?

MF: I’m in a play in September. It’s an adaptation of the Greek play Blood Wedding entitled Blood Match.  I am playing the mom in it. I am also going to do voice work on an animated series aimed at middle school students that covers topics such as racism and other issues.

TM: Anyone you would like to give a shout out to or anything you’d like to add?

MF: I just want to thank all the Fear the Walking Dead fans out there for their love and support. You guys are amazing!

Thank you Marlene for taking the time to talk to me! You rock!

You can find her online at her official site at http://marleneforte.com/

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