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Hollywood Actress Tessa Farrell Is Breaking Stereotypes, Setting Records and Reforming An Industry




Tessa Farrell is a Hollywood actress who has appeared on HBO’s Entourage and the recent indie film, The Madness Within. But these days she is making headlines as the record breaking/setting “co-pioneer of smartphone filmmaking” with her own film, Cinema Rebel, which is all about an actress making her own movie without a budget or film crew, which is exactly what she did! The movie has recently been on the film festival circuit, winning award after award.

While some people may just sit around waiting for their next job, Tessa took matters into her own hands and we got to speak to her one-on-one about how that choice and her film has reformed an entertainment industry that has long stayed its regular course.

1. Tessa, let’s start this off with how did you first get into acting and what stereotypes did you encounter?

Besides being a dancing, singing performer since I was a kid… I went to film school for directing. During castings for student films they couldn’t find the right actress to play certain parts so I stepped in to help and acting came natural to me… been doing it ever since. 

I definitely got a lot of stereotyped auditions to play the “hot girl”.  Most of the time those roles were also ‘dumb’ ‘slutty’ or victims of serial killers. It was really frustrating. I never felt connected to those types of roles. That ultimately fueled me to learn how to screenwrite so I could create my own roles. 

2. How did you come up with the concept for Cinema Rebel? 

Completely backwards from standard script development. I was making short films on my iPhone as a one person crew from 2016-2019 as I wrote a few feature film screenplays.  One day in 2019 I came up with the idea to make a movie about a girl who makes films on her iphone as a one person crew. Then I wrote a plot weaving together the short films I already shot and incorporated all of those, with the new plot, into the feature Cinema Rebel. It was a very fun and thrilling process because I got to jump back and forth between editing, production and writing as I built the layers needed to make Cinema Rebel multidimensional and fully fleshed out. 

3. How does it feel to break barriers and set records?

During the record-breaking part… incredibly challenging, painful, and exhilarating. I had no one to learn from or relate to so everyday working on that film felt like ‘facing the unknown’… like diving straight into the deep end and having to learn how to breathe underwater before I could surface again.  After Cinema Rebel was finished I felt incredibly lost for a few months. In order to break those barriers and set records… that movie became my life purpose. When the film was complete, my life became a big question of “why am I still here?” 

4. Who has helped you most in your career, whether it be a mentor or someone who has inspired you?

Weirdly enough I would say all the people who told me to do things the normal way, all the audition rejections, stereotyped castings, doubters, etc. They fueled my desire to want to do something epic in a completely original way. Without them… Cinema Rebel may have never been made. 

5. What’s next for Cinema Rebel?

Sorting through distributors right now, getting ready to share it with the general public. Stay tuned on world premiere info coming soon! 

6. What’s next for Tessa Farrell? Your ultimate goal? 

Keep making movies and challenge the work to be consistently epic and original. 

7. What trends in the film industry do you see happening as we continue along in 2023?

I anticipate race and gender inclusive stories continuing to get produced. I am working on one in particular actually, will share details soon. It would be extremely exciting to see filmmakers shift toward also working to end racism and classism. Hopefully Cinema Rebel starts the trend of groundbreaking films made on smartphones getting the attention and recognition they desire. Independent films are often the homes of voices that need to be heard… loud and wide. 

8. And finally, why are you happy & proud to be an American?

I’m very happy to be an American because of the foundations this country stands for. Freedom and the American dream. To me, the American dream means creating the life you want for yourself. This country helps you do that by giving you opportunities. I am so lucky for the opportunities I’m regularly given and hope one day all citizens of the world get to experience freedom and receive opportunities they deserve to create the lives they want. 

After working 4 years as a reputed journalist, Jerome wanted to explore internet-based journalism. He brought together the idea of USA Reformer to dispatch news that serves the need of readers with perfect information. He also contributes as a business news writer for the website.

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