This week, the independent film Expecting Mary premiered in Palm Springs. Produced locally by Kim Waltrip and Jim Casey, the movie tells the story of a teen-aged pregnant runaway who finds an unlikely family in a trailer park in New Mexico. It's totally heartwarming, and not in a syrupy kind of way. Linda Gray stars as a faded Vegas show girl who takes the young Mary in on Thanksgiving. There's also a totally fabulous appearance by Della Reese as the owner of the trailer park.
In addition to Gray and Reese, the film includes several veteran actors over the age of sixty, such as Eliot Gould, Lainie Kazan, and Cloris Leachman. After the screening in Palm Springs, several cast members stuck around for a Q&A session with local TV host, Gloria Greer.
|Producer Kim Waltrip, Lainie Kazan, Della Reese, Linda Gray, and Gloria Greer after the premier of "Expecting Mary."|
The Q&A was very lively. Lainie Kazan was asked about her role as the owner of a small-town casino. She talked about her career playing interesting and weird characters: "I've played everybody's mother except Whoopie's."
Asked if she shared her character's love of cooking, Della Reese replied, "I didn't get this big by going hungry."
The best thing about seeing a premier isn't proximity to stars but, especially in the case of an independent film, hearing the artists talk about a project they really believed in and how they made it happen.
See the trailer here.