Available NOW on iTunes: American living in England: A Conversation with THE NINTH CLOUD lead actress Megan Maczko
Jane Spencer’s dark, philosophical drama, set in 90s London, tells the story of Zena (Megan Maczko), who, trying to escape the grief of her family being killed in a plane crash, becomes infatuated with fellow American Bob (Michael Madsen), an enigmatic but failed poet and writer.
As THE NINTH CLOUD is released in the UK, lead actress Megan Maczko discusses her passion for voicing video games, working with Tom Hanks, the hazards of auditioning and the challenges of being an American living in England.
Megan, you play Zena, the protagonist, In THE NINTH CLOUD. How would you describe her?
Zena is a young woman living with an incredible amount of chaos in her heart, desperately seeking the answers to life’s great questions in order to circumvent the pain that she feels from the loss of her parents, from being all alone in the world. She’s delicate but tries desperately to keep that hidden from the world and the people she’s chosen to let in her to life. She’s eccentric, vulnerable, bold, compassionate, guarded and naive.
What challenges did you face portraying such a complex character?
All of us are complicated, so when as an actress you get your hands on a gem like Zena, you just have to bring everything you’ve got to her. Let her come undone, be messy, contradict herself - live between the black and white.
There’s a heightened quality in Jane’s storytelling, so I guess the biggest challenge was to do the work, then just trust and go for it. I don’t always work this way, but honestly when we found her shoes and her coat and I chopped my long hair off into a bob, I felt like “Ooh Whee! There she is!” Zena is a beautiful collision of contradictions - she has a freedom and a wild innocence about her that extend only as far as the mask she wears for the outside world. That mask is held in place by the rigidity of her habits, this coat she almost never takes off, and even the sharp angles of her hairstyle. .
Playing opposite Michael Madsen, whom Zena is infatuated with, must have been an interesting experience. How did you two get along?
Michael is a marvel and I think people will enjoy seeing something of a softer side of him in this film.
You recently worked alongside Tom Hanks in A HOLOGRAM FOR A KING. Tell us about the experience.
It is all true about Tom Hanks. THE nicest man in Hollywood. Not that I’ve met all the men in Hollywood, but in this #metoo moment, just how upstanding he is speaks even louder. He takes gentleman to the next level. And he’s so good at being a movie star. So gracious. We were shooting in a remote part of Western Sahara and even there, people were clamouring to meet him. Whenever possible, he took time to shake hands, take photos, be Tom Hanks. He’s a wonder. And this is where I confess that I am the president of the Tom Hanks fan club.
THE NINTH CLOUD is now available to download from iTunes