Up and coming actress, Noelle Bruno has just gotten her shot to join the Hollywood circle. She’ll be joining Jerry Stiller, and Shelly Long as she co-stars in this week’s, Hallmark's original movie “Ice Dreams.” The road there, however, is a surprisingly sweet tale of art imitating life.
As Bruno would suggest it’s also a matter of formulating your own journey. “I think many actors have this illusion that you are going to get cast in something, and that you are going to have time to prepare. Sometimes that does happen, it ‘s a luxury to practice, or lose a couple pounds- but most times you just have to be ready to go!” she says.
With only four days between the first audition for the film and actually being on-set starring in the movie. Noelle is still shocked about the whole thing “I had just gotten the script, that whole weekend, I was just pouring over it. I put it in a binder... I was like, ‘How do actor’s do this’, how do I memorize, what order do I do this in?”
Despite the hurdles, this former rookie shines bright in "Ice Dreams". Playing a lead role as “Nicky,” an aspiring skater whose ambition inspires those around her. Just a perfect role; for a young woman, who at one point was a competitive figure skater herself. Noelle actually had to stop skating because her parents had trouble affording it and as fate would have it, she let that dream go for a Hollywood one.
With awe pouring down her face, Bruno explains, “In the movie Nicky’s mom gets a second job, so she can keep skating and following her dream! It’s a crazy thing, the fact that the first huge thing I got to work on is about a girl who’s parents can’t afford for her to skate!” The news brought Noelle’s mother to tears.
Pretty crazy, but meant to be- don’t cha think? I sat down with this bubbly actress. Read on, as she talks about her hometown, why she adores Jerry Stiller, and a tattoo that most people don’t know about!
Veronica Barriga: You are from Pennsylvania, what was it like growing up there?
Noelle Bruno: Well I grew up in Bucks County, a suburb of Philly. It’s like 20 minutes outside Philadelphia. It was really cool, cause the city was always close….We would go down to South Street, when I was old enough to hang out there.
VB: Was it a farm town?
Noelle: There were a lot of farms 20 minutes north of me, and 20 minutes south of me there was the city.
VB: You were smack in the middle, very balanced- ha ha. What do you miss most about home?
Her enthusiasm cuts to the chase.
Noelle: I don’t… I don’t miss it at all. Well my family, but other than that- I actually feel that my relationship with my family has gotten better since I moved away. I talk to my dad every day; I talk to my mom every other day. I really loved, loved Philadelphia, great place to grow up.
VB: How long have you been out here in Los Angles?
Noelle: About four years… I came out here to work in film production (behind the scenes) and I worked in it for a while. Then I decided that I wanted to try the acting and last year was a great year! More success than….. I mean wow- it was awesome!
VB: You also have a background in figure skating; did you ever feel you would use that later in life? Was that part of your original plan?
Noelle: Skating was great! As a kid, I loved it – I wanted to be good! I mean who doesn’t? But skating is such an expensive sport and my parents couldn’t afford for me to skate 5 to 6 days a week. I skated once or twice a week and I watched everyone get better than me…..
VB: You were born to play this role!
Noelle: It was so shocking, when I told my mom, she just cried. Not many people can say that, pretty freakin amazing actually!
VB: Tell us about the character you play, how she evolves, what you go through.
Noelle: She is a seventeen year-old girl, stubborn, she wants what she wants, and will work to get it! She has a great relationship with her mom. Her parents have just been divorced and her father is sort of a deadbeat. Her mom has no money- the skating ring is about to close down. – You gotta watch it!
VB: Yeah, make them watch for it! You also got to work with Jerry Stiller, I mean he’s been around forever, how was that?
Noelle: Amazing, amazing! I only got to do a couple scenes with him but he was so funny and just a sweet guy, he always wants to run lines before hand. I’m like ‘Of course! Let’s do it again!’ He always wants to be funny, always wanting to improv something hilarious! I don’t know if there’s gonna be a blooper’s reel, but he is just hilarious. He would take pizza from lunch and try to use it in a scene. He’d just make something up! Lot’s of energy, he was great! Jerry Stiller, I love that man.
VB: You haven’t really done a lot, before you got this huge gig, can you describe mentally as an actor, that transition- I mean where you scared?
Noelle: I didn’t have time to be scared. I went to one audition, and then I went to the skating callback the next day. When they gave me the part, the day after that they were like ‘Can you be at the rink in 45 min’?
And she takes her time to stress, as if she is still in disbelief…. “Forty five minutes!”
It went so fast, so I just created my own method, I went through this whole thing.
VB: What is your method?
Noelle: I got the script, I read it once, all the way through. I didn’t want to have too much in my head, I like it fresh. I didn’t feel the need to go and memorize at the beginning….. I work to keep it fresh. On set we got to run lines with the other cast members before we shot. It was great to be able to do that.
She reminisces, I had my own dressing room…… ahhh
VB: What is something that will stick with you forever, from this experience. Shooting your 1st feature film?
Noelle: I think... (She takes her time to reflect, as she sips on her black coffee) to always believe & be positive about it. It’s hard as an actor, some times you don’t realize – You just want to think “Fluke” like, oh it was just a fluke! But this can happen, it can happen easily, it can happen often, so you have to believe. Secondly you just have to be prepared, because I was… (She jokes and mentions from before) like in 45 minutes!
VB: Ha ha –right. You mentioned that you had a stunt double, but were you able to do some of your stunts.
Noelle: Yes! I was able to do a lot of my own. My stunt double did all the triples- obviously, all my Olympic sized jumps! I did all of the in between skating, I would do the single jump, land it and learn how to enter and exit…. It was cool to do a lot of my own stunts.
VB: Did you ever get hurt?
Noelle: I took one awesome fall. I had an amazing fall where I was holding my foot up here- a spiral sequence, and I got in my head... I just fell.
VB: Were you ok?
Noelle: She cracks up and stares at me. I was stunned! And the whole crew was like— the face she makes is dramatically funny. I was fine, I got the wind knocked out of me. I am a bit of a badass, so I really enjoy it all, like battle wounds.
VB: What's next for you after this big break?
Noelle: My agent is really pushing for me right now, she really wants to get me on an episodic .
VB: I see you on a sitcom- for sure!
Noelle: I like comedy! I had went out for ‘Modern Family twice.’ They like me, I’d love to do that!
VB: Describe yourself in one sentence:
Noelle: One sentence……There is a bit of silence, oddly cause she’s a firecracker! And then she suggests…Why don’t we just use some key words? We’ll go with energetic, because how could we not? We’ll go with sassy, independent, and why don’t we keep going!
VB: Keep it going girl-
Noelle: Social, positive & bubbly- bubbly is a good one.
VB: Sassy’s a good one! That’s my favorite, I think of like some red heels- sassy! I am sure you have a list, but who is one actor who you would just love to work with?
Noelle: I just listed on my facebook, the other day- Mad Men, the entire cast, the writers, the creators! She then proclaims; If that show goes off the air, before I get a chance to work with them- I will be devastated! Outside of that, I love Scarlett Johansson, I have serious respect for her. She has a freshness’ and sort of a nonchalant-less to her acting.
VB: Do you have any hobbies?
Noelle: I ride a vintage road bike, one from the late 70’s. It’s vintage and beautiful. I work on it myself, I ride it everywhere, 20 miles at a time. I also like yoga- I don’t like to work out to work out! I really like to do things that I enjoy, that are physically active.
VB: Speaking of working out…Do you think or feel there is a certain amount of pressure as an actress to look a certain way, keep a certain persona?
Noelle: I think it’s easiest if I just be myself. With that being said- there’s always an element, of like branding, or whatever. I gotta be myself and that’s it. That’s all I can do- otherwise it gets very complicated and really difficult.
VB: Ten years from now, how do you view yourself?
Noelle: Ten years from now, I want just want to be acting. Waking up and acting everyday and having that as my job! That’s what I want. One of the actress in the film, Kathleen Wilhoite, who played my mother… if you saw her, you would know her immediately! She has an amazing career and she’s a good person. I would have Kethleen's career, I would love to do that.
VB: Longevity outweighs everything else.
Noelle: To be respected throughout the industry, and working all the time. That’s what I want.
VB: Tell us something most people don’t know about you. There is no answer, so I modify- ok something you want to share…. Ha ha
Noelle: I have to think about that- I have a tattoo, on my wrist and it’s really light, so a lot of people think it’s a stamp from a club or something. It says “Free” and it’s to remind myself that I am always free to make my own decisions and so if I am ever unhappy, I could reflect and realize that I am in control.
Perhaps one more thing you may not know about Noelle is that; when this perky blonde jokes about throwing a keg party with her closest friends under her movie Billboard debut- she it fact is very serious about it .
Support the party! Check out her film debut, “Ice Dreams,” premiering Saturday, January 23, 2010 on the Hallmark Channel.
Check out the official trailer below!
For the latest on Noelle, feel free to add her on Facebook!