I met the super talented Molly Leland last year in our Women In Film Mentoring Circle. During the first meeting she spoke passionately about her short film BRUISE HUNTERS and I was immediately intrigued. She sent me the private link to her short film and I absolutely loved it!
Indie films are known for creating the next “It” girl- a stand-out actress whose performance in a quiet film launches her into mainstream Hollywood. Think Ellen Page, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Juno Temple, Elizabeth Olsen, Brit Marling… the list goes on. Enter: Molly Leland. An actress who nabbed the lead role in the feature Shades of Julia and caught our attention when she won Best Actress at AOF and was nominated recently across from Maria Bello.
Amanda Split” reunites Molly Leland and Julianna Robinson, who in Thicker Than Water played a wife confronting her husband’s unsuspecting girlfriend. This time they are Amanda and Mandy, two sides of the same woman, one sensible, one daring, and “both” on a date with hunky Ethan (Ryan Cross). One of Stamos’s cleverest pieces, “Amanda Split” has Leland and Robinson alternating who’s in charge and Cross interacting with both prude and temptress to considerable comedic effect. Leland and Robinson once again prove themselves expert comediennes and soap-star-handsome-(and-built-like-a-brick-shithouse) Cross makes for a first-rate comic foil.
I first had the pleasure of meeting and working with the lovely Molly Leland on ANW’s Awake and Sing!. I was assisting the director Andrew Traister and she was playing the spunky Hennie Berger. Since then, I have seen her work multiple times and had the privilege of directing her in a staged reading last Winter. I am constantly intrigued with Molly’s craft – her presence and choices are always unique, bold and in the moment. Her current production – Dancing at Lughnasa at the Vic Lopez Auditorium “Little Vic”Backstage and directed by Aaron Morgan- is no exception. Here’s a little glimpse in to her creative mind!
As the lovely Christina, Leland radiates with inner life, while Suzy Harbulak draws a skilled portrait of the reserved sister, Agnes. Costabile furnishes the piece with a firm anchor, an understated yet persuasive storyteller, he is equally adept in his role as a 7-year-old boy.
Leland is touching with her portrayal of Hennie, who is a prisoner of her naïveté and the times. Her sympathetic nature at the beginning of the play transforms to a type of self-centered pathos and Leland reveals that change wonderfully.