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Entrepreneurial Improv Actors Take Movie Industry By Storm


The stars of the film (from left): Lauren Lapkus, Mary Holland, director Maureen Bharoocha, Nicole Byer, and Marcy Jarreau.The stars of the film (from left to right): Lauren Lapkus, Mary Holland, director Maureen Bharoocha, Nicole Byer, and Marcy Jarreau. Photo credit: Getty Images

To bring a major movie idea to life, many cinematic directors create a short film to pitch for feature production. One such director taking this route is Maureen Bharoocha, who just wowed crowds at the premiere of her short film, Hairpin Bender, on Monday. At the packed but intimate affair, held at The Downtown Independent Theater, Hollywood’s greatest improv actors, film enthusiasts, and Maureen’s friends enjoyed a screening and Q & A with the cast, as well as an array of Sprinkes Cupcakes, pizza, and beverages.

Featuring actresses Lauren Lapkus (of Orange Is The New Black), Mary Holland (of Blunt Talk), Nicole Byer of MTV’s Girl Code, and actress Marcy Jarreau, the film chronicles the journey of four friends supporting each others’ acting dreams in Los Angeles. On the red carpet, Home Business caught up with the film’s director, Maureen Bharoocha, who was happy to chat about her big night.

“It feels really great,” Maureen shared. “I can’t believe everyone made it out. We all made this movie about women, for women, with an awesome crew of women. Lauren, Nicole, Mary, and Marcy are the funniest ladies at Upright Citizens Brigade and I couldn’t be more proud of what we are trying to do here.”

Maureen also shared what else she is working on after the movie.

“I am actually directing my second feature next month. Hairpin Bender is my passion project, which we are trying to pitch out as a feature. In the meantime, I am directing this movie that I co-wrote, which is called I Am Watching You. We are casting right now and shooting in October,” Maureen said.

And where does she hope her directing endeavors take her in five years?

“Basically, I hope I am directing more films and maybe creating projects for television,” Maureen shared. “I have a lot of stories to tell and have a wealth of amazingly talented friends. I just want to work with my friends and make cool sh**. [laughs] ‘Make cool sh**’ is kind of my mantra.” [laughs]

Maureen Bharoocha, director of Hairpin Bender, makes her red carpet entrance. Photo Credit: Getty ImagesMaureen Bharoocha, director of Hairpin Bender, makes her red carpet entrance. Photo Credit: Getty Images

One of the film’s stars, Lauren Lapkus, also stopped by to discuss her experience in working on the film.

“It was super fun and great,” Lauren said. “I’ve been friends with Maureen for a few years and I was really excited when she asked me to do it. I am also friends with all of the girls in the film, so it was really fun to get to work on something a little different. We all do improv together, so this was a bit of a departure for us as a group. It was cool!”

She also shared advice for those who want to get into the acting industry.

“I would say to take classes, get on stage, and push yourself to try things that are scary,” she said.

And what else does the Orange Is The New Black actress have coming up?

“Right now I am working on a lot of stuff that I can’t talk about,” Lauren said. “Top secret! [laughs] Go check out my podcast, ‘With special guest Lauren Lapkus’ on the Earwolf network—it’s an ongoing project.”

Actress Lauren Lapkus tells Home Business Magazine about working on Hairpin Bender.Actress Lauren Lapkus tells Home Business Magazine about working on Hairpin Bender.

Home Business Magazine also caught up with another star of the film, Marcy Jarreau. She shared what it was like working on the project.

“Oh my gosh! It was so fun,” Marcy said. “The whole experience wasn’t long enough. We are all friends in real life, so it was wonderful to be able to hang out on-set with people I just love being around. Maureen is also amazing and it was so great to be around that many amazing women who have so much to offer.”

She went on to share how she got into acting.

“I’ve been doing improv comedy, so we all know each other through Upright Citizens Brigade. I started acting when I was twelve, then I started doing improv because it was easier for someone like me to get to perform in that way,” Marcy said.

And what else is she currently working on?

“I also have another short that just came out over the weekend called Relationship Goals, which I wrote and starred in,” Marcy shred. “You can find it on Vimeo.”

On the red carpet, Mary Holland also stopped by to tell Home Business Magazine about how she liked working on Hairpin Bender.

“These ladies are close friends of mine and we’ve worked together before, so it was very natural and very casual,” she said. “There was a lot of improvising, which was really fun, and Maureen is such a great director. She just encouraged us to play and have fun with each other, and I think that was the dynamic that was established.”

She also shared what inspired her dreams to become an actress.

“Oh my gosh! I went to an arts boarding school for acting and then I went to college and got my BFA in acting, so I’ve been doing it since I was about sixteen. I moved to Los Angeles eight years ago and have been making it happen ever since!”

And is she currently working on any other projects?

“I am in a series right now on Star called Blunt Talk and I am also in a movie that is coming out next summer called Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.

Finally, actress Nicole Byer stopped by to share her experience in working on the film.

“I really liked it! It was loosely scripted and had a lot of improv. Mary Holland, Lauren Lapkus, and Marcy Jarreau are just geniuses. They made everything easy. Maureen is also very smart and very good at getting what she wants from you. She’s just a champion for women, which is very nice.”

The actress also revealed the other acting projects she is currently working on.

“I have a pilot at MTV that I am shooting in two weeks and then I am doing an unscripted show for MTV,” she said. “I am doing a lot of MTV stuff, which is exciting. I am also on a Netflix show called Lady Dynamite, which premieres next year. I am in like 5 episodes. You have to look really hard for me, because I only have like one line per episode. It’s been so much fun. I got to work with Mitchell Hurwitz, who created Arrested Development. It’s just been nuts.”

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