Interview with Paying Mr. McGetty star Alissa Schneider
by Bobby Blakey
After the success of their 2015 film The Martial Arts Kid Don “The Dragon” Wilson, James Wilson and director Michael Baumgarten reteamed for the action comedy Paying Mr. McGetty starring R. Marcus Taylor (Straight Out of Compton). I had the chance to sit down and speak with actress Alissa Schneider about her role of Cecelia and working on the film.
Bobby: How did you get involved with Paying Mr. McGetty?
Alissa: There was a little tiny Facebook ad that my friend had messaged to me. It was an audition that I went to and it was for the last main role that was cast.
Bobby: Can you tell us a little about the character you play?
Alissa: I play a mobsters daughter who did not want to marry her fiancé. In order to get out of it I made it appear like I had an affair Tyrell played by R. Marcus Taylor. It works out successfully for me, but unfortunately they go after Tyrell which is obvious bad for him since it’s the mob.
Bobby: How do you prepare for a role like this to bring the character to life?
Alissa: I have done years of acting classes and I really just played it naturally. The whole film was my decision on what I thought that character should be like and the director loved what I did. They seemed to love my performance in the audition as well because they wanted a brunette, but because of that they still chose me. I just tried to make it my own and do what I thought was honest, true and believable.
Bobby: The movie has a lot of the martial arts action and although I know you didn’t get to really do any action in the film, did you get to do any of the training on set?
Alissa: I didn’t get to do all that much. They did the scene at the stadium after I filmed and until like 3am in the morning. I wanted to hang around but it just got so late and I had to be back in the morning that I just had to leave. I love Don and think he is an incredible and talented martial artist. I had seen The Martial Arts Kid before I was on this film and was impressed and wanted to work with them.
Bobby: I know you have done a lot of projects and with this it is a smaller budget film. Does the smaller films change the way you have to approach working on the films as opposed to the bigger features?
Alissa: The majority of the films I have started have been independent films. With this one the first half of the film had a lot of people flown in from LA and felt bigger with the second half feeling more independent only because not everyone flew back in. Everyone just kind of wears their hats, but it still went extremely well. While it may not have been a big production I loved it and felt like a huge star on a huge movie. Don and James scooped me up and made me feel like part of the family right away and I was treated very well.
Bobby: You mentioned getting to kind of develop your character so does that mean you got a lot more freedom with the script, look and such before filming?
Alissa: Yeah, pretty much what I wore in the film was my clothing and had a little freedom with the delivery of my lines etc. Every director is different and I have been on even lower budget films where the director just did non-stop directing to get it all exactly how they wanted it. Each project comes down to what they want, but I truly loved working with Michael Baumgarten he does allow the creative freedom. Since this film I have already done another with Michael as a producer where I am carrying the entire film. I got that thanks to the connection with this movie after my audition and it has overall been a great experience.
Bobby: Since you brought it up do you have other projects that you are allowed to talk about that you have coming up?
Alissa: Sure, that one is called Celebrity Crush that is super cool where I am a fan of a child actor and I go to a signing and I am obsessed with him. It’s kind of interesting and very cool. I got to do some stunts in that one with jumping over things and some weapon stuff. I was also in a web series called BTS: The Web Series that I produced and showed at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s the behind the scenes of making a movie and everything that goes wrong. Its shot kind of like the Office meets Entourage.
Bobby: Cool, any chance of you showing up in The Martial Arts Kid 2?
Alissa: I would love that honestly. I don’t have martial arts training, but my nephew does so maybe he can teach me. (Laughs)
Bobby: It’s never too late to start. I teach Tae Kwon Do to seniors so you still have time. Hopefully I can worm my way onto the set somehow so maybe we can meet up there when you are working.
Alissa: Yes I hope so.
Bobby: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me and good luck with everything.
Alissa: Thank you so much.
Be on the lookout for Paying Mr. McGetty coming soon and you can check out our review of the film here now.
You can check out the behind the scenes to her upcoming web series BTS: The Web Series here: https://m.facebook.com/BTSthewebseries/
To check out check out Paying Mr. McGetty in theaters be on the lookout for the film coming to your city through Tugg so head over to the link below to find one when it hits your city and upcoming showings now.