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Interview: Taryn Manning on ‘The Gateway’ + Indie Filmmaking

Taryn Manning plays Corey in the upcoming crime thriller, The Gateway. It stars Frank Grillo, Olivia Munn, and Keith David coming to VOD on Sept. 3 (Blu-ray and DVD on Sept. 7).

“A social worker assigned to the care of the daughter of a single mother intervenes when the dad returns from prison and lures them into a life of crime.”

IMDB

Manning took a few minutes to talk to me about the new movie, independent films and her star-making performance in Hustle & Flow.

Nashville Noise: Before we get into the film, I wanted to ask about your first role in Hollywood.

Taryn Manning: I got a guest spot on The Practice with Dylan McDermott and Lara Flynn Boyle — and I was so pumped.

NN: I’m looking forward to The Gateway‘s release. How did you prepare for a supporting role like this?

TM: I get familiar with her background and why she got where she got. And [I] do the dialogue sincerely and make a connection with the character and what they are going through with the other character. You have a couple of great scenes because you give each individual life before that scene and celebrate and illuminate that scene because they both matter.

NN: I also love your role in Hustle & Flow. What memories do you have of playing Nola?

TM: That was one of my highlights, to be honest. It was a great experience. We were in Memphis and it was united. Everybody was on their A-game and turned a one-dimensional script into a five-dimensional masterpiece. It is a great piece of cinema.

NN: You do a lot of work on independent films. What is it you like about indie films?

TM: If I believe in the producer, director, script — and get a good vibe, that’s what makes me feel like we are after something that will see the light of day in the independent film realm. And it turns out that independent filmmaking has very passionate people behind it and people that aren’t jaded and ready to rock and ready to make good things happen and it’s a good vibe to be around.

NN: Why are independent films important to the film industry?

TM: They are the most important because if you make an independent film, you can sell it to one of the big five. You can make it for a price and sell it or put it on streaming. There are so many routes you can go. You can make a film down to a skeleton crew. I’ve seen it all at this point, COVID restrictions and all. Every man for themselves, you can get your film purchased, streamed, whatever you want. Make the film, make it good and sell it.

NN: You spoke about the passion behind these independent filmmakers. Do you think it’s because they aren’t there yet?

TM: Correct. They want it more, or they aren’t tied down by the rules of the bank that is financing the movie, so they may have more liberation within their creative values and stick true to the story they are trying to make. That’s what you’ll sacrifice to go independent.

The Gateway hits VOD on Sept. 3 and comes to Blu-ray and DVD on Sept. 7.

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