Erinn Allison: Silver Screen Siren

A newcomer actress appearing in two hit films in one month? What are the odds of that for a Texan in Hollywood? If you’re the stunning Erinn Allison, the odds are great… with an even-keel sensibility to keep it all in check. Austin-based Allison is taking the West Coast by storm. The raven-haired beauty is one of the stars in the new supernatural murder mystery The Return along with Sarah Michelle Gellar. She can also be found on the big screen in Texan Richard Linklater’s ensemble film, Fast Food Nation which examines the health risks involved in the fast food industry while revealing environmental and social consequences. Here she dishes up what it’s like to work with fellow Texans, pursue a singing career and what she loves most about the Lone Star state.

Lance Avery Morgan: There has been a lot of press on your film Fast Food Nation directed by our fellow Texan Richard Linklater. What was it like working on that project and do you think it makes a statement about our society?

Erinn Allison: It was so much fun. A lot of Richard’s philosophy comes thorough his choice of films, as you know. I had a great opportunity to do a read through with Rick and his co-screenwriter, Eric Schlosser before it was filmed. I was also connected with the themes of the corporate world and the meatpacking business.

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LAM: Really? How so?

EA: I went to college n Greelee, Colorado and well, there’s a meatpacking plant near there. What’s so odd is that the dorm rooms are always so crowded at the beginning of the semester. Why? They anticipate that during the semester many of the student body will drop out because of the smell of the plant.

LAM: Talk about being a method acting! Tell me about your other new film, The Return.

Are you a big fan of supernatural thriller films like that one?

EA: You know, it’s not a typical horror movie. There’s a love story behind it…it’s really about relationships. I even got to sing a song that appears in the film.

LAM: How cool is that. So you’re talented in the worlds of both acting and singing.

EA: That’s actually what brought me to Texas…and Austin… was music. I was singing with a jazz trio and writing my own songs, too. Originally most of my focus was on music at that time we shot The Return I met the film’s director and we started talking about music and he asked if I had a Patsy Cline type song. I didn’t have one but I created one with a writing partner.

LAM: You’re quite industrious. And I hear you’re currently working on your first album that you describe as a blend of 1960's Astrud Gilberto-ish Brazilian Bossa-Nova, 50's torch songs, and 70's elevator music. Where did you receive inspiration for this unique blend of genres?

EA: The album is independent now, so I’m looking for a record deal for it. And I really love the classic standards and am greatly influenced by all those types of music.

LAM: Do you anticipate hitting the musical theater circuit? Is there a stage performance in the near future?

EA: That’s actually how I started. I loved doing Peter Pan in summer stock. I was Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. I love the tunes in musicals.

LAM: What were some of your favorite things you miss about Texas when you’re off working on projects?

EA: I miss the people. And the open spaces. When I fly in from L.A. it’s so nice to come back. I also miss the attitude. There is an overall intelligence in Texas.

LAM: I agree. What creates that intelligence in your opinion?

EA: It’s the connection of mind, body and spirit. And the arts and culture. Plus, it’s so eco- friendly.

LAM: Any advice for someone getting started in the entertainment business?

EA: I don’t think there’s any real formula to making it. Or, becoming successful. In Austin and in Texas in general, there are so many things being filmed here and that tends to offer opportunities for people who want to build their resume. I have had some of the greatest auditioning experiences in Texas that prepared me for Los Angeles. Plus, I think its important to have a life outside of the film business…to explore other pieces of your self. That real life experience helps with future roles.