Marilyn Ghigliotti [Interview]

Marilyn Ghigliotti120 years ago, a very important film was showcased to the world.  Some kid from Jersey, hell bent with passion for cinema, decided he would risk everything he owned, or didn’t own, to make a film.  What would conspire would be one of the greatest and highest praised independent films in the history of cinema.  Not to mention the greatest collection of dick jokes to world has ever known.  That film would be called Clerks, and it would launch the career of one of the most fascinating filmmakers of our day and age, Sir Kevin Smith.  Seriously, he is one of the luckiest men I have ever had the pleasure to follow.  Of course, he worked hard and took the risks.  But, in his first efforts as filmmaker, he managed to have a brilliant cast of actors and actresses that he surely has to be grateful as hell to have ever known.

And one of those fine characters was the illustriously talented and crazy sassy Marilyn Ghigliotti.  She portrayed the far too devoted to a deadbeat store clerk girlfriend we all know and love named Veronica.  The beautiful woman who brings lasagna to work for her undeserving boyfriend.  The one that wants nothing more than to be a great girlfriend to a man who doesn’t deserve her.  And without going into too much detail….she is the reason we here at Trainwreck’d Society have chosen the number 37 for our year end albums list on the musical side of the house.  Yes, Marilyn was definitely one of the major highlights of this little black and white film that shocked the world and has yet to lose its significance in the world of cinema, which don’t believe will ever happen.

I have been following Marilyn’s career for many years now, and have always been delighted to find out that she is working on something new.  She is an amazingly talented actress beyond the stigma of being the “37 girl from Clerks”.  It is undeniable that she will always be first and foremost linked to this role, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  If she hadn’t been so amazing in the film, she might not have been remembered at all.  But, she has also had an amazing career of her own in the last twenty years, with skills beyond just the acting world.  So I thought it would be an absolute honor to try and steal a few words from Marilyn for you fine readers.  We were honored to have her fellow Clerks cast member Scott Schiaffo speak with us last July, so you can only imagine how damn excited I am to have Marilyn join the TWS alumni as well (and here is to the hope that we can have even more join the ranks, should we be so lucky).  So ladies and gentlemen, bow your heads, and then look up so you can read, and allow me to introduce the fabulous and brilliant Marilyn Ghigliotti.

What was your experience like on the set of Clerks?

It’s hard to give you what it was like when you don’t have something to compare it to, but for me and I think for all it was a wonderful experience of doing something to the next level that you’re looking to hopefully do for a long time in your life. My experience came from a theatrical one and it was an opportunity to take it to the next level and see what could come of it. Even though many seemed to have brushed off the thought of auditioning for what was being said as “A kid is making a movie, and they’re holding auditions.” For me, I didn’t care, I wanted to be in a film and at least would prepare my monologue and go and check it out and audition.

How was it working under the rookie direction of the now esteemed Kevin Smith?

Who was I to critique, weren’t we all rookies to some degree?  We were all learning together, experiencing this together, figuring it out together…all in various degrees obviously. But all in the same boat.

Your character of Veronica in the film seemed to be, in hindsight, a typcasted confident Jersey girl in the 90’s. How much of the character was taken from your own existence? What was different from your own personality?

I can’t say how much of the character was taken out of my own existence as I didn’t write Veronica, Kevin did. So I’m assuming that he wrote upon his experience from the Jersey girls he knew. But I do understand that the character is based upon his girlfriend at the time. But on that note, I do find myself in Veronica quite a bit. I would be the one to bring Lasagna to my boyfriend or something there like to his office or make for him. I love and I love hard and am committed when committed. And don’t ever try to harm anyone that I love be it family or friend. I am strong, but I’m human, and can hurt like anyone and am just as vulnerable.

Marilyn Ghigliotti2We wouldn’t dare ask for details about the your upcoming role in Clerks III, for we know that just won’t happen. But, if you could, tell us what you are most excited about in doing this film and returning to that world?

Good, because actually I have none, honestly. But if I did of course I wouldn’t be able to say anything. But I’m excited to work with my family again. And it’s the only way that I can see it. Brian and I have history before Clerks from knowing each other and working in the community theater circuit back home. To work with him again is just absolutely…well hard to put into words, because I’m always excited when I get to see him as much as I am seeing a family member I haven’t seen in a while. I know that there may be some things missing from the first that might not be there for the third, but they will be missed by me as I would love to see them. But I’m especially excited, as much as anyone else fans alike, what has happened with Veronica and what her life has been.

Besides an abundance of acting credits to your name, you are also an established make up artist. If you were forced to draw down and only choose one profession, which would it be?

Well I don’t know about an abundance of acting credits, but thank you. Sorry, no disrespect to how anyone sees it, but I know and understand how the entertainment business works and the ones you count on to give you the opportunity to do it again, don’t see it as an abundance. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part, I wouldn’t change most of those credits. You know there’s always that one you wished you hadn’t done. But all of them gave me experience and experience is what gains you knowledge and the experience to get further. But if I had to pick one or the other, it would be acting. But being creative is the #1 pick and that encompasses alot.

You have also been known to do some voice over work in your time. What sort of stuff have you done? What is it that you enjoy about this line of work?

Actually my first job doing voice over you could say was doing the little girl voice in Clerks of “Happy Scrappy Hero Pup”. When we went into ADR to work on Clerks they asked if I could do that, don’t remember the exact details on it, but I did and until I either told people it was me on the 10th anniversary DVD no one knew. Since then I do believe it’s been redone, by an actual child maybe. I don’t know. And not too long after Clerks I did a voice commercial for a shoe company way back when. But my real work started in the beginning of 2013 when I started taking some voice classes and was shown how easy it is to start doing audio books. And as time has allowed I’m already on my fourth narration of an audio book. And I have to say if you’ve got a great book, can be quite entertaining as you read along and get drawn in as well. I’ve surprised myself with voices to a degree, as I like to call it, which is me giving the voice a personality versus making an impression. But if you ask any actor out here in LA, we don’t only have just one line of work, unless you make your living as an actor and I can’t quite say that yet. So I’ve got a plethora of hats that I wear.

And to add yet ANOTHER great talent….you also dabble in professional photography. How did you fall in to this field? What draws you to the work?

I’ve been interested in photography for quite some time actually. Probably almost as much as I’ve been interested in acting if not more. As a child, my interests lied in dance, drawing, photography and many other things I can’t remember. Anyway, to make a long story shorter, a few years ago I decided to learn photography in the way that I wanted to and eventually I decided that I wanted to get out of my day job and was hoping that starting to do some headshot photography the way that I always looked to get my headshots done would be a way to supplement my income besides the hair and makeup, which was something that I can add on as well, in the meantime of trying to make a living as an actress. But again, I’m a creative person and I’m drawn to the creative and it actually helps in the film business to know lenses, angles, composition, etc, so it can only enhance my knowledge in the field.

What do you feel is your greatest non-artistic accomplishment?

My daughter. Because she is who she became because of me and I can’t be prouder of her.

If you could portray any legendary woman in American history, who would it be?

I wouldn’t even begin to know where to answer this question other than I would hope that I would give the person the utmost respect in my portrayal, whether they are someone of good or bad reputation. Because one never knows what history they’ve had to make them who they are be it right or wrong.

Marilyn Ghigliotti3Can you tell us about your upcoming film Lake Eerie?

Lake Eerie is a script that I told that I had been mentioned for a role in and was able to obtain the script to read. When picking it up to scan, I just couldn’t put the script down because it was very well written and drew me in. Done well, I feel it could do something for itself. After reading it, however I really wanted to play the lead and did make it known, and then did find out that the writer had written the script for her to play in. And after much deliberation on the production side they decided to have me do the role originally spoken about. Which I was still happy to be a part of. Met some great people. And we got to shoot on the shores of Lake Erie in MI. Lovely spot and very tranquil which lends to a great horror film set there of a woman that buys a home, after the loss of her husband, that they both had talked about owning one day. And almost immediately strange things start to happen. They’re currently in post production after shooting in October 2013.

What else does the near future hold for Marilyn Ghigliotti? What else have you been working on these days?

Besides having Lake Eerie in post production there is also Starship Rising, a Sci Fi film written, directed by Neil Johnson, whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with previously. Something a little different than what most people are used to seeing me. And then of course there’s Clerks III. Other than those, there are some possible projects kind of molding themselves, but nothing that worth speaking about till it actually starts to happen.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Well, there’s always some posting on FB that makes me smile or laugh. Ah the age of technology.


Be sure to check out Marilyn’s new blog, Beyond 37, to hear her recap of the release of Clerks, her experiences at the time, and the 20 years that have passed since.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

2 Responses to Marilyn Ghigliotti [Interview]

  1. Pingback: Sunday Matinee: Shooting Clerks [Preview] | TRAINWRECK'D SOCIETY

  2. Pingback: Kevin Smith – Vilification [Video] | Trainwreck'd Society

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