Molly Shannon

SNL, Other People,Superstar, Getting On, Never Been Kissed, Divorce, Serendipity


When you were a child, what is it you wanted to become?

When I was in high school, I wanted to work at a Bob Evans restaurant and serve people fresh coffee and sizzling sausages. I loved the red and white table cloths and loved breakfast and thought I could be happy being a server or waitress.


How did your friends/family react when you told them you wanted to be an actress?

In grade school, I got involved in plays at Heights Youth Theatre and really started enjoying acting. I played Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz in 5th grade, the productions were very popular. And I loved in grade school how every year each class did a St-Patrick's day number and got to sing and dance.  Two choreographer sisters would come each year around St-Pat’s day and teach us a song and dance number. It was the highlight of my year.

My closest friend Ann told me she could picture me in the movies. We saw a Robert Altman movie (called NASHVILLE) and she told me: "I can picture you in a movie like that doing a southern accent.” My dad used to tell me: “you bear a very striking resemblance to a young Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet” which I loved. He cut out a newspaper with her picture and told me I looked like her! I loved it. My dad was very funny and so encouraging and my sister Mary was very supportive.


What aspects of your job do you like best/least?

I am outgoing so I like when people come up and say "hi". I love the community of making a movie; how it is everyone together trying to make something special. I love thinking of characters and writing. I like making people laugh.


What makes you happy??

I love being a mom.

How do you handle criticism when it comes your way?

I try not to pay too much attention to criticism.  I try to focus on the positive and people who love me and want to work with me.

Describe yourself in 5 words:

I’d say positive. serious. thoughtful. curious. silly.

How do you bounce back from a personal defeat?

I think mistakes and failing are a part of learning and trying. So it is okay. I think one must embrace the hard stuff as much as the easy stuff so I try to learn from it and not be too hard on myself.

What do you most value in others?

I like people who are reliable, kind, funny, down to earth and genuine.


What is your motto?

I guess my motto would be go toward the love, toward the positive.


What one thing do you wish to achieve in 2016?

In 2016 i want to do a good job of balancing family and work. I feel so lucky and happy I get to be a mom and I’m so glad and grateful I also built / created a career for myself and work that is meaningful. 

Any advice for those wanting to become actors/actresses?

I would say if you CAN write, it is good to write your own material. That way you are not waiting around for someone to write for you. 

I think it is important to get training at an acting school or a university so that when you get the opportunity to audition you are ready. My philosophy is it is just so brave to really pursue what you want. That makes life so meaningful. So many people move home and give up on their dreams so just trying for what you want and enjoying the process is so wonderful.


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