Hollywood Spotlight: Gianna Simone
Starring in MOTHER’S DAY, the new star-studded ensemble comedy from director Garry Marshall (“Pretty Woman,” “Valentine’s Day”), meet our newest Rising Hollywood Star, Gianna Simone who lights up the screen alongside Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts and Jason Sudeikis in this celebration of mothers everywhere.The big-hearted comedy (in Theaters April 29th) invites everyone to enjoy the laughter, tears and love as three generations come together in the week leading up to Mother’s Day.
MOTHER’S DAY is both hilarious and poignant, with the film intertwining stories of different mothers. Gianna stars as “Val,” a pregnant, first-time mother navigating her pregnancy and new role in life. She is joined by television host ‘Miranda’ (Julia Roberts), divorcee ‘Sandy’ (Jennifer Aniston) who is looking for love, and ‘Jesse’ (Kate Hudson), a women who wants more than anything to strengthen her relationship with her distant mother.
In addition, Gianna also hits the silver screen in GOD’S NOT DEAD 2 (in theaters everywhere tomorrow,) where she tackles the hot topic issue of religious freedom in public schools. After answering a student’s seemingly harmless question about Jesus, junior high-school teacher ‘Grace Wesley’ (Melissa Joan Hart) faces an epic case that could end her teaching career for good. Always up for a challenging role, Gianna, stars as ‘Elizabeth Healy,’ the sharp and aggressive lawyer fighting to have ‘Grace’ banned from teaching at the school.
Born into a world of strife where she went from family to family within the inner-city foster care system of Boston, only through her own faith, courage and tenacity was Gianna able to overcome such enormous obstacles that had broken many before her. Finding strength in acting, she actualized her aspirations and soon established herself in the entertainment industry, with recent roles in the films STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS and 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN.
When not in front of the camera or producing, Gianna pours her heart into the Gianna Simone Foundation which is inspired by her own journey in foster care. The mission of her foundation is to help provide rescue and wellness support to abused and neglected human beings and animals.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Gianna Simone: I am originally from Boston, MA and pretty much grew up all over MA, mainly in the intercity, with a few years in the “boonies” in Wilbraham, MA. I was put into foster care just when I turned 14 years old. This was a big part of my childhood/young adult life, and shaped me in many ways for the better. It was hard and hopeless at times, but ultimately taught me empathy and lessons you can only learn from living and experiencing difficult times.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Tell us how you got started in your industry and what inspired you to do so?
Gianna Simone: I originally had a burning desire to model and only model, but as I got my modeling portfolio done and began shopping it around to agencies, I was rejected many times and was told to act instead. Naturally this mad me push harder and fight for it more, meanwhile not wanting to act. Eventually becoming successful in modeling, I ironically fell in love with acting. I realized this when friends and coworkers would tell me I took on characters and projected something from the inside when I was in front of the camera.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is your process as an actress and how do you prepare for your role?
Gianna Simone: I memorize my lines and as I do, I envision how the lines need to be delivered, and how to stay true to the character. I always like to keep it real when I act. People are smart and I always give the viewer the chance to interpret and really feel the character’s feelings.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What makes “YOU”- unique…When producers are considering you?
Gianna Simone: I have an ability to relate to so many different varied feelings in life, from my past experiences. A lot of acting is how to feel and project emotions to tell a story. I’ve been through a lot, which is great for acting and relating to many different scenarios, stories, people and characters.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is your opinion of “Hollywood”?
Gianna Simone: I love it, it’s the place I get to be free and be me.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Best part of the business?
Gianna Simone: Sitting back and seeing what all of your hard work, blood, sweat and tears, has accomplished. Seeing the final product is so thrilling for me.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Worst part of the business?
Gianna Simone: Wearing makeup.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What are some of the trends taking place in the “Hollywood” and what do you suppose triggers such trends?
Gianna Simone: Honestly, I talk to my friends about some of the “latest” happenings, and they always laugh because I live under a rock most of the time. I don’t keep up with the latest trends. Although, I think confidence and leadership is what I notice precursors trendsetting.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is your dream role(s)?
Gianna Simone: A warrior queen, Wonder Woman, and a “Gia”, “Girl Interrupted” drama. I love strong female characters.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What advice would you give to actors looking for success in the entertainment business?
Gianna Simone: I always say if you have a strong burning desire to do something with your life, do it, and do it with all you have. God has instilled certain desires in us and it’s our job to carry them out. Also, ALWAYS give back.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What do you think are the most vital factors that may make a movie/TV Show successful?
Gianna Simone: In my opinion, first you have to have great content to give people, or a particular audience. Then have great talent to add to the quality of the material and production. If everybody shows up and does their job to the best of their ability and strengths, I’ve seen countless times, it always produces great content.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Why are films/television an important part of society and culture?
Gianna Simone: I believe films and television are an important part of society and culture because they provide the best inspiration, influence, and entertainment over all other outlets.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What can fans or viewers hope to look forward to from you in the near future?
Gianna Simone: “God’s Not Dead 2” just came out and is theaters now. Also, I play “Val” a pregnant mom in “Mother’s Day” with Jennifer Anniston, Julia Roberts and Kate Hudson coming out April 29th.
To keep up with my film and TV work, please feel free to visit my YouTube channel called “Love,Gianna”
Beverly Hills Magazine: Have you discovered a personal purpose in what you do? When? And what is it?
Gianna Simone: I have always felt purpose in all I do, especially artistically. It is a gift and I honor and respect that. I thank God about 100 times a day, for all of the blessings that have occurred throughout my life, especially in my work. The feeling is purpose driven passion and immense gratitude.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Where can readers go to follow you or become a fan?
All of my outlets and current updates can be found at www.GiannaSimone.com
Beverly Hills Magazine: Is there anything else you’d like to add or feel is important to share?
Gianna Simone: I have a foundation The Gianna Simone Foundation that is managed by the National Christian Foundation and our mission is to provide rescue, as well as support, to abused and neglected human beings and animals. To help them feel loved, supported and safe for the first time in their lives.
Images Courtesy of Anderson Group Public Relations