Questions and answers with actress Molly Ephraim ’08
What do a religion major from New Hope, Pa., and Donny Osmond have in common? They are related. On screen, that is. In the recently released Walt Disney movie College Road Trip, Molly Ephraim ’08 plays Osmond’s daughter, Wendy. Throughout the movie, the duo terrorizes co-stars Raven Simone and Martin Lawrence with annoyingly cheerful show tunes. Ephraim, in addition to making her big-screen debut, played a murder victim in a recent episode of Law and Order. When not acting off-campus or with the Princeton Triangle Club and University Players, she tries to find time to work on her thesis, an investigation of female figures in Hindu and Buddhist religions. Ephraim recently spoke with The Weekly Blog’s Julia Osellame ’09.
When did you start acting?
My first passion was dancing, which I started when I was really young, 3 or 4. I started acting when I was 8 or 9, but my first professional show when I was 13. My parents always joke that I was asking for an agent for my birthday when I was 10. Most kids that age are asking for a pony. Coming to Princeton after I had done two Broadway shows, I was pretty certain of what I wanted to do with my life, but I wanted to keep my options open.
What was most difficult about your movie debut?
When you’re used doing theater you know the lingo, but when you do a movie, nobody sits you down and says, “Here’s the vocabulary list you need to know.” The first day on set, Donny Osmond was five feet ahead of me and was rehearsing the scene really quietly. I thought he was on vocal rest, something done to save your voice for theater shows. Of course, I couldn’t realize why I was so much louder than everyone. I had forgotten that the microphones pick up your voice, so you don’t need to project as much as you do on stage. The director said I was speaking six decibels higher than everyone else, but that it was great for keeping in Wendy’s character.
Did filming College Road Trip interrupt your summer?
Filming was only four days at the end of the summer. It was a great summer job! I went from working in the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art in Chelsea to doing a Disney movie.
What is being on a movie set like?
I was just really happy to be there more than anything else. There isn’t the instant gratification of doing something in front of an audience, but working on a movie is much less stressful than being on Broadway. With all the little perks, it was like I was a kid in a candy store, literally. I’d stash Starbursts in a little purse that I carried. And I was so happy to have my makeup done by somebody else, but the makeup artist could always tell that I was snacking, because my lipstick would come off.
Any upcoming plans?
My next project is my thesis and then after that, I don’t know. I’ve been taking things as they come, which has been great. I’ve been really lucky and one project has been rolling into the next. But I do look forward to auditioning again. A Broadway actor’s schedule isn’t much different than a college student’s ― go to bed after a show at 1 a.m. and wake up at noon. I like being a night owl.