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Tanna Frederick: Santa Monica’s Leading Lady

“If I don’t come out here and do what I want to do, which is to be a leading woman, no matter how unique or weird I am, then I’m not doing what I want in life, and I might as well move on and be a lawyer”

-Tanna Frederick

A rising star in the film world, an acclaimed award winning actress in the Indy film circuit, ocean activist, and a Santa Monica resident, Tanna Frederick , is definitely making her mark.  The Santa Monica Mirror recently had the opportunity to sit down with this local celebrity for an exclusive interview.

Frederick, a small-town girl from Mason City, Iowa, moved out here like so many others have done, to pursue her Hollywood dreams. At the time little did she know that she would find a fabulous career, a cause to fight for, and somewhere to call home.

Frederick, after graduating as Validictorian of her class from the University of Iowa, decided that she wanted move to LA. Frederick got her first break when she wrote to Henry Jaglom, (a filmmaker who has cast Frederick in three films to date) a three-page-single-spaced letter explaining to him how much she loved his work, even though at the time she hadn’t seen a single frame of any of his movies (cunning as a fox!).   Soon thereafter she was producing one of Jaglom’s plays, as well as acting in it.  From that performance, she landed the role of Maggie, in Hollywood Dreams.  It was Fredericks first leading role, which, if you look her up on IMDB, is her third credit…out of eight!

      You can see Frederick’s face on a billboard as you drive down Sunset Boulevard.  Currently she is promoting her new movie, Irene in Time, which tells the story of a daughter/father struggle in a complex relationship. Frederick, however, is not all about film.  She has another passion that you can only find at the beach, and that passion is surfing.

Frederick frequents Ocean Park Beach to enjoy surf sessions as often as she can.  Being from Iowa, Frederick explained that her family, and many people around her when she was growing up, were dependent on the land in order to survive, and that has given her a strong connection between the earth and herself.  When Frederick saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time she was moved and told The Mirror; “After seeing the ocean and falling in love with it, and seeing the condition of the water, and the plight of the ocean, I had to do something about it.”

The actress then started Project Save Our Surf, which focuses on protecting our oceans, and educating people about the hazards and solutions that face our oceans today.  This last April, Project S.O.S. teamed up with OCEANA to have the first Project S.O.S. Surfathon and gala, to raise money and awareness for our oceans, specifically Ocean Park Beach, which has seen erratic conditions concerning water quality.  This last Surfathon and Gala raised approximately $40,000 for OCEANA’s cause.

When The Mirror asked why Frederick had chosen Santa Monica to be her home, she had only one thing to say, “Santa Monica feels the most like home to me, it’s like Iowa.  It’s small enough here so you can go from store to store, walk your dog down the street, and you see people you know”. 

Frederick chose Creation Café to be her favorite restaurant, and it appeared from our time during the interview that she was a Montana Avenue addict, seeming to know a myriad of people in many of the stores that we walked by.   

Coming up in September, Frederick will be doing a play at the Edgemar Center for the Arts called A Couple of White Chicks Sitting Around Talking. Also, coming out later this year is the sequel to Hollywood Dreams, a film called Queen of the Lot. On top of all that, look out for more Project S.O.S. activities at the beach, and if you find yourself at Ocean Park Beach, you may see her paddling out, hitting the waves.

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