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Mena Suvari on Her RZR Character

Mena Suvari on Her RZR Character

What intrigued you about this Gala Film shortform series?

Honestly, it was the idea of finally being able to work within this format, with such phenomenal directors, as well as talent. I’ve always wanted to play a character as tough as Detective Thompson. She’s someone who has risen within the ranks due to her intelligence and an ability that matches that of a hacker named Grimm (played by show creator David Bianchi).

Was preparation for this different from your other TV work?

Definitely. This felt more similar to a film set. I have to immediately refer to Bianchi, because he really set the tone. Having a creative that’s not just your writer, but also wearing many other hats, it’s a true testament to their ability when they can pull something off like this within such a short period of time. From the word go, we had a direct and constant connection to David and this world. He provided us with endless materials, such as backstories and glossaries, to help us always stay connected to who we were playing, and that was just the greatest gift. Even though we had to work at warp speed, we were a well-oiled machine, consistently on the same page and there for the love and passion of it. That’s when the magic happens!

What was a challenge you faced during the making of RZR?

Understanding the technological aspects to the future we were in. Learning about things like blockchain, the “gridzone,” smart contracts, bitcoin, NFTs. It was all very new jargon to me. So, again, I was just so grateful to have David to feel safe and confident that I would get the exact answers I needed.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time on the project?

It’s so hard to choose, but I truly loved the moments that my character was “on the hunt” with her team behind her. As a petite person, it was the most fun to be able to play with and exercise that kind of power with Detective Thompson. It definitely wasn’t a moment to be “vulnerable” again, which many times is a quality people have loved to immediately see in me.

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What did you learn from your time on RZR that you will take to your next project?

I adore the “Film Fam,” as I call it, that I’m building. Really wonderful creatives who are truly in it for the love of what they do and respect for what others do, too. Individuals who, no matter the budget, care and want to get involved to make art. It was such a gift to be able to meet so many up-and-coming creatives that I got to learn from by being a part of this new medium.

This story first appeared in a May standalone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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