Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Alumna keeps Michigan roots as acting career takes off
|Jennifer Kincer Catallo|
Hollywood doesn’t have a lock on rising movie stars — just ask Oakland University alumni Jennifer Kincer Catallo, CAS ’93. Catallo, who has a long list of acting credits to her name – including a recent film with Dylan McDermott and a co-starring role in a feature film with Daniel Baldwin – says she is proud of being able to pursue her acting career while keeping her Michigan roots.
“I am most proud of Michigan and that I’ve been able to stay here with my family,” says Catallo, who has two children. “I’m excited about the work and I grow each time I work on a project, but I love being able to do this and stay in Michigan.”
Catallo attended Oakland on music and academic scholarships, eventually receiving the Jennifer Scott Memorial Music Award and the Musicology Honor Cord from Oakland’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.
After graduation, Catallo decided against moving to New York or Los Angeles, instead choosing to pursue her dreams in Michigan. She spent several years working in the Events Department at the Palace of Auburn Hills, singing with local bands, and eventually returning to Oakland to earn a master’s degree, where she now teaches in the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance as a special lecturer.
Then in 2005, after the birth of her daughter, Catallo decided to put full-time acting on the front burner. She signed on with Detroit’s talent agencies, and has been working steadily since, winning increasingly larger roles.
Catallo’s latest film, Unbeatable Harold, starring Dylan McDermott, Henry Winkler and Phyllis Diller, will premier in Detroit in June, then release nationally in December. Catallo plays a newscaster in the film. This production comes on the heels of Born of Earth, a supernatural thriller in which Catallo played the lead female role alongside noted actors Daniel Baldwin, James Russo and Academy Award nominee Brad Dourif. The film premiered at Emagine Novi on April 17 and will have a second showing at Emagine Canton on June 26. Born of Earth will be released on DVD in the fall.
From the start, working on Born of Earth was a “fascinating and exciting experience” for Catallo. Most of her scenes were shot in Troy and Milford.
“Working with experienced and talented actors like Daniel Baldwin and James Russo was amazing,” she says. “The level of acting is very high and I learned so much. The set was very professional, with everyone working hard. We shot for 10, 12 or sometimes 14 hours. At the end of the day, there was a real sense of community.”
For Catallo, these films are just the beginning of a career that is building momentum. She currently has several films in post-production with four slated for release in 2008, including Sam Logan’s Approaching Midnight (in which she will play the mother to NBC’s Friday Night Light’s star, and Michigan native, Jana Kramer), Misery Loves Company, directed by Edward Zeimis, and the Rick Jackson mockumentary Making Buttprints, all directed and produced by Michigan creative teams.
For more information on the Emagine Canton premier of Born of Earth, visit www.jenniferkincer.com.