As a filmmaker, mom, acting instructor and pee-wee league basketball coach, it's a wonder Native actress Happy Frejo had time to star as Carrie, the female lead in Violet, the latest psychological thriller from Mark Williams. She's been nominated for Best Actress at the 40th annual American Indian Film Institute's American Indian Picture Awards held this Saturday November 14th in San Francisco.
Violet centers on the mysterious death of an escaped mental patient. Details emerge when Carrie’s husband Michael, portrayed by Delno Ebie, stumbles upon a long-hidden package with news clippings and ankle shackles and begins to research Violet’s torrid past.
Frejo is cast in Violet. "I read the script, and I was like, I gotta do this. I liked Carrie; this is probably the first true role that's got a lot of meat to it and I could explore a lot with it. I feel like she had a lot of different levels; from happy to confused to frustrated as well as a little fearful. I just tried to portray all those. It was a lot of fun."
As a veteran actress with several supporting roles to her credit, this is Frejo’s first principal role. She wrote and directed a short film back in 2006. My Darkest Hour was based on events from Frejo’s life, depicting a character with no self-esteem and suicidal tendencies that comes from growing up in a broken home.
Frejo teaches at the Actor Factory in Norman, Oklahoma. "I teach kids on reservations. We do plays, shows or short films. It's for anyone who's just getting interested in acting. It's mostly stepping outside of your comfort zone and getting past your fears. It's easy for me to connect with them. ”
Violet has been making the rounds on the festival circuit and received top honors at the Red Dirt International Film Festival and the Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase. Mark Williams received Best Director at the Tribal Film Festival for his work on Violet. At the Gallup Film Festival, Violet took home honors in Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Drama and Best Actor, while Frejo was named Best Actress.
“I've been singing, dancing and acting since I was six or seven. I've always loved it. And, I am fortunate that I've been able to live life, travel and tour."
Check out the Violet movie Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/thevioletmovie
Visit the American Indian Film Institute website at www.aifisf.com
Here's the trailer: https://vimeo.com/nativeboyproductions/violettrailer