Marion Kerr, festival double-agent
Actress returns home to liberate Paris for the Sacramento Film & Music Festival
Usually when an actress returns home to Sacramento, it means her career isn’t going so well. Not so for Marion Kerr, who comes back bearing a celluloid gift. On September 11, she will premiere the short film she wrote and starred in, Une Libération, during the Sacramento Film & Music Festival. Judging by its trailer, the World War II pic looks like a thriller in which Kerr plays … someone mysterious. The daughter of a local theater actress and an alum of Sacramento Country Day School, Kerr keeps a busy schedule in Hollywood, with roles in movies, television shows and commercials. But there ain't nothing like some home cooking—and stupid questions from the local rag.
The short film you wrote and starred in takes place in France near the end of World War II. What interested you about that period?
Well, the history around World War II has always fascinated me. And there are so many stories from that era, some of which aren't as well known as others. I thought the liberation of Paris might be one of those stories for American audiences.
Who do you play?
I play Juliet, an American who was living in Paris with—well, I don't want to give too much away—but with someone very important to her when the Nazi occupation of Paris began. She didn't get out in time so she has been working for the Resistance, trying as best she can to help.
It’s titled Une Libération, which Google Translate tells me means “a release.” Why do so many French expressions sound borderline sexual?
Perhaps it's just Google Translate that makes everything sound sexual. It's actually a play on “La Liberation,” which is what the French call this period when Paris was liberated.
Is this your first time participating in the Sacramento Film & Music Festival?
I actually went for the first time about five years ago. I had a film playing in a late-night shorts block, so I came down for the evening to see the film with my parents. It was very surreal seeing a film I was in at the Crest, a movie theater that I went to regularly during high school.
What are you most looking forward to about returning to Sacramento?
Sacramento is just a wonderful oasis for me, so I love coming back whenever I can. Maybe I've just been in L.A. too long, but the air in Sac seems so much cleaner. It's green everywhere, traffic is better and everyone is just nicer. I'm most looking forward to being in that kind of environment and connecting with family and friends.
You’re screening your movie in the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium’s Jean Runyon Little Theater, which is named for your mother’s mentor. That must be special.
Yeah, I couldn't believe it when I saw it was the Jean Runyon Theater. She was such an amazing woman and so kind to my mother when she first moved to Sacramento. She always kept tabs on me and was always so supportive of my career.
You’ve appeared on some pretty bigshows, including How I Met Your Mother and Criminal Minds. Our millennial readers want to know: What’s TV?
Well, boys and girls, once upon a time there was a magical box where, when you pressed a button, television shows would appear at certain times on certain days. There was no binge-watching. You had to sit through all the commercials. And if it was a rerun, you said “Aww, man,” and then sat and watched it anyway. The end.
You’re proficient in stage combat and real CPR. Does that mean you can fake hurt me and for-real save me?
Exactly. Which is really the skill set any person wants to have. Right?
Your resume also lists one of your special skills as “ice stalking.” Why won’t you take the hint and leave ice alone?
Um, it's ice “staking,” thank you very much. It basically means I'm a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Elsa from Frozen. Also, I can't spell.
You were in a Jenna Jameson movie called Zombie Strippers! How much hand sanitizer did you go through during that shoot?
Well, I was nowhere near the zombie strippers at any time, actually. I was too busy being a lab assistant who is torn limb from limb in the first five minutes. C'est la vie.
The movie’s tagline was, “They’ll swallow your soul, anything else will cost you.” With marketing that good, how come I hadn’t heard about it until now?
You are behind the curve, my friend. It's just waiting for you on the Internets.