Questions and answers with actress Molly Ephraim ’08
What do a religion major from New Hope, Pa., and Donny Osmond have in common? They are related. On screen, that is. In the recently released Walt Disney movie College Road Trip, Molly Ephraim ’08 plays Osmond's daughter, Wendy. Throughout the movie, the duo terrorizes co-stars Raven Simone and Martin Lawrence with annoyingly cheerful show tunes. Ephraim, in addition to making her big-screen debut, played a murder victim in a recent episode of Law and Order. When not acting off-campus or with the Princeton Triangle Club and University Players, she tries to find time to work on her thesis, an investigation of female figures in Hindu and Buddhist religions. Ephraim recently spoke with The Weekly Blog's Julia Osellame ’09.
When did you start acting?
My first passion was dancing, which I started when I was really young, 3 or 4. I started acting when I was 8 or 9, but my first professional show when I was 13. My parents always joke that I was asking for an agent for my birthday when I was 10. Most kids that age are asking for a pony. Coming to Princeton after I had done two Broadway shows, I was pretty certain of what I wanted to do with my life, but I wanted to keep my options open.
What was most difficult about your movie debut?
When you're used doing theater you know the lingo, but when you do a movie, nobody sits you down and says, "Here's the vocabulary list you need to know." The first day on set, Donny Osmond was five feet ahead of me and was rehearsing the scene really quietly. I thought he was on vocal rest, something done to save your voice for theater shows. Of course, I couldn't realize why I was so much louder than everyone. I had forgotten that the microphones pick up your voice, so you don't need to project as much as you do on stage. The director said I was speaking six decibels higher than everyone else, but that it was great for keeping in Wendy's character.
Did filming College Road Trip interrupt your summer?
Filming was only four days at the end of the summer. It was a great summer job! I went from working in the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art in Chelsea to doing a Disney movie.
What is being on a movie set like?
I was just really happy to be there more than anything else. There isn't the instant gratification of doing something in front of an audience, but working on a movie is much less stressful than being on Broadway. With all the little perks, it was like I was a kid in a candy store, literally. I'd stash Starbursts in a little purse that I carried. And I was so happy to have my makeup done by somebody else, but the makeup artist could always tell that I was snacking, because my lipstick would come off.
Any upcoming plans?
My next project is my thesis and then after that, I don't know. I've been taking things as they come, which has been great. I've been really lucky and one project has been rolling into the next. But I do look forward to auditioning again. A Broadway actor's schedule isn't much different than a college student's â go to bed after a show at 1 a.m. and wake up at noon. I like being a night owl.
Skating to the semis
The Tiger mascot glided around Baker Rink between periods during the opener of the men's hockey team's ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series against Yale March 14. Princeton won the first and third games of the best-of-three series, with help from two shutouts by goalie Zane Kalemba ’10, to advance to the league semifinals for the first time in a decade. Princeton faces Colgate at 4 p.m. March 21 at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.
The NHL Network and Time Warner Sports will broadcast the Princeton-Colgate game live, while SportsNet New York will show the game on tape-delay March 22 at 1 p.m. Three regional networks â Time Warner Sports, SportsNet New York, and Comcast's CN8 â will show the ECAC Hockey championship game live, March 22 at 7 p.m.
Photo by Frank Wojciechowski
Names in the news, March madness edition
ESPN ranked Bill Bradley ’65 No. 7 on its list of the 25 Greatest Players in College Basketball. ... Longtime Princeton coach Pete Carril was included on USA Today's list of the five best college coaches who never reached the NCAA Final Four. ... John Thompson III ’88 is back in the NCAA Tournament with his Georgetown team, seeded No. 2 in the Midwest Region. ... Former Princeton hoops star Will Venable ’06 is turning heads in baseball's spring training as a top prospect for the San Diego Padres. ... Sports marketing executive Rick Giles ’83 launched a third postseason tournament, the 16-team College Basketball Invitational, with a field that included two teams coached by Princeton alumni. Chris Mooney ’94's Richmond squad fell two points short in its upset bit at Virginia March 18, while Brown, led by coach Craig Robinson ’83, lost a close opening-round contest against Ohio University.
More at PAW Online
PAW's Web Exclusives for the March 19 issue include:
Gregg Lange ’70's Rally ’Round the Cannon column, which highlights the contributions of the late Hugh de Neufville Wynne ’39 *40, a Princetonian with a "big grin and a nose for quality orange and black junk." Click here to read more
An essay by Richard M. Waugaman ’70, who dissects the idea that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was the true author of William Shakespeare's works. The "smoking gun"? De Vere's bible, which highlights many of the passages to which Shakespeare alludes. Click here to read more
A profile of Sarah E. Walzer ’82, executive director of the Parent-Child Home Program. The program aims to "bridge the achievement gap for low-income families by empowering parents to see themselves as their children's first and foremost teachers," she says. Click here to read more