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Actress
Gretchen
Mol

Bio by Larissa Zaharuk

Gretchen Mol is back! In town that is—home from Los Angeles to the city that veritably defined her career, and preparing for the role of a lifetime. But it's not a film role. Though currently appearing in The Ten, David Wain's little indie comedy with the giant cast, the actor is in fact nearing the end of a nine month hiatus.

The expectant mother shares her recent epiphany: "We were in L.A for a year and a half before I woke up one morning and it was very clear that I needed to come back. It became really important that my child be born here. I'm from Connecticut. My husband actually grew up here. It just felt like it would be coming home!"

It was a similar flash of insight, one that told Gretchen to pursue acting, that originally lured the eighteen-year-old here: that, and the encouragement of film-editor brother, Jim Mol. Their mother, a painter whose work can be spotted in one of Gretchen's films, Puccini for Beginners, eventually followed suit and currently resides in Brooklyn.

A student of musical theatre, Mol transitioned to film after taking over her brother's part time job as an usher at New York's fêted indie venue, The Angelika Film Center. "That was definitely my way in. I'd just listen to the opening credit sequence, and all of the sudden the world was opening up". But it was during her stint as a hatcheck girl at a local jazz club that the fresh-faced talent was discovered, and quickly cast by some of the city's most iconic film makers; including Spike Lee, Woody Allen and Abel Ferrara.

"I was so excited to be working with these directors, to feel like you're stepping into something." Gretchen reflects. "New York is my favorite place to work. A lot of the films I shot have been here. The best perk is just being able to go home at night to your cat".

Said home is another of the actor's latest works in progress. These days, Gretchen-spotting is more likely to occur at the local "Bed Bath and Beyond" than at any of the city's current hot spots. Still, she muses, "It's really amazing coming home, because you realize how many people you knew. The newspaper guy, or the waitress at that restaurant. Everybody is just friendly and happy to see you again. In L.A, I would go to the same places over and over and it always felt like Groundhog Day. It's not like that here, people really crave connection."

It was in this town that she first connected with her husband, director Todd Williams, so it's unsurprising that the actress considers this a particularly romantic place. "Part of the romance is that you can be walking down the street, and it's snowing, and you can have a kiss. But there's always another person walking by, and there's something about having a witness. The community sense of New York is so important to the experience—you're not alone getting it, someone else saw it too!"

But don't hold your breath waiting for a snowy, city-street sighting. Head to theatres now and see Gretchen in The Ten in her breakout comedy role, or you'll have to wait until September to watch her in James Mangold's western, 3:10 To Yuma.

Listen to an exclusive audio podcast with Gretchen Mol on the official ontheinside.info blog here.

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