Don’t call actress Aubrey Dollar “the girl next door”. If you do that, you are typecasting the North Carolina native, and with just one viewing of her work, you will realize that this actress is a total package. A unique combination of beauty, smarts, classic theater training, and an ability to raise the material to a quality level, is exactly what Aubrey is made of. She may have started with small bit parts on classic TV shows like “Dawson’s Creek” and “Weeds”, now Dollar is getting the opportunities she deserves. This month, she is the star in the independent film “One Small Hitch” (now available On Demand) and has a role alongside leading man Josh Duhamel, in the Vince Gilligan created CBS series- “Battle Creek”. It is a great sign of how sought after this rising star is in movies and television today. AMovieGuy.com had a chance to talk to Aubrey about working in Chicago and being the star in a movie.
AMG.com: Can you talk about starting as a young actor in North Carolina and the path you have taken to get here in your career?
Aubrey: I grew up in North Carolina at a time when the film industry was booming there. I grew up doing a lot of theater, so I was able to be a part of many of the TV shows and movies that were filmed there. I worked on “Dawson’s Creek” for a while; I did some TV Movies that were shot there as well. It was an awesome place to be for opportunities in acting. I was able to work in big productions which a lot of places didn’t have. I studied theater in a conservatory program at Boston University and ended up leaving after my sophomore year there. I moved to New York, did a bunch of independent films, I even worked on Soap Operas for a few years, and did a ton of theater. I still do a lot of theater. It is my favorite thing to do. Now I am working on CBS’s “Battle Creek” and it’s been a great path to get here.
AMG.com: You have a sister that is also an actress, has acting always been a part of your family?
Aubrey: My mom is a great lover of the arts and she always took my sister and me to see anything that would come to Raleigh for a period of 10 years in our childhood. We would go to the ballet, classical music, the art museum, so she definitely exposed us to a lot of creative things. I think this lead us to be interested and pursuing the arts. She is a children’s talent agent so she was always aware of not pressuring us, which was very good at not turning us into damaged grownups.
AMG.com: You have been a part of a Television show- Dawson Creek, which has become a classic among pop culture and teenage TV, can you look back at something like that now and appreciate the experience you were a part of?
Aubrey: Yeah I was such a huge fan of that show. I came on 2nd and 3rd season and I started with a tiny part as a random cheerleader girl with only 3 lines, but it was the first time I had been around people who were my age working as professional actors. I was star struck by the entire cast and I began to realize that I wanted that to be me one day. So I think it helped for me to solidify my ambition as something that I could actually accomplish, it wasn’t just an abstract idea about making it a career. It became something that could be done.
AMG.com: You have worked in a lot of great television shows (The Good Wife, Ugly Betty, Weeds), but also worked in a lot of films as well, movies like “Prime” and “See Girl Run”, which do you prefer your acting style to? Television, Films, or even on the stage as well?
Aubrey: A combination of all those is perfect to me. Theater is where my background is, so I feel that I need to come back to that every so often or I will start to lose my center a bit. Television has become so great in the last 5-10 years, so it is a really exciting medium to be working in. I particularly like working on the independent films because you are a lot freer to do what you want. You are able to do a job without studios breathing down your neck and you can use notes that you want to incorporate in scenes, like on “One Small Hitch”. We were able to have fun on the movie we wanted to make, which I think made it very special.
AMG.com: Your new film “One Small Hitch” finally comes out On Demand and theaters this weekend. It is a film where you really get to show your acting skills, can you talk about your experience working on this particular film?
Aubrey: Oh thank you, yeah we shot it in Chicago which was fun. And there are not a lot of romantic comedies being made right now. Certainly as a “not as famous” person, you don’t get a lot of chances to star in a film. It was my story where I wasn’t the friend or the girl dated in the beginning which I have been 25 times before, so it was very exciting. Shane McRae (who plays Josh), we both come from acting in New York, we have a lot of friends in common and work in a very similar way. We were comfortable in our characters; we had a love for working together, so there was not a lot of faking to do on set. It was just a lot of fun to make, I really enjoyed the experience.
AMG.com: Most of the film was shot on the North Side of Chicago, what would you say you liked best about working in the Windy City?
Aubrey: I love being in big cities like Chicago or New York. I loved all of the actors in it; Chicago has great theater and improv. I felt like that gave the film a special look. A lot of these films set in LA, everyone is attractive or done up, so it does not feel like a real world. In Chicago there is a sense of authenticity to the characters and the actors, and that is why I think people are responding to it. It is not just the run of the mill romantic comedy.
AMG.com: Do you see any of yourself in your character Molly?
Aubrey: Yeah there are always little bit of elements of yourself in that character. There are also parts that are totally different. I myself would never be cool with Shane’s character hooking up with other women while we put on a charade engagement, but Molly is a lot more patient then I am. But I do think Molly is afraid of commitment too and that is where that all comes from. So you wrap your head around that and it makes sense when you play it out.
AMG.com: You are working on the upcoming Vince Gilligan TV Series “Battle Creek” with Josh Duhamel, what can we expect from you in that series?
Aubrey: Vince Gilligan wrote the pilot and David Shore has been our show runner. It is a character driven procedural show that is a bit off center, with a buddy cop lead that’s surrounded by a band of misfits in a small town Michigan police station. I play the office manager of the police station. It has a great ensemble cast so it makes the show a lot of fun. I think it is very different from what we typically see on Television and I could not be more excited for it to come out. It begins March 1st at 10pm on CBS after “The Good Wife”.
AMG.com: What else can we expect next from Aubrey Dollar?
Aubrey: I feel like this has been a very lucky few years for me. I hope to just keep going. I am not sure what the future holds and that’s the exciting thing for me working as an actor. I do not know what will be next and I like that.