Wendy R. Williams Talks To
Miss Rheingold,
Dani Marco

Dani Marco
Dani Marco
The Reigning Miss Rheingold

I have been a friend and fan of Dani Marco ever since I directed her in Hopscotch: The New York Sex Comedy.  Dani is a cute, fun, talented NYC actress who made loads of friends in the cast and is a blast to work with. 

Dani Marco, Allison Wightman, Joel Moss, Diedre Kilgore,
L-R top: Dani Marco, Allison Wightman, Joel Moss, Diedre Kilgore,
Samantha Downs. Bottom: Stephen Wheeler
Photo courtesy of

Dani Marco with the Cast of
 Hopscotch: The New York Sex Comedy
January 2003

I have been following Dani's career with interest and when she was running for Miss Rheingold, I emailed everyone I knew (multiple times), telling them to vote for Dani online.  We all did and she was so popular with the cast, they all sent out large group emails asking everyone to vote for her. We were thrilled when she won. The title of Miss Rheingold was revived two years ago after being dormant since 1965.  Miss Rheingold used to be a huge national contest with many famous contestants -Tippi Hedren (Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, Melanie Griffin's mother) was a finalist one year. Grace Kelly also competed.

I met with Dani at the rooftop bar of the Gramercy Park Hotel, an aging dowager of a hotel with a seedy charm.  I had not been to the Gramercy Park Hotel since I stayed there for one month twenty years ago.  Nothing much has changed (according to a woman we met in the elevator, the carpets are still dirty), except now they have this cool rooftop bar.  

Dani Marco
Dani Marco poses on the roof of the Gramercy Park Hotel.

Just before Dani started working on Hopscotch, she had finished working on a film called Games People Play. There was another actor in the Hopscotch cast, Jonathan Chase (also mega-talented and cute), who had also been at the auditions for Games People Play.  He told me he made it to the second-to-last-group of actors, just before the final cut.  Jonathan told me that there were two hundred people in the room just before the final cut and everyone who had not already been eliminated was told to perform a scripted love scene in their absolutely most uninhibited fashion.  Jonathan read, still wearing his underwear, and was cut.  Dani, without her underwear, was cast.

Games People Play is a fascinating movie, playing like a car wreck you cannot stop watching.  Six very talented actors/contestants (Joshua Colemen, Dani Marco, David Maynard, Scott Ryan, Sarah Smith and Elisha Imani Wilson) play a series of games while totally nude.  Dani calls it "comedic nudity."  The actors entice random people to join with them in their games such as "Drop the Towel in Front of the Delivery Boy" and "The Naked Trio" (a very funny segment where the actors pair off in couples and recruit a random man to be the third member of their Naked Trio - actually a bad singing trio which performs in the nude). All the members of the public were filmed first and then asked to sign releases afterwards. One of the last games was "The Casting Couch," in which  the three male contestants auditioned actresses (who had not made the final cut to be contestants) on the infamous  couch.  There are some very uninhibited actresses in New York City. There are also elements of a reality show, with some bizarre late night confessionals.

When watching Games, I wondered about the actors: How did they become so uninhibited?  But I also wondered about the director.  I do not want to give away too much about the movie, but there are elements in this film that are so invasive of the actors's privacy, they are almost sadistic.  An artist by creating art gives the public a window into his or her soul.  And there is definitely a very weird story behind this film and this director - why this subject matter and why these choices?

Dani Marco
Dani drinking beer and dishing on the
 roof of the Gramercy Park Hotel.

I asked Dani what it was like to be totally nude in a movie. She said that she had no problem with it and that there is nothing wrong with the human form.  When I then asked whether she would be willing to be on Howard Stern and she said, "Sure, but I wouldn't take my clothes off.  He'd have to pay his $10.25 just like everyone else." Next topic: Janet Jackson. We talked about the recent mini-scandal with Janet and her boob.  We both thought it is just the Republicans going at it again, stirring up another moral scandal for everyone to get riled up about so they won't notice the war or the economy.  "Just get them out there marching against boobs," they say.  "It will wear them out so they will go to bed early and won't stay up late reading the newspapers." After all,as Dani says, "It's just a boob."

Dani told me that one of the benefits of performing in a movie was she became very close with all the other actors and they are now all really good friends.  As I said, everyone likes Dani, even when she has her clothes on. 

Games had its debut at the Cine Vegas Film Festival and has gone on to play New York.  It is now playing throughout the country. The movie got some really good reviews.  Here is a quote from Richard Roeper from the Ebert and Roeper movie review :  "But I'll tell ya, you mentioned two of these actors, I think this Dani Marco in particular, she could be a star..." 

Dani and I talked about being Miss Rheingold and how much fun she is having.  She told me that her Miss Rheingold poster is going to be displayed on a billboard in Times Square. I asked her if the Rheingold people had a problem with the nudity in Games and she told me, "No, it's a beer. I don't have to be a librarian."

Dani Marco
Dani not being a librarian.

I then asked Dani about some fun places for Miss Rheingold to appear wearing her crown and sash:

Dani Marco

The White House?  "Of course, but only if they serve Rheingold."

The Queen Mary 2? "Yes, but they should have asked me to ride on the bow as they entered New York harbor like Kate Winslett did in the Titanic poster.  Oops, I guess that is not the best promotional idea."

Las Vegas:  "Sure, but I do that all the time and no one notices.  I really need to ask the Rheingold people for some attendants and a train. You have to do a bit more to be noticed in Las Vegas."

We then finished talking. Dani said she is still doing the New York actress thing, auditioning and interviewing agents.  And no, she does not wear her crown and sash when she goes on go-sees. She can't,  Dani lives in New York and after all, the crown and sash are not black.

Rock on!



© New York Cool 2004-2014