R. Williams Talks
Miss Rheingold, Dani Marco
The Reigning Miss Rheingold
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.
top: Dani Marco, Allison Wightman, Joel Moss, Diedre
Samantha Downs. Bottom: Stephen Wheeler
Photo courtesy of www.texastoastproductions.com
Dani Marco with the Cast of
Hopscotch: The New York Sex Comedy
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
Hedren (Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds,
Melanie Griffin's mother) was a finalist
one year. Grace Kelly also competed.
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
Marco poses on the roof of the Gramercy Park Hotel.
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?
drinking beer and dishing on the
roof of the Gramercy Park Hotel.
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."
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
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 :
I'll tell ya, you mentioned two of these actors,
I think this Dani Marco in particular, she could
be a star..."
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."
not being a librarian.
then asked Dani about some fun places for Miss
Rheingold to appear wearing her crown and sash:
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."
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."
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.