“I definitely applied to Temple University,” said Gina Gershon of her post-high school application process. “I don’t know if I got in. I ended up going to Emerson, then NYU.”
Regardless of the hazy details about her since-forgotten collegiate acceptances, the path that Gershon followed ultimately led her towards her newest film, Prey For Rock and Roll.
Having opened locally this past week, Prey For Rock and Roll finds Gershon portraying the fast livin’, hard lovin’, always rockin’ Jacki. She’s a woman who must decide if she wants to careen toward her 40s while still holding on to her band while searching for that one big break.
Much like her character in the film, Prey for Rock and Roll forced Gershon to make some very serious decisions regarding her career.
While Gershon is known for being an actress who seeks out challenging and controversial roles, such as her turns in the striptease classic Showgirls and the Wachowski brothers’ chilling crime noir film Bound, Prey For Rock and Roll forced her into a part she had yet to play: producer.
This new position did add a new dimension of difficulty for Gershon, but in the end, was more than worth it.
“The singing is really fun, the acting is really fun,” said Gershon, contrasting the performance and production facets of her work on Prey For Rock and Roll. “The producing was hard work, but was necessary to have the creative control to get [the movie] done right.”
It would seem that Gershon has also taken more than a production credit away from the film. Being influenced by her love for performing, along with her character’s unclassifiable lust for life and experience, Gershon took the film on the road, performing with hard rock luminaries Girls Against Boys on a recent tour of small venues.
“I say try everything,” said Gershon, in response to those who may think she’s spreading her talents a bit thin between acting, producing and touring. “This whole year has been my whole ‘why not’ year. I’ve never produced a movie before, so I said ‘Why not?’ I’ve never done a rock tour, so I said, ‘Why not?'”
It is this hard-edged take on the, “You can do anything you put your mind to,” mentality that infuses Gershon’s work, and specifically the characters in the movie. The film, and to a certain extent Gershon’s recent creative expansions, are about finding out what it is you want, and striving to achieve those ends, no matter how taxing it might be.
“I think that any job that you do, at some point, feels like a job, whether you love it or hate it,” said Gershon, explaining not only her own career choices, but the depth of her character’s tenacity as well. “So why do something you hate?”
Robert James Algeo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org