She played in Sean A. Skinner‘s Dollar Baby Rest Area as Jane Dykstra.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Emily Fradenburgh: My full name is Emily Diane Fradenburgh and I’ve been acting in film, tv, radio (VO) and theatre for the last 18 years.
I’ve worked behind the camera as well- everything from producing to craft services, casting to wardrobe.
In my “spare” time, and along with my husband, I own and operate a seasonal rustic wedding venue, wood-fired pizzeria and microbrewery in Western, WI.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?
Emily Fradenburgh: I can never remember not wanting to be an actress. I kept it a secret for many years though because I didn’t think it was possible, being from a small town in Minnesota. It wasn’t until I was ready to graduate college with a B.A. in Psychology that I took an “Acting for Everyone” class (I needed 1 more credit in that final semester). It didn’t take long- I finally realized that this is what I wanted to pursue. I stayed in college for two more years, ended up double majoring, earned my B.A. in Theatre Performance, and have been acting ever since. Having both degrees has been invaluable with my character studies.
SKSM: How did you become involved in Rest Area Dollar Baby film?
Emily Fradenburgh: I first heard about Rest Area from producer, Edward Linder. He and I have worked together before but it had been years. He reached out to see if I was interested and available…after two words, I was sold: Stephen. King.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Emily Fradenburgh: I think we all have moments in life where we see or hear something we don’t agree with and we’re faced with the decision to do something or remain silent. In this story, the lead character has this same struggle and we’re along for the ride. In the original story, the lead character is a male. The fact that the lead is now a female takes it to another level! I’m so thankful the powers that be decided to adapt the script this way.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Emily Fradenburgh: I’m sure the role wasn’t written for me, but I did not have to audition for the part either. I actually love the auditioning process, but I’m also thankful that I was chosen early on.
SKSM: You worked with Sean A. Skinner on this film, how was that?
Emily Fradenburgh: Working with Sean was great. I had heard of him previously and had seen a couple of his earlier films (which I thoroughly enjoyed), but we had never met in person. From the moment we first communicated online and over the phone, we were on the same page. It’s as though we had known each other for years. This carried over on set too- I felt instantly comfortable with him and very much appreciated the chance to play.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Emily Fradenburgh: Our first day of filming was at an actual Rest Area. It was a very ambitious first day. The Rest Area attendant, was an older gentleman named Patrick. He couldn’t have been more sweet and understanding. When we knew we were running over a bit, I walked in and spoke with him. I thanked him for being willing to stay a little longer and we exchanged a hug. He told me that his granddaughter was getting into acting and that he enjoyed watching what we were creating and could tell that we really loved what we were doing. I’ll never forget his patience and kindness.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Emily Fradenburgh: I’m thrilled to have reconnected with Ed a handful of other local filmmakers and actors and have made some new contacts. Shortly after we wrapped,
I spent most of the winter in Los Angeles, where Ryan Kiser and Brandon Van Vliet (the two creepiest characters in the film) live. Sean and I have stayed in touch and communicate on a fairly regular basis.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Emily Fradenburgh: Later this year I will be acting in two feature films, Project Eden Vol. II, and Sentinels 95.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Emily Fradenburgh: YES!! I’ve been a Stephen King fan for as long as I can remember…and have been terrified just as long. In college I was Carrie for Halloween- to date, one of my best costumes. It’s no wonder so many of his books have been adapted into movies, he is pure genius. Some of my favorites are The Shining, Dolores Claiborne, It, 11/22/63 and Misery.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Emily Fradenburgh: I live in a barn.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Emily Fradenburgh: Thank you for the opportunity to share a little bit about myself and this project. To those who are reading, I appreciate your time and interest too. Let’s keep celebrating Stephen King and supporting each other’s adaptations of his work!
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Emily Fradenburgh: I think Rest Area should be made into a feature length film.
Also, if anyone is interested in following my upcoming projects, please visit: