News Column

Whittier grandmother appears in movie at Cannes International Film Festival [Whittier Daily News (CA)]

May 16, 2013

YellowBrix

WHITTIER -- Never did Angela McEwan dream that on her third visit to Cannes in the south of France, she would be there to go to the premiere of a movie she appears in at the city's famed international film festival.

But, there she will be Wednesday, alongside Oscar-winning screenwriter Alexander Payne and actors Bruce Dern and Will Forte at the premiere of the movie, "Nebraska."

The film will compete for the Palme d'Or,the highest prize awarded to the director of the best feature film at Cannes.

Payne, with whom McEwan experienced an easy rapport during the casting process, directed the film about an estranged father and son stuck in a Nebraska town on the way to claim a million-dollar sweepstakes marketing prize.

She plays newspaper editor, Peg Nagy, in the town where they land.

"It's really a big deal," McEwan said from her Whittier home, just days before making the trip.

She had previously visited Cannes during European trips with her husband.

McEwan hadn't originally planned on going to the festival but after speaking with Payne, she reconsidered.

"How often do you have a film you're in at Cannes?" McEwan asked herself.

"I'm just thrilled," she admitted.

McEwan, who has two grown sons and a grandson, began her love of performing as a child.

"I was 4 when I wanted to act, seeing Shirley Temple movies," she explained.

Her mother was not so enthusiastic on the idea.

But still, McEwan pursued her dream, and by age 14 she was performing at the Hollywood Playhouse.

When she married her husband, Guillermo McEwan, in Mexico City, and then had two children, her theatrical career took a back seat to her family.

Although they started married life living in Los Angeles, the couple settled in Whittier about 30 years ago, with Guillermo having medical offices in Los Angeles and Montebello. He died four years ago.

Angela McEwan, who has a master's in Spanish from UC Irvine, had a 24-year career as a court interpreter in Long Beach.

As an independently contracted employee, she was able to better make time for afternoon auditions.

McEwan has appeared in TV's "Parks and Recreation," and "New Girl," and has just signed with an agent to do voice-over work.

"It's been a blessing to have been so busy," she said of her work since the death of her husband.

"It's become an actual career."

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