10 Things That You Didn’t Know About Marielle Heller

10 Things That You Didn’t Know About Marielle Heller

Marielle Heller is an American actor, writer, and director. She is best known for her direction of “Can You Ever Forgive Me? in 2018 and “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” in 2015. Those who write and direct do so behind the scenes of the final product and often, they receive little attention, even though their contributions to the success of a film are vital for achieving a quality movie in the end. We wanted to know more about Heller, so we looked into her past, and we found 10 things that you probably didn’t know about her to share.

1. Her parents are professionals, but not related to film

Marielle was raised in Alameda, California. She was born to a family where both of her parents worked outside of the home. Her father is Steve Heller, who is a chiropractor. Her mother Annie is an art teacher, and an artist. Both of Marielle’s parents supported her love of acting, which was present since she was just a young girl.

2. She started acting at a young age

We learned that Marielle began acting when she was a young child. She participated in four plays per year with the Alameda Children’s Musical Theater. Some of the plays she landed roles for include, “Charlotte’s Web,” the role of Polly in “The Magician’s Nephew,” and “Winnie the Pooh,” where she played the part of the rabbit.

3. Marielle continued acting as a teen

Her love for acting was so great that when she grew into a teenager, she advanced to work with the community theater. She attended high school at Saint Joseph Notre Dame, where she was also involved in theater productions. She did this until graduating with her high school diploma in 1997.

4. Heller has formal theater training

After graduating from high school, Marielle Heller continued with her training and education in theatre. She enrolled in UCLA’s theatre program, and after completion, she went on to attend London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Heller had an indisputable talent for screenwriting and she was distinguished with two honors including The Maryland Film Festival Fellowship and Lynn Auerbach Screenwriting Fellowship. She had definitely chosen the right career path. Marielle was simply following her passion, and the rewards of career success would follow because she was completely invested in her craft.

5. She likes to explore the obscure

Marielle Heller is a heck of a screenwriter and a part of our attraction to her work is that she’s willing to beat the bushes to find an angle for a story that possibly has not yet been fully explored on film. She’s looking for the unusual, as we saw in her film “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” She takes a different approach with Melissa McCarthy’s character who is very unlikable and she makes you question if there is an ounce of femininity in her. Being a lesbian (the character) doesn’t mean that she’s not a woman, but she puts off a vibe that evokes a lot of different questions in the minds of the viewers. Heller writes and directs a very complicated character, but we can’t help but love her even though it’s hard to understand precisely where she’s coming from.

6. Heller doesn’t believe in typecasting

When interviewed about her work with Melissa McCarthy, Heller explained that female actors tend to be put in a box, when it comes to the extent of their acting abilities, which limits the roles that they are offered. She doesn’t believe in this kind of typecasting. This is one of the reasons why she was pleased with McCarthy’s performance. It verified her beliefs that if you hire talent and turn them loose they can break out of the molds others have forced them into.

7. She was snubbed at the Oscars

Marielle and Debra Granik were both snubbed at the Oscars for their two highly successful films. There was not even a mention, but they’re taking it in stride as it’s not something that surprises them. All of the winning directors this year were males, and although there are plenty of female directors, it’s one of those industries that is still considered to be male-dominated.

8. Her film was recognized but her directing was not

It’s kind of odd that the film along with the actors involved in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” were recognized at the Oscars, but Heller wasn’t. When asked if it hurt her feelings, she simply stated that there was no expectation of being mentioned at the event. It seems that if the film and the actors are recognized, it’s just common sense to throw kudos towards the person who directed the film. It makes us all wonder why she wasn’t given the proper credit.

9. Heller directed “Are You My Friend”

Marielle Heller was chosen to direct the film “Are You My Friend” which is the story of Mr. Rogers. Tom Hanks plays the lead role as Mr. Rogers. Something that we thought was interesting is that Hanks held out on accepting the role until he learned that Heller would be the director. This tells us that she’s a director that he enjoys working with. Hanks is a superstar actor who has a lot of experience under his belt, and if he thinks she’s great, then she probably is.

10. She’s one to keep your eye on

Marielle Heller is an up and coming director, even though she’s been in the business a while. She’s breaking into an industry where males frequently get more attention in certain circles than their female counterparts. This doesn’t seem to phase her though. She just continues forward pursuing her passions, and this attitude is to her credit, but we certainly hope that she begins to get more of the credit that she so much deserves.

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