Olesya Rulin is known for her role of Kelsi Nielsen in Disney’s “High School musical” series. She is currently starring in “Expecting Mary” which was recently released. Movie Mikes had a chance to talk with Olesya about her working with Disney and her new movie.
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Mike Gencarelli: Tell what it was like working on the “High School Musical” series?
Olesya Rulin: It was the best 3 1/2 years of my life and was a really great experience. I got to meet some amazing individuals. Working with Kenny Ortega, the rest of the cast and the amazing choreographers was amazing. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. Plus I didn’t walk at my high school graduation ceremony, so doing “High School Musical 3” allowed me to have that same experience. I lived a lot of my personal life through those films as well. I enjoyed every minute.
Mike Gencarelli: Your role got bigger with each film, did you enjoy playing Kelsi Nielsen?
Olesya Rulin: I liked playing her a lot, but I am definitely not a musically savant. I have never played the piano in my life. It was really fun to step in those shoes and pretend to do the things she could. I do where glasses and a lot of hats in real life, so I just got to wear things I like every day. It was really fun. I was pretty nerdy in middle and high school, so I think my own personal characteristics came through.
Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your recently released film “Expecting Mary”?
Olesya Rulin: It is a wonderful film. It is about a girl that kind of loses her way and is very much alone. She goes on a journey to try and find her dad in Los Angeles. While on journey hitchhiking from east coast to LA. She gets picked up by Elliot Gould’s character, Horace. He takes her to this truck stop/Indian casino, where she meet some of the best characters and changes her life. They teach her what love is, what faith is and what a family can be. It doesn’t have to be blood related, it can be your friends and people that love you. It is really great and emitts a wonderful moral. It’s hilarious as well. Cloris Leachman does a great job of putting a lot of comedic relief in there.
MG: Is it excited to have a starting role in the film?
AR: Yeah! It was really exciting. It was a very short shoot. We shot the whole movie in 18 days. It was insane. We had a small budget. But we had such a wonderful crew and cast. Everyone was so professional. It was seamless. Their was no problems or issues. Dan Gordon, our wonderful writer and director, knew exactely what we needed to get at the end of the day. We moved through the script very quickly. It was long hours but it was really fun. You really can’t complain when you are working with Elliot Gould, Linda Gray and Cloris Leachman [laughs]. Being the star is a different territory for me. I just had to make sure I was on top of my game. Linda Gray would help me every single day. Same with Dan, if I had a question with the script or if one of the lines didn’t seem like something Mary would say. They made it really easy for me.
MG: What was like working with such a fantastic cast?
AR: I auditioned for the film and got a call back. I had no idea the cast will be made up with such great individuals…such great Hollywood legends. I was blown away that Linda Grey and I would be in almost every scene together. On my first day I met Elliot Gould I was shaking, I said “Hello, Mr. Gould, I am Olesya” and he said “Don’t call me Mr. Gould, its Elliot”. He is such a wonderful person.
MG: What else do you have planned next?
AR: I just shot a movie called “Apart”, which I play a scizophrenic. That should come out probably around December/January. I shot an episode of “The Mentalist” which comes out in October. I’ve got a movie shooting in January called “The Family Weekend”. I am keeping busy [laughs].
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