Taryn Manning loved the grounded nature of Paolo Pilladi's Last Call, the tale of a real estate developer who returns to his old Philadelphia neighborhood to try to get a casino built by circulating a petition for signatures for the project, not realizing the long term implications it might mean to those he grew up with. The actress plays Ali, the childhood friend of Mick (Jeremy Piven). I spoke to her about what drew her to the film, the theme of gentrification, and comparing the grind between film and television.
Why Taryn Manning Took Role of Ali in Last Call
"I loved the script, the content, and the character, and I'm a fan of Jeremy Piven," Manning said. "I love the comedy aspect and the whole concept of it." As Mick circulates the petition, he finds himself at odds with some of the local business owners, many of whom he grew up with, including the bar run by his father. "Yeah, I would say [gentrification] is very relevant and important," she added. "It can be devastating; it happens to some people. So this is a neighborhood that is going to completely change. Some are for no charges and are against them, and some are for it." Manning described Ali as a nurturing presence. "She's really caring in general and especially about Jeremy's character," she said. "He comes back, and she sees what he's trying to do and she's disappointed because she tries to protect the neighborhood."
Attitudes on set were pretty loose given the comedic talent. "Many of my scenes are with Jeremy," Manning said. "He's a fun scene partner, and he was definitely improv-ing. Paolo didn't mind, and we just went with it. Some of it was hilarious with those guys." The actor added many of the comedic actors made for a memorable experience between takes. "Sometimes what they would do off-camera it is beyond hilarious and maybe even at times more so than when the cameras were rolling," she continued. "I mean, they're just like they're just having a blast."
While Manning primarily performs in film, she's had a regular presence on Netflix's Orange Is the New Black and CBS' Hawaii Five-O. "There are so different, you know?" she said. "So there's a story with a beginning, middle, and an end. On TV, it kind of just keep going and all down all different tasks and eliminate other characters, and it's just this is a lot of creativity within that show, which is fine. It's all the more I realize I think movies are a little harder, harder to film because they love to make a film all through the night, you know? So TV sticks to like a 12 hour day, maybe go over for the film. They'll just stay weeks, you know, like I said, in love, their nighttime shoot your call times like 4 a.m. and like 7:00 a.m."
The actress, who played Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett on Orange Is the New Black admits she still keeps up with her castmates. "We just absolutely we all support each other and all," she said. "Everyone likes each other's Instagram. OK. I don't know; I don't live in New York, to be honest with you. I was always in California, so I would play out every season and for about six, seven months, and they come right back to California. But there, most of them are somewhere." Co-written by Greg Lingo, Last Call also stars Bruce Dern, Jamie Kennedy, Cathy Moriarty, Jack McGee, Zach McGowan, and Cheri Oteri. The IFC film comes to theatres, on digital, and on-demand on March 19.