Meet actress MacKenzie Meehan (Penny), star of the new Martin Scorsese/Mick Jagger HBO series, “Vinyl”. The series is about the music industry in the 70’s and stars Bobby Cannavale (Richie), Olivia Wilde (Devon), Juno Temple (Jamie) – to name a few.
We got a chance to sit down with MacKenzie to chat about her career, music, and her new show “Vinyl”. Check it out….
Name: MacKenzie Meehan
Where you do live now? Crown Heights, Brooklyn
What are your favorite things to do in the city? I really love Brooklyn and spend most of my free time here eating baller Caribbean food at Glady’s on Franklin, Roller Skating during the summer at the LeFrak Center in Prospect Park, taking walks on Eastern Parkway and grabbing a bite or a drink in Park Slope, Ft. Greene and Cobble Hill. When I go into “the city” I love taking in indie movies at IFC, Angelika and Sunshine Cinema, seeing downtown theatre, walking around the Village and grabbing a hamentashen at Moishe’s Bakery in the East Village.
How did you get into acting? I was a pretty eccentric kid. I had a penchant for doing impersonations and accents, making silly faces, dancing and performing skits. So naturally, when I was 11, my mom enrolled me in a movie-making summer camp in Denver at this place called Kidskits. I had finally found my people! I quickly joined their theatre company, took acting classes, performed in school choir, plays and musicals, auditioned and began working professionally around the age of 13.
How did you get the role for Vinyl? Ellen Lewis, who also cast me in The Wolf of Wall Street, brought me in to read for the role of Penny. I thought I blew it and cried when I left the office. Two months later, I found out I booked it. Go figure!
Did you meet Mick Jagger ( One of the Executive Producers)? Yes, I got to meet him at a table read! It was absolutely thrilling and totally surreal. It was shocking how nice and normal he was.
We understand you followed Mary Gormley/ A&R executive to study for your role. Did you get any real life tips on discovering new bands? I met Mary through my music producer friend, Barb Morrison. I was so grateful to be connected with her! She has had such a long and prolific career in the music industry and was instrumental in helping me build my character. Through our conversations, she helped me understand that being a woman A&R executive in that era meant going to bars and clubs every night to discover new artists, living amidst the sex, drugs and rock & roll scene of the 70’s but still staying on the straight and narrow path. The challenge was getting involved in with the music, but not wrapped up in the lifestyle. Her deep passion for music and helping artists achieve their dreams was the fire that drove her to work tirelessly and achieve such success, despite the challenges of being a woman in the predominately man’s world of rock music tastemakers.
What is you favorite artist or band? I am a music junkie and love discovering new and old artists. It was a dream to be on a show about the music industry in the 70’s because it gave me a great excuse to explore music I had never really listened to. Forgive me for being “Captain Obvious”, but because of my research, I got really into The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Duh. Last summer, there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t blast “Whole Lotta Love” and “Sympathy for the Devil” while walking down the street or sitting on the subway. I’m super late to the party, I know. However, If I’m being honest, RIGHT NOW my favorite artist is Teena Marie. “Squarebiz” might be my favorite song discovery of 2015. Again, late to the party but better late than never, right?
What is POPULAR? Adele, selfies and babies on Facebook.