(KGET) — The new Netflix offering of “Deadly Illusions” deals with some very adult situations. Filming scenes that get extremely personal can be a very difficult situation for an actor if everything isn’t handled with the right amount of respect, care and concern.
Greer Grammer had some concerns when she started working on the film as it marks the first role in her career where she had to deal with very mature moments. She had to go way past her comfort zone.
Because this would be such a very different role for Grammer, there were some nervous moments when “Deadly Illusions” director Anna Elizabeth James pitched her the idea of playing the role.
“But, I was immediately so on board. I loved everything about the role,” Grammer says. “I loved the idea of doing it and pushing myself further because I loved that and always wanted to be taken a little more seriously.
“But I think there were moments on set where I was like ‘Whoa. I actually have to do this.’ It is different to read it in a script and view it from the eyes of somebody else. When I was filming it, I was onboard to do it but it was just so different than anything I had done before.”
“Deadly Illusions” looks at what happens when a bestselling novelist (Davis) hires a young, beautiful and seemingly innocent young woman (Grammer) to take care of her twin children. The lines between the writing world and reality begin to blur creating emotional, mental and sexual conflicts.
Grammer credits her co-star and co-producer, Kristin Davis, with helping her deal with the wild assortment of new acting challenges.
“I felt so safe in all of the scenarios and everyone felt so comfortable with everything we were portraying,” Grammer says. “Kristin is amazing for so many reasons but she was on a show called ‘Sex in the City’ for years. So she is not a newbie to sexual scenes or sex in movies and how to shoot it where I very much was.
“She was so comfortable with some of the scenarios but also had very firm boundaries which I found to be so amazing. Kristin was really good at being comfortable but also very firm at what she was going to do which made it very easy for me to also have my boundaries.’
Grammer is convinced that having a female director added to the comfort on the set.
The building blocks of “Deadly Illusions” will sound familiar to anyone who loves the kind of women-in-peril movies made popular on cable channels. Grammer cautions those who would make quick comparisons because the plan from the start was to make the film look like something familiar but then take a 180-degree turn.
Many of the twists and turns surround her character and that made working on the project even more appealing for Grammer. She also liked that the character came across as feeling very real.
“I loved playing Grace because she has so many colors,” Grammer says. “I think with humans there are so many different parts of our personalities. I love being a girly girl and wearing really pretty dresses. But there is also a part of me that can get really dark.
“So to get to play somebody who is able to have all these different aspects to her was really, really fun and really cool. As an actor, it is a dream to get to play a million different things in one.”
The character got even more complex as it is never crystal clear at any given moment whether Grace is actually doing something or what is being shown is how other perceive her. It was up to Grammer to be able to play the entire emotional rainbow to bring Grace to life.
Such a challenge is welcomed. It may be genetic as Grammer is the daughter of Kelsey Grammer, but the Los Angeles native has always wanted to be an actor (or a princess). She started performing in theater productions when she was 5 and then moved into years of competing in beauty pageants.
The kind of judgments and rejections that come from competing in pageants helped Grammer be ready for the major highs and lows of acting.
“You have to learn how to not be a sore loser,” Grammer says. “People think pageants are a very frivolous thing. But, it is actually hard work. It is a competition.
“There is a saying that helped me in acting which was different day, different judges, different girls. There’s always a different outcome every day. That helped me with auditions. I have faith that everyone who gets a role was supposed to get that role.”
The USC graduate has been the one getting roles for years as her first on-screen work was in 2010 in “iCarly.” Since then she has appeared in “Chastity Bites,” “The Middle,” “An Evergreen Christmas” and “Melissa & Joey.” Grammer spent five years on the MTV’s series “Awkward” playing Lissa Miller.
“Deadly Illusions” will begin airing on the streaming service Netflix starting March 18.