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UM student stars in Tanya Wright’s Mississippi made film

December 2, 2009

Actress Tanya Wright may spend much of her time keeping a small town in Louisiana safe from vampires and other creatures but when off -duty from her acting job on the set of HBO’s “True Blood,” she is a filmmaker in her own right.

“This is my first full length feature film,” Wright said. “I have written commercials, a cable TV show and a PSA series in the past.”

Wright is relaxing back home in Mississippi with family through Thanksgiving now that her film is in post production and before she heads back to film True Blood season three. Wright shot the film in Columbus — the first feature length film to be shot in the home of Tennessee Williams. As soon as post-production wraps, the film festival submission process begins and Wright will take to the road to show her film around the country.

“We are submitting to film festivals as we speak so wish us luck,” Wright said.

Wright said writing was her first passion but after writing for the New York Times, she moved to L.A. to purse an acting career. She has had regular and recurring roles on shows like “24,” “NYPD BLUE” and “ER.”

Additionally, she appeared in Alex Haley’s mini-series “Mama Flora’s Family” opposite Cicely Tyson, and starred in the Morgan Freeman-produced NBC feature, “Mutiny,” the fact-based story of African-American sailors convicted of an alleged mutiny in the Forties. Wright currently recurs in the role of “Kenya” on the new HBO series “True Blood,” produced by Academy-Award winning writer, Alan Ball.

“Butterfly Rising” is her directorial debut. Her previous script, “A Turn To Grace” was a semi-finalist in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual Nicholl’s Screenwriting Competition.

Although she grew up in the Bronx, Wright now spends much of her time in the South.

Star of her film is Ole Miss student McGhee Monteith. Born in Memphis, Monteith said she is a true southern girl having grown up on a lake in the countryside of Mississippi.

Her inspiration in becoming an actress was Robin William’s performance in “Mrs. Doubtfire.” She quickly became involved in community and professional theatre productions and has won Northwest Mississippi Theatre Alliance awards for her performances.
On-screen, Monteith began her career with the role of Reba Cash, Johnny Cash’s sister in “Walk the Line,” starring Joaquin Phoenix.

Other film credits include “The Undying” and now, “Butterfly Rising.”
In the film, Monteith plays Lilah, a singer who doesn’t sing. Living in the town of Artesia, a sleepy Mississippi town, the night life centers on the Friday night fish fry hosted by the town matriarch, Esther. Lilah befriends Rose and the two steal a truck and take off for New Hope where their lives are forever altered.

To follow where you can see the Mississippi film, visit

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2010 3:31 am

    I haven’t seen walk the line yet, but I guess I will have to see it. Most of the reviews I read say it is really great.

  2. December 2, 2009 7:55 pm

    Daniel Lee is also in this film. =P

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