Deanna Russo began acting at a young age in local theatre in Chester, New Jersey. She appeared in The Growing Stage’s production of Pinocchio and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at their original location in the Williamson School Building.
While studying psychology at Rollins College in Florida, Russo booked her first national commercial. She soon relocated to Los Angeles where she first appeared on a television series in Charmed as a gypsy midwife. She then moved into voiceover work for children’s animation and is featured in two Disney adaptations of Hayao Miyazaki films. Russo also had a successful modeling career that only spanned two years.
In 2007, Russo won the award for Best Director at the New Orleans Film Festival for her short, Taste of Kream. She also directed and produced two seasons of a web series for Funny or Die called Real Life with Married People. She studied improv and sketch writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater where she still periodically performs.
Russo currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children and writes autobiographical essays and unsold pilots.
Hi Deanna please tell us a little about you?
I’m a tea-drinker. I love audiobooks and collect psychotropic experiences.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Wanna be hippy
Who is your biggest supporter?
My husband, hands down. I couldn’t do what I do without him.
How did you get started in the industry?
My boyfriend in college was a child actor. He introduced me to his manager, and I booked the first audition I ever went out on. It was a Nokia commercial that ended up airing during the Sugar Bowl.
What was your first acting role?
I was cast as Dopey in The Growing Stage’s production of Snow White. It was a community theater in Chester, New Jersey at the time. I think they’ve moved towns since then.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
Best: getting flown around on location. You get to sit first class and stay in fancy hotels. Getting paid to travel is a sweet gig.
Worst: pretending no one else is in the room during a love scene. Every love scene ever filmed is an awkward experience always absolutely.
Best advice ever given?
“You’re not married or pregnant. Go to LA.”
– my Aunt Kathy on whether I should move across the country or not
Tell us about your recent project The Ice Cream Truck?, and about your character?
The Ice Cream Truck is a different kind of indie horror movie that feels like a big homage to a John Carpenter soundtrack. I play Mary, a mom who gets to observe the new suburban bubble she’s chosen to move to.
What has been your most memorable experience from the set so far?
The director, Megan Freels-Johnston, telling me to “smell the fart,” as per Joey Tribbiani’s acting advice in Friends.
What other projects you have been part of?
I’ve gotten to do a bunch of TV work and independent shorts. In between acting, I write and collaborate on projects with my friends.
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?
Any improviser at UCB. They play it real and commit to the bit.
3 things you can’t leave your house without?
Wristwatch, chapstick, sunscreen.
What music do you like?
I’m a big fan of the band Don’t Stop or We’ll Die. It’s like Ween meets Tenacious D.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
Mimosa brunch with chocolate chip pancakes and a new episode of Game of Thrones.
How’s a normal day in your life?
Pretty chill. We ease into every morning with a breakfast dance party. My daughter loves to dance.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Chugging a liquified salad (green smoothie with romaine, celery, parsley, green apple, lemon, spirulina, chlorella, and matcha).
And your favorite cheat food?
Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch sub black beans for beef
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
Camping with my kids, teaching them how to make the best s’mores.
Do you support any charities?
The Nexus Fund aims to prevent mass atrocities before they happen.
Where we can follow you?
Favorite Music: Funky soul
Quote: “Everything is temporary. Everything is connected. Pay attention.” – Jane Hirschfield
Holiday Destination: Scottish highlands!
Food: Raw chocolate chip cookie dough.
Restaurant: Blue Hill in NYC
Drink: Macallan 12 with a splash of water
Celebrity Crush: Ruby Tandoh
Song: Any Keith Jarrett solo performance
Sports Team: I married into an Iowa Hawkeye family so that.