Actress Alex Frnka has a unicorn of a story to tell about her first professional break.
Based in California since college, Frnka has appeared in over 20 Lifetime Movies and numerous TV series (Castle, Bones, The Inbetweeners). Now 32, her first Lifetime movie was “Unanswered Prayers,” produced by Garth Brooks and co-starring Patty Duke. One of this rising Texan’s latest projects is Frnka’s own movie, “Alone Together.”
How did your interest in acting begin?
I was encouraged to try out for the One Act Play in sixth grade by my wonderful theatre teacher. I ended up getting the lead role of Cinderella and I had so much fun! I continued to participate in the theatre program through junior high and high school. Somewhere along the way, it occurred to me that some lucky people actually got to do it for a living! There was always something so special about slipping into a character and trying to figure out her motivations and live in her circumstances. I fell in love with it and with the support of my parents, I majored in Acting at the University of Southern California and started working professionally soon after graduation.
What kind of acting do you prefer?
TV and film are pretty similar. Typically, TV moves at a faster pace so you don’t have as many takes, but they both require a more subtle approach than acting for the stage. It’s difficult to select a favorite project because they’re all so different. I’ve been extremely fortunate to play a variety of characters and each project has had its perks and learning experiences. I’d say one of my more challenging projects was a YouTube show called “Vanity.” It was wonderful—I got to share scenes with the lovely Denise Richards, but we were on an extremely tight budget, so we would shoot 10 to 15 pages a day.
I’ve had a lot of rewarding experiences and gotten to work with so many incredible actors and actresses, but I think one of my favorite acting experiences was filming “The Axe Murders of Villisca.” My character becomes possessed in that movie and we filmed this incredible fight scene in a (controlled) burning room. It was just so much fun.
What is the thing you miss most about Texas?
I try to return to Texas a few times a year. A lot of my family and friends are still in the Houston area and there’s such a welcoming feeling when I come home. When people ask you how you’re doing, they really want to know. Besides my family, I miss Bluebell ice cream, Whataburger, Shipley’s Donuts and queso. I gain 10 pounds every time I visit!
What was your first movie role and how did it make you feel?
My first role was in “Unanswered Prayers” which was produced by Garth Brooks and aired on Lifetime. I got to meet Garth and it was one of the more surreal moments in my life, because I am a huge fan of his. (I might have teared up a little.) I was flown first class to Virginia, got to live in a hotel for three weeks and got paid to do what I had always dreamed of doing, all within a few months of graduating college. I knew I was so lucky to have experienced that success so quickly and I just continue to be appreciative of every role and project I get to be a part of.
What do you like to do when you have some free time?
I love to write, bake and spend time with my incredible husband and daughter. I’ve started to pursue filmmaking on all levels and I’m especially drawn to writing and directing. I’ve been working on a feature script for the past year or so and I’m hoping to get it made sometime next year.
What is one fun fact most people would not know about you?
My front tooth is fake! My friend accidentally shattered it during a game of racquetball in college. Luckily, I didn’t feel a thing!
What advice would you give others who want to act?
Stay hopeful. Stay resilient. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. Create your own work!
We hear you want to write a book. What would the book be about?
I am actually in the process of co-writing a book! A fun mystery novel that could be the beginning in a new series. Besides that, I use a lot of personal anecdotes in the features that I’m writing and always steal little bits here from both of my parents and friends. They say to write what you know.
What are your future TV/film plans or projects?
I have something that should be coming out in spring 2021—a wonderful film that I’m so proud to be a part of, but I can’t share any more than that!
Follow Alex Frnka on Instagram
Cover photo courtesy Betsy Newman
Bob Valleau is a freelance writer living in McKinney, Texas.