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Breaking the mold: often-typecast Greer Grammer jumped at challenging role in ‘Deadly Illusions’

Anna Elizabeth James, center, directs Kristen Davis and Greer Grammer during a scene from “Deadly Illusions.” (Courtesy of Kiss And Tale Productions)

Greer Grammer constantly gets typecast.

She will play bubbly, blond, not-so-smart characters.

Grammer is fine with it, because she loves the roles.

Yet she always wants to challenge herself.

So when she was approached by director Anna Elizabeth James for the role of Grace in “Deadly Illusions,” she jumped at the chance.

“I had worked with Anna before, and she wrote the role for me,” Grammer says. “It was a psychological thriller, and I was ready for it. I don’t do a lot of drama and I knew it would push me.”

“Deadly Illusions” tells the story of Mary, played by Kristen Davis, who is a successful author of thriller novels, and happily married to Tom, played by Dermot Mulroney.

Her publisher asks her to write another in her most successful book series, which she’s long put off, and offers her a $2 million advance.

The couple then hire Grace, played by Grammer, as the children’s nanny. This will help Mary focus on writing.

Mary quickly discovers that the line between fiction and reality starts to blur.

The production filmed in 2019 in and around Albuquerque.

Grammer says the film brought her to Albuquerque for the first time.

Kristen Davis and Dermot Mulroney, center, during a scene from “Deadly Illusions,” which was filmed in Albuquerque. (Courtesy of Kiss and Tale Productions)

“It was amazing,” she says of her experience. “My sister shot ‘Graves’ in Albuquerque in 2017 and had nothing but good things to say. I was so excited that’s where we were shooting. The film industry is so tight and close-knit. It felt warm and welcoming.”

Filming was done in late fall and early winter, and Grammer fell in love with the whole experience.

“I was able to see the Twinkle Light Parade in Nob Hill and the River of Lights,” she says. “Shanola (Hampton) and I took the tram up to Sandia Peak. We were completely underdressed, but it was so gorgeous.”

Bringing Grace to life was challenging, Grammer says.

Grammer says there are many layers to Grace.

“I love to play the girly, dainty and polite version of her,” she says. “I also love playing the darker versions of her, being able to figure out what she is thinking and how her wheels are always turning. Grace is always fighting this internal struggle. She’s like a puzzle.”

Grammer says she learned from the experience of playing a character who is unstable.

“What I took away from Grace is compassion,” she says. “Everyone is fighting a battle and trying to do the best they can. What you see isn’t necessarily what you are getting. Mary shows Grace a lot of compassion despite ill motives. That’s so important. I think we need to have more compassion, grace and understanding. The last moment in the film is beautiful and human.”

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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