Made in Iowa: Hollywood actress showcases her home state in new film

Tanna Frederick's new movie "Two Ways Home" is a love letter to Iowa and the community who supported her as a budding actress.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Made in Iowa: Hollywood actress showcases her state in new film
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Tanna Frederick talks to ABC7's George Pennacchio about traveling back to her home state of Iowa to film her new movie "Two Ways Home."

Tanna Frederick works as an actress in Hollywood. But for her latest project, a movie she also produced, Frederick went home to Iowa where she could stretch a buck and try her luck at creating movie magic.

For starters, she hired fellow Iowan Joel West to star alongside her in "Two Ways Home."

In fact, with just a few exceptions, the cast and crew all hail from Iowa. The state is where Frederick got her start in acting -- when she was nine, she started acting in community theater there.

"I had so much support in terms of choir, in terms of theatre," Frederick said. "I had all these great teachers so I really wanted to bring something back to the state and highlight the state."

They shot the film in just 15 days. And the cost to do that?

"It was $200,000, a bit under," she said, "and a lot, a lot of 'pleases' and 'thank you's'."

The actress even enlisted her parents to help out with craft services.

"We were able to save a lot of money, mostly just by asking for favors. It was really a community effort," Frederick continued.

"Two Ways Home" was written by a family friend. It's a fictional account of people in Frederick's life, including her grandfather. In the film, he is ailing and still battling old war memories. Her real grandfather, an Iowa farmer, died in a nursing home, but they don't include that in the movie.

"It was really beautiful to play out that situation in the film, what could have been," she said. "Art really gives you an opportunity to sort of live out that dream."

Frederick is very proud of how they handled mental health in the film, including her own character finally being on the right track with her bipolar disorder. The film is now getting support from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Bringing Iowa into frame for moviegoers meant a lot to Frederick.

And, when it comes to model-turned-actor West getting down and dirty on the farm, Frederick said, "He really got into that part but he still looks so pretty. I know. He's an Iowa boy."

"Two Ways Home" is now available on demand.