Fans of Tammy Blanchard’s sexy, Tony-nominated performance as Hedy La Rue in the recent revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying will do a double take when they see her in Nancy Savoca’s new film Union Square, due for limited release on July 13. Blanchard traded in form-fitting dresses for a wardrobe of slouchy sweaters and gym clothes as Jenny, a buttoned-up young woman whose carefully constructed life in Greenwich Village threatens to unravel when her estranged sister, Lucy (Mira Sorvino), arrives from the Bronx on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
“It’s a movie about family,” Blanchard tells Broadway.com, “and how you need to be there for each other, no matter how crazy your family makes you.” Union Square was shot in just 12 days, mostly inside the loft apartment of the film’s producer. “I escaped into this other world for two weeks,” Blanchard explains of playing a character who’s “totally the opposite” of her real-life personality. “It was painful, it was exciting, it was fun—it was everything an actor dreams of.”
Savoca, whose 1991 film Dogfight has been adapted into a musical currently playing at Second Stage, also tapped theater vets Patti LuPone (in a cameo as Blanchard and Sorvino’s mother) and Daphne Rubin-Vega (as Sorvino’s outgoing pal) for Union Square. “How wonderful is Daphne Rubin-Vega?” Blanchard exclaims. “She is a light in this movie. We were at the Broadway.com [Audience Choice] Awards together, and she is just so loving. I want to play her best friend someday.”
For now, Blanchard is in negotiations for a new film role she’s keeping mum about, but she stresses that a return to Broadway would also be welcome: “I am so thankful for the way the theater community accepted me into their world, and I can’t wait to be back on that stage.”