Picture by OCHSA
By Sammi Turano

Tell me about yourself and career.

I was born and raised in beautiful Newport Beach, CA. I'm one of four children, with two brothers and one sister. I went to the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA) for the acting conservatory, and after graduating, moved up to Los Angeles to continue studying and pursue acting as a career. Since then I've had the pleasure of working on some amazing projects such as Ballers, Californication, Camp X Ray and Marauders to name a few. I'm in love with what I do and I'm obsessed with learning and finding ways to continuously challenge myself.

What is your role in “A Perfect Christmas Present?”
I play the role of Jenny. When her boyfriend Paul gets a job opportunity in Chicago, she decides to expand her charity which is based in Los Angeles, and move out there as well. After the move, Paul is constantly busy with his work and they start to grow apart. Paul's longtime friend from college, Tom, specializes in getting people 'the perfect gift' and Paul decides to hire him for his expertise in hopes to win Jenny back. Tom decides to help Jenny with her charity event and they spend a lot of time getting to know each other in the process and things start to get very confusing...

What attracted you to the film and role?
I love Christmas and I've never done a Christmas film, so after reading this fun and lighthearted script it felt like the one to do. It reminded me a bit of Something About Mary when her 'stalker' ends up falling in love with her and I loved that movie. I also love the fact that Jenny is such a selfless loving kind person who likes to spend her time helping other people through her charity work and often puts others before herself and I wanted to tell her story.

What were some highlights about filming?
We filmed in Chicago and I had never been there, so living there for a month was an awesome experience in itself. I explored all parts of the city and even did a stand up show while I was out there! The cast and crew of this film were amazing and a joy to work with so they definitely made the whole experience a highlight. I also got to celebrate my birthday out there and they surprised me with a cake and what not.. it was an overall very special experience.

What do you hope people like about “A Perfect Christmas Present?”
Well I hope people like the whole thing but mostly Jennys 'perfect christmas present' ;)

In what ways are you similar/different from your character?
Jenny and I have both lost our fathers, and we both enjoy helping others.  However, I hope to be more like Jenny by giving more of my time to charity than I have been able to lately. We both wear our hearts on our sleeves.. which can be a good and a bad thing. She likes cheesy crusted pizza.. I like it crispy. 

What else are you working on?
I have a show airing on syfy right now called Z Nation which is almost more comedic than dramatic but it definitely has both elements. My characters name is Lucy, and I'm a blue half human half zombie.. yes BLUE! It was a very interesting way to challenge myself.

What would fans be surprised to know about you?
I love to paint. On my off time you'll find me in front of a canvas covered in paint. I also love writing and snowboarding and taking my dogs Bo and Cleo on hikes.

What are you watching on TV these days?
I started watching Ozark, which is such a cool show so far.. Game of thrones has had me sucked in as well.

Anything else you want to tell America?
We’re only here a short while.. fear less, love more.


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