Mara Marini

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Mara Marini
Mara Marini.jpg
Born Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Alma mater York University
American Academy of Dramatic Arts
Occupation Actress

Mara Marini is a Canadian actress best known for her role as Brandi Maxxxx in the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation. She has performed in several independent films and plays in the Los Angeles theater scene, as well as making other television appearances.

Early life[edit]

Mara Marini was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba,[1] and had wanted to be an actress since the age of four.[2] Her parents urged her to apply to multiple colleges so she would have options to pursue other than acting, and she was accepted to the University of Hawaii for marine biology, but ultimately did not study there.[1] After attending York University in Toronto, she auditioned for and was accepted to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, where she studied acting.[2]

Career[edit]

Marini appeared in a number of independent films starting in the mid-2000s, particularly horror films,[2] including In The Dark (2004), Slaughterhouse Phi: Death Sisters (2006), Darkworld (2006), Blood Legend (2006), Gothic Vampires from Hell (2007) and Munch (2008).[3] She has also experimented with stand-up comedy.[2]

Marini, who had some theater experience in Canada,[2] started performing on stage in the Los Angeles area, and became an active member of The Road Theatre Company.[1] Among her credits with that company in 2007 was "Biblio," a Wayne Peter Liebman one-act play about a girl whose psychological issues invoke a barrage images, including a Marilyn Monroe character portrayed by Marini.[4] Also in 2007, she appeared in "Bitch", a dark comedy by Susan Rubin that played at the Bootleg Theater. Marini portrayed a giddy receptionist who has an affair with one of the main characters, a hedonistic public relations firm partner.[5] In 2008, she appeared in a Road Theatre production of "The Friendly Hour" at the Road Theatre, playing one of a group of South Dakota housewives whose life stories are told over a 73-year period.[6]

Marini appeared in the 2008 horror short film Deader Living Through Chemistry, a horror short film about zombies that appeared on the DVD release of George A. Romero's film Diary of the Dead.[3] In 2009, Marini performed in a 15-week run of "Bram Stoker's Dracula" at the NoHo Theatre in Los Angeles, directed by Ken Sawyer.[1][3] She portrayed Mina Harker, although on rare occasions she served as an understudy for the Lucy Westenra role.[7] Marini received positive reviews; in a review of one of her Lucy performances, Culture Spot LA writer Julie Riggott said she "made a convincing transformation from meek innocent to voluptuous vampire".[7] Robert Machray of BlogCritics.org wrote she "should get an award for her bloodcurdling screams".[8]

Marini had a supporting role in the 2009 film Ballistica, and played a Texan art dealer in the film The Back-Up Bride (2010).[3] She appeared in the film Psychosomatika (2010) after director Jeff Graham, who directed her in Blood Legend, contacted her and asked her to audition for a role.[3] Also in 2010 she appeared in comedy sketches for the E! late night talk show Chelsea Lately, and a commercial for the website Vevo with American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert.[3] Marini filmed a number of television pilots around this time, including ones for the Spike and the Oxygen channels.[1]

Marini was cast in a guest appearance in the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation as Brandi Maxxxx, a pornographic film actress. Marini had previously participated in a workshop with Dorian Frankel, the show's casting director, before auditioning for the Brandi Maxxxx role. Marini was concerned she didn’t do her best at the audition, but was nevertheless chosen for the role.[2] She first appeared in the third season episode "Jerry's Painting", which originally aired on April 28, 2011.[2] In the episode, Brandi appears on a television news program along with Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) in which Leslie is defending a painting that depicts her as a centaur with her breasts exposed. While Leslie defends the artistic merit of the painting, Brandi defends the painting while simultaneously comparing it to pornography, unwittingly undermining Leslie's arguments.[9] Marini later reprised the role in the fourth season episode "The Debate", where Brandi Maxxxx ran for city council against Leslie and participated in a political debate against Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd) and two other candidates.[2][10]

Marini returned to the stage in 2011, appearing in the Laurel Ollstein comedy "Esther's Moustache" at the Studio/Stage Theatre in Los Angeles. The play was about a female artist who draws magazine cartoons of beautiful goddesses, and Marini played Lilith, a sex-obsessed imaginary goddess who appears before the protagonist as her alter ego.[11] She received positive reviews for the performance. LA Weekly writer Steven Leigh Morris called her a "scene-stealer",[12] and the Los Angeles Times called her "an amusingly empty-headed statuesque siren".[13] Natalia Evdikimova of Culver City News wrote that Marini was "superbly cast" and "hard to ignore", adding: "Mara Marini is everything that a sex-loving goddess should be: bossy, sassy and provocative".[14] In 2011, Marini also appeared in the ABC legal drama series The Whole Truth, and that show's casting director called her for auditions in several other television roles.[2]

Marini appeared in the 2012 film Sushi Girl, reuniting Marini with director Kern Saxton, who directed her in Deader Living Through Chemistry.[3] Marini also portrayed Gloria, who she described as a "Marilyn Monroe-type scarlet-wannabe", in the 2013 film Rock and Roll: The Movie.[3] She also has filmed performances for the upcoming films Alongside the Night and King of the Road.[1]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2004 In the Dark Blair
2006 Pieces of Eight Ophelia
2006 Blood Legend Virgin Mary video
2006 Slaughterhouse Phi: Death Sisters Candace video
2006 Darkworld Faith
2007 Porntourage Trixxxi short film
2007 Gothic Videos from Hell Rayne video
2008 Lady Magdalene's Nurse Gretchen
2008 Munch Girl on date short film
2008 Another Life Pauline Kincaid short film
2009 Paranomral, Burbank Shirleen TV series (one episode)
2009 Firmly Legal Cindy TV series (three episodes)
2009 Ballistica Veronica
2009–10 We Have to Stop Now Christy TV series (two episodes)
2010 Psychosomatika Mercedes
2010 Lien on Me Jessica TV series (one episode)
2011 Love, Gloria Bazooka Jane
2011 Textually Active Angelica short
2011 The Whole Truth Denise Crandall TV series (one episode)
2011 Married in a Year Tracy
2011 The Back-up Bride Christee-Lee
2011 2011 Hero Dog Awards Matchmaker's assistant television movie
2011–15 Parks and Recreation Brandi Maxxxx TV series (five episodes)
2012 The Wife Master Pou Chum's Girlfriend #1
2012 Night of the Dead Brandy video
2012 Chicks Dig Gay Guys Alyssa
2013 Rock and Roll: The Movie Gloria
2013 Alongside Night Candy
2015 Black-ish Shawn TV series (one episode)
2015 Schitt's Creek Justine St. Pierre TV series (one episode)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Woodward, Edward (August 10, 2011). "Mara Marini". Writefast. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Peck, Christopher (May 10, 2012). "'Parks and Recreation' guest star Mara Marini - The Blast Interview". Blast. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Mara Marini Actress Interview". Racks and Razors. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Wayne Peter Liebman: Full-Length Plays". Dog Ear. 2007. Archived from the original on February 19, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Theater Reviews". LA Weekly. June 4, 2007. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  6. ^ Stanley, Steven (September 12, 2008). "The Friendly Hour". StageSceneLA. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Riggott, Julie (February 24, 2009). "Dracula". Culture Spot LA. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ Machary, Robert (February 16, 2009). "Theater Review (LA): Bram Stoker's Dracula by Dean and Balderston at the NoHo Arts Center". BlogCritics.org. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  9. ^ Fowler, Matt (April 28, 2011). "Parks and Recreation: "Jerry's Painting" Review". IGN. Archived from the original on July 9, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011. 
  10. ^ Gordon, Emily V. (April 27, 2013). "Parks and Recreation Recap: The Debate". New York. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2013. 
  11. ^ Weaver, Neal (November 30, 2011). "LA Theater Review: Esther's Moustache". Backstage. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2013. 
  12. ^ Morris, Steven Leigh (November 16, 2011). "Alan Alda's Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie, Christmas 4 Bukowski, and Other New Reviews". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Theater review: 'Esther's Moustache' at Studio/Stage Theatre". Los Angeles Times. November 10, 2011. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2013. 
  14. ^ Evdikimova, Natalia (November 10, 2011). "There's a lot going on beneath 'Esther's Moustache'". Culver City News. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2013. 

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