Melissa Tucker wasn’t expecting the video for the demo reel that she commissioned from LA Reel House to turn into a viral sensation. Now, just a few months into A Millennial Job Interview being posted online, the video has received more than 60 million views and has been shared globally.
We are expecting great things from this beauty with great comedic chops.
Melissa grew up in the San Fernando Valley and went to the Academy of Dramatic Arts. She ended up at the Whitefire Theatre in the LA area and got the part of Amy in a ten-minute play written by Ralph Odierna that would be consolidated into a very short video that makes most people laugh, but it has not been without controversy.
About 30 percent of the comments are very negative, some hovering on abusive. It seems like some people do not appreciate the satire or depiction of millennials in this short.
Rising star, Melissa Tucker spoke with Michelle Tompkins for TheCelebrityCafe.com about her early life, her theatrical training, who she admires, what was the evolution of A Millennial Job Interview, what she hopes happens because of it, how she has responded to both the positive and negative comments, who are performers that she admires, what she likes to do for fun and more.
Michelle Tompkins: Tell me what's new with you?
Melissa Tucker: Hi, Michelle. It's so good to talk to you. Just really enjoying all of the big things coming from the video and just getting that out there.
Michelle Tompkins: And what were you up to this weekend?
Melissa Tucker: I actually had a really good weekend. I went to the Women's March yesterday, which was amazing. There were just incredible speakers there. The energy was great. And it was, I mean, just so powerful to be a part of such a big movement like that. So it was really awesome.
Michelle Tompkins: Where did this one take place?
Melissa Tucker: This was in downtown LA.
Michelle Tompkins: Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where are you from?
Melissa Tucker: So I am from California. I'm from the San Fernando Valley. I grew up out there. And then I actually attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood, which was great. It was an awesome school. I then continued taking classes after that. I did a pilot, and then I actually— it's so funny because I completed my first feature film, which that came out last month.
Michelle Tompkins: Oh, what's it called?
Melissa Tucker: It's called Lake of Fire. And it had a week release at the Laemmle Town Center 5 Theatre in Encino. The director Raj is trying to get bigger distribution for it, so. But it was awesome. It was an independent film. It was about two high school kids who both kind of come from dysfunctional families. And it's a coming-of-age story about just the struggles of life and high school, and they were kind of the outcasts, but it's them coming together and getting through life together. They're best friends, and it's a love story. It's a really great film.
Michelle Tompkins: Now, who did you play?
Melissa Tucker: I played Maggie. So she is a track star and she's the lead of the film. I play her, the opposite of Max, who is my best friend, and he and I kind of both go through the craziness of life together. I also come from a family where my mother has a mental illness and my dad has his troubles too. So I really kind of escape through running, and through track, and all of that.
Michelle Tompkins: Well, let's go from fiction to reality. Tell me a little bit about your childhood, please?
Melissa Tucker: Oh, yeah [laughter]. Definitely. I grew up like I said, the San Fernando Valley. I have two older brothers. And lived with my parents and my brothers. And I always had friends as a kid, but I always felt kind of weird. I don't know how to explain it. I just felt a little bit, I guess...
Michelle Tompkins: Out of place?
Melissa Tucker: Yeah. Just out of place. A little bit different from the others kids, but I always just tried to pretend. It's like I wanted to fit in. It wasn't always easy dealing with feelings as a kid and through acting, I was really able to express myself in ways that I didn't know how to express as a kid. I didn't know how to express my feelings or all of that stuff, and acting was really an outlet for me to just feel like I could express in any way that I want and be who I wanted to be. But going through middle school and high school, I did have my group of friends and I did cheerleading when I was younger. And then did play some sports as well. I played baseball and soccer, and then I did cheerleading for a while. I tried to be pretty active when I was younger growing up.
Michelle Tompkins: Did you do a lot of theater work?
Melissa Tucker: Yes. I started that in high school. I started doing theater work later on. I got to high school, I really wanted to join the drama club, but then I was nervous about it and I didn't know if I should. I ended up joining it my senior year and it was awesome. It was how it lead me to go to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and kind of took off from there.
Michelle Tompkins: What was the best thing you learned at the Academy of Dramatic Arts?
Melissa Tucker: I would say probably one of my favorite things I learned was really about going off your instincts because it's so easy to get your head and to be like, "Oh my gosh. Should I do this? Should I do that?" And to really just kind of play off a feeling or an instinct and to just trust it instead of getting so in my head over it. And to just kind of trust myself in that way has been a really amazing thing to learn.
Michelle Tompkins: Now how did you discover the script for A Millennial Job Interview?
Melissa Tucker: So I ended up at the Whitefire Theater because I really want to get back into theater and do some shows," and so I went there. I ended up becoming a part of the Whitefire Theater and my first day in there they were kind of passing out scripts for people to try different ones and see what works for them. And they just handed me Millennial Job Interview by Ralph (Odierna), and so I went up there and read it, and it was just like, "Okay. This is it." I was like in love with it. They were like, "You're going to do this one." I was like, "Oh my gosh. Great." And it was just so much fun and I'm just so grateful for that.
Michelle Tompkins: I read the original play the last couple days and it's as good long as the short version is, but something important about the longer version is that Amy is proven to not be stupid. And I was actually pretty sure she wasn't any way in the interview, but in the play, her resume was really good because she was a valedictorian and did get good grades.
Melissa Tucker: She's definitely not at all and she definitely goes after, I think, what she wants. She's not afraid to speak her mind. She goes after it and evens towards the end when he's discussing firing her and this and that and she just sat there kind of right in his face, and it's like, "You are not firing me right now [laughter]. That is not happening. My dad is a lawyer." So she's definitely not stupid, which is something I love about the character so much.
Michelle Tompkins: Well, I like the chemistry that you had with Tom (Katsis). I thought that made the video so much better.
Melissa Tucker: Oh my gosh, yes. I was so happy to have good chemistry between me and Tom the day that we filmed it. And I just got so lucky with him because we worked off of each other so well. Our energies just were really compatible with each other.
Michelle Tompkins: Now how would you— what do you think about Millennials in general? Do you think they have a bad reputation?
Melissa Tucker: Not necessarily. I think it was just more of kind of having fun and making fun of all the technology that's out there today. And I think everybody just has their different opinions, but I think you can take something— I think everybody will have opinions about any generation. And so I don't think it's necessarily like, "Oh Millennials are like this." I think that can be a stereotype about it, but I definitely don't agree with that they're like that or anything like that. I think it just depends on who you are. And I think that so many Millennials are such hard workers and do so much, so I think it's just, I guess, how people look at it.
Michelle Tompkins: I find it to be one of the funniest things I've seen in years. I laugh at the comments of the people who don't get that this is a satire.
Melissa Tucker: I know.
Michelle Tompkins: People are taking this extremely at face value when it's meant to be funny and satirical.
Melissa Tucker: I was just going to say, yeah, I totally agree with you. And just the fact that it was definitely just something to have fun with, especially taking things so seriously to give people that laugh. And it's so funny too, because it's clearly a silly thing. And I've seen so many of the comments with it being taken seriously. And I can respect people's opinions, but it's like, "I'm a Millennial myself and no way, obviously was it meant to do that in any way." So it is just crazy to see so many of the comments and then just even some people who talk about the video, but then they keep posting it themselves. But it is just completely meant to be such a fun and funny video.
Michelle Tompkins: How have you responded to some of the negative comments about the video?
Melissa Tucker: I haven't responded to anybody because I'm kind of taking them aside and just they can feel however they want to feel about it. Everybody's allowed to have their opinions and stuff. For me, I'm not taking it personally or anything. I just am kind of looking at it, that's like, "Okay. This was a fun thing and you guys can kind of have your opinions about it." But I haven't responded to any of them.
Michelle Tompkins: The good comments are good, but the bad ones are funnier.
Melissa Tucker: We thought it would be funny, too if I responded to some of them as Amy talking to them, but we haven't done anything like that. But they are, they're so funny. I've read so many of them too, and it's just funny to read a lot of what people are saying.
Michelle Tompkins: Now, why do you think the video is so popular?
Melissa Tucker: Because I definitely think it's such a relevant topic right now, especially with all the technology, and people talking about Millennials and about the generation and the workplace. And I think it's just so huge with the Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all of those things. And I think people have so many different opinions about it, and about Millennials working, and then the later generations how they feel about the workplace. And I think it's really just looking at the differences in generations and people just want to put their opinions out there about it and really, I think, relate to the video a lot. There's so much fun in it because it's so relatable in what's going on right now, so.
Michelle Tompkins: Now at what mark did you first say, "Oh my gosh, this is going to be big?" Was it at 5,000, or 50,000, or 1 million? When did you start going, “Wow!”?
Melissa Tucker: The first time I saw it was when Daniel Brea told me and then I thought ‘Oh my gosh. The video's up to 400,000 views.’ He said, ‘Go take a look at it.’ And I looked and I couldn't believe it was 400,000 views. At that point, I was just like, "Oh my gosh. This is crazy." So I was like, "Okay. Let's see if it keeps going." And then by the time it got up to 700,000, I was like, "Oh my gosh." I was like, I don't think this is going to stop." And then from there, I was like, "Okay. I think this is going to be a pretty big thing." And then it just took off from there. I mean, I couldn't believe it. I just was not expecting that at all.
Michelle Tompkins: Now have you done anything to celebrate the success of the video yet?
Melissa Tucker: I've kind of just celebrated with friends like gone out to dinner and stuff just to kind of have that celebratory something for it because, yeah it's just such an exciting thing to have it out there and to get my work out there, which was the whole point of the video in the first place.
Michelle Tompkins: So, it was money well spent?
Melissa Tucker: Oh my gosh, yeah, it's just great because I really wanted to get that comedic side outside there and to just see it blow up like this, and people's responses to it, it's just such an amazing thing and I'm just really grateful for it.
Michelle Tompkins: Now, what do you hope happens as a result of the video?
Melissa Tucker: Well, definitely to get more work [laughter]. But I hope something takes off from the video because I think it's such a fun topic and fun thing to watch. But I hope to kind of get me out there more as well as everybody else involved in the video. And also, to kind of expand on the video because it's a fun topic and I think people are having so much fun with it that it would be great to kind of keep going with it.
Michelle Tompkins: Have you landed new management or commercial agents or anything like that from this?
Melissa Tucker: Well, I actually had an agent already, but I have definitely started hearing from people getting into contact with me about different projects and opportunities.
Michelle Tompkins: Nice.
Melissa Tucker: I’m doing some more work from it. Yeah, so which is great, which I'm really excited about. So I've definitely started getting messages about different kind of upcoming projects and stuff, which is awesome.
Michelle Tompkins: It is. Now, what is your dream part or your dream role?
Melissa Tucker: Hmm. That's a tough one.
Michelle Tompkins: Let me reword the question. What's the kind of part that you want to play but haven't played yet?
Melissa Tucker: Oh. Because I definitely love both comedy and drama…
Michelle Tompkins: You're very funny, so I hope you do more comedy too.
Melissa Tucker: Oh, thank you so much. Yeah, I definitely want to continue doing comedy because I love it so much. And then also I guess from here maybe doing kind of a role that is a little bit more dramatic, a little bit darker maybe where I can show off that side of myself. So I would say maybe something— and there's so many, sorry, I'm trying to think of which one to say.
Michelle Tompkins: There's no limit.
Melissa Tucker: Okay, well definitely somebody I look up to, one of my favorite actress's is Marisa Tomei. I just love her career.
Michelle Tompkins: That's nice that you have someone that you like. I think you guys have some similarities. I think that's awesome.
Melissa Tucker: Oh my gosh, thank you. I appreciate that because I do love her. And I love the role's that she's taken in her career. And even in My Cousin Vinny or a role more like something like Anne Hathaway in Les Mis. I would love to play a character like that. That would be a dream.
Michelle Tompkins: So what are some of your favorite movies and TV shows?
Melissa Tucker: Well, definitely Game of Thrones [laughter].
Michelle Tompkins: That's my favorite too, so I love that.
Melissa Tucker: Oh, it is? Okay, good. Awesome. It's just so good. I just love it. So Game of Thrones, I love the show Shameless, and then of course Friends, I can watch every episode over and over again and never get tired of it, and then I also like the show, Frasier, too, which is another comedy show that I like. So, and then movies, let's see. So actually we always watch it every year but I do love the movie The Godfather, and then Bridesmaids is definitely one of my favorite movies. I can watch that movie all the time and it always just makes me feel better.
Michelle Tompkins: Oh, it's funny. It's really funny.
Melissa Tucker: Yeah. It's such a good one. And then Wedding Crashers. I love Vince Vaughn, he's one of my favorites.
Michelle Tompkins: Good choices. Now, what are some jobs that you have? I mean, that are not acting related.
Melissa Tucker: A lot of restaurant work, so definitely lived the actor's life [laughter]. Definitely did that, which was good. I was a server, hostess, I also did babysitting as well and then also did some PA work as well.
Michelle Tompkins: Okay. Now do you make a living through acting alone right now or are you still working towards that?
Melissa Tucker: I'm still working I would say towards being able to fully make a living off of it.
Michelle Tompkins: Well, let's hope after this video you don't have much longer to wait.
Melissa Tucker: I know right? That would be so amazing. I'm like, "Please."
Michelle Tompkins: Well, what do you like to do fun?
Melissa Tucker: For fun, I definitely like to go out with friends. I go snowboarding. And then, of course, I like to go see movies and I also like to go out dancing as well.
Michelle Tompkins: How do you like fans or people who have offers of work to contact you or connect with you?
Melissa Tucker: I am on social media. They can also email me. But I'm on social media. My Facebook is Melissa Mae Tucker. And then my Instagram is MelissaMae8. I need to get my Twitter account going.
Michelle Tompkins: And is there anything else you'd like to add?
Melissa Tucker: I guess, just that I'm just so happy that people are liking the video and that it's making people laugh and smile because I think comedy is just such a great way—even for me, I know when I'm going through anything or just feeling down and I have something to make me laugh or smile, it just brings me out of that. I'm just so happy that this video is able to do that. And I'm so happy to even be having all of the feedback from it, and I'm just so grateful for this interview. It's just so awesome and amazing, and thank you.
Michelle Tompkins: You're welcome. Now, what's next for you? We're looking forward to seeing you in the new movie, and what else should we be looking for?
Melissa Tucker: Hopefully, the new movie will be out soon, and then after that, hopefully, many more movies and shows to come [laughter], once I kind of go through everything and figure out my next project that I'm going to be doing.
Michelle Tompkins: Well, given your ability, I'm sure people are going to see a lot of you very, very soon.
Melissa Tucker can be seen in A Millennial Job Interview and you can follow her on Instagram here.