NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Actress and North Hollywood resident Angela McEwan was all smiles after the premiere of the new film, “Nebraska,” where she plays newspaper editor Peg Nagy.
“It’s been a long road to get on this film, but it’s been a rewarding one,” said McEwan, who at 70, is just starting her career after retiring from teaching a few years ago.
“I could have started acting a long time ago, but I’ve had a lot of great experiences lately, especially working on this wonderful show, so I really don’t have any complaints.”
Having attended the Cannes International Film Festival earlier this year for the screening of her upcoming film “Nebraska,” starring Bruce Dern (“Django Unchained”) and Will Forte (“SNL”), McEwan recalled her role as Peg, the crusty small town newspaper editor in the film.
“I was pretty headstrong and feisty so it was totally different the way I really am. But we had some good scenes with Will,” she recalled.
The film was released on Nov. 22.
Although she appeared in a few scenes in “Nebraska,” McEwan received rave reviews from critics at the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, the Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety.
The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips wrote: “And in the small role of the Hawthorne newspaper owner and editor who knew Woody (Bruce Dern) when, luminous Angela McEwan works wonders in between the lines. Payne knows gold when he sees: The close-up of McEwan near the end speaks volumes and evokes many things, wordlessly.”
Likewise, the Los Angeles Times’ Susan King wrote: “But perhaps the biggest discovery is Angela McEwan, who plays Peg Nagy, the sweet editor of the small town’s newspaper…”
“I’m just thrilled to be a part of it and to be able to work in a lot of different things. It wasn’t always that way,” McEwan said.
And she’s right. Angela began her acting career late in life after a career in teaching, public relations and other jobs. But after her husband died a few years ago, Angela returned to her love of acting and began taking classes and going on auditions for plays, films and TV shows.
“It was hard to find an agent and people who believed in you, but I knew I could do it. I’ve always loved acting and portraying different kinds of characters.”
As a child, Angela grew up taking on roles in school plays and local theater but after going to college, she met her future husband and soon thereafter had two children, leaving her plans to become a professional actress on the shelf for good seemingly. To help out the family, she took on a variety of jobs that had nothing to do with her first love of acting.
“I had the idea of becoming a professional actress while I was in college, but then I got married and had kids and I had my hands full with the family,” she said.
“I knew I would eventually get back to acting, but I had to help out the family so I took on jobs that didn’t have anything to do with being an actress and for a while I forgot about acting.”
The family moved around much over the years that followed, taking them across the country and even to Mexico and Latin America before returning to Los Angeles for good years later.
But as she mourned her husband's death, she felt returning to acting would alleviate some of that pain. It didn't take long for Angela to gain the attention of producers and casting directors who began to cast her in a number of TV series, commercials and films.
Among her credits are series such as “New Girl,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Matchmaker,” “Untold Stories of the E.R.,” “The Hustler,” and many others. Besides “Nebraska,” her film credits include the upcoming “Old Souls,” and “Loud and Deep.”
“My husband said I should get back to acting, but I didn’t think I could. So the years passed and now I’m glad I went back to it. It’s been a lot of fun.”