It’s a big week for “Access Hollywood’s” Maria Menounos whose very first film, “In the Land of Merry Misfits,” premieres at the Tribeca film festival tonight.“(It’s) a fairytale kind of a fantasy film about a young man who is on the way to see his rich and beautiful girlfriend,” writer/director Keven Undergaro explains of the movie’s concept. “On the way he takes a shortcut and he goes to this mystical tunnel, his car breaks down, and he finds himself trapped in this land of misfits.”Filming for “In the Land of Merry Misfits” began just over 10 years ago, but mini-disasters kept it from becoming a finished project until now.
As it began to finally take shape in recent years, however, Maria, who began the project as a runner, graduated to associate producer and co-star as the voice of Risandra alongside the film’s narrator, legendary filmmaker John Waters. Also in the movie? A cameo from the late “What’s Happening!” star Rerun, aka Fred Berry.“Fred Berry makes a random cameo for no reason,” Undergaro laughs. “We just kind of assumed he’s in the land of the misfits with the rest of them. With John Waters, he’s got such a rich and amazing and distinctive voice. On a creative level it works and on another level it kind of speaks to his films which is crazy, anything goes, colorful. It was just like the perfect fit.”Undergaro has high praise for Maria and she for him.“I am beyond thrilled about the film finally being done,” Menounos enthuses. “I firmly believe it is one of the most original indie films ever produced. Keven is a true visionary with his own brand — like Waters, Smith, Burton and Tarantino.”
And as for tonight’s showcase?
“To have a world premiere at Tribeca? It doesn’t get any sweeter than that,” she says. “Watching John Waters and Keven Undergaro work together was awe inspiring.”