When it comes to talent, they say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Such is the case with Mia Rose Frampton, daughter of legendary rocker Peter Frampton. While music may be in her blood, this vivacious and focused young woman has set her her sights on the world of acting. With outstanding role ‘Bridesmaids,’ a recurring role on the hit ABC Family show, “Make It or Break It,” as well as a supporting role in the indie film G.B.F. last year, alongside Pretty Little Liar’s Sasha Pieterse. An actress with no shortage of talent, she has established herself as a young actress on the rise in Hollywood and leaves her poised become a breakout star in 2014.
This summer she will hit the big screen in the highly anticipated Warner Brothers comedy flick, ‘Tammy,’ where she will star alongside Melissa McCarthy. The film centers on Tammy (Melissa McCarthy), after she loses her job learning that her husband has been unfaithful and her road trip adventure with her profane grandmother. Mia has a small, yet wonderfully funny supporting role and was hand picked by Melissa McCarthy herself. With amazing roles such as these under her belt, the future is very bright for Mia Rose. Jason Price recently caught up with her to discuss her blossoming career, her influences, working with some of the funniest actors in the business and what the future might hold for her!
They say pursuing a career in the entertainment industry isn’t for those who are faint of heart. What intrigued you about taking this journey?
I have been acting since I was around seven years old. I moved out to California when I was about eleven. I have to say that phrase is nothing but true! There is a lot of rejection. What I say to people thinking about getting into the business is you have to love it. You have to not be able to imagine yourself doing anything else. It has to be the only thing on your mind and if you didn’t do it; you wouldn’t be the same person. That is how I feel. I could never do any other job. The business is what makes me who I am and acting is a part of me. I don’t know what I would do without it. All the good also comes with a lot of bad and you have to learn to just let it go; if it is not this job, it will be the next. That is who I have thought about it.
What do you find yourself gravitating toward when it comes to inspiration these days?
I have an amazing team. My Mom is the most amazing mother anyone could ask for. She is the anti-stage mom! [laughs] She is always like, “If you want to get out of it; let’s go! We will pack up all of our stuff and it will be fine.” She moved out here with me for me. She is the most selfless person I have ever met. She is always telling me, “You can do this! I believe in you! If it is not this job, it will be the next.” I also have my amazing manager who has been with me the entire time and stuck with me through every peak and valley. I am super lucky and they are my family; my publicist, my manager and my agent. They are just so sweet and no matter what happens, they are always there for me. I am just really lucky!
When it comes to being an actor, who are some of your influences?
I am actually obsessed with Amy Adams right now because she is so versatile. She can sing and be a life-like version of a cartoon in ‘Enchanted’, she can be the voice of wisdom in ‘Her,’ or she can kick some serious ass in ‘American Hustle,’ where she is impersonating a British woman and you never know whose side she is on. She is just so amazing and so natural, just like Jennifer Lawrence, who is also in ‘American Hustle.’ They just have a natural quality to their acting that is so captivating. I hope that is something I hope to achieve with my future roles.
Many people will recognize you from your role on ‘Make It or Break It.” What was the experience like for you?
Honestly, it was the coolest experience because when I got the role, I immediately had training for two weeks. I love that sort of physical aspect to anything, so I was able to train with actual Olympic gymnasts. It was crazy! It was so hard! [laughs] I remember the day after I first started training. I was crying in an Epsom salts bath because I was so sore! [laughs] I have so much respect for gymnasts everywhere! It was so much fun and such a cool project. I was the youngest of the cast and everyone was super sweet. My character was even younger than me, so I was able to step back into my childhood and it was a lot of fun.
You continue to move forward and have a very cool project on the way this summer titled “Tammy.” In a way, it builds on what you had done in ‘Bridesmaids.’ How did it come about?
Everyone thinks I knew Melissa McCarthy from ‘Bridesmaids.’ However, I never met her! When she was looking for girls for this role, I was asked to audition. When I went in to audition, it was her and Ben Falcone, the director, who is also her husband. They are just the most amazing team you could ever hope to work with! They were so welcoming! When I auditioned, we improv’d and I read the scene once. I was leaving and they were like “Come back! Come back!” They literally ran after me as I was running to my car! [laughs] They said, “We want you to do it meaner!” I said, “I can do that! I can be as mean as you want!” [laughs] It was so much fun because they let me improv and that is my favorite type of acting. They said, “Don’t hold back! Just go at it!” That is what I did and thankfully she thought I was funny enough and picked me! It was great!
That’s great! Without spoiling anything, what can you tell us about your character in the film?
I can’t say much because what makes the part I have so funny is the element of surprise but at Tammy and her hard-drinking grandmother, played by Susan Sarandon, are on a road trip. They meet me along the way and I am not so nice! [laughs] I get to get physical in the scene and it was so much fun! That is all I can say but it was great to be someone I am totally not and get physical!
Is there a particular way you prepare yourself for a given role when you get the script in your hands?
Some actors do substitutions and put themselves, their actual selves, into the character. I can’t do that. You know, if it is an emotional scene, I can’t draw from my own personal life because it is too hard and it wouldn’t be pure in what the character is thinking. I am not a method actor or anything like that but I really enjoy being the character. I really enjoy diving into the character and the way they think. When I am at my best it is when I am truly the character in the scene, having fun and letting go. I feel for improv you truly have to be the character because you have to know what the character would say next, not what you would say next. That is another reason I love improv because I don’t have to think like myself. Really, that is why I love acting in general because you don’t have to think like yourself or be yourself that day if you don’t want to. You can be someone totally different! That is what I do!
You have had the opportunity to work with some truly creative people. For example, you mentioned Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone. What have you picked up from working alongside some of these great people?
I have really been fortunate to work with some many talented people. I was able to work with Ed Harris for my first feature film, ‘That’s What I Am.” I lived in New Orleans and we shot there for a month. He played a teacher in the movie and, man, was he a teacher in real life too with acting. He was super nice and sat with us at lunch and talk. He brought such authenticity to the role and the energy was so palpable in the room. He was amazing to watch. One of the scenes he had was an emotional one in the classroom and it was heartbreaking to watch. That is where I learned you have to really get into the character. He was so into the character it was insane! The same is true when I worked with Kristen Wiig. She and Melissa are the Queens of Comedy! I have been so lucky to work with them. She felt so bad when she would be insulting me. (Check out the epic back and forth between Mia and Kristen – Click Here!) I was like “No, its OK! You are not insulting me!” [laughs] She did not hold back at all. So I was like “Well, you have really saggy boobs, so sorry!” [laughs] I learned to really play off of someone else. She helped me learn that it is not just you in a scene unless it is just you in a monologue type of scene. You really have to listen and work off of each other and that is what she helped me with. Working with Melissa and Susan Sarandon, I mean, who can say they have worked with them. As a young actress, not many people who are my age have worked with her. I feel so lucky! I saw her preparing for a scene where her character is drunk. She was spinning, spinning and spinning to get into that sort of drunken mindset, I guess. I was like “Wow! That is some dedication!” [laughs] She was so funny and so in character. In between scenes, she would still be in character and it would just flow into the next scene. I have had some great experiences and worked with some great actors who have definitely inspired me a lot!
Your roles to date have been pretty diverse. Is there a particular role or genre you are anxious to explore in the short term?
Definitely! I really love drama but I haven’t gotten the chance to work with it yet. My acting coach actually thinks that is what I am best at, so I would love to dive into a very meaty dramatic role! I have had some dramatic monologues here and there but I would love to do a character with multiple layers and who has a lot going on. I would kill for a role like that! [laughs] I am sure it will come very soon!
How do you feel you have evolved as an actor through the years? Is there something that stands out for you?
Touching back on your first question of acting not being for the faint of heart, acting has definitely made me a very different person but for the better. I definitely pushed into adulthood early but not in a way that was harmful. Because of the amazing team I have and my mother and father, who has been in the business for more than fifty years, I have been taught well. I am who I am because of living out here for the past eight years or more! I wouldn’t be the same person without acting. I can say that and truly mean it. It is who I am and I don’t know who I would be without it. I think it has made me a better person. It has made me incredibly humble, which comes from rejection. There is nothing like thinking, “Oh that was a great audition!” Then you hear “No.” [laughs] I have learned you can never predict how anything is going to turn out. The universe has a plan for us and we will never have any idea what it is! I do know that I am going to stick it out for as long as it takes because I can’t do anything else!
You also dabble in the musical side of things as well, correct?
Yes, I do! I started playing guitar when I was eleven. My Dad taught me “Blackbird” on the guitar, initially!
Is music something you would like to explore professional at some point in the future?
Definitely. I am more focused on acting right now. I feel I want to give it my all and grow in this business first and see if it is the spot I am meant to be in first. Hopefully, I will get a job on a series or movie that I could jump off onto another job. Then I will see about diving into the world of music again. I really love music. It is almost a second skin, opposite my acting side. I want to give it my all. I definitely wouldn’t want to go into either of those worlds and not be fully committed. I have such respect for my Dad and my brother, Julian, who are musicians who give it their all. That is what I intend to do as well. I am going to try my best to become the best guitar player and take vocal lessons, so that I can give it my all.
Obviously, you have had a lot of irons in the fire in recent months. What is on your radar at the moment?
I am going to be attending Chapman University in the Fall, which is in Orange County. I am really excited about that! I picked a school where I could still have a college experience but I could also audition for new projects. I am mainly getting ready for that and preparing to say goodbye to my Mom, getting my dorm ready and all that comes with those experiences. All of my family is coming into town for my graduation, which is on June 9th. I am really busy with that and it is very crazy right now! [laughs]
I can’t tell you how terrific that is to hear. It is so cool to see someone so well grounded and focused. A breath of fresh air for sure!
Definitely! Ya know, I am from the Midwest. I don’t have these Los Angeles values yet! [laughs] I mean, I do. I guess I am used to the grumbling people in the cars and those things. I am from the Midwest and we are very chill. We don’t meet people with hostility. We love everyone until they mess with us and then we hate you! [laughs] My family still lives in Ohio and I am very excited for them to come out so I can get back to who I really am. If I could do acting in Ohio, I would! My family means the world to me. After this interview, I am going to go play with my nephew who is downstairs and is, literally, the love of my life! His name is Wolfgang and he is the cutest kid you will ever meet!
Those values will surely take you places, Mia. That is terrific. What can you tell us about the charity work you are involved with?
There are so many wonderful organizations I would love to be involved with! I have donated to Unicef in the past (www.unicefusa.org). I just went to “What A Pair,” which is a variety show whose proceeds go towards breast cancer research (www.whatapair.org). I think everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. I have a close family friend who had it and it is awful. I also love the organization that is trying to find a cure for the awful disease of Progeria (www.progeriaresearch.org). I just watched a documentary not too long ago about a young boy with Progeria, who had just passed away after it aired. It hit me very hard because there is no cure and the greatest life expectancy for these kids with the disease is about eighteen. I am eighteen. I am preparing for college and the future, so it is something that is so hard for me to imagine. If I am very lucky enough to become a recognizable name in the industry, I fully intend to use that name to bring that name to bring attention to as many causes as I can. When I make enough money, I will be flinging it at these causes because of the amazing work they do and who needs that much money. We don’t need that much and there are so many causes that need it more than we do.
Very true! Hopefully we can help shine a light on these worthy causes for you, Mia! In the meantime, where are the best outlets for people to learn more about what you are up to?
I ran on Twitter at twitter.com/MiaRFrampton.
Thanks so much for your time today, Mia. It has been a pleasure. You have a lot going on for you, so I have no doubt we will be chatting again in the near future!
Thank you, Jason! I felt like I had a therapy session!
I won’t bill ya for it. This one is on the house! [laughs]
Thank you but please do for the next one! We will talk soon! Have a great day!
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.