Most people would be excited just to see actress Kate Winslet. But 9-year-old Quinn McColgan got to act with her.
The young actress, who hails from Millsboro, Del., is featured in HBO’s newest miniseries “Mildred Pierce.”
Starring Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce and Evan Rachel Wood, the story – which was also made into a feature film in 1945, for which Joan Crawford won an Oscar in the leading role – is about a divorced woman trying to work and survive during the Great Depression, while clashing with her elder daughter.
McColgan stars as Mildred’s younger daughter, Ray.
“It was really exciting,” Quinn said. “Kate was amazing and … really made you feel comfortable. Evan was really nice and playful. Guy was nice.”
McColgan first auditioned for “Mildred Pierce” in March 2010, and filming began in Brooklyn in June. She and her mother lived in New York for two months during filming.
The story begins in the 1930s, so the set and costumes were era-appropriate. McColgan said she enjoyed playing with the old toys and wearing vintage clothing. Her favorite scene to film was one in which she got to eat a lot of cupcakes.
“At first, when you get ready to go in, you can feel nervous, and when you’re in front of the camera, you feel natural,” she said.
Ultimately, McColgan said, she is having a lot of fun acting and meeting new people.
She began acting professionally in the summer of 2009. She was performing at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand with a Keenote Music group from Lincoln. A man and woman approached her mother, Noelle McColgan, saying Quinn was animated and had a great look for camera. They said she should consider acting, like their own daughter.
Noelle and John McColgan, Quinn’s father, always noticed that she attracted attention and was very open with people. Quinn wanted to try acting, so she attended Barbizon Modeling School and began competing in modeling competitions. She won a trip to the International Modeling and Talent Association competition in New York, where she won 11 of 14 awards and the coveted “Most Sought After” out of thousands of people who entered.
Quinn got an agent and began auditioning. She has already done voice-overs, magazines and several commercials for Kodak, Tyson chicken nuggets and Ortega tacos.
“It was kind of a whirlwind,” Noelle McColgan said. “It’s been a heck of a learning experience.”
Although acting out of New York means a lot of travel time, Quinn said her teachers at Worcester Preparatory School are really helpful and supportive.
“They’re my biggest fans!” she said.
Quinn’s parents agreed that, as long as she enjoys it, they will let her act.
“It’s fun. It’s a lot of work for a parent,” acknowledged Noelle McColgan. “If they’re enjoying it, you don’t want to stress your kid.”
With Quinn’s very recent success, the family anticipates a big year. Quinn is auditioning for more jobs and has appeared on “ET,” as well as in People magazine and on the HBO Web site.
Stylite.com also named Quinn “Best Dressed” on the red carpet at the “Mildred Pierce” premiere, out of all the big-name stars.
“It’s definitely going to be a new experience,” Noelle McColgan said.
New “Mildred Pierce” episodes air on Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.