by Melissa McMeekin
I remember many things about my final audition for THE FIGHTER—it was hard and intense but ridiculously fun and very long, nearly five hours. And I remember a very enchanting woman telling jokes and singing old school rap songs from the 80’s providing much needed entertainment during the many stressful waiting periods. I liked her immediately and now love her so dearly it is hard to believe that was only a little less than four years ago that this magnetic ball of awesomeness came in to my life.
Erica McDermott is a true Boston treasure and an immensely talented actress with a very bright career ahead of her. I have had the good fortune to work with her professionally both on stage and film on multiple occasions, and I am continually amazed at her natural talent. Erica is naturally a very funny person, her comic timing is impeccable, and she just “gets the funny” in life. But when working on a project with her that called for her to bring intense, dramatic emotion I was blown away at how raw and true her performance was.
Before being cast in THE FIGHTER, Erica had never really done much acting, but you would never know it. There are just some actors who have such an innate ability that they make it look effortless. We fellow actors know it is anything but effortless—you need to be fearless and open and uncomfortable to give the kind of performance I saw from Erica that day. And she did it. I saw her push through being uncomfortable and throw away any masks she may have brought with her to set that day and make the choice to go wherever she needed. I learned a great deal from her fearlessness that day and I feel I am a better actress today because of that experience.
I always tell people I can’t believe I was ever cast as Erica McDermott’s sister because she is truly so stunning. But I also can’t believe I was given such a gift of true sisterhood. I have great admiration and respect for Erica both as an actress and a person. She is an incredible mother, wife, daughter and friend—simply one of the best women I have ever known. I’ve learned so much from her, more than she could ever imagine she has taught me, and I truly believe that I am a better person for knowing her.
Melissa McMeekin is a versatile actress with experience on stage, film and television. She was one of “the sisters” in THE FIGHTER and most recently had a recurring role on 30 Rock.