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Gretchen Mol


Birth name:

Gretchen Mol




Deep River, Connecticut, USA



Race or Ethnicity:


Sexual orientation:





United States

Executive summary:

The Shape of Things


5' 6" (1.68 m)


Gretchen Mol - Pictures

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Additional Free Pictures of Gretchen Mol


Gretchen Mol - Biography


Gretchen Mol (born November 8, 1972) is an American actress.
Mol was born in Deep River, Connecticut, where her mother, Janet, is an artist and teacher and her father is a school teacher at RHAM. She went to high school with Broadway actor Peter Lockyer. They performed in school musicals and plays together. Her brother, Jim Mol, is a director and editor in the film industry. Mol attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and graduated from the William Esper Studio. After summer stock in Vermont, she took a job for a while as an usher at Angelika Film Center. She was living in a Hell's Kitchen walk-up when she was noticed by a talent agent who spotted her working as a hat check girl at Michael's Restaurant in New York. Mol's first acting job was in a Coca-Cola commercial.

Interviewed by the Associated Press in Baltimore in December 2006, Mol commented about how she maintained her confidence as an actress: "It is an ongoing struggle. Confidence is something that sometimes you have and sometimes you don't. And the older you get, hopefully, the more you have some tools to at least fake it". She married film director Kip Williams on June 1, 2004. Their first child, Ptolemy John Williams, was born September 10, 2007. While raising Ptolemy, Mol has only taken jobs close to her home in New York City. "I told my agent I didn't want to work in L.A., even if it was the greatest job in the world. I didn't want to compromise." She is also the national spokesperson for the PMD Foundation, which funds research and awareness of Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease, a neurological disorder afflicting children worldwide.

Mol's acting career had its beginnings in summer stock in Vermont where she played a variety of roles including Godspell and 110 In The Shade. She played Jenny in Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things on stage in both London and New York in 2001, in a role she reprised in the film version, released in 2003. The New York Times critic Ben Brantley, in his review of the play (which he disliked), wrote, " gives by far the most persuasive performance as the unworldly Jenny, and you wind up feeling for her disproportionately, only because she seems to be entirely there, in the present tense". In 2004, Mol spent a year singing and dancing as Roxie in the Broadway production of Chicago.

In 1994, Mol was spotted by photographer Davis Powell. He photographed her in New York's Central Park and replaced her unrepresentative portfolio with professional-looking black & white images which landed her on the cover of W magazine within weeks and foreshadowed her "It Girl" and "Bettie Page" looks. Shortly afterwards, she ended her brief modeling career and entered acting full time.

In 1998, she appeared in several notable films including Rounders, starring Matt Damon and Woody Allen's Celebrity opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. It was in 1998 that she also came to prominence and notoriety when she was featured on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. Her appearance was both a triumph and a failure — it brought her great attention, but her movies bombed. Dubbed the "It Girl of the Nineties" by the magazine, her career did not live up to the hype. Her early success was not sustained and she faced several lean years before a notable comeback with The Notorious Bettie Page in 2006.
While major roles have been sporadic, Mol has been in more than thirty feature films. And though the films have often been small, she has worked for a number of important directors. Her first role came in Spike Lee's 1996 film, Girl 6. She said "I was auditioning for Guiding Light and I was happy I got a Spike Lee movie, which was a tiny part, but all of a sudden I had Spike Lee on my resume. I didn't audition for day player anymore".
New York filmmaker Abel Ferrara took notice and cast her in two movies, The Funeral (1996) and New Rose Hotel (1998). She had a small role in Donnie Brasco (1998). By now, she was being typecast as "the girlfriend," which she attempted to change opposite Jude Law in Music From Another Room (1998), a romantic comedy, but the film went virtually unnoticed by critics and audiences.
For her second film with Woody Allen, 1999's Sweet and Lowdown, she played a minor role which the Greenwich Village Gazette called "notable". She played the victim of a con in the 2003 film, Heavy Put-Away based on the Terry Southern story. In 2006, she shared the lead in a romantic comedy, Puccini for Beginners, in which her character has a lesbian affair.
Mol worked with Mary Harron for two years as the director struggled to finance The Notorious Bettie Page: "I kind of felt like I lived with it for a while; certainly not as long as Mary Harron did but I got a good chance to really feel like I knew something about Bettie so by the time the role was mine and I was on set I was pretty confident. I felt like I really worked for it".
The year 2007 was one of her busiest, with four films in production or in release, including a remake of 3:10 to Yuma starring Russell Crowe, and An American Affair in which her character, Catherine Caswell, has an affair with John F. Kennedy. When released in February 2009, the film was harshly criticized by New York Times critic Stephen Holden, though he said that Mol's part was "quite well acted".
In April 2008, she began filming Tenure in Philadelphia, working opposite Luke Wilson, and Andrew Daly.


Gretchen Mol - Personal Quotes


"I wish I could say I have this kind of big plan, but now, so much of it is what comes along the pike, and then, you just say, there's something about that role that just tickles me or sort of feels right."

"I never really have had, at its core, an issue with nudity in films except that I know when I think it's exploitative and when I think it's beautiful."

[Of her watching Bettie Page pornographic film loops to understand her character in "The Notorioous Bettie Page] "I love the loops! I couldn't take my eyes off of them. It was five minutes dedicated to the art of the shoe, and putting the shoe on -- but first the stocking. It was so geisha. There was something so presentational. Bettie was just lost in her own world, dancing around with this fringe bikini on, with this weird lamp on the side table."


Gretchen Mol - Filmography


"Life on Mars" .... Annie Norris (17 episodes, 2008-2009)
- Life Is a Rock (2009) TV episode .... Annie Norris
- Everyone Knows It's Windy (2009) TV episode .... Annie Norris
- All the Young Dudes (2009) TV episode .... Annie Norris
- Coffee, Tea, or Annie (2009) TV episode .... Annie Norris
- Revenge of Broken Jaw (2009) TV episode .... Annie Norris
(12 more)
An American Affair (2009) .... Catherine Caswell
"Boardwalk Empire" .... Gillian (3 episodes, 2009)
- Pilot (2009) TV episode .... Gillian
- Broadway Limited (????) TV episode .... Gillian
- The Ivory Tower (????) TV episode .... Gillian
Tenure (2009) .... Elaine Grasso
The Memory Keeper's Daughter (2008) (TV) .... Nora Henry
3:10 to Yuma (2007) .... Alice Evans
Boy of Pigs (2007) .... Catherine Caswell
Trainwreck: My Life as an Idiot (2007) .... Lynn
The Valley of Light (2007) (TV) .... Eleanor
The Ten (2007) .... Gloria Jennings
Puccini for Beginners (2006) .... Grace
The Notorious Bettie Page (2005) .... Bettie Page
Heavy Put-Away (2004) .... Mary
The Shape of Things (2003) .... Jenny
... aka Fausses apparences (France: TV title)
"Girls Club" (2002) TV Series .... Lynne Camden (unknown episodes)
The Magnificent Ambersons (2002) (TV) .... Lucy Morgan
Freshening Up (2002) (TV) .... Janelle
Get Carter (2000) (uncredited) .... Audrey
Attraction (2000) .... Liz
Picnic (2000) (TV) .... Madge Owens
Zoe Loses It (2000) .... Amber
Just Looking (1999) .... Hedy Coletti
Forever Mine (1999) .... Ella Brice
Sweet and Lowdown (1999) .... Ellie
Cradle Will Rock (1999) .... Marion Davies
The Thirteenth Floor (1999) .... Jane Fuller/Natasha Molinaro
... aka Abwärts in die Zukunft (Germany: TV title)
Music from Another Room (1998) .... Anna Swan
Finding Graceland (1998) .... Beatrice Gruman
Celebrity (1998) .... Vicky
New Rose Hotel (1998) .... Hiroshi's Wife
Rounders (1998) .... Jo
Too Tired to Die (1998) (uncredited) .... Capri
Bleach (1998) .... Gwen
The Deli (1997) .... Mary
SUBWAYStories: Tales from the Underground (1997) (TV) .... The Wife (segment "Love on the A Train")
... aka Subway (UK: DVD box title)
The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997) .... Mary Greenway
Donnie Brasco (1997) .... Sonny's Girlfriend
Calm at Sunset (1996) (TV) .... Emily
... aka Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn (USA)
"Spin City" .... Gwen (1 episode, 1996)
- Pride and Prejudice (1996) TV Episode .... Gwen
The Funeral (1996) .... Helen
"Dead Man's Walk" (1996) (mini) TV Series .... Maggie
... aka Larry McMurtry's Dead Man's Walk
Girl 6 (1996) .... Girl #12


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