Meredith Monroe (Laura Ingalls Wilder) Exclusive Interview!
Special thanks to Meredith Monroe for taking the time out of her
busy schedule to be interviewed for this Web site.
1. What was it like to have the lead role in "Laura Ingalls Wilder: Beyond The Prairie?"
It was exciting, thrilling and overwhelming since it was my first lead role!
2. Before you got the role as Laura Ingalls Wilder had you ever read the Little House books or seen the TV show starring Michael Landon?
I don't recall reading the books as a child, however, I did read a few for research for the role. And I did see the TV show occasionally.
3. How was the audition for the lead role?
A lot of people were auditioned for the role and the top choices were auditioned several times. After the initial audition process I met with the director and producer for their approvals. Then my audition tape was sent to CBS for their final approval.
Lennon: Was it very competitive?
It was extremely competitive for a number of weeks.
4. Did you enjoy working with the cast and crew on Beyond the Prairie? Anybody in particular you enjoyed working with?
I enjoyed working with everyone in the cast and crew! Filming was a lot of fun. The first movie filmed in Utah and the second in Austin, Texas so there were different crews. I have maintained friendships with a number of the cast and crew.
5. What, if any, affect did playing Laura Ingalls Wilder have on your career? Are you still associated with or recognized from being in the Beyond The Prairie movie?
The movie, I believe, really helped my career, especially since it was one of my first major projects. People had seen it and liked my work, so they were open to considering me for other projects. As I travel to different cities I am amazed how many people in shops and hotels recognize me from the role as Laura.
6. I'd like to compliment you on portraying Laura Ingalls Wilder. Your performance was timeless!
Thank you for your compliments on my work!
7. As an actress, was it a challenge to portray Laura Ingalls Wilder since so many people have set an image of Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls Wilder?
I was nervous in the beginning that people would compare us, but then I realized that I was hired to do this particular rendition of Laura as she transitioned in life and they hired me because they liked what I brought to the role. And I had to remember that we are two different actresses and two different people so, obviously, we will give different performances.
8. Having played Laura Ingalls Wilder do you feel close to the real Laura? Are you both anything alike?
An actress can't help but think deeply about the real person behind the role. I think one thing Laura and I definitely have in common is our perseverance.
9. What was it like to wear clothes from the pioneer era? Was it comfortable?
Wearing the period clothes was a lot of fun and, yes, they were comfortable. I didn't wear a corsette because that was mainly a city thing, not a prairie thing back then. I also wondered if Laura might have worn Almanzo's pants and shirts while working in the fields - it wasn't easy performing heavy manual labor while tripping over all of those skirts and under skirts!
10. Do you have any regrets playing Laura Ingalls Wilder?
Absolutely no regrets! I loved playing Laura! To this day it is one of my favorite experiences.
11. If you could choose another character in the Little House series who would you choose?
I don't think I would trade her for anyone - except for the challenge of playing Mary, possibly..
12. What are you currently doing professionally? Any new roles fans can look for you in?
Lately I have been doing roles in independent films and shorts that are currently in post production phases. I did my first play recently in L.A. and worked on a new show for TV, that didn't get picked up. So I'm continually looking for the next project, in TV, film, or on stage.
Thanks very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions. Do you have anything you would like to say to all the Little House fans around the world?
Thanks for contacting me to do the interview! Great questions! Happy holidays to you and all of the Little House fans! Meredith :)
Webmasters Note: Interview was done on December 10, 2003.