Marcia Gay Harden
Character: Edda Mellas
Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden has forged a remarkable body of work, always staying true to her chameleon style of “becoming the character.” From the glamorous Ava Gardner in “Sinatra,” to the artist Lee Krasner in “Pollock” (for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar), to the down-and-out Celeste in “Mystic River” (another Academy Award nomination), Harden has created a signature style based in character transformation. Her versatility and wide range have been praised in such films as “Miller’s Crossing,” “The First Wives Club,” “Meet Joe Black,” “Mona Lisa Smile,” “The Hoax” and “Used People.”
Harden has chosen a life away from mainstream Hollywood, crossing between independent and studio films, and television and theater. In 2009, she garnered a Best Actress Tony Award for her starring role in the Tony Award–winning Broadway play “God of Carnage.” Additionally, Harden received an Outer Circle Critics Award for her performance, as well as nominations from the Drama Desk and Drama League. That same year, she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her role in “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler.” Other nominations include a Tony nomination for Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” (for which she won the Drama Desk and Theatre World Awards), an Emmy nomination for her guest appearance on “Law and Order: SVU” and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for “American Gun.”
Harden recently wrapped production on two independent films, “Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You” and “Detachment.” She also recently reprised her Emmy Award–nominated role on NBC’s “Law and Order: SVU.” Earlier this year, Harden finished production on “If I Were You.” Recent films include Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, “Whip It” (in which her daughter Eulala Scheel had a co-starring role), “The Maiden Heist,” “Canvas,” “Rails and Ties,” Stephen King’s “The Mist” (for which she won a Saturn Award), Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild” and “The Christmas Cottage.” On television, she co-starred in the critically acclaimed FX drama “Damages.”
Harden graduated from the University of Texas with a BA in theatre and from the graduate acting program at New York University with an MFA. She resides in Harlem with her husband and three children.
Edda Mellas is proud of her daughter Amanda for leaving Seattle to experience a semester in Italy. She’s relieved that her kind and outgoing daughter is adjusting to the culture and enjoy her independence abroad, until she finds out about the murder. Edda is distraught when Amanda calls home to tell her that someone broke into the house she shares with three other girls in Perugia and slaughtered her roommate Meredith. Worried for Amanda’s emotional and mental well-being, Edda flies to Italy to comfort her daughter. When she arrives, she receives devastating and shocking news: Amanda is accused of murdering Meredith and is being detained in jail.