West Hartford native and Hall High School graduate Mischa Dani Goodman co-stars in the comedy film ‘Unbridaled,’ which will have its premiere on June 12.
By Lisa S. Lenkiewicz
When Michelle Goodman was 10 years old, she was an “unnamed orphan” in the children’s theater production of “Annie” at the Mandell JCC in West Hartford. Fast forward two decades later, and Mischa Dani Goodman (as she is now known professionally) is an actress living in Manhattan with commercials, films, and two off-Broadway roles on her resume.
The West Hartford native is proud to announce her latest project – co-star, co-creator, producer, and editor in a new comedy film, “Unbridaled.”
The “WO-mance” comedy is a short film (14 minutes, 35 seconds to be precise) about a bachelorette party gone awry. According to the film’s trailer, the film centers around a “buttoned-up bride and her party-girl sister who find themselves lost in the woods on the day of the wedding.”
Mischa plays “Maxie,” the wild sister, and her BFF/creative partner Caitlin Simpson plays “Catherine,” the bride-to-be. Although the screenplay is not autobiographical, Mischa says the characters they play are very true to who she and Caitlin are in real life.
“In general, Caitlin and I are polar opposites,” laughs Mischa in a phone interview. “I’m the loud American – outspoken – and generally I speak louder in order to make sure I am heard. Caitlin, who is British, is more reserved.”
Caitlin had to lose her accent for this role, but Mischa had the more daring challenge – she appears naked in the film. “It is very tasteful,” she explains, saying there is no full frontal nudity, and props are cleverly placed to keep the “R” rating. Ever supportive, Caitlin chimes in: “Mischa is incredibly brave.”
“Unbridaled” was filmed during five days in the woodsy vacation home of Mischa’s parents in West Stockbridge, MA. Her dad is Dr. Joel Goodman, a longtime dentist in West Hartford, in practice with Mischa’s sister, Dr. Tamara Stein. Her mom, Claudia Goodman, recently retired as a hygienist at CT Pediatric Dentistry in Bishops Corner.
Growing up, Mischa caught the acting bug performing in JCC plays and in the Hall High School acting department, where acting teacher Sean Harris was her mentor and cheerleader. In addition, she took jazz and tap dance lessons for years with “Miss Lisa” (Sussman) and she was selected as a freshman to be a jazz dancer for Hall High School’s prestigious Pops ‘n Jazz show.
“I felt very loved and was given a lot of opportunities that gave me confidence and trained me well,” said Mischa. “There were very strong people around me.”
After graduating Hall High in 2008, she went to the University of Connecticut in Storrs, where she received a BFA in acting and minored in business. She then attended Michael Howard Studios, a two-year acting conservatory in New York, where she first met Caitlin.
Mischa, now 31, appeared on stage at the Connecticut Repertory Theater, studied improv with the sketch comedy group Upright Citizens Brigade in Manhattan, and attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London where she studied Shakespeare.
“There was a time in college where I exclusively wanted to be a Shakespearean actress. But then I wanted to have money,” she joked.
She has achieved commercial success as an actress, appearing in TV commercials for Burger King, Three Musketeers, Reebok, and more, and starring as “Pinkalicious” in the off-Broadway show of the same name. She also played “Nancy” in the off-Broadway production of “Fancy Nancy.”
In 2016, she wrote, produced, and starred in the TV film, “Gold on Bank Street,” playing Becca Gold, a banker who loses her job on Wall Street and starts a weed-cupcake business.
She and Caitlin brainstormed the story line for “Unbridaled” and then hired LA screen writer Thom Harp to polish the script. The creative millennials took a crowdfunding class to learn how to raise money. They eventually raised $45,000 through a Kickstarter-type artist platform and also solicited private funding.
As fashionistas (shopping at Bloomingdale’s is a favorite activity), both Mischa and Caitlin were adamant about selecting their own wardrobes for the film. Mischa recalls having many hair and makeup trials until they found the perfect looks.
Fleeing her apartment in the Chelsea area of Manhattan during the pandemic, Mischa edited the film back home in West Hartford. She was thrilled to be working not only with Thom Harp (a frequent contributor to FunnyorDie.com and co-writer/producer of actor Rainn Wilson’s podcast, “Dark Air with Terry Carnation”), and also with director Chelsea Bryn Lockie, whose credits include “Woe Is She,” an award-winning web series.
“Unbridaled” will premiere at The Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California on June 12 as part of the annual independent film festival “Dances With Films.” Mischa and Caitlin then plan is to go to the film festival circuit for a year.
“The world can be an extremely dark place,” Mischa said. “Now more than ever, we need to laugh. So, there has never been a better time to premiere a story about two city-slicker sisters happening upon a nudist retreat.”
Fans may follow them on social media such as Instagram (@unbridaledfilm) and Facebook where viewers will be able to see the film. Mischa’s Instagram handle/username is @mischadani and she may be found on Facebook under Mischa Dani Goodman.
The trailer can be viewed below.
UNBRIDALED – TRAILER from Mischa Dani Goodman on Vimeo.
For more information about “Unbridaled,” visit www.unbridaledfilm.com. To learn more about Mischa Dani Goodman, visit www.mischadani.com.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated from an earlier version.
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