Local News

Ketchikan’s Tallie Medel makes top-10 actress list

Image courtesy Tallie Medel.

A former Ketchikan resident is living in New York City, doing what she loves best. She’s performing live, been in some music videos and acted in a few films. One of those jobs has landed her on a pretty prestigious list.

A news website dedicated to independent film has named Ketchikan’s own Tallie Medel as one of the top 10 best female leads for this year.

The IndieWire list is a good one, too. It includes Rooney Mara, of “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” fame, for a very different role; and Cate Blanchett, a well-known actress who comfortably moves between mainstream and independent.

Medel was No. 6 on the list for her performance in “The Unspeakable Act” by filmmaker Dan Sallitt. She plays a 17-year-old girl who is in love with her brother. Really in love. But don’t worry, they only talk about the “i” word.

“It’s like the least squeamish incest movie that you’ll ever see,” Medel said in a phone interview that took place while she was delivering bread for her other job at a bakery.

“The ick factor is very low; it’s almost zero. There’s one moment where potentially something may happen, and that is the climax of the film.”

She laughingly adds that “It’s a family-friendly incest film.”

Medel said she’s happy about the IndieWire listing, but she also naturally tends to downplay that kind of thing.

“If something great happens, then I’m like ‘Oh that’s great’ and I push it down and then try to move on to the next thing,” she said. “Because I always feel like, ‘That was a mistake.’”

It’s not likely a mistake. Since her work on “The Unspeakable Act,” Medel said she’s been in three more independent films. But her real love is sketch comedy and dance, and she’s been working in that for a while now with Cocoon Central Dance Team. That group was part of the opening ceremonies for the recent New York City Marathon. http://cocooncentraldanceteam.tumblr.com/

Medel said it’s a little strange living in New York, which might be the complete opposite of life in Ketchikan. But it’s been a while since she moved there, and she doesn’t have immediate plans to leave.

“This is where the work is for me right now, which is pretty awesome,” she said. “It’s becoming more and more livable. It’s a really amazing city. It’s no Ketchikan, Alaska, but it’s pretty good.”

Speaking of Ketchikan, Medel credits her hometown’s strong arts community for helping her break into her chosen field.

“Without question, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the arts education that I had growing up in Ketchikan,” she said. “The arts in Ketchikan are a remarkably strong influence on me as an adult now.”

Medel attended Emerson College in Boston, where she earned a degree in acting. She’s been in New York since 2009. http://talliemedel.tumblr.com/

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