Even as a kid, Lauren LoGiudice knew there was something more.
Growing up in Howard Beach – she went to P.S. 207 for kindergarten and St. Helen’s through the eighth grade – she said, “I always felt different, felt like there was something else I wanted.”
That something else – a role in the new movie “When Harry Tries to Marry” – came out of hard work and her own life experiences.
LoGiudice, 27, comes from a big Italian family, with two brothers and a sister, and said she didn’t look like anyone else.
“I was very tall, everyone else was shorter. I felt a little like Gulliver.”
Her height worked to her advantage as a dancer at the Joe Stanford dance studio in Howard Beach and later at Wesleyan University, where, she said, “I played a lot of basketball and got a scholarship.”
“I knew school was the way to make it,” she said, “but everything I tried to do after college didn’t work.”
She taught in San Francisco for a while and “loved it for the performance aspect,” but a fellowship through the America-India Foundation to study classical Indian performance proved to put her on her career path.
“I thought, ‘I have to do this,’” she said. “I fell in love with the whole entertainment scene. After that, I did everything I could to get ahead as an actor.”
She took classes, networked and even enrolled at several of the most prestigious schools New York City, including Michael Howard Studios and The Actor’s Center, as well as through T. Schreiber Studios’ conservatory.
“It was there I found my craft,” said LoGiudice.
She began working with speech coach Lynn Singer on streamlining her acting work, body dynamics training and vocal production.
After working off-off Broadway and on dramas like “All My Children,” what LoGiudice realized was that her future lay in film.
The first movie she ever booked was “The Visited,” a short; she also starred in the 2009 feature “Flick’s Chicks.”
When she met Kelsy Chauvin, the two began to produce movies.
Their first, “Bridal Party,” was set in Brooklyn and was “inspired by the people in events in Howard Beach” after the two attended a friend’s wedding.
“It was a neighborhood-inspired production,” said LoGiudice.
The pair also launched their own company, Over/Under Productions, in 2009.
As she continued to network, LoGiudice got representation and got auditions for “higher level projects.”
“Some were good, some were bad,” she admitted.
At the Tribeca Film Festival LoGiudice met Sheetal Vyas, the producer of the film “When Harry Tries to Marry,” a romantic comedy that deals with a college-age Indian man who wants an arranged marriage.
The day after her audition, LoGiudice got a call saying she had landed the role of Angela, the father’s pregnant girlfriend.
For two months, they filmed on location in New York and India.
“It was very special to go back to a place where I decided to become an actress, though it was different,” she told The Courier.
The movie opened on Friday, April 22.
And though she said it was strange to see herself on the big screen, her family loves the film, which she said is “a good 90 minutes of entertainment.”
Currently, LoGiudice is in post-production for “Bittersweet Monday,” a feature film, and is working on staging her solo play about the life of Greta Garbo.
But no matter where her star takes her, LoGiudice said that one thing is for sure – she is “definitely a neighborhood product.”
“I appreciate so much where I came from – it taught me about hard work and community, which translates into my acting.”