You may recognize Noel Wells as Rachel on “Master of None.” Or perhaps as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” in the 2013-2014 season where her most memorable roles included impressions of Lena Dunham, Zooey Deschanel, and Alyson Hannigan.
Now, she’s making her SXSW debut as writer, director, and lead actor in Mr. Roosevelt.
Born in San Antonio and raised in Victoria, Wells moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas (graduating 2010) where she was a cast member of Esther’s Follies.
She talked about the experience at Esther’s Follies with the Austin Chronicle in 2015:
“The biggest thing about Esther’s for me was admitting to myself that this is actually what I wanted to do,” Wells said.
While as UT, she also crafted her editing skills, which helped her land work quickly upon arrival in Los Angeles. As a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade, she honed her sketch skills and impressions and in 2013, she landed a featured player role on “SNL.” Guest appearances and voice work followed and in 2015 she was featured inAziz Ansari’s Netflix series “Master of None,” which won the 2016 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy.
Now it’s Wells’ turn to receive recognition with Mr. Roosevelt at SXSW.
Here’s how she describes the film in one sentence:
“Struggling comedian has to return to her college town of Austin when a loved one gets sick (an indie movie!).”
She credits her megalomania as inspiration for the project, which she calls “a funny story about someone that looks like someone you may or may not know who’s a little lost and trying to find herself.”
While the UT alum spent five years as an Austin resident and attended many ancillary SXSW events, she’s never actually had a badge or been an official part of the festival. And, as if making her debut as a filmmaker isn’t exciting enough, Wells also stars in the SXSW film Infinity Baby, a comedy about babies that don’t age directed by Austinite Bob Byington.
We asked the Texas grad what she’s most looking forward to in Austin. “Tacos. Dogs. Nice people,” she said. A pretty great way to sum up the city.
She also told us Jesse Plemons is her favorite Texan actor, Rushmore is her favorite movie shot in Texas, and her favorite musician is tied between Beyonce and Daniel Johnston. As for her favorite Austin food? It’s tacos, of course. “We can’t get tacos in my mouth fast enough,” she exclaimed.
We closed out our time with Wells by asking what advice she has for Austinites looking to get into show business.
“Don’t try and get into the biz. Be so fearless and unstoppable the biz tries to get you,” Wells proclaimed.
You can see Mr. Roosevelt at the following times during the fest:
Sunday, March 12, at 2:15pm at the Paramount Theatre.
Tuesday, March 14, at 4:15pm at Rollins Theatre at The Long Center.
Wednesday, March 15, at 9:30pm at Rollins Theatre at The Long Center.
Featured photo courtesy of Revelator Productions
If you would like to read more about movies, TV, celebrities and other entertainment, you can check out Dani Dudek’s website ATXgossip.com.