Miriam Shor is an accomplished American actress who has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry. She has acted in numerous plays, films, and television shows, with notable roles in movies such as “The Midnight Sky” directed by George Clooney and series such as “The Americans” and “Younger”. Shor has also made a name for herself as a talented director, having directed episodes of several popular television series including “Younger”. Throughout her career, Shor has been recognized for her outstanding performances, receiving critical acclaim and nominations for various awards. Her talent and versatility have made her a respected figure in the industry, and she continues to be a source of inspiration for many aspiring entertainers.
We recently had the pleasure to speak to Miriam for PopStyle TV to discuss her life, career and her role as Recorder Vim in the film “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”, in theaters now.
Karly B.: Ms. Shore, how did you first become interested in a career in entertainment?
Miriam Shor: That’s a great question. You know it’s interesting, I’ve been thinking about this a lot because being in “Guardians of the Galaxy” has tapped into a kind of wonderment I’ve always felt since I was a a kid. You know about film and just where your imagination can take you. So I think it began when I was little and went to see stage performances. My parents would take me to see just about anything. Of course, my family and I didn’t have a lot of money but we always had art in our lives. So early on that possibility of being in the entertainment world is something my parents instilled in me. And then when I saw my sister on stage when I was in 7th grade my creativity peaked. She was in a high school play and when she stepped forward to sing her solo, I really felt like the world went away and that something special had happened within me. I thought ‘You look what you can do.’ But of course I was a super shy kid. I didn’t know that I could really do what my sister did. Then later, like a lot of kids, I started acting in high school. And the family you have in the theater is profound. And it’s such a fun experience. And if one feels like an outcast or a misfit in anyway, which I think actually most people do, you feel such a sense of belonging there. And I think I felt that way early on. It just carried through and I ended up studying acting in college. But I was still not really believing that I would do this for a living. You know it just felt like a crazy idea. I was like ‘Who is going to pay me to do that?’ But then I got my first job. Then I got my union card when I was in college. Then I got my first pay check. And when I saw all that I thought ‘Oh man, maybe this could happen.’ Then I moved to New York, waited tables, lived with four people in a one bedroom apartment… It was really such an adventure. That was not a short answer but you get the idea!
Karly B.: You’ve told such a beautiful story and I know that many readers will resonate with it. May I ask what has been your biggest break in the industry so far?
Miriam Shor: You know it’s very interesting but I recently read an article that discussed what success is and how do you measure it? I think there are a lot of measuring sticks that people use to gauge success. So I think the same thing is true in what it means to have a break. Because you know for some people it might be their first brush with fame. For others it might be their first pay check. Or it could be the first person who believed in them. I think for me I would have to say it was when I was cast as Yitzhak in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”. It was my first musical in New York. It was a work shop. I got paid next to nothing but it really opened my eyes to what I could participate in as an artist.That show has continued to mean something to me and to many people. So I think I’m going to have say that.
Karly B.: Thank you for your answer. What inspired you to peruse acting as well as directing, both being very different crafts?
Miriam Shor: I think there are a lot of reasons you convince yourself that you can’t do things. Well, I do anyway. So many reasons why your brain piles up for you why you can’t do something that seems hard. And I started to have a bit of a shift in perspective as I got older. I stopped thinking of all the reasons I couldn’t do something and started to give reasons why I could. You know? And I began to ask my friends who directed, some questions. That’s when I started to get serious about directing instead of shutting down the idea right away. And once you do things like that your confidence starts to build. You begin to think ‘Okay what I want can become a real possibility’. I realized at first that though directing was something I didn’t know, that I could learn it. And of course there was a lot of stuff I did know! So I figured why not give directing a try? I was like ‘What do I have to loose?’ So you fail? So what?’ You tend to get braver when you realize you don’t have as much time on earth! I was like ‘I can’t waste anymore time here!’ But of course that’s the wisdom that comes from being around for a while. But I see that kind of philosophy in younger people and I’m kind of in awe, but it’s not like I’m a thousand years old. But on another note, I want to be clear that the opportunities that were afforded actors, but particularly actresses, were not there when I first started acting in TV and film. And the odds are still stacked against women and minorities. We can’t sugar coat that. Although I am pleased that there is change.
Karly B.: Keeping on with the acting and directing topic, how has your acting influenced your directing style?
Miriam Shor: A lot! I don’t know how else I could direct if I wasn’t also an actress. But I feel strongly that everyone on set and the stage is there to work together to create something. And that’s mainly how I approach it as a director. I don’t really like the hierarchical nonsense we ascribe to. I think everyone is there to create something. I can’t work without them. So it’s collaborative. And I love when the director gives me the trust to collaborate with them so that’s the experience I try to create on set when I’m directing.
Karly B.: What has been your favorite role to play so far and why?
Miriam Shor. Oh no! That’s like asking who’s your favorite child! But here is my opinion: in order to be a good actor you have to fall in love with the role. It has to be a love affair so you can give everything you have. You also have to open yourself up to everything you love about acting in every single role that you play or you can’t really do a good job. At least not in my experience. So I really do love every role. Of course, I can look back and say ‘Well because of an experience that’s not my favorite role’. But in terms of any role I take on, I have to fall in love with it no matter what. However, there are roles that resonate with me more than others. But every role that I’ve played teaches me something. Even if it’s a terrible experience. I just feel so lucky that I am in a career where I am able to learn and grow.
Karly B.: A lot of actors have difficulty choosing their favorite role. But what was your experience like working on the TV series “Younger”?
Miriam Shor: That was a delight. It’s really rare to work on a TV show that goes on for more than one season. So the experience of being an actor and playing a role –of course credit to the writers for creating such an amazing role for me in “Younger” — is that you get to collaborate on bringing the character to life and shape their development. That process really does influence you and you start to think the way that character thinks and it changes you and becomes you in some way. So getting to do that for all of those seasons is incredible. And my character Diana Trout was such a formidable persona and I don’t think of myself as formidable. But she does and she has a great deal of confidence in herself and her abilities. Playing that character is a large part in why I knew I could direct. What also made Diana funny was that even though she was confident she was also insecure. Her complexity was great. Living as her for a while in the show it kind of made me feel great about myself! I began to think ‘Why can’t I walk around believing in myself?’ And the cast and crew of “Younger” became my family. And I was working in New York my favorite city.
Karly B.: I remember going to New York City as a teenager and being in awe with the hustle and bustle and bright lights. How do you feel about NYC?
Miriam Shor: New York has been my home for many years. The minute I stepped foot in New York as a kid I felt it was my kind of place. You know I think a lot feel that way because there are people from all over the world in New York who maybe aren’t accepted in other places and they can come there and feel it’s their home. That’s part of what I love about it.
Karly B.: Another profound response. Can you tell me about your role as Recorder Vim in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”?
Miriam Shor: I just watched it at the premier for the first time! It is wild! There is nothing bigger than the Marvel universe, in terms of the entertainment world. And I’m a big sci-fi fan and have been since I first laid eyes on a movie screen. So my character, Recorder Vim is a villain. She’s like the hedge person to the main villain in the movie. So she basically does his bidding unquestionably for her own survival. But she questions her role at some point which I won’t get into much as I don’t want to spoil it. But it’s so much fun to play a villain in the Marvel universe, I will say that! I mean when I was filming I was like ‘I’m in a space ship right now! This is crazy’. Right? Because I’m getting to do the games I played as a kid. It’s so fun and surreal.
Karly B.: I remember watching the first Guardians of the Galaxy film in theaters, and never thought I’d have the privilege to interview an actress from the franchise. This is very surreal. Do you have any moments like that?
Miriam Shor: Right?! I mean speaking of surreal at the Guardian premier, the astronauts from Artemis-II were there! I mean the actual astronauts that are going to the moon and I lost my mind! You know it’s one thing to be in this Marvel universe where you act like you’re in space and bring this other world into life. But it’s another thing when you meet people who are going to get into an actual space ship, fly into outer space and orbit the moon! I mean that’s actually historical! I would have never have imagined meeting real astronauts. It’s amazing!
Since this interview was conducted, it’s been announced that Miriam Shor will co-star in the Bradley Cooper directed biopic “Maestro” in which she will play actress and model Cynthia O’Neal.