PARK CITY You know her best as "Briefcase 25" on television show "Deal Or No Deal," but Hayley Marie Norman may soon become a face and name known to everybody at a theater near you.
She's in Utah this week as part of the alternative, fiercely independent Slamdance Film Festival promoting the comic-book movie, "Trailer Park of Terror," a film where the title really does tell the story.
The promotional team for the film, which includes Norman, has been working Park City's Main Street even before the beginning of the festivals. Posters and cards are everywhere and a winter cap with the film's logo has turned into a hot swag item. Norman's friendliness and warmth and striking good looks couldn't have hurt.
Going against the grain of actresses everywhere, she actually enjoys promoting the film, seemingly including having conversations with journalists.
"It has been go, go, go," she said. "I love getting a chance to talk about the film. I have been blown away by the street hype."
The festival added screenings of the film after the person-to-person marketing campaign paid off in the form of high ticket demand. After enthusiastic responses to the film, it seems the efforts have generated some palpable street heat.
But the heat around Norman is real as well.
Her episodes of "Deal Or No Deal," were fun ("With all those girls we are talking serious hair and make-up"), but her heart has always been set on movies.
The 23-year-old black actress, who was born and raised around Los Angeles, cites Pam Grier as an influence and even sports a modern version of her bountiful hair. She also admires the work of Gena Rowlands and holds up her performance in 1974's "A Woman Under the Influence," as among the finest.
"I know they say that don't make movies like they used to, but they really don't."
She is quick to confess she would cherish "a meaty role," but she is dying to work with Quentin Tarantino, noting that the perfect role for a woman of color hasn't materialized yet for Tarantino.
"It was meant to be," she joked with her radiant smile. "They are waiting for me."
2008's movie slate might help that wish along. She plays a role in Will Smith's summer superhero movie "Hancock," and also has a comedy ("Jelly"), a romance ("Cordially Invited"), and a drama ("Broken Windows") all set for release this year.Associate producer Fritz Weiss has suspicions that "Trailer Park of Terror" with Norman, has a solid chance to play more than just the festival circuit. He stopped short of saying the film would be purchased, but he paused when asked about it and then replied: "We have a very, very good feeling about this movie."
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