Cinenoma's best: Brett Mollard, Best Actor

Courtesy // Brett Mollard

Actor and filmmaker Brett Mollard (left) onstage in Sonoma State University’s production of “Into the Woods.” 

Hard work and dedication will always be rewarded. Brett Mollard won Best Actor at SSUTVs Cinenoma last week after being dedicated to his craft of acting for over seven years. Mollard directed and acted in his film “Youth,” the story of a 21-year-old going back in time to warn his 18-year-old self of a terrible future. This tragic, five-minute film left the entire room at Cinenoma in silence.

“The idea for Youth has just been in my head for a while now,” said Mollard. “It’s the question of, if I talked to my 18-year-old self right now, what would I say? I thought of the ending and then I just had to figure out how to get it there.”

Mollard is 22 years old and in his junior year studying communications. He got his start in acting at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa. Mollard had been looking for an easy elective to take, not realizing he would find his passion in it.

“I thought, this is so simple and fun, why wouldn’t everyone want to do this?” said Mollard.

After graduating high school, he originally went to a private college to study computer programming and game design, but noticed the void left in his life without acting.

“I was thinking, okay acting is fun but that’s not something I’d actually want to do, it’s just a hobby. And I realized when I got [to the private college] there was no art, there was no music, there was no acting, there was nothing,” said Mollard. “I realized I actually really liked that stuff. So I dropped out and I came back.”

Mollard came home and got involved in the theater program at Santa Rosa Junior College. During his time there, he was in eight shows including “Sweeney Todd,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “A Few Good Men” and “Les Miserables.”  

Besides SRJC, he’s been in productions all over Sonoma County and even at Sonoma State University. Earlier this year, Mollard played the Baker in “Into The Woods.” Emily Rice played alongside him as Little Red Riding Hood.

“Brett is enthusiastic and extremely dedicated to acting,” said Rice of working with Mollard.

Mollard enjoys musicals more than any other type of production. He’ll be in two musicals over the summer, “My Fair Lady” in May and “The Fantastics” in August.

“I really love singing in musicals because there’s a character behind it,” said Mollard. “It completely changes what you’re singing.”

Mollard was involved in an independent production of “Star Wars: The Musical” last summer. He was able to put the show together with a group of his friends from SRJC in a dance studio.

“It was a bunch of students putting it together. It was satisfying to have a project that was ours, that we put up,” said Mollard. “We learned that we don’t have to wait for other people to give us opportunities for shows, we can create our own.”

Mollard got into filmmaking during his time at SRJC taking a video production class. He learned about the editing process and found he really enjoyed it.

“Because I love acting, I love being able to tell these stories and put them on the screen,” said Mollard. “And I love editing, so it works out that I can act and then edit.”

Among the many mentors in his acting career, the most influential for him has been Trevor Hoffman, his director for “The Fantastics.”

“He’s an incredible musical actor, a fantastic director, and just an awesome person. He’s just the ideal person for who I’d want to work with,” said Mollard. “He’s very passionate and down to earth. He’s someone I really look up to in terms of talent and skill and just being a good person.”

Erik Weiss, a local actor, has worked with Mollard on a few occasions. Most recently, they shared the stage in the musical “Assassins.”

“He’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met,” said Weiss of Mollard. “We went to high school together. He graduated the year I was a freshman and he was always kind and inclusive. As an actor, he brings so much energy and life to his characters, it’s brilliant to watch. He’s funny, smart and a dedicated and talented singer.”

As far as what character he would like to play, Mollard finds the characters as he finds more musicals. So far, he has played all of the characters he’s wanted to, but he knows there will be more.

“I just want to play something that will help me grow,” said Mollard.

His plans and goals for the future include moving to L.A. after graduation to try and act, either in films or on broadway. Mollard wants to use his degree to do something in the film industry.

“I really like the film industry in general. I’d really like to tackle something in it. If not acting, then something else behind the scenes,” said Mollard. “That’s why I think communications is really applicable because I could go try to act and if that fails, I have a degree and I can go try some other things in the field.”

The ultimate goal for Mollard is to be remembered in a positive light.

“My goal for the future is to have a positive Wikipedia page by the time I die,” said Mollard.

With all of the goals and projects Mollard has lined up, being remembered positively won’t be a problem. Mollard will be performing in “My Fair Lady” at Sixth Street Playhouse in Santa Rosafrom May 6 to June 5.