Gretchen Mol is an American actress and former model. She’s been in a variety of projects – “The Thirteenth Floor," “Rounders,” “3:10 to Yuma” and “The Notorious Bettie Page.” She can be seen on the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.”
Gretchen Mol grew up in a small town in Connecticut within commuting distance of New York City. She participated in high school productions and then moved while still a teenager to New York to study acting at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.
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While she studied, she also worked as a model. She had odd jobs, too, such as a restaurant hatcheck girl. It was at that job she was discovered by a talent agent, which led to her first TV commercial for Coca-Cola.
Gretchen Mol made her film debit in “Girl 6.” She said it was a small part, but “all of a sudden I had Spike Lee on my resume. I didn’t audition for day player anymore.” Other roles followed, including “Rounders,” “Celebrity” and “Donnie Brasco.” In the September 1998 issue of “Vanity Fair,” she was called the “Next Big Thing.”
In 2004, she spent a year in the Broadway production of “Chicago.”
As for playing the voluptuous Bettie Page, Gretchen Mol said, “I remember people asking me if I was going to gain weight. The thing is, if I did gain weight, who’s to say that it would’ve gone to the right places? I couldn’t really do that so a lot of it was figuring out to move my body to look as much like her as I could.” She said about nudity, “What is the big deal and why do we get so worked up about it?”
Gretchen is not active on social media.
She has two sons, Ptolemy John Williams and Winter Morgan Williams. As to being a parent, she said, “It puts priorities in order. Thank God, you’re not totally focused on yourself anymore. You get to put your energy out, as opposed to worrying all the time about your own stuff…I think you’re freer to love them so unconditionally. That, we’re not able to do with our own selves.”
As for the fear of forgetting her lines on stage, Gretchen Mol said, “It is kind of amazing how repetition – things just get in your body. I still worry about it, but you just have to make sure you’re mentally present all the time.”
A bit of trivia: Gretchen Mol is a direct descendant on her mother’s side of William Brewster, of the Mayflower.