29 may 1997 (Sun Newspapers, Cleveland)
EX-CLEVELANDER SOARS IN "CON AIR" By JOHN URBANCICH
LOS ANGELES -- The best job Monica Potter ever had was delivering the Sun Scoop Journal. (Not really, but how many Sun Newspapers carriers grow up to be movie stars?)
"I only delivered the paper for a week, but it was fun," recalls Potter, who was raised on a private street in Cleveland near Bratenahl. "I was helping out a friend."
Next week, Potter's Euclid-based parents, Mr. and Mr. Paul Brokaw; her three sisters; and various relatives in the Mulhall, Corcoran and Gibbons families can watch their pride and joy work for real when she makes her big screen debut in "Con Air."
Potter, 25, plays the wife of Nicolas Cage in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced action story about hardcore convicts who take over a transport flight of the U.S. Marshal Service. Cage's character, a decorated Marine jailed for murder after defending his wife, is on his way home to Potter and the daughter he's never seen.
"`Con Air' is definitely going to do so much (for my career) because Jerry Bruckheimer is so awesome," Potter says. "He's doing as much to promote me in this film as he is for the other actors, and that's so nice of him. Of course, I do think you need (my character in the film) to break up all that testosterone and blood."
The slim, blonde Potter, a former cheerleader at Villa Angela Academy, started acting at the Cleveland Play House when she was still a student at St. Jerome's Elementary School. "Off and on, during my adolescent years, I learned improv, comedy, stuff like that," she says. "I also did a lot of local commercials as a young girl."
After graduation from Euclid High School (her inventor-father moved the family to Alabama for a year and then back to Euclid), she did some commercial work in Chicago, went to Miami to film a TV pilot ("which didn't sell, thank God") and moved to L.A. in 1994.
"I just knew this is where it would happen," says Potter, whose husband Tommy is a St. Joseph High School graduate. "I grew up watching "The Brady Bunch' and I just pictured living out here being the greatest thing ever, except we don't have a maid."
The mother of two preschoolers got her big break when director Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element") featured her in a commercial for something called Hollywood gum. Now, Potter is filming "Martha -- Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence," a romantic comedy for Channel 4 Productions ("Secrets & Lies") in London.
"I just won't do anything," concludes Potter, who plays the girlfriend of runner Steve Prefontaine in the biogrpahical "Pre," still to be released. "I do know when screenplays are exploiting women, so I'm going to be very selective. I prefer quirky, weird, off-the-wall characters."