Lene Pedersen, 1991’s Miss Norway, plays the lead role in Just a Song at Twilight, Willard Manus’ heartwarming drama about the joys and sorrows of growing up in a deaf household. The play opens January 21 at Write Act Repertory in Hollywood for a 7-week run. The playwright interviewed her for The Tolucan Times.
Q. How did you get to become Miss Norway?
A. Unbeknownst to me, my brother submitted my picture to the contest. Then a letter came inviting me for an interview. I had to lie to my teacher to get out of high school. A regional competition followed, then the national, which I was lucky enough to win.
Q. What brought you to Los Angeles?
A. Winning Miss Norway qualified me for the Miss Universe contest, whose finals were held in Las Vegas (where I placed 11th). One of the judges, the agent Jay Bernstein, invited me to L.A. I loved the city but went against Jay’s advice and decided to return to Norway. I was only 19 at the time and felt I was too young to start an acting career here. I came back six years later when I was more mature and better equipped to take on show business.
Q. Your husband, the musician Brian McNair, has composed the music for “Just a Song at Twilight.” How long have you two been married?
A. We met each other several years ago and were friends at first. We just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on a Caribbean cruise. And this May I’ll be giving birth to our first child!