Actress Jen Ponton is hoping her latest film will make Hollywood rethink how women of certain body types are portrayed on screen.
Ponton, a 2002 graduate of Phillipsburg High School, stars as Franny in the independent romantic comedy Love on the Run. The film arrives on video-on-demand and digital platforms today.
Love on the Run follows the always optimistic Franny (played by Ponton), who finds herself taken hostage by a bank robber (Steve Howey). Franny, in turn, begins to fall for her kidnapper even though he feeling is not exactly what you would call mutual. The film co-stars Frances Fisher (Titanic) and Annaleigh Ashford (Masters of Sex).
"The most notable thing about it is that it's probably one of the first romantic comedies to feature a larger woman in the romantic lead role," Ponton said Wednesday during a phone interview. "There is external commentary from some unkind characters in the film, but there is no internal commentary from her whatsoever, which I think is a huge game-changer. It's very rare to see larger women mirrored that way on screen."
Ponton said it was a joy and an honor to bring Franny to life. She described the character as optimistic and self-confident, yet incredibly naive and trusting. "She very well could be the next generation's Tracy Turnblad," Ponton said.
The Bloomsbury, N.J., native has also appeared on 30 Rock, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Orange is the New Black and in the 2011 film Jack and Diane.
Ponton said, if given the opportunity, she would love to work with Bridesmaids and The Heat director Paul Feig. "He's, like, my dream collaborator," Ponton said. "As long as he is making stuff, I would love to be a part of it."