The Red-Hot “Ice Queen” :: By Lindzi Scharf :: Originally written for Juicy Magazine.
She may play the “Ice Queen,” but don’t call Marsha Thomason cold. This British actress is heating up television screens on NBC’s Las Vegas. If you chat with her, you’ll discover Thomason is a fireball with a determination that’s undeniable. She emphasizes her goal of getting past one-dimensional roles to “build an eclectic body of work.” She skirts around questions that could be taken the wrong way. And she isn’t afraid to admit that guys constantly ask her out. Does her audacity come from being an actress? She clarifies, “Oh, no. Dawling, it’s because I’m fabulous.”
But don’t misconstrue her confidence for cockiness, this feisty Brit recognizes her fortune. Thomason admits, “There are a lot of people trying to do what I do. I’ve been fairly successful consistently. I worry that my luck will run out and that it will all go away.”
If Thomason’s track record is any indication of where she’s headed, she need not worry. She first found her way to America through a casting for Black Knight with Martin Lawrence. Thomason reminisces, “That was a big break. They were looking for an English girl. Often, they’ll come in from America to England. An American usually gets it in the end anyway. I didn’t go in with a negative attitude, but nobody ever gets the role.”
Next thing Thomason knew she was in North Carolina shooting the film. “I couldn’t believe I was in America. I had only been to New York five days prior to that. There I was in Wilmington filming. It was a trip – working with Martin and being on a 20th Century Fox set in period costumes.”
Prior to her American debut, Thomason completed several television roles and films back home. She soon found herself loving LA and looking for work by splitting time between the city and home. Thomason didn’t have to search too far. Back home she landed a number of projects including Pure, an independent film alongside Keira Knightley, pre-Pirates of the Caribbean.
Soon after, Thomason found herself back in America and co-starring with Eddie Murphy in The Haunted Mansion. The comedian and budding actress hit it off – creating a scene even when they weren’t on camera. Between takes, Thomason taught the comedian “cockney-rhyming slang.” She explains, “It’s something that’s been in cockney for years. Instead of saying, ‘I’m going upstairs,’ they’ll say, ‘Apples and pears means stairs.’ Everything rhymes.”
Was Murphy a quick study? She reminisces of a moment you won’t likely find on the Disney DVD: “Sometimes he’d get a little crude. He’d start free styling and making up his own shit. It’s very funny.”
A workaholic by nature, Thomason additionally began work on Las Vegas. On the series, she plays Neesa “The Ice Queen” Holt, a pit boss within a swanky city hotel. Thomason acknowledges she had a few reservations about the project: “I was actually nervous because the commitment to a TV show [in America] is so much bigger. Over here you have to sign contracts for years. I was terrified truth be known.”
Fortunately, the cast’s chemistry alleviated her concerns. Thomason confirms, “We all get on so well. I know lots of people say that, but I’d just skirt over the issue if it wasn’t true. The crew is great. I recently organized a night out. We had a great time.”
She won’t divulge details of their outing. She teases, “There’s photographic evidence unfortunately. They’re being passed around set. Thank goodness it isn’t me.”
Wouldn’t the tabloids love to get hold of that! After all, the show features recognizable cast members including Molly Sims (model, MTV hostess), James Caan (Elf), Nikki Cox (Nutty Professor II: The Klumps), and James Duhamel (All My Children).
When pressed, Thomason still won’t divulge details of their outting. She laughs, “I mean, really! Does anybody ever answer that question? I can’t go on the record with that.”
Fair enough. Slight change of subject. Did she go into the show with any preconceived notions about cast members? It seems Thomason approaches such situations rationally. “I don’t have preconceptions about the people I work with. Everybody has stories to tell about everybody else. The best thing to do is to take people as you find them. I go in with a clean slate and see what’s thrown at me,” she responds.
While Thomason always stood out in a crowd, these days she’s noticed, more often, from show’s popularity. She says, “I’m stunned by how much people love the show. It’s doing really well. I was in my car and this one guy was like, ‘Hey – You’re on Las Vegas. You’re huge.’ I was like, ‘Okay, dude. Not yet.’”
This would leave one to wonder – if she’s not feeling the affects of fame yet, when will she? Thomason claims, “It won’t be gauged off the public recognizing me. I don’t think about fame. It’s not something I’m interested in. I know that sounds ridiculous. Because of the nature of what I do, fame often comes up. I don’t know when I’ll feel like I made it. I’m interested in working and acting.”
It becomes apparent this is a woman with a one-track mind. Is it all work and no play? No way. However, it’s clear Thomason has a specific agenda to discuss and dating isn’t one of them. That didn’t stop us from asking.
What’s the dating scene like? She responds, “I wouldn’t know. I’ve been dating the same guy for five years.”
Unclear of where he’s stationed (which is it American or England?!), we take a different route. How are guys in America different than the blokes back home? Thomason answers, “Americans are much more forward. Guys ask me out on dates… in a coffee shop… in an audition. Guys are so forward.”
Let’s try another method. We’re curious to know if he’s younger or older. Hey, these days it’s “in” to date younger. Totally worth clarifying. Too timid to ask outright, we go in a different direction. Any secret crushes on younger celebrities? She teases, “My secret crush ‘aint no secret. It’s Justin Timberlake.” So, she digs younger men… interesting.
We’ve gotten this girl to dish as much as she’s willing to. We give up for the time being and focus on what’s next. This “Ice Queen” can be seen next in My Baby’s Daddy with Eddie Griffin.
With more than a couple of comedies and a promising series underway, it’s safe to say things will continue to be red hot for Marsha Thomason. Thus far, a combination of luck and timing mixed with her fearless, go-getter attitude has served her well.
Part dreamer, part realist, Thomason is something else. She reminisces, “When I was a kid, I never imagined I would live in a different town other than Manchester. I’m so far away from home. I realize that I’m a survivor. I came here on my own.” She pauses. Then, continues to reflect, “You really don’t know where life is going to lead you. It’s such an adventure.”
It’s safe to say the adventure has only just begun for the brazen Brit.
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