Wool leopard print hat by Patricia Underwood. Print chiffon maxidress by Burberry. Milk Makeup Eye Vinyl Nude, Black Swarovski Crystals, Shiseido Waso Clear Hydrating cream, Milk Lip Metal Angel.



“I have a long standing obsession with Patti (Smith)…I looked to her as kind of a saint of art, and a reminder to keep things grounded and simple.”

– Marianne Rendon


Imagista: How well versed where you in the Robert Mapplethorpe/Patti Smith story before you landed the role of Patti Smith and how did you prepare for the role?

Marianne Rendon: I was relatively well versed in their story, from strictly Patti’s perspective, with having read “Just Kids”. Patti had such an influence on me as a young artist growing up in New York City. I later found, once I was cast, whatever I could find on Robert’s description of their relationship and his obsession with her. I have a long standing obsession with Patti, myself, and for years in grad school, she is the sole artist who kept me feeling authentic and close to myself. I looked to her as kind of a saint of art, and a reminder to keep things grounded and simple.

Imagista: How did you prepare to play the your character Jules for “Imposters” and in what way(s), if any, are you like Jules?

Marianne Rendon: I didn’t really need to prepare for Jules. At least not consciously, I don’t think! I felt she was really close to me as a person and I just accented certain things, like her sarcasm. The co-creator & director of our show, Adam Brooks, was influenced by Sandra Bernhard, the amazing comedienne. I looked to her particular dryness — especially her repeat appearances on Letterman. Such a badass. I could go down that rabbit hole any day.

Imagista: Are you still playing music and is a music career still in the cards for you, in addition to your acting career?

Marianne Rendon: Yes, I am still playing music. I bought myself a beautiful Gibson after our first season on Imposters and I was playing a lot of music when I was living in LA. I’ve been writing. I plan on forming a band again.

Imagista: Name three directors that you’d love to work with then single out one of them and tell us why you’d love to collaborate with him/her?

Marianne Rendon: I love Jill Soloway, I think she’s the tits. I think Jordan Peele, if there is ever a place for me to be anything of his, that’d be the most fun I could ever have, maybe. I was really moved by Get Out. And I admire Steven Soderbergh’s work.

Imagista: What are you most excited about with your career right now?

Marianne Rendon: I’m excited about the roles being written for women. I’d love to play more women icons like Patti. Political figures too. Maybe Susan Sontag or Gloria Steinem. That’d be a dream. I also look forward to working with more women behind the camera. Reading more scripts written by women. I’m lucky to have worked with directors Marta Cunningham, Sheree Folkson, & Ondi Timoner this year — with writers Kathy Greenberg & Emily Cook, Elisa Climent — producers Eliza Dushku & Patty Long.

Imagista: What is your favorite TV show, besides Imposters, and what do you love about it?

Marianne Rendon: Transparent. Watch it. As soon as you can. And I can’t help but return again and again to The Sopranos. Reminds me of my hometown. And Key & Peele when I need genius overload.

Imagista: If there was one book you could recommend, a life changer, what would that book be?

Marianne Rendon: I can’t name just one. The Abortion by Richard Brautigan. I love his humor, his absurdity. Liv Ullmann’s memoir called Changing. The works of Octavio Paz. Eileen Myles’ Chelsea Girls. Chekov’s short stories, specifically “Lady with the Lap Dog.” Hemingway’s short stories, specifically “Hills Like White Elephants,” and Dylan Thomas’ “Under Milk Wood.” Also, I love reading interviews, so: Susan Sontag’s Rolling Stone interviews from the 70s & “The Afternoon Interviews” with Marcel Duchamp were very influential on me.

Imagista: What’s on your favorite playlist right now?

Marianne Rendon: Little Ann’s “Deep Shadows”. Muddy Waters, Scott Walker, Moon Dog. I can’t believe growing up in New York I never knew about his work. Petunia & the Vipers. Petunia is a friend of mine in Canada and I can’t believe every single person in the world doesn’t know about him yet. He just released a new album. And Blue Gene Tyranny, this sort of jazz ensemble. And George Harrison, always, always, always.

Imagista: How is the current political landscape affecting you as an artist?

Marianne Rendon: I’m reading the newspaper every day now, knowing what’s going on. Giving a shit. Calling senators, which I’d never participated in before, but has now become a habit. In my career, I want to be conscious of choosing work and projects that I think are promoting diverse voices and values. That is very important to me for my future and career.

Imagista: If you could be remembered for one thing, as a human and/or as an artist  what would that one thing be (and why)?

Marianne Rendon: That I was present with people I worked with and met and interacted with. I hope I can make people feel seen and heard. That’s really what I would hope for.

Imagista: Who has had the greatest impact on your life as an artist?

Marianne Rendon: Again, I can’t narrow it down to just one, sorry! Patti Smith, obviously. Anna Magnani, Gena Rowlands, Jim Houghton, who was the founder of Signature Theater in New York and ran Juilliard while I was studying: an incredible humanitarian and artist. Ellen Lauren. My childhood piano teacher, Marvi, who disappeared, I don’t know where she is now. And my flamenco teacher, Eileen Pasloff, who taught me about all things sensual as an artist and about quality in performance. And I don’t mean quality as in good or bad, but how are you doing something to someone else. How you move through a space, imagine a world…And it can be concrete or abstract. I always leaned on abstraction myself!

Image facing left: Green wool hat by Eugina Kim. Black wool coat by Burberry. Cocoa Mirage Eye Quad Tom Ford, Evan Lipstick Tom Ford, Brow Sculptor Espresso Tom Ford.

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Facing Left: Navy silk scarf from Leah Levin Vintage. Black & gold chiffon dress by Sonia Rykiel. YSL rouge Rose Lipstick, YSL Couture palette 01, Faux Cils Eyeliner Black, YSL Blush Volupte Heart of Light.

Facing Left: Dior 5 Coleur Eyeshadow Electrify, Sephora I’m Quite Tipsy Blush, Diorskin PerfectMatte Powder Foundation, Dior addict, Lipstick Fashion Night. Facing Right: Silk Flowers in Hair Perfect Bangs Living Proof Style Extender Marc Jacobs Beauty Fineliner Deep Evergreen, Marc Jacobs Air Blush Kinks and kisses, Kiss Pop Lipstick Pop Arazzi.

Beauty Direction and Makeup:Regina Harris
Photography by: Patric Shaw
Styled by: Joseph Delate
Hair Stylist: Carmel Bianco
Imagista Creative Director: Michael Williams