When actor Meg Gillentine was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, she found solace in her work in the Georgia film industry. The industry not only provided a creative outlet and income but, most importantly for Meg, incredible health insurance.
As a working actor, Meg has hit the level of success that qualifies her for health insurance through the Screen Actors Guild. For Meg, meeting the required income threshold happened when she moved back to her hometown of Marietta to work in film and TV.
“I’ve had more opportunities in film, TV and commercial work in Georgia than I ever did in New York or L.A.,” says Meg. “We moved back here and we’re the happiest we’ve ever been.”
Meg is healthy now and says she is thankful she had health insurance to cover the cost of her cancer treatment. She says pursuing a career in Georgia was an easy decision. She goes where the work is and Georgia has so much to offer.
“Coming home to a fully developed industry that I could sink my teeth into was a dream come true,” says Meg. “Georgia has given us a wonderful lifestyle. Our child can attend public school, housing is affordable, and we’re close to our family.”
A graduate of Pebblebrook High School, Cobb County’s performing arts magnet, Meg went to New York University for musical theater. During her sophomore year she earned the role of Cassandra in the show “Cats” on Broadway. She attended school during the day and performed on Broadway at night through college. After graduation, she performed in numerous national tours and Broadway shows, including the national tour of “The Producers.” That led to her first film role in the movie version of “The Producers.”
In 2006, Meg moved to L.A. where she continued to do theater, commercial and print work. She married in 2009 and had a baby with her husband Jay Hunter Morris, a renowned opera singer, who traveled for many months out of the year. In 2011, Meg realized Georgia was the place to be, and she moved her family here.
Within months, Meg booked a series of commercials for SCANA. Since then she’s appeared in commercials for Ford, Direct TV, Toyota, Smithfield Bacon, Home Depot and many more. She’s booked appearances in numerous movies and TV shows, including “I Tonya,” “Madea’s Witness Protection,” “Being Mary Jane,” “Star,” and “Queen America.”
“The people in the Georgia film industry are a tight-knit, fantastic group,” says Meg. “I just want to work. Give me one line or fifty, both are equally fantastic. In the last two weeks I’ve had 10 auditions for TV shows — that didn’t happen in L.A. It’s exciting for Georgia and for all the local actors. A lot of us are able support ourselves from the opportunities that the film and TV industry provide. It’s a blessing and I’m grateful.”