"It was 'Fearless Vampire Killers,' " said Granville, who has called Weehawken home for the last decade. "The directing and acting in that movie was phenomenal. Once I saw that movie, I knew that it was what I wanted to do."
However, little did Granville know that acting and the theater would eventually become a profession that her entire family would learn to enjoy.
Right after Granville, who is a native of Brooklyn and moved to Tennessee as a youngster, graduated from the University of Tennessee, she moved back to New York to pursue an acting career.
"I came back and started auditioning right away," Granville said.
One of her first parts was in a movie, "Sweet Liberty," starring and directed by Alan Alda. Granville was one of the Revolutionary War women in the movie.
"I've also done a lot of educational films," Granville said. "I've done some independent films and a lot of off-Broadway theater."
It was during an off-off-Broadway production when Granville met her husband, Francis Callahan, who is also an actor. The couple has worked together in several plays for the Love Creek Production company in Manhattan, including "Moon for the Misbegotten," last summer, which Granville directed and Callahan starred in.
Granville and Callahan, now living in Weehawken, have two daughters - Molly, 7, who attends Webster School, and Bonnie, 5. Granville also has a 15-year-old daughter, Katie Gross, from a previous marriage. Katie is a sophomore at Weehawken High School.
It has turned out that everyone in the family is now involved with theater arts.
Everyone's an actor
Recently, Granville has been involved with the Blueberry Pond Arts Center, a new theater company in Ossining, N.Y. that features the works of young playwrights. The experience has been so positive that Granville is not only acting in some of the center's productions, but she's also found roles for Molly and backstage work for Katie.
Last week, Blueberry Pond produced a three-play production as a fund-raiser to help finance the center's upcoming season of four original plays.
In one play, called "Eden's End," Granville plays the role of a woman who is trying to deal with the recent death of her husband.
"It was a very exciting role," Granville explained. "It was a lot more erotic and mysterious than other things I've done."
In the same fund-raiser in another play, Molly Callahan had an acting role in "Tell Me A Story," playing a role where the child develops a relationship with her father through a bedtime tale.
Behind the scenes is Gross, who at the young age of just 15 has already established herself as a lighting specialist and technical director.
Katie, who acted in the Weehawken High School production of "Godspell" last year, playing the role of Mary Magdalene, first got involved with the technical side of theater last year, when Katie learned to work the lighting board while watching her mother perform at a short play festival in Manhattan.
"I guess I always liked pushing buttons since I was a baby," Gross said. "I just sat in one day and learned how to operate the board."
When an emergency came up and one of the operators wasn't able to make the production, young Katie stepped in and did the job, running the lights for the production for several days. "Although I like acting, this is what I want to do," Gross said. "Everything I want to do is purely electrical."
Gross became so accomplished as a lighting expert that she now gets other jobs, outside of the productions her mother is involved in.
"Katie is in great demand," Granville said. "Anyone who has that talent can get jobs lined up right away. It's very impressive. No one knows she's only 15. People tell me that I look too young to have a child in college. I have to straighten them out. But Katie is now being contacted by groups that I have nothing to do with. She's actually in such demand that she's turning down jobs. She still has days when she's still 15 years old, but most people don't think they're working with a teenager. I think it's very impressive that she knows what she wants to do. I just figured out at her age that I wanted to act. I never had the chance to learn as much as Katie has."
There is a slight obstacle - transportation, considering Katie is two years away from a driver's license.
"She's become very resourceful and gets around on her own," Granville said.
In fact, in preparation for the Blueberry Pond productions, Granville and Gross didn't even travel together, because they had different time schedules.
"It does get exhausting," Gross said. "I came home late the other night and had a chemistry test the next day. But I'm having a lot of fun. I love working with my mom. I also think it's great that my little sister is now involved. I love watching her. She's so adorable. I'm getting a lot of good experience. I'm working on building my resume as much as I can. It's definitely hard, but it's well worth it."
Following in their footsteps
Granville is pleased that her daughters have been able to follow in her footsteps.
"I'm happy that my daughters can grow up so closely related to the arts, with so much appreciation for the theater," Granville said. "As far as them having a career in the theater, I tell them what I've told everyone else. If you're happy doing something else, you should do it, but if you can only be happy with acting, then you have no choice."
Added Granville, "I'm so thrilled that they've all taken such an interest, because it's something so important to me. I don't care if they pursue it as a career. Katie already knows what her strengths and talents are."
So it's all in the family. Their entire world is on the stage.
"I think it helps that my husband also acts," said Granville. Francis Callahan also works for the entertainment division of HBO.
"He's so supportive," Granville said of her husband. "We'll meet in the city and he'll hand me a child. It helps now that all the kids are involved. There's always someone in the group who can look after them."
Even Bonnie is getting involved.
"She's come up [to Ossining] and had a few lines," Granville said. "But she's just learning to read. It's definitely all in the family. It's hard to actually act with my husband, because there are the babysitting duties. But we enjoy working together."
Both Callahan girls and their mother had small roles in the movie, "Autumn in New York," starring Richard Gere and Wynona Ryder.
It's hard to say where the road might lead, but there is a chance that the entire family could work together at a production at Blueberry Pond.
"I think it makes it much easier having everyone involved," Granville said. "I see a lot more of my family when everyone is involved. There are workshops going on and plays by new writers coming up that I hope we can all be a part of."
"I think it's a lot more fun having everyone in the family involved," Gross said. "It's definitely a good feeling."