A voice as sweet and comforting as a dollop of molasses rings across the phone. Profusely apologizing for her raspy voice and near delirium due to a severe cold, the ginger-haired actress originally from Mason City, Iowa, is still willing and gratuitously accommodating when we talk. Tanna Frederick might seem like your average Angeleno who enjoys a good Bravo marathon of “Real Housewives,” but she is a talented and driven actress who is not quite as jaded by the Hollywood lifestyle considering her Midwestern upbringing.

“I’ve been out here trying to maintain my sanity in this business for 10 years,” says Frederick who moved to Los Angeles after spending her college years in Iowa. “I think you have to look at it with a sense of humor. My character has a lot of heart, and I wanted to play her realistically. There are a lot of films that are making fun of Hollywood and that are commenting on the insanity of the business and how ridiculous the people are.”

The film in question is Queen of the Lot, the latest from independent writer-director Henry Jaglom; the film is a follow-up to Hollywood Dreams (2006). In Queen of the Lot, Frederick portrays Maggie, an aspiring actress who is hoping to capitalize on her two D.U.I.’s and the electronic ankle bracelet that is keeping her under house arrest.

A study of societal addiction as well as the fruitless search for meaning in fame, the film allows Frederick some wiggle room with her character that she ultimately portrays with a mixture of innocence and unexaggerated reality.

“That’s where I was five years ago,” admits Frederick about finding herself in Maggie. “I don’t feel like I have the insane drive for fame that she has. My character is a blown-up amalgam of actors. I’m more of a voyeur, and I see this going on with people in Hollywood. I see reality shows, and I see the Paris Hilton’s and the Kim Kardashian’s. It’s more of a societal study of a certain type of person than it is playing myself.”

Trapped in her house and in an unhealthy relationship with a bad-boy movie star, Maggie desperately re-checks her Google points and plays up her house arrest to the media in the hopes of making that difficult leap off of the B-list. The film is a testimony to the film industry as it relates to the rest of the world. Though it is set in our town of glitz and glam, the film relies on the universal themes of dependence, obsession and the search for happiness.

“Addiction is only a symptom of anxiety, of fear, of loneliness, of low self-esteem,” says Frederick. “My girlfriends in Iowa are going after the same things Maggie is going after. It’s not show business, but they want a career and a good home life and to be happy. It’s not just a film for Hollywood-ites. It has to do with what a lot of people go through in terms of having really big dreams and going after them full force. For all human kind, that is the goal.”

In this film, Frederick is really put through the ringer. Her character’s solid plan gets complicated when she meets her boyfriend’s brother (played by the ever-charming Noah Wyle) who, despite his own dark secrets, is a truer fit for the pre-Hollywood Maggie who has been lost in the haze of ambition.

Describing her handsome co-star as “the Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda of the present day,” Frederick was given ample room by her director to improvise for the film. One such scene, which she says was her favorite to shoot, takes place in the kitchen between Frederick and Wyle. Without giving too much away, the scene is a funny, smart, endearing testament to honest filmmaking and natural acting.

“I was terrified before that scene,” admits a jovial Frederick. “I thought, ‘OK, I’m in lingerie. I’m sitting with Noah Wyle and I’m supposed to seduce him in this scene while chewing ice cream and spitting it out. This is just not going to work.’ We did the whole entire scene in one single take. So I only had to eat like half a pint of ice cream. That’s the magical part of Henry’s films. It was perfection.”

Queen of the Lot releases in select theaters Nov. 19.