Photography by Derek Reed | Questions written by Carmen Obied
Lucy Walters is an American Actress, best known for having spent three season’s on the hit Starz show “Power” playing the character of Holly. Her character on Power had met her demise in a shocking episode that had all the fans buzzing on social media.
The images from the shoot, which are some of the first (outside of a few red carpet appearances) with her new look of blonde hair were shot on location at The Smyth Hotel in NYC and in the neighborhood of Tribeca.
Let’s find out what projects Lucy’s been working on lately…
FSHIFT: Hi Lucy, thanks for joining us here on Fashion Shift Magazine. You have recently landed an exciting role in the latest TV series adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s ‘Get Shorty’. What type of new perspective are they bringing to the story and can you tell us a bit about your role?
LUCY: Thanks so much for talking with me.
This “Get Shorty,” while still a comedy, is darker and more
grounded than the original. The central character Miles Daly
(Chili from the book and movie) is played by the wonderfully charming Chris O’Dowd. Like the movie, he is the muscle behind a murderous crime ring (helmed by a woman in our version, played by the fantastic Lydia Porto) and tries to extricate myself from his thuggish life by producing a movie, only to find he’s instead brought the crime world with him into Hollywood.
In our series, the characters are more fleshed out, textured, with a home life and backstory. We see that what drives Miles to change is his love for his daughter, the titular “Shorty” in our version. I play Katie Daly (a character not existent in the movie), Miles’ wife from whom he’s now separated but is desperately trying to win back for the sake of their daughter. Katie is great. She’s a sharp— practical and witty— and a good counterpoint to Miles, who despite his
profession is actually the sensitive, dreamy one.
A lot of our comedy comes from the oxymorons within the characters. Here’s a guy earnestly quoting pop psychology from TV whilst chopping up dead bodies.
FSHIFT: Can you describe to us what a “day on set” is usually like for you?
LUCY: The thrilling part of this job is that no day is the same. Still there are certain consistencies. For the actor, each day begins in hair and makeup. This production likes a very natural look, especially for the down-to-earth Katie. After HMU, the actors quickly rehearse on set with the director to roughly sketch out the emotional beats and blocking for the crew to see. Then the crew takes over set, lighting and positioning the camera with actor stand-ins while the actors get in costume and finish preparing. Then we shoot. As quickly as possible. And repeat again for the next scene. Our show is slightly different than most TV in that our show-runner (the extremely talented Davey Holmes, who most recently was a writer for
Shameless) doesn’t like to interrupt the work flow with “last look” hair and makeup touch ups before each take and he doesn’t like “sides” —sort of cheat sheets for actors—on set at all. I’m a big fan of working this way; it forces every one to be really on their game, to come to work ultra prepared.
FSHIFT: How do you mentally prepare for a role and get into character? Do you tend to have a certain routine or place you like to escape to for inspiration?
LUCY: Before any work begins I read the script several times with an open mind to awaken my creativity and allow the character reveal herself to me. I like to get in the character’s head and learn how she thinks —going line by line, “why would I say this”—which actually helps me learn the lines.
I like being very prepared so that on set I can relax and listen and play and hopefully disregard everything I’d planned and allow for new discoveries in the moment. That’s the beauty of working with great actors and directors; they surprise you.
FSHIFT: What are some of the most challenging or unusual scenes you’ve had to do?
LUCY: For the last three years, I was playing a character named Holly on STARZ’ Power. Filming her death was really difficult. Not only was it physically demanding—it was a brutal domestic violence situation— but emotionally it was tough to say goodbye to a role I loved so dearly alongside these people who’d become my family. And the scene needed to be raw, real and highly volatile—a scene where moment to moment you weren’t sure if it’d end in the bedroom or the grave.
FSHIFT: What route did you take to break into the acting world?
What were some of the transitional phases you experienced to get to this point?
LUCY: Mine was definitely not a linear path, but more of scatter plot; only with some perspective now can I see “oh, I guess I was heading in a direction.” I’ve spent the last 10 years grinding away, working hard and saying yes to every opportunity and trying to build a life I’m proud of. But I’ve tried to be strategic about how to find my edge competing in an ever-increasing pool of girls who on paper are
essentially identical to me. (And to try to be prettier or younger or whatever, we all know there’s no way to win that game!) So I started leaning into what made me me and differentiating myself that way. For example, I was a serious violinist most of my life and I leveraged that skill a bit initially to shrink the pool by playing roles that were musicians to get my foot in the door.
I also try—and this is an ongoing struggle— to love the parts of me that for years I tried to hide because I thought they weren’t my selling points. But in the acting world, I realize perfection is boring; you have to embrace your imperfections because they give you texture.
So for example, my crooked teeth (something that for most of my life I was self conscious about) I reframe for myself as an asset—a characteristic that makes me more uniquely qualified to do period dramas.
FSHIFT: When you started pursuing an acting career, did you envision yourself playing a certain type of character or genre? And has this changed overtime?
LUCY: I’m convinced we are all playing roles constantly in life. I have some strong personalities in my family and from an early age learned to be the nice one—the diplomat. So I guess I assumed that’s who I’d be cast as. But thank goodness, that has not been the case at all. Mostly I get cast as “the bitch” or the “bad girl” and it’s the best. Nice is so boring. And learning to genuinely love the bitch who lives inside me (all of us) has helped me find an inner strength.
FSHIFT: Are you interested in delving in other parts of the film industry, such as scriptwriting or directing?
LUCY: Absolutely. Acting is only the beginning for me. There are so many stories I want to tell—and not necessarily about people who look like me. I’m interested in helping to give voice to the people whose stories we aren’t seeing enough of. We definitely need more women and people of color getting
opportunities to create work.
FSHIFT: Do you watch your own movies or shows? How does it feel watching yourself on screen?
LUCY: It’s always weird to watch yourself on screen but I do learn a lot from doing it. And the thing is if I’m doing my job right, it’s not me I’m watching but the character.
People hated Holly in Power. But it’s not for me the actor to judge her. I still stand by everything she had to do, even though I could watch it as an audience member and totally get why people didn’t trust that character. But my job is to humanize every role I get.
FSHIFT: Throughout your acting career, have there been
aspects of the industry that you struggled with or surprised you?
LUCY: I was shocked by how much more democratized the TV world is than the theater world. I moved to NYC because I love theater, but I didn’t go to a fancy school and I found it really hard to break into the theater world. But in TV, if you’re right for the part, you’re right for the part, regardless of pedigree.
Also, and I like to think the industry is starting to change, but I am still shocked by what a boys’ club this world is and how few women and people of color are in positions of power in the industry.
FSHIFT: We’re excited to also have you featured in an
editorial published in our current issue of Fashion Shift
Magazine. Is modeling another avenue you pursue?
LUCY: Ha! I wish. I’m much better at transforming into a character than being seen as just me. But I have a lot of respect for fashion and for models.
Actress & Model: Lucy Walters | instagram @jesuislucyt
Photographer: Derek Reed | www.derekreed.com | instagram @dereklreed
Hair & Makeup: Kirsten Sylvester | instagram @makeupninja
Manicurist: Tee Hundley | instagram @teefornails
Stylist: Jessica Chen
Shot on Location at The Smyth: A Thompson Hotel | instagram @thompsonhotels