For over three decades Lauren Holly has brought thrilled audiences around the world with her top-notch acting skills and effervescent personality. Lauren Holly is no stranger to the big screen with roles in some of television and films most noteworthy projects, and is instantly recognizable from the roles that fill her diverse resume, which include breakout films like ‘Dumb and Dumber,’ ‘Any Given Sunday,’ ‘Sabrina,’ ‘Turbulence’ and more. Television credits include Emmy Award nominated drama ‘Chicago Hope,’ Emmy Award Winning series ‘Picket Fences,’ and most recently she stars as Dr. Betty Rogers in ABC’s hit crime drama series, ‘Motive,’ which is wrapping up its second season.With a slew of amazing projects in the works, she shows no signs of slowing down! Her life is a shining example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication to one’s craft. Whether it is exploring the world’s of television, movies, or writing, for Lauren Holly, the best is yet to come.
Lauren will soon play the female lead in the director Sean McNamara’s ‘Field of Lost Shoes,’ the film adaptation of the popular novel, where she stars alongside Jason Isaacs and David Arquette. ‘ The film is a moving period piece recounting a historic battle during the Civil War and is set for theatrical release on September 26th. Always staying busy, Lauren will also be starring as Ruth Elliott in the emotional true story ‘Hoovey,’ also directed by Sean McNamara (Soul Surfer). Based on the Jeff Elliott novel ‘Rebounding From Death’s Door,’ which tells the story of Ruth and Jeff Elliott as they deal with their son’s battle with a life threatening disease.
Her success is not limited to the world of acting as her exclusive fashion line, Lauren’s Closet, has become a hit with consumers of Canadian retail giant Le Chateau. Even with many irons in the fire, Lauren Holly continues to give back with her philanthropical work.
Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Lauren Holly to discuss her career, evolution as an actor, upcoming projects and much more!
They say a career in the entertainment industry is a long and winding road. How did you get started on your journey and what made you want to pursue acting as a career?
That is a question that the answer probably deserves our entire interview time! [laughs] I will try to really cut it down dramatically! It was a passion of mine from living in Europe with my parents. I went to RADA (The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) in London and got involved with drama. It was always a hobby. Francis Ford Coppola saw me in a play and gave me my first film when I was in college. He and his producing partner convinced me to put off going to law school and give it a shot because they really thought that I had a chance. So, there is a very succinct version!
It seems like it is working out for you fine so far!
So far! [laughs]
Who were some of the influences who had a big impact on you and your craft?
I think my father had a big role on who I became because he taught me a big lesson before I became a teen. He taught me to love reading, which I feel really informed me in my career choice. Then when I was a teenager he said the biggest lesson he could teach me was to learn how to be alone. That really affected me in a lot of ways and I think it made me a strong actor.
Your latest project is “The Field of Lost Shoes.” How did you get involved with the project and what intrigued you about it?
Shawn McNamara, who directed it, and I had just finished working together on a film I star in for him called “Hoovey.” He was going off to do this and there was the role of a female in it. He asked me if I would come along and do this project with him as well. That is probably the biggest compliment a director could make!
Obviously, you have experience working with him. What does he bring to the table as a director?
Shawn has a unique ability to make the actors feel like they are living the story that we are trying to tell. The environment he creates on the set really sort of lends itself to whatever we are trying to do. He is very clear about every moment and it really helps.
Be it this role or another project, is there a particular process you go about in bringing a new character to life and what did you bring to the role that wasn’t on the written page?
It really depends on the role. It depends on if it is someone who is real or not, how much research you can do or if it is all about feelings. I don’t think any actor can say they have a specific process for every part that they play. I think whoever plays a part brings things to it from the person that they are. I think that is what I did. I am not sure if this woman really existed or not. There was no research I could do for it but she was a character that could very well have been in that time, who got involved in the war effort like so many women did. As far as bringing something different, I am sure just by the nature of me choosing to play her as opposed to someone else, made it a different character.
“The Field of Lost Shoes” has a great cast. What did you take away from your time on set?
I think the level of commitment was quite amazing. Everyone was very keen on being historically correct. We were shooting in some intense heat and humidity and those boys were all game for wearing exactly what the real boys had been wearing, no matter how heavy the materials and equipment might be. There was no faking it for cinema’s sake. That was really inspiring to see. As for me, wearing a corset was a big challenge! [laughs]
Another project you have been a part of is the series, “Motive.” What is your favorite part of this series and how does it compare to your previous television experiences?
I love working on “Motive” because I love working with the cast and crew. It is a bunch of great people. I don’t feel nearly the pressure I have in the past since I don’t have to carry the show. That is also quite nice. I am also able to take a little bit more risk with my part sometimes because of that. I like being a part of a show that kind of turned the genre on its head a bit. We already know who the killer is, we are more interested in why it happened. I think that is kind of cool as well.
It is great to hear you are as excited about the show as its fans are. With that said, where do you hope to see your character go?
I think that all of the characters this season are about to go on quite a journey. I can tell just from the first two scripts of the season. We just started shooting and we are all very excited about the direction we are going!
You have been a part of so many terrific projects through the years. Looking back on your career, what do you consider your biggest evolution as an actor?
I think I feel more grounded. I don’t know, as you get older and have more life experience, it is not as intimidating a thing. I feel more capable in playing more varied parts and I have more confidence. I think it is something that only comes with getting older. It makes my days at work more relaxing! [laughs]
Is there a role or genre you are anxious to tackle in the future?
I think I am ready to get back into some comedy. I have had quite a bit of drama as of late. Last spring, I made another feature that was more of a romantic comedy. It was a lot of fun for me and it sort of awakened that part of me again. I love comedy! I just love it!
Your talents aren’t limited to acting. You recently rolled out a fashion line, which is very exciting. What can you tell us about it and what goes into bringing something like this to life?
It is kind of crazy actually! In Canada, it has become quite a big deal. There is brand here called Le Château. It is a very, very popular store and I did a line for them called Lauren’s Closet. It is in 280 stores across Canada and even in Dubai. You can find it online, as well. It has been quite an experience. I didn’t really realize how much I loved it but it really came from loving that particular brand. I became a fan of it being here in Canada.
Any plans to do more of this in the future?
Oh yeah! I think this association with Le Château is going to go on. We are a very good match. I love the fact the clothes are fantastic quality, fashionable and the price point can’t be beat. I can tell everyone they can go out and get a fabulous outfit and not break the bank.
As you mentioned, you made your home in Canada. Was that a difficult transition for you to make professionally?
Actually, it really wasn’t! The most difficult thing was deciding to leave “NCIS,” since that is what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to raise my boys in Los Angeles and they were getting to an age where I didn’t think it would be a very good thing. I picked Toronto as a single mom with three boys to be near my family because I grew up in Upstate New York and it is only about a two hour drive away. I figured I had worked here so much in my career, if I established residency, I would continue to do so. I did and I have worked more than I had in 10 years! [laughs] In the last two years alone, I have done the television series, four feature films and two television movies. In addition to the clothing line I also launched a collection of holiday Christmas decorations called The Lauren Holly Collection! I have been a little bit busy here! [laughs]
You serve as such an inspiration to young actors. What is the best piece of advice you can pass along to someone looking to make a career in the entertainment industry?
I think the best advice I could be is to be authentic and work hard. Know exactly who you are and what your strengths are and don’t try to mold yourself into what you think everyone else wants you to be.
What can you tell us about the charity work you are currently involved in?
My biggest charity is called The “A” Fund. It is in memory of my little brother. It is really a scholarship that is given to a student of art, architectural, art history and that sort of thing at Hobart and William Smith College. It has become a very big scholarship that people compete for and I am very proud of that! I am also involved with Le Château in a charity called “Dress For Success,” which provides the right outfit to go out and get a job and be presentable at a job interview. I am happy to be a part of that as it gives people an opportunity to start off on the right foot. I am also involved with many cancer benefits, whether it is adult or pediatric. I am constantly standing up to cancer, as they say!
These days it seems like there are plenty of celebrities creating books of one type or another. Do you have any interest in exploring that realm?
I think it would be not too surprising to some of my fans because one of the popular things I do on my blog is write pieces, stories or chapters of my life. Sometimes I have even written fictional short stories. I have also written blogs for People Magazine and Hello Magazine in Canada. I have had some publishers coming to me asking if I had any interest in a book. Honestly, right now, my plate is just too full. I am never going to say never but I am not sure at the moment.
Thanks so much for your time today, Lauren! We wish you continued success!
That’s awesome! Thank you so much, Jason!
Get all the latest new and updates from Lauren Holly at her official website located at www.laurenholly.com.