Enduring Star Lauren Holly
A veteran performer with more than three decades of movie and television under her belt, her most recent work as a lead actor in a Canadian procedural crime drama can now be viewed via the ABC network. Her unique group of off-camera interests drew our attention, so we have tried to include a bit of both in this Holiday issue. Meet the lovely and talented actor, Enduring Star Lauren Holly.
I&S: You are known for your TV work in series like Picket Fences, NCIS and the current CTV/ABC hit, Motive, as well as roles in over 50 films and made-for-TV movies. In Motive, you play Dr. Betty Rogers, the medical examiner who is responsible for the describing the technical aspects of the crime. In your role, do you see yourself as someone young women might look up to? Is having a secret backstory a way of softening an intelligent female character for the male viewership?
LH: Good question. I enjoy the thought that the back story makes my character more appealing to men – trust me, it feels good at a certain point – but I actually liked it because it was a statement that life only gets better and more interesting as one gets older. To me it was intended to speak to other women. I always felt Dr. B was in charge, and felt freedom in all her choices, so, yes, and a good someone to look up to.
I&S: What made you the right choice for this role? When you consider your performance, are there aspects of Dr. Rogers’ personality and/or mannerisms that you favor which in the years to come viewers will associate with this character?
LH: I’m not sure if I was the right choice, or if the role and I kind of evolved together. When I first met with the exec, she wasn’t in the script yet. They had an idea – based on medical examiners they had met with – but I think we kind of grew up together. In my time each episode I just want to leave an impression. I love when the writers give me something funny to say, or even just an extra look. I think people enjoy her overall ‘style’. From glasses to fedoras- and always ‘dressed’.
I&S: Headed into the third season and going strong. Is the cast/crew now a well-oiled machine headed for the 5-year syndication goal or could this story line go beyond that point?
LH: I wish I knew the answer to that. Television is a competitive place. I can tell you that this season is the best by far…at least from my taste. We spent two seasons getting everyone use to our different way of storytelling while only revealing bits and pieces of our characters. This year the audience will find out a lot more about our characters and our various relationships. I love it.
I&S: For this Holiday issue we’d also like to focus on your work outside of the industry. First up is your Lauren Holly “HollyDay” Collection (http://laurenhollycollection.com ) of holiday-themed decorative items. How did you partner with Mera International, Ltd. to get this project off the ground? What attracted you to the designs you selected?
LH: We were introduced by mutual friends and the conversation was born. It seemed like a good way to start. My name and my favorite Hollyday – sorry, it’s a habit. I have always loved decorating and crafting-related activities. Some of my fondest memories are of my extended family all coming together and of my grandmothers and all of their traditions. Holly was everywhere, poinsettias signaled the season and the renditions of “12 days of Christmas” always ended in laughter.
I&S: Time management as a working mother with three sons sounds like a basis for your fashion line at Le Chateau called Lauren’s Closet. Can you tell us a bit about this Canadian brand and your guidelines for choosing the items in your collection? How does travelling from Canada (snow country) down to sunny Los Angeles influence your fashion selections?
LH: Le Chateau is a well known brand in Canada, but not one that I was familiar with. I had my first fitting for a movie titled After the Ball (a Cinderella story set in the world of fashion). I play the evil step-mother (who is fortunate enough to be married to Chris Noth). It turned out that all of the clothes in the film were being designed by them. I loved my wardrobe. The style, how it fit…I became a fan. I got very close to the company throughout filming and found myself regularly shopping at their stores. My joke was that Le Chateau should actually be called Lauren’s Closet. They took me seriously! I think they loved how I “discovered” them and wanted me to help other women like me do the same.
I’m a mom, I work, I’m always running around and keeping a bunch of balls in the air. I want to get dressed easily while having the ability to mix and match without a lot of thought. I want it to be easy to take care of and well-made so it lasts forever. I also want it to be affordable. I don’t want to have a part in “aspiring to the bag” as that can cause financial ruin. Excess is not best. I wish Canada was more snowy – it has been so much less than the Upstate NY winters I had growing up. We have a true four seasons here and I love my Fall. Almost everything can work—LA people still love their winter wear- they ski too!
I&S: We have interviewed athletes who have associated themselves with sports drinks but never an actor. How did you come to recommend the vitamin drink Vemma? Has it helped you?
LH: Again, a movie set. Hoovey is the true story of a family who had to deal with their basketball star son getting a brain tumor. The emotional battle that their family faced also left them in financial ruin. I played the mother, Ruth Elliott, who is one of the principle members of that company. That business helped save her family. The product was on the set and I got hooked on it. A lot of us did. I decided to join the company.
I&S: You promote “The A Fund” in memory of your late brother Alexander Innes Holly. What field(s) of research is the Fund supposed to support? Who has benefitted from the scholarships to date?
LH: We grew up in Geneva, New York. My father is a professor of comparative literature at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Alexander loved art and architecture and his nickname was ‘A’. The fund is a four year scholarship given to a student who is a student at HWS, studies in one of these areas and has a financial need. Our recipients have been amazing and interesting. You can learn all about it on the college’s website.
I&S: With regards to your website, do you feel more in control of your career when you can be the outlet for your promotion and/or editor of your brand? Can you give an example of how technology such as this works for you?
LH: There are pros and cons to all of the social media. For me the hardest is just the time. However, I have felt that I am more able to present who I really am to those that care. My website LaurenHolly.com is a good clearing house. I can just include the ‘real’ stuff. I like twitter (@LaurenHolly) because I can interact with people, but just a little is enough. Instagram @LaurenHolly1) is great because it is another way to allow a glimpse into your real personality.
My only carefulness is that I never want to give away everything- I need an audience to believe a part I play. My friends will tell you that – once they know me – they are less impressed when they watch me. Think about your best friend. Would you laugh just a little if you watched her playing a super/secret agent spy?
I&S: If you would, please let us know about any soon to be released projects and website addresses where viewers might continue to follow your career?
LH: Hoovey will be released on January 31, 2015. After the Ball is slated to be released in the Spring 2015 and Motive will continue with its third season later this Winter.
I&S:: As we gazed through the list of TV medical examiner roles and related actors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_medical_examiners) we were struck by just how many there were…while at the same time being shocked at the public’s fascination with the genre which requires such specialists as part of those plotlines. We are sure that Ms. Holly will, in time, develop her character so as to rival even the most memorable on that list. We at Image & Style Magazine thank her for her time and look forward to Season 3 of Motive.