L Y D I A H E A R S T
Interview} Ken Waller
Photography} John Russo
Location} Los Angeles, California
Makeup} Allan Avandano
Hair} Marcus Francis
Styling} Joseph Cassell
Produced} Photohouse Productions
KW: When did you decide you wanted to transition from modeling to acting?
LH: My true creative passion is acting. And although I absolutely love acting my background is in fashion and it’s not something that I would truly ever want to say goodbye to. I have always been drawn to the world of entertainment and self-expression. And I am thankful to have a family who has always believed in me and supported my dreams and ambitions.
KW: Was there an “aha” moment, maybe a film you saw or a great performance, that may have inspired you to take the leap into acting?
LH: I remember growing up watching my mom walk the catwalk for Thierry Mugler, and act in various John Waters films. It all seemed so magical and fantastic – I just knew that it was a world I wanted to be a part of. I firmly believe that if you are actively engaged in life as an individual, you are more able to draw from yourself. When you are an actor you have a script, but you must make yourself into the character, live the part, own the words, and breathe life into role. Acting itself is a form of play-pretend and make-believe, and the truly effective performances are ones that are grounded in intimate, emotional honesty.
KW: In your most recent film Titanic 666, you play a pivotal role in a movie where your character seeks retribution and scares the hell out of everyone on board. How did you prepare for this role?
LH: This character was very dark and psychologically fascinating. She is consumed by the tragedy of the Titanic and is determined to settle her unfinished business with the living as well as the dead. I had a lot of fun with this role and loved reuniting with some of my Z Nation family.
KW: In your next horror film, Slayers, you’re not only starring, but you are also a co-executive producer. How did you become involved in this project, and what drew you to it?
LH: It’s been a remarkable learning experience for me to be able to get a glimpse behind the scenes and gain a better understanding of the day-to-day process of filmmaking. This film is a unique and modern reimagining of the classic vampire lore, and as I am a horror fanatic, I signed onto the project Slayers as both an actor and producer. I loved the story and world that Writer/Director Asher Leven had created, and I am thrilled to be a part of this production.
KW: Wow, you are one busy woman; you’re also starring in Akatsuki Entertainment’s forthcoming film, Root LETTER alongside Danny Ramirez, which is an English-language film adaptation of the Japanese video game; the film is intended as a gritty re-imagining of the game’s core story of a protagonist in search of a former pen pal who disappears under curious circumstances. Can you tell us about your role in this film? How was it working with Danny Ramirez? Have you worked with him before?
LH: I play the role of Karen, a volatile and unstable mother who is emotionally tortured and desperately addicted to heroin. This role was extremely challenging as Karen is so different from who I am as an individual, but I love a challenge! Working with Danny was so wonderful, he’s incredibly talented and a lovely person, and I’m so excited to see where his career is taking him. We all worked extremely hard and put a lot of love, effort, and care into bringing these characters to life and telling this story.
KW: With filmmaking much more accessible than years ago, what do you think about this new breed of young filmmakers grabbing their iPhones and assembling teams of friends and creating their own vehicles? Are you on board with this type of filmmaking?
LH: I think it’s wonderful that more and more people have the accessibility and ability to create art and make films. I am fully on board with people pursuing their dreams and bringing their stories to life. It’s wonderful that artists now have the ability to get their work seen and both fans and consumers are able to be exposed to so many wonderful things that we may never have been able to see at any other time in cinematic history.
KW: Choosing the right roles/projects in Hollywood is basically like rolling the dice. Is there any project you passed on that you wish you would have except it? And on the flip side, is there any project that you accepted that you wish had passed on?
LH: I find myself drawn to character-driven roles and scripts where I’m forced to challenge and change myself, both physically and emotionally. I get to tap into different aspects of my personality and really change. With acting, every project and every role is a new adventure. I love to challenge myself – that’s a huge part of what draws me to a part. I love changing and I love working hard and tapping into these aspects of my personality that maybe I wasn’t even aware of before. And I particularly enjoy being able to work on fun projects with nice people and create art.
KW: Most actors have their “dream role”; what is your dream role. What type of character would you like to portray, and who would be your dream costars?
LH: I have accomplished so much and so many of my goals. Every job and each opportunity has been memorable and helped me to grow as an individual and a performer. My dreams have and I believe still are coming true. I just hope to be able to continue doing what I love and creating art with amazing people. I am grateful for each and every opportunity that comes my way, and
KW: If you had three wishes, what would they be?
LH: I don’t think I would wish for anything. To me, it’s important to live life fully to the best of your abilities, be present, and at the end of the day, you should follow your heart and be true to yourself. It’s pointless to wish when life is meant to be lived. And besides, as someone who watches pretty much all horror movies, wishes always backfire; so you may as well accept and embrace yourself and your life as it unfolds.
KW: You have worked with almost every top photographer in the game, what was it like working with photographer John Russo in creating these absolutely incredible images?
LH: In my fashion career, I had the opportunity to travel the world and work with some of the most iconic designers and photographers to date. Because of my work in fashion, I developed my own unique and personal sense of style and learned how to be comfortable in my own skin. I have been extremely fortunate in my career and am so thankful for every opportunity that has come my way as every job and each opportunity has helped me to grow as an individual and performer. And I am incredibly grateful for every day that I can work and continue to chase my dreams, especially when I am able to work with such incredible talent as John Russo. I had the absolute time with him, especially being just a couple of months postpartum and my first time since giving birth being back in front of a camera, he made me feel incredibly comfortable, confident, beautiful, and safe.
To learn more about Lydia Hearst follow her at @lydiahearst