Deirdre Lovejoy is a highly successful actor having worked on TV, stage and film. A high point of her TV career came when she was cast as Assistant State’s Attorney Rhonda Pearlman in the HBO Series The Wire, a show proclaimed one of the finest television shows of all time for its five-season run. Her television credits include Law & Order, Spin City, The West Wing, and Law & Order: SVU & Criminal Intent, as well as roles in major films such as Step Up, Random Hearts and The Talented Mr. Ripley. She has guest starred on dozens of shows, including Body of Proof, Criminal Minds, Without a Trace, Judging Amy, NYPD Blue, Numb3rs, and Nip/Tuck.
More recently, she appeared with Tom Hanks on Broadway in Lucky Guy by Nora Ephron and will be appearing of Season 2 of the critically acclaimed Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Her website is http://deirdrelovejoy.com/home and you can follow her on twitter – @ddlovejoy.
DG – As a successful actor, you have worked on stage, TV and movies. If you can, describe a typical day at work.
Deirdre – YAY! I get to get up at 4:00am, apply ChopSaver. Be on the set by five, work until anywhere from 6:00pm to midnight– reapply ChopSaver. Right now a typical day for me is going to the theater at 6:00pm, doing a show at 7:30 and finishing the show at 11:30 – and doing THAT eight times a week! It’s a long play and on the weekends, we only have 40 minutes between shows. Thank you Tony Kushner! Thank you Berkeley Repertory Theater! (For more information on her latest project, click here – http://www.berkeleyrep.org/season/1314/7257.asp)
DG – Did you always want to be in show business?
Deirdre – Oh jeez. YES.
DG – How important is schooling or is it more about talent
and knowing the right people?
Deirdre – It’s all important. Training, talent, connections. People, of course, have careers with none of the above as well! To be good at anything takes discipline, persistence, and training. If you’re lucky enough to get the opportunity to work, it is extremely helpful to have the skill set that is required to deliver. There are plenty of people who want to be “famous” – but someone who really has an interest in the craft of acting will be eager to find training.
DG – What kind of support network do you need to do what you do? Family? Agent? Coaches?
Deirdre – All of the above would be nice! We all need as much support as we can possibly get! I think everyone has what works best for them. Ideally having family support is the most crucial. I have a very supportive family (my mother has always been 110% supportive), and my friends are 90% in the business. And one must have representation. Continuing training is crucial in all fields. Having the kind of support you need (after you identify what your needs are) is essential.
DG – So for an aspiring young actor, what is the #1 mistake most people make when it comes to taking an audition?
Deirdre – Being under prepared. Being over prepared. Being too nervous. Not being nervous enough. Having low self-esteem. Being too grandiose….you get my drift. I don’t know what the number one thing is…but I do know it’s important to do your homework, do your best and let go of the results. And above all, don’t be an asshole.
DG – You are a celebrity yourself, but what is it like when you get a chance to work with someone like a Tom Hanks, or any other mega star talent, either actor or director?
Deirdre – Wait, I am so excited right now. I’m a celebrity???!
(And my experience with ridiculously famous people, for the most part, has been pretty wonderful.)
DG – Your appearance is obviously important but what do you do to stay in shape both mentally and physically?
Deirdre – Well, I go to spin class at least three times a week. I’m happy. I drink a lot of water. I eat very well. I’m a championship sleeper. I laugh as often as possible, and I never go anywhere without my ChopSaver. Really. I don’t!
DG – Neither do I! Thanks for the great insight!