Check our interview with Rising Star Angela Lewis who will next star in the the upcoming highly-anticipated FX series “Snowfall” created by Academy Award-nominated writer and director John Singleton.
The crime drama series is set against the infancy of the 1980’s crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles and how it affected the city as well as its culture. The drama series will be releasing its first 10-episode season on FX this Summer 2017.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Loving, joyous, oxymoronic (ex. I’m so laid back, but I’m also an over-achiever)
Who is your biggest supporter?
It’s impossible to choose just one. I have a huge, extremely supportive village made up of family, friends, and peers. But I must say, my mom, dad, sister, and husband are the ones who lift me when I’m low, keep me grounded when I start to float, and cheer me on from the starting to the finish line of every aspect in my life. I am so grateful for them.
How did you get started in the industry?
I’ve been in the performing arts since I was three when I took my first dance class. So, from Saturday morning dance classes to school plays to majoring in theater in high school and college, my transition to a professional acting career (first in NY, now in LA) was quite organic.
What was your first acting role?
My very first acting role was in the first grade when I played Young Snow White. My teacher created a whole role for me in the classic story because she “knew I was a star”. Nope, I take that back. Prior to that I was a reindeer in a school holiday play! Maybe that’s where she saw my spark. Lol
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
I always say the best and worst aspect of an acting career is that there is no one way. No one’s journey is the same. So, you can take notes from other’s experiences. You can have heroes/heroines. You can read every article about every actor there is, but you will never be able to cut and paste a career. Figuring out your own path can be very difficult, very scary, and completely isolating. But once you embrace the fact that there has never been, nor will there ever be another you – Man! There is such freedom there.
Best advice ever given?
1) Know thyself. 2) Always bet on you.
How did you find out about FX series “Snowfall”? And tell us about your character Aunt Louie Saint?
I got an audition via email from my team. Aunt Louie is awesome! She’s tough but vulnerable, smart, and a go-getter, but she hasn’t always been able to make lemonade from her lemons. When we meet her, she is in a “dream-deferred” space, and we watch to see if she can pull herself up by her bootstraps.
What is the series about?
The series is set in 1983, and tells the story of how crack cocaine came on the scene and completely rocked (ha-ha see what I did there?) Los Angeles, specifically, and the country at large. We follow four main characters from completely different ways of life, and observe as their lives and objectives knock up against each other, each struggling for power and a sense of self in this big, winner take all world.
What has been your most memorable experience from the set so far?
I think the show does a lovely job at shining a light on, and exposing some layers to, some of our classic (and unfortunately, still timely) social issues, without being preachy. Episode 5 was really moving. And the shooting of one scene in particular, really allowed for the cast to take care of each other in a way that was unforeseen and beautiful. It was pretty amazing!
What other projects you have been part of?
Oh, so many. I’ve been doing this my whole life. Most recently, I shot an indie short where I got to be number one on the call sheet (which is always very cool and affirming). It’s called Let Them Die Like Lovers. Unfortunately, I can’t say too much, but it’s a mind bending sci-fi thriller from the brilliance of Jesse Atlas. I’m hoping we get to make a feature of it, and that I get to stay attached. I had a blast on that set!!
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?
I don’t have just one. I enjoy and pull from so many brilliant artists. I love actors who transform. The way Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep blend into a character like they’re stepping into a mink coat and zipping it all the way up – gives me life…every time! I love the roles that Thandie Newton and Natalie Portman take on. So many. I’ll be here typing all day with all those I love. But I have to note that I shake and weep terrible tears of adoration EVERY TIME I see Phylicia Rashad perform. She always moves me to my core. I did a workshop with her once and made sure I sat next to her every day to absorb every ounce of wisdom and whatever acting juju might be coming out of her pores. On the last day, after our scene together, she reached over and touched my knee with appreciation, and that was the moment I knew for sure I was an actor! That was last year!! LOL
3 things you can’t leave your house without?
My phone, My ID, and My Carmex.
What music do you like?
I like most music: classical, opera, Afro-Cuban/Latin, jazz, deep house, hip-hop, some rock (never been able to get into heavy metal), showtunes, an occasional country tune, love the blues, gospel, but I’m a classic R&B girl at my core.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
A service at Agape International Spiritual Center, brunch with friends, a “conference” call with my parents, my sister, my husband, and I, and then my husband’s home cooked dinner, on the couch, while catching up on some shows, a movie, or a documentary.
How’s a normal day in your life?
There is no normal day in my life. Sometimes, I’m extremely busy with auditions and work and keeping my life organized and most days I’m binge watching shows or at the beach. Each one is pretty normal for me.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
I have laid the foundations, and my money is now working for me. I live my life on my terms. My husband and I have two children. I am successfully balancing all the structures of my life (spirituality, marriage, parenthood, career, family, friendship, education, financial, personal). I am still growing, still expanding, still shining my light.
Do you support any charities?
While I’m still figuring out which organization(s) I will use my platform to support, I have given 10% of my time and income to charities since 2004 including: ACLU, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Black and Missing, Inc., PBS, UNCF, KPFK, Covenant House, The International Theater and Literacy Project, and most recently, I did a 5K walk with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Supporting those who are less fortunate than myself is God’s work, and a very important aspect of my life.
Where can we follow you?
Favorite Music: Classic baby makin’ music!
Quote: It’s long, but it changed my life:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you Not to be? You are a child of God. You’re playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson
Holiday Destination: Anywhere overseas with a beautiful beach, a new culture I can learn about, and BHub (my husband).
Photo Credit: Bobby Quillard