Actress Deirdre Lovejoy talks “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”

From “Shameless” to “The Blacklist,” Deirdre Lovejoy stars in some of TV’s biggest shows. This month, she’s taking to the big screen in Ang Lee’s new film, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” and we caught up with the actress to talk the reasons she’s an actor, her technologically ground-breaking new film and the difference between film and television.

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Photos by Nick Holmes

What drew you to be an actor?

I got my first part in a play in fifth grade, in a community theatre production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (playing my mother’s daughter). The Elkhart Civic Theatre became my home away from home and I was hooked.

What was the first moment when you knew you were doing what you were meant to be doing?

The moment I stepped on that stage in fifth grade in that play!

Your new film, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” has been heralded for the technology behind making the movie. Were you aware you were making the film in a way that had never been done before?

Yes, it was very much a part of the process. Ang incorporated the technology into the staging and vice versa—the team effort of bringing this new technology into the storytelling was extraordinary.

How did making this film challenge you in a way you hadn’t been challenged before?

Well, for starters I didn’t get to wear a stitch of make up! But beyond vanity, there were several new things—for example robotic cameras. The challenge of acting with a robot proved to be more interesting than originally anticipated. You don’t realize how much you are actually relying of the energy of the camera operator—it is very apparent when you are acting with a literal robot.

What was your takeaway from the experience of making the film?

I think I was most impressed worth the extraordinary collaboration this film took and the unification of one story and technology. The tech was all in service of Ang’s vision of the story, if that makes sense.

Do you approach working on shows like “The Blacklist” or “Shameless” differently than film work? What’s the biggest difference between the two mediums for you?

Well, there is certainly a bit more rehearsal for film; I hope I approach the work similarly, though. I am just interested in telling the truth of the character in both mediums.

In an industry that’s tough, what continues to drive you?

Interesting roles and adventurous projects. Actually, I feel like I am just getting started.

What’s next?

More “Blacklist” action; a new series called TROLLVILLE for the IFC channel, and, oh yeah—Thanksgiving in Paris and Amsterdam!

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