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Actress Eve Lindley Talks Outsiders, Politics & Viola Davis

Actress Eve Lindley Talks Outsiders, Politics & Viola Davis

Photography: Gavin Bond

"I think that it’s our duty and job to never stop creating. They can’t take away our creations. They can’t take away our art."

Eve Lindley is poised to be Hollywood's next starlet--coming off a year of roles in Katie Holmes' directorial debut, All We Had, as well as a New York Times-acclaimed performance this past summer in the off-Broadway play Street Children, and recurring parts on TV series including Mr. Robot and, currently, Outsiders on WGN.

Related | OUT100: Eve Lindley, Actress

Outsiders follows the story of the Farrells, a rural mountain family living in the Appalachians, in a battle with the cops and townspeople to preserve their old-fashioned way of life. Lindley plays Frida, the girlfriend of one of the townsfolk harboring a rogue Farrell, Hasil, and his pregnant girlfriend, Sally Anne.

We sat down with the actress and OUT100 honoree to chat about her dream roles, typecasting, the political climate, and, naturally, Viola Davis.

OUT: Your character on Outsiders is named Frida. She had a few episodes last season, and she's a bigger part this season. Who is she?

Eve Lindley: Frida is in a committed relationship with Butch, who is a white straight cis man. I think Butch--the fact that he's dating a trans woman, and he's also a drug dealer--we're outsiders within the town. We're not upstanding members of the community. I have a bigger part this season because I spend a lot of time helping out another character, Sally Anne, who's pregnant. I drive her to appointments.

She sounds really caring, investing a lot in other people. Is this anything you relate to?

When I got the audition, I sort of thought she was just a big mess. She did a lot of drugs, never left the house, was dependent on her boyfriend. But this season she's different--she's helping out Sally Anne because she says she wants to be a mother one day. I really like Frida. I like that she has all these things--she wants to be a mother, she has a boyfriend she really loves. She has these aspirations. But I wouldn't say I have much in common with her.

What's the hardest thing to play about her?

Even though Frida is a big presence in this storyline she's in the background a lot, so I'm getting to do a lot of reactionary work as an actor--to not try and pull focus, but simultaneously develop this inner monologue.

What do you feel you're typecast in, if anything?

I've been cast primarily in roles that are trans within a trans experience. But I can't say any of them are crazy similar. In the Katie Holmes movie, All We Had, I play sort of a bubbly, young, aspiring performer. And then in Outsiders, I'm still kind of bubbly and funny but it's just a darker piece. I can't really say that I've been typecast very much. Other than that I've been playing trans roles. But I don't know if you'd call that typecasting.

Is that something where you're hoping down the line to be cast in non-trans roles?

It doesn't really matter one way or another to me. I mean, I do have dream roles.

Which are?

I've said before I want to play Kurt Cobain. And other roles... I just read Night Mother by Marsha Norman. And I'm a little too young, but I would really love to play Jessie in that. And that's not a trans role. I really am thrilled by the idea of stretching myself, so I think of playing... her name is just "The Girl" in The Seven Year Itch. It's a role made famous by Marilyn Monroe, and I think it would be really fun to take that on. Because in the 1950s I think a bombshell--the term bombshell lends itself to the idea of a bomb going off... being awestruck when you see one. People stop in their tracks when they see Marilyn Monroe. And I think that's very similar to the trans experience. So I think trans is the new bombshell.

Are you working on any projects for the future, right now?

They want to do Street Children again this summer. I would love to step back into a role, and see how all the living I've done adds to that. And I really love Jamie, and would love to step back into her. I have been working on some writing--a pilot, and also a new piece that I'm excited about, which is a Southern Gothic sort of thing.

Is it a TV show?

I'm not sure yet. It's in the beginning stages. It's taking a lot of inspiration from Lana Del Rey videos. I also have a real interest in directing and taking on more responsibility when telling a story. I want to keep doing what I'm doing, and take on more and more. After working with Katie and watching her direct and act and be so heavily involved in the creation of the movie, that's really inspiring. As a young female artist, it was really inspiring to look up to that.

How do you feel art, and your art specifically, can fit in and respond to this political time?

I'm so saddened by the political climate. And I don't know what to do. I don't know how to be a leader during these times. The only thing I can do, and the thing I urge most people to do, is listen to those around them, and hear what they're saying, and to just never stop creating. I think that it's our duty and job to never stop creating. They can't take away our creations. They can't take away our art. We have to put everything into that and be super compassionate and supportive to those around us.

What do you think of the films that came out this past year?

I'm so inspired by Viola Davis. I saw Fences in theaters with my parents.

Is she your favorite actress of the time?

I have several, I have so many I appreciate and look up to. But there's something about Viola that really resonates with me. I'm always rooting for her. She's a big teacher to me--one of her quotes is "You can come to the race with a deficit and still win it." And that's something that I always have in the back of my head.

Who do you want to work with most of all?

I have so many, but I would really love to work with Charlie Kaufman. And I would really love to work with Ryan Murphy. I'm a huge fan, so I'm always reading about what he's doing next. Apparently American Horror Story is going to be based on the election. I'm not sure if he was being drily humorous, or... he always says everything in code. I would love, of course, to work with Viola. I love Adam Driver. He's terrifically handsome and so talented. I also have old childhood dreams; I would love to do a scene with Macaulay Culkin. I want to get all the old child stars out of where they are and back in a television show--something I will dedicate my life to.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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