Today we’d like to introduce you to Lara Hillier.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m a Pittsburgher, born and raised, and a graduate of my hometown’s Carnegie Mellon University in the School of Drama. After school, I swapped Pittsburgh for New York and spent six years there, auditioning, working Off-Broadway and in sketch theaters (semi-regularly) and on television (less so). For the last few years, I’ve been living the east coast expat life, and I recently completed work on my first short which I wrote, directed, acted in and co-produced with Elizabeth Banks’ comedy-based digital, WhoHaha. If you like vampires and/or care about rape culture, then you may enjoy Crystal Cliffside for Woke Vampires. Watch it here: Youtu.be/2PdhSY_UKhs
Has it been a smooth road?
In my own experience, the creative road is rarely paved smooth. But, for all the speedbumps and potholes, it’s important to just keep moving and to be open to wherever the road leads. As an extremely specific example, while shooting Crystal Cliffside, we ran into a little difficulty on the day, securing a pair of prop fangs to actor C.J. Tyson (Lip Sync Battle). After countless attempts with the adhesive, only one of the fangs would stick, and so I made the decision to work with it. Turns out, we had a happy accident on our hands and the solo fang totally fit with C.J.’s character.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
As an actor/writer/director (and multi-hyphenate enthusiast), I aim to engage in some of the more difficult cultural conversations going on through my own comedic lens. With Crystal Cliffside, I’m using comedy to talk about rape culture. My idea was to have these literal monsters, notorious for seizing their victims sans consent, taking ownership of their past transgressions and calling out mortal men for equally bad behavior.
At this moment in time, the incumbent president stands credibly accused of raping twenty-two women. His apologists call them ‘starf**kers,’ while the accused mocks their appearances and issues denials like, “she’s not my type.” The callousness of this commentary, from him and his defenders, is an affront to every victim of sexual assault. I have had it with the normalization of rape culture in this country, and I will not stop talking about it until real change is made.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
My hope is that the industry will continue to champion more diverse talent, with a greater focus on inclusivity than ever before. Giving voice to those traditionally marginalized voices (be they women, persons of color, LGBTQ+, etc.) helps create empathy and compassion, and I think we’re going to need a whole lot of that in order to progress in the decade ahead. So here’s hoping.
- Website: HerNameWasLara.com
- Email: LaraHillier@me.com
- Instagram: @LaraHillier
- Twitter: @HaraLillier
- Other: Watch Crystal Cliffside for Woke Vampires here: Youtu.be/2PdhSY_UKhs