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Lili Simmons

Actress

New York, NY

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Photographer: Jeffrey Graetsch

Realisation: Deborah Ferguson

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BLOUSE: Piazza Sempione

Lili Simmons

Interview by Jaimie Kourt

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What age were you when you began working?

I was 15.

 

What was the impetus to choose this path rather than live the typical experience?

I always wanted to act…I did a lot of community theater as a kid and when I was older I was lucky enough to meet my manager, who got my foot through the door.

 

Are there any words of wisdom you wish someone had told you early on in your career?

Only do it if you want it more than anything else in the world. Know that it takes time and commitment. Also having a good head on your shoulders is very important, especially for young aspiring actors. The business can turn you into an adult. I feel like I’m 21 going on 30 sometimes. It doesn’t happen overnight. Take your time…it takes time.

 

You began your career as a model, and you take beautiful photographs. Did this work come naturally to you, or was it something you had to learn/work at?

Thank you! It didn’t come naturally to me at all! I was very awkward when I first started, and I practiced in the mirror. Everyone does! Works like a charm!

 

Who would be your dream designer to walk a show/shoot a campaign for?

That’s a hard one… top choice would be Dior.

 

What is your favorite part about being on a set whether for an acting or fashion job?

Being on set for an acting job is home for me. I just want to work constantly. It’s such a wonderful thing to be able to do what I do for a living. I’m so thankful.

 

How do you prepare for a red carpet event? How much of your own fashion vibe do you feel comes through in the final look?

I have a great team that I work with…we usually go to ‘film fashion’ and then I do my hair and makeup with Uzo at NARS.

Only do it if you want it more than anything else in the world.

JACKET: Skingraft  /  BLOUSE: Bernhard Willhelm  /  PANTS: Bernhard Willhelm  /  HEELS: Giulietta

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SUNGLASSES: Italia Independent  /  JACKET: Skingraft  /  BLOUSE: Bernhard Willhelm 

 

Favorite piece of clothing you have ever bought?

That is impossible to answer! A great Helmut Lang jacket.

 

Favorite accessory you own?

Golden Goose boots.

 

Aspirational piece you will treat yourself to someday?

Hermes bag。

 

Is there some style or piece of clothing you once loved, wore all the time, and now cringe at the idea?

Anything from Tilly’s.

 

You’ve done a bunch of youth oriented programming, how or when did you make the transition to some very serious adult pieces? Does this come organically as you grow up in the industry, or is it something you and your team make a conscious effort to cultivate?

Well I have always loved dark films. I wanted to be Charlize Theron in ‘Monster’ when I was 12! I decided to do BANSHEE when I was 18.

 

Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are some heavyweight, serious actors, but they seem like very laid back guys. The subject matter of TRUE DETECTIVE is so austere as well. What was the True Detective environment/experience like?

It was wonderful. Woody and Matthew were fantastic. I would love to work with either of them again. Also Cary Fukunaga is brilliant, and I learned so much on that set.

 

JACKET: Skingraft  /  BLOUSE: Bernhard Willhelm  /  PANTS: Bernhard Willhelm  /  HEELS: Giulietta

How do you shake off a day’s work when that day’s work is highly unsettling?

I’ve been learning how to meditate, and just being by the water helps.

 

Do you have any hobbies?

I compose music on the piano. I love to sketch and paint. Also I love to snowboard when I have the time to get up to the mountains.

 

Any new skills, sports, area of work, you hope to pick up one day?

Ballet!

 

You have a couple new films coming out in 2015. Can you give the “magazine interview” summarization about these movies? Who do you play?

I just finished filming BONE TOMAHAWK about four men who set out in the Wild West to rescue a group of captives from cannibalistic cave dwellers. I play ‘Samantha O’dywer,’ sort of a Dr. Quinn medicine woman. Wife to Arthur O’dywer played by Patrick Wilson. It was a totally different role for me.

 

What are your plans for the rest of the day or year?

Making movies!

BLOUSE: Piazza Sempione  /  BLACK AND WHITE BLOUSE: Bernhard Willhelm  /  SKIRT: Electric Love Army  /  HEELS: Giulietta  /  SOCKS: American Apparel

BLOUSE & SKIRT: Piazza Sempione  /  HEELS: Giulietta

Did you get the chance to watch the show’s two stars film their very brilliant and enigmatic scenes together?

Yes, a little bit. So amazing.

 

BANSHEE is set in an Amish Community. How does costuming work? Is there much flexibility in looks? Your character is a little “non-conformist”, not the perfect Amish… does any of this personality manifest in your character’s dressing?

The Amish clothes are actually made by a real Amish community! Our costume designer, Patia Prouty, is great. We collaborate on ideas and somehow are always on the same page. For instance, you will never see Rebecca in pants. Even though she is in the real world now there are still some things that she is not ready to change.

 

BANSHEE is in Season 3. Do you notice any transformation as the show goes on each year- stylistically, creatively, script-wise?

Yes, it’s had a different feel to it each year. Which probably has a lot to do with new writers, and simply just the characters evolving. I felt like I was playing a different character this season. I’m excited to see how people like the new Rebecca.

BLOUSE & SKIRT: Piazza Sempione 


 



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Follow Lili Simmons on Twitter (@Liliflower33). 
Watch Lili Simmons in BANSHEE, currently airing on Cinemax, 
and in Bone Tomahawk, premiering 2015 in theatres.

Photographer: Jeffrey Graetsch  /  Realisation: Deborah Ferguson  
Makeup Artist: Mark Edio @ See management  /  Hair Stylist: Keiko Hamaguchi @ Art-Dept


 

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