Shalom Life | March 10, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Interview With ‘Whitney’ and ‘Lola Versus’ Actress, Zoe Lister-Jones

Actor, writer, and producer, Zoe Lister-Jones, joins Shalom Life to discuss ‘Lola Versus’, ‘Whitney’, and upcoming projects.

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: September 17th, 2012 in Culture » Film » Interviews

EXCLUSIVE: Interview With ‘Whitney’ and ‘Lola Versus’ Actress, Zoe Lister-Jones

ASHLEY BAYLEN (AB): You have experience in film, theater, and TV. Can you describe the differences between these 3 platforms? Is there one that you prefer?

ZOE LISTER-JONES (ZL): I really enjoy them all, they're just each very different experiences, and each require pretty varied tool sets. But being able to switch it up is the coolest and definitely keeps me on my toes.

AB: Before joining “Whitney” as a regular cast member, most of your work was in writing and acting in indie films. How different is the climate between low-budget indie film and primetime television?

ZL: Well the paycheck is remarkably different. Which doesn't suck. And there's just more money in television in general, so the production is at a different level in terms of resources and man/woman power. I'm also on a multi-camera sitcom, which means that we film in front of a live studio audience, so the experience is actually much more like a play than a film. We shoot chronologically, and have instantaneous reactions to work off of, whereas in film, you're really acting in a bubble. But I'm indie for life!

AB: You recently co-wrote and starred in “Lola Versus” directed by Daryl Wein, who also happens to be your boyfriend. This is your second film together. Do you plan to continue collaborating on film projects?

ZL: Yep! We are a great team and love creating work together, so the partnership is going strong!

AB: Your one-woman show ‘Co-dependence is a Four Letter Word’ received a lot of critical acclaim. Do you plan on returning to your roots in theater?

ZL: Well I just finished a run on Broadway of Theresa Rebeck's play Seminar, so I do theater as much as I can. There's really nothing like the energy of being on stage, and the roller coaster ride you go on from start to finish. And the NY theater scene is just the best, and so storied, so it's cool to feel like you're a part of this incredible history. I hope to go back as soon as I can!

AB: You have written many of the projects you’ve been involved in. Does it feel strange to perform other people’s words on “Whitney”?

ZL: No, it's really fun. We have great writers, and Whitney's a great writer, so I'm very fortunate in that way. As an actor, your job is always to make someone else's words sound like your own, so it comes with the territory.

AB: What is your process when preparing for a role?

ZL: Hmmm. I don't really have a set process, it sort of varies depending on the project. I just start with the script and take all my cues from the dialogue. There's a lot you can learn about a character by what she or he says. And then sometimes if there's research involved, or a reference I don't know, I figure all that out, but I'm sort of a purist in terms of the script being the key.

AB: What projects are you currently working on?

ZL: Daryl and I just finished another screenplay, and are working on a television pilot, so we're keeping busy! Stay tuned!

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