I recently got the chance to talk to Katie Hyde Lewars about her role in Sarah Jessica Parker’s new film, ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’. Here, Katie talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and how Christian Slater inspired her to get into acting…
Hey Katie. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ is currently in cinemas right now…
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
IDK is based on the best-selling novel by the same name, and it’s about a working-mom, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, who does her best to juggle a high stakes career with being a mom and a wife. It’s about the pressure society puts on women to put family first.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I have a bit role as the Organic Mom. It’s a running theme in the film that all moms should make things from scratch and not feed the kids too much sugar or processed foods. So, yeah, I ask SJP if the birthday cake she’s serving at her son’s party is made with organic flour.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I’ve worked with the writer, Aline Brosh McKenna on several of her projects. In LA, I starred in a show at the National Comedy Theater that she wrote called ‘Inside Lois’ and last year I was cast in another one of her films, ‘Morning Glory’, as a TV producer.
How would you say this film is different from other comedies?
Every character in the film is really on one side or the other – either they’re a pro-working mom or they’re anti. There are not a lot of movies out there that are able to make that struggle funny. Because it’s a pretty serious issue… there’s nothing more damning in this world than being a bad mom.
The film stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Christina Hendricks and Kelsey Grammer – with Douglas McGrath onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
Everyone was lovely. SJP is such a pro. Gracious and warm and so beautiful! You see her in person and you’re like, “You are gorgeous!” And Christina Hendricks is enchanting… both women are so down to earth and yet have such star presence. Doug really set the tone on set. He’s very mild-tempered and takes time to rehearse and hear everyone’s ideas…cast and crew alike. He’s a real leader.
Let’s talk a bit about you Katie. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
Would you believe me if I told you it all started with having a crippling crush on Christian Slater in the film ‘Heathers’? It’s embarrassing but true. But yeah, I was a pretty shy kid with loads of pent-up emotions and a wild imagination. Once I began to perform, I found an outlet… and it’s pretty addictive… playing “other people” is really just playing a version of yourself under different circumstances. So all the emotion, all fears, all the dreams can come to life in a way that I might otherwise suppress. And I find myself having more and more compassion for others, which is totally the way to live.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to pursue a career in the industry?
It’s a tough career choice because the possible rewards are so high… sooo rewarding… so of course it’s hard. But stay dedicated. Do the work. Take classes. Meet people. Do the thing you want to do, every day, and eventually it will gain momentum. And don’t forget to be a well-rounded person. Pursue your dreams like crazy but also remember to spend the remaining hours of the day creating a life you enjoy.
What’s currently on your I-Pod right now?
I use my iPod for jogging – it’s pretty dated … Bikini Kill, Soul Coughing, Bouncing Souls, Neutral Milk Hotel, Cake, White Stripes, Daft Punk… oh and I love Ima Robot. I guess I have a thing for male singers, huh? Lol.
If you could invite three guests to a dinner – (living or dead) – who would you choose and why?
- Thich Nhat Hanh (I’ve read so much of his teachings – I’m even seeing him speak in NYC on Oct 14th! – and I’d love to bend his ear on some personal (universal?!?) matters and even just learn how to eat more mindfully… really taste that carrot!)
- Joseph Campbell (I’m fascinated with his views on mythology and how it relates to modern-day society and storytelling.)
- Jeff Buckley (why why why did you die so young? – even if he only played his guitar and sung soft melodies while Thich, Joe and I conversed, I’d be in bliss).
Again, all dudes, what is my deal?!?
What has been the most interesting piece of local / national news you’ve heard in the last month or so?
The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has been really inspiring to me. We’re in need of a financial revolution in this country. I’m waiting for some sort of genius to step forward and show us the way.
What’s coming up for you in 2011? I hear you’ve got a big project coming up…
Oh yes! My husband and I made a feature film this summer called ‘Mount Joy’. The story centers around a popular rock band in Lancaster, PA who are set to break out-of-town and go on tour. The film opens the morning the lead singer loses heart and instead of pursuing his dreams, reports to his job as a garbage man. It’s really great, quirky, heart warming story and features an amazing up-and-coming cast. I’m super excited. We’re in post now.
I’m also working on a new web-series called ‘Kate & Kula’. I play Kate – a pharmaceutical saleswoman who’s hooked on the latest trial drug – Fem A. The pills are supposed to suppress type-A personalities in women… make them more docile and thereby, maybe, happier – but for Kate and Kula, it has the opposite effect. It’s a dark comedy – sexy and shocking. We’re currently shopping it around, finding a home for the show on the web.
Thanks for the interview!