Photographer Joshua Shultz
Stylist Franzy Staedter
Hair and Make Up Anissa Salazar
Bellus Magazine (BM): Tell us about your movie “The Forger” What was it like working with John Travolta?
Lyndon Smith (LS): The movie centers around Ray Cutter (Travolta), a criminal art forger, who after finding out his son has terminal cancer secures a release from prison by forming a deal unknowingly with the man who put him behind bars in the first place. Trying to make up for being an absent father, he wants to fulfill his son’s (Tye Sheridan) bucket list- one wish being to lose his virginity. This is where I enter as your classic girl-next-door-hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold. Ultimately, the father and son duo, along with the help of Ray’s father (Christopher Plummer), have to pull off “one last heist” by forging a priceless Monet.
Travolta is a really cool, lovable guy- would bring pizza to rehearsals and cut up on set. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and it was a super relaxed environment. We were in between set ups for this one scene in my character’s apartment- myself, John, and Tye- and he grabbed an eyeliner off my vanity and drew a cat face on Tye. The silliness of it all kept me from being bashful around him. He’s really a living legend and I didn’t know what I was going to be getting myself into with him. But he was so gracious and generous and took care of the people around him. We were doing my coverage for a scene and he stopped us halfway through because he said he over-stepped his mark and thought he pulled my eyes away from camera too much. He said he wanted me to have the best takes possible. That’s a thoughtful scene partner right there. He also has a way of imparting wisdom on young actors without being condescending and shared a few stories that were really eye-opening. He just cares about people, and it makes me so happy when I meet icons who, frankly, aren’t dicks.
Watch the trailer for The Forger here…
BM: What can you tell us about working on the TV show Parenthood? What was that like?
LS: I really credit Parenthood for giving me the start of my career. Before that, it was definitely a struggle to get into certain casting rooms- and don’t get me wrong it’s not all smooth sailing, offers, and lollipops now- but things began to get easier. I didn’t realize the incredibly loyal following the show had until I was in that Braverman world, and suddenly those same offices were saying, “we love her on Parenthood of course we will see her!” So yeah, I can’t thank Jason Katims and Larry Trilling and the whole team behind that beautiful show enough for supporting me and welcoming me into their family. “Stay forever young,” baby.
BM: What can you tell us about Public Morals:
LS: Only that I wake up and draw breath every day counting down until August 17th when it airs. But really! This business is crazy. You pour your heart into something, devote so much of yourself to it, and then have to wait a year and a half to see it all! And I just can’t wait to see how people respond to it. Because I’m really proud of this thing. I’ve never been more excited about a project and, while of course Parenthood was a special show to me, it was never “my” show. I was never a series regular on it and that always leaves you with a sense of being a guest on someone else’s project (it is a guest star, after all). But, all biases aside, I think Morals is something special. Take the gritty world of Hells Kitchen, New York in the 60’s, add an incredible cast lead by Ed Burns, get Steven Spielberg as your producer, and soak in all of that gorgeous vintage clothing?? I mean, come on. This is television magic which is shot like a film, and has the steady continuity of one person’s vision (Eddie wrote and directed every episode).
BM: What can you tell us about your upcoming show, “Public Morals”? Can you tell us about your character?
LS: This is a girl who wears pants in a man’s world, and I love her balls. An educated, spirited beatnik with a recent degree from Sarah Lawrence, Deirdre is different from the rest of the Hell’s Kitchen gang in the sense that she has dreams to get herself out of the neighborhood- to move up in the world and become a reporter for the Times. Sharp, self-possesed, but with a kind heart, she’s the girl who would storm the steps of Washington DC in protest of Vietnam. But with a criminal brother as her only living family and after falling into a romance with Sean O’Bannon (Austin Stowell), she finds herself sucked back into the streets and it doesn’t seem like she’s getting out anytime soon. You’ll notice when it airs that this is a very male-driven show. That’s the time period. But we have three woman- myself, Katrina Bowden, and Elizabeth Masucci- and these women pack a punch.
BM: What else do you have coming up?
LS: “Secret In Their Eyes” with Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Dean Norris was naturally pretty exciting to be a part of. The original version is an Argentinean film which was actually one of my favorite films, and through the friendship of two casting directors- Sharon Bialy and Sherry Thomas- I was blessed with an offer to join Billy Ray’s vision for this film. Talk about a humbling experience sharing the screen with that lot. I felt like the kid who was invited to sit at the grown-ups table on Thanksgiving. That is coming out in October of this year.
I’ve also boarded the CBS series “Extant” as a recurring across from Halle Berry and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. This is a FUN role. Rebellious, vagabond daughter with a hot temper who shows up on her father’s (Morgan) doorstep when she fears for her safety. But she’s really just an apple that didn’t fall far from her father’s tree, and sparring with Jeff has been a blast. Season two begins airing in July and I’ll be popping up throughout the season. This is my Girl With A Dragon Tattoo moment. Oh, and it’s what inspired this photoshoot, isn’t it Josh?
BM: You are a very beautiful woman, what kind of routine do you have that you can share with us?
LS: I think beauty comes from a place of having a happy, balanced lifestyle. I workout regularly- run, spin, strength train, and practice yoga- and I eat well, but I don’t deny myself when I’m craving that cheeseburger (or two) or I’m looking forward to that glass of wine (or two). I love food. It’s a huge part of my life, always has been. When I go home and visit my family, we sip wine and cook all day. You just have to honor the balance. Of course there are times when you have to hunker down for work’s sake and then you train everyday, drink your green juices, take your supplements, cut alcohol (gasp)… you get it done man. But then you go back to a more realistic life. The one thing I do day in and day out though? Drink at least 2.5 liters of water. Just do it. You’ll drop that water weight, your skin will look great, you won’t be fooled by false hunger… its a no brainer. Keep a bottle by you all day. If you’re playing on the computer and it’s next to you, you’ll mindlessly sip from it. Next thing you know, you’ve hit a liter.
BM: Bellus is Latin for beauty, what does beauty mean to you?
LS: It means being comfortable in your own skin. That shines through. Don’t follow rules or trends if you aren’t inspired by them. Work to serve your own good opinion, and honor the person you wake up as each morning, because we are (hopefully) changing every day. And by the way, that’s bloody hard to do. But let’s work at it.
BM: What advice do you have that you can give to other aspiring artist out there?
LS: Know your worth and respect yourself. It’s ok to say “no” even though it’s scary. Be hungry, but don’t be desperate. Learn people’s names and learn to not only listen, but be intuitive. Take the risks. And don’t be a douche.