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An Interview with “Megan Lawless” 12.12.18

Originally from Virginia, how has your experience transitioning into LA and the world of acting been? 

“Since I was 13, I have been traveling to LA for extended periods of time to further my acting career. The acting world is a tough industry and it took getting used to. There is so much rejection and as a kid I felt pressured to do well because my family and I had sacrificed so much for me to pursue an acting career. But this just made me more driven and at 16, I went to LA on my own to pursue my dream.  In this experience, I learned to navigate the city on my own, be homeschooled, work a part time job, and audition for any roles I could get.  At first, it was difficult to adapt to this lifestyle, but I was taking on a career, learning about the business and getting great training.  Luckily, I have extremely hands-on and supportive parents who called me every day and helped me through any challenges I had.  When I finally moved to LA full time in September, the transition was smooth because I was prepared.”

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What are some major takeaways from getting to play Maya in the newly released movie The Hate U Give and being a part of such an inspiring story and cast? 

“I have learned so much from being a part of The Hate U Give, it’s ridiculously amazing. On one hand, the story itself taught me so much about dealing with adversity, being compassionate for other individuals, and accepting your identity.  I saw the enormity of the message and how it resonated with so many people across the world and it was remarkable. On the other hand, working with the experienced and genuinely fantastic director, George Tillman, and the cast of the film was so beneficial for me. They really demonstrated how professionals (who are amazing at their jobs) handle themselves. I look up to the people I worked with on set and I want to emulate the way they approach their careers with such passion and diligence.”


What’s most important to you to embody and be an example of in your life in these current times and culture? 

“Kindness and decency for others is important; everyone deserves dignity. I try to embody this on a daily basis and follow the golden rule to treat others as you want to be treated. I also want to be an example of how girls in the entertainment industry can be ambitious, smart, college educated, fierce business women and good daughters/sisters/friends.”

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What are you looking forward to sharing with the world?

“I hope to share stories that touch people. Ones that elicit emotion and have a deep impact on people. What was so amazing about being a part of The Hate U Give was the story was so relevant, so necessary, and so well received. I know that the novel and film will have an amazing legacy.  In all my acting, whether it is comedic or emotional, I want to share stories that people remember.”

Interview by Mindy Parker


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What are some key tools for you to maintain balance between your blossoming acting career and being in school full time at UCLA double majoring in film and business economics?

“I really try my hardest to be organized and prioritize what is most important to me. What I’ve really learned is I can’t do everything… and that’s okay. Sometimes, I have to say no to things because I have too much on my plate. In doing that, I can focus my energy doing a great job at the things that are of top priority. My biggest struggle is I want to make everyone happy and do everything but to really do my best and be my best, I have to say no to the things that aren’t serving me. Also, I can’t neglect some R&R; it is essential to have fun and be healthy through all of this! It is a balance.”

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 What types of characters and stories are you eager to get involved with in the future? 

“In the past I have played characters who were in many ways like myself or easy for me to act. Next, I would love to play characters that challenges my acting and are nothing like myself. Maybe an evil, vindictive character or someone extremely edgy; anything that stretches my skill level.”

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Talent: Megan Lawless

Hair: Graham Nation rep by Illume MGMT for Unite Hair

Makeup: Jenny Ventura

Styling: Adena Rohatiner

Photography: Bianca Gerasia

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