While on set filming season 2 of FOX’s The Gifted, actress Natalie Alyn Lind took time out for a delightful phone conversation with INLOVE. Fun fact we learned right off the bat: while most recognize One Tree Hill as Lind’s acting debut (as it’s listed on her IMDB) she actually got her start at an even younger age. Daughter of fellow One Tree Hill star Barbara Alyn Woods and director John Lind, Natalie first appeared on screen as an infant. Her younger sisters, Emily Alyn Lind (All My Children) and Alyvia Alyn Lind (Transparent), followed suit and began booking roles early on as well.
Lind has often weaved in between guest starring on popular shows such as Chicago Fire and iZombie, while holding down roles as a series regular on favorites such as The Goldbergs and Gotham. Now that she’s a part of the Marvel Universe, this talented beauty is emerging more powerful than ever – and she’s only getting started.
Funny enough, The Gifted wasn’t the actress’ first attempt at a Marvel show. In somewhat of a “Goldilocks” type of tale, Lind first tested for Hulu’s Runaways. According to her, Marvel executive Jeph Loeb thought she might be a better fit for ABC’s Inhumans. Not being quite right for that role either, it would finally be her third attempt where she met her Marvel match, playing the character of Lauren Strucker on The Gifted.
Sari: Let’s go back to the beginning with One Tree Hill. Tell me what it was like working alongside your mom and what was the best advice she offered when you were first getting your start?
Natalie Alyn Lind: It was such a cool experience because we were so close with that entire cast growing up. So, I always felt like one of them. Something my mom had always told me is just to be comfortable with yourself 100 percent. I feel like in this industry, you can kind of forget who you are because you play so many different kinds of characters and you’re asked to not be yourself. So, something my mom’s always told me is to keep in mind where you came from and who you are as a person – and don’t let anything drive you in another direction that you don’t believe in.
Sari: Let’s talk about some of your other TV credits. You’ve had some fun guest starring roles. What show sticks out to you the most for being really fun to work on?
NL: I did a show called Flashpoint, when I was younger, and it was a character that I really enjoyed playing. It was one of the first times that I really fell in love with acting and drama so that one really sticks out for me. Also, I’m half Canadian, my dad was raised in Canada, and I got to spend a month in Toronto. Just being able to explore the city, I feel like that’s the role that kind of helped me develop into who I am as an actor today. It was important for me but it was also fun, too.
Sari: Walk me through what it was like as a series regular going from The Goldbergs to Gotham.
NL: I was so happy to be on The Goldbergs. I was on it for 4 years, so I kind of feel like I grew up on that show. It was just such a fun show to be on. In general, it was such an amazing cast, Wendy [McLendon-Covey] and Jeff [Garlin] they’re just such amazing people. Then, transitioning from that to Gotham was such a jump; because you go from super funny comedy to something super dark. I played this evil character on Gotham. That was such an incredible experience for me because I was living in New York, which has always been a dream of mine. I was such a fan of the show before I got to work on it. It was so genuinely cool to play two completely different characters at the same time.
Sari: Before booking the role on The Gifted, were you a big X-Men fan? Who was your favorite character?
NL: It was so cool because I grew up on the X-Men movies and the comics. My favorite character would definitely be Storm. Halle Berry is one of my favorite actresses and she kills it with that character, also, I had a super big crush on Evan Peters [laughs]. For me, it’s cool to be able to play a character that’s in the comics. Being able to go back and look at the comics and then put your own twist on the character in the TV show, is really cool.
Sari: If you could trade abilities or roles with anyone on the show, who would it be and why?
NL: I think I would definitely go for Blink, which is Jamie Chung’s character. First of all, because the purple hair is so hot, second of all love the green eyes; third of all, being able to teleport places is kind of like a dream of mine because I love traveling.
Sari: So, what’s the vibe like on set? Who’s the joker? Who’s the serious one? How does everyone fit together?
NL: Oh my gosh, none of us are serious [laughs]. We’re all just big jokers. I can’t imagine anyone on our show being serious, we’re so [silly]. We’re definitely one big family. Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker, who play my parents on the show, they’re such incredible people. They’re kind of like the headmasters of our show. To have people you can look up to like that is so cool. We actually do stuff together which is kind of rare for a cast. Everybody is just super fun to hang out with so we’re very lucky.
Sari: What can you tell me about what’s happening with season 2?
NL: It’s so much more intense than the first season and there’s so much more that we’re trying to show. I feel like last season was a family-friendly drama/adventure show. This season is dark and I’m super into it. There are a lot of things going on in the world right now, like equality and standing up for who you are, and our show shows that. Not in a blatant way, but there are
IT WAS SO COOL BECAUSE I GREW UP ON THE X-MEN MOVIES AND THE COMICS. MY FAVORITE CHARACTER WOULD DEFINITELY BE STORM. HALLE BERRY IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE ACTRESSES AND SHE KILLS IT WITH THAT CHARACTER, ALSO, I HAD A SUPER BIG CRUSH ON EVAN PETERS [LAUGHS].
Sari: And what about your character?
NL: At the beginning of the first season, my character kind of hides out because she’s not proud of who she is. In season 2, she releases some of that. She becomes proud but is kind of put back in the same hole, knowing she has this different part of her that she doesn’t want to talk about. I think that’s something that happens to a lot of kids and teenagers; where they’re afraid of who they are so they don’t talk about it and it ends up hurting them. I hope that people can relate to this show, and my character, and hopefully see that it’s better to embrace who you are instead of trying to hide it.
Sari: Ultimately, where would you like to see your career go?
NL: I’ve gotten super into writing, so maybe trying to develop some projects myself. Going forward, I want to see more powerful women characters. I think that Hollywood is heading in the right direction; especially with all of the movements that are happening right now. There are a lot of strong female characters and people who might not necessarily be seen in a certain role are playing these badass, cool characters.
Sari: What would you like to leave your audience?
NL: The message of our show is to embrace who you are 100 percent. Being yourself and being an individual [especially in terms of social media] is so much more special than being the same as everybody else. I would encourage young people to be open with their friends and family and to be happy with themselves. Happiness is the most important thing in life so that should be your biggest goal. At the end of the day, when you’re 80 years old and you look back on your life, the thing that’s going to mean most to you is how you felt – so make sure that’s happiness.
Production: Inlove Media & Production
Photographer: Martina Tolot
Makeup: Kayleen Mcadams For Starworks
Artists Hair: Derek Yuen For Starworks Artists