EXCLUSIVE: 'Sharp Objects' star Hilary Ward on Amy Adams - "I think she's a shoo-in for an Emmy and deservedly so."
Actor Hilary Ward who recently starred as Becca, Camille's high school buddy in HBO's 'Sharp Objects' reveals what it was like working for the intense crime thriller.
If you've been following crime reporter Camille Preaker snooping around in Wind Gap, you'd know just how pleasantly surprising a little kindness to her can be. Not because its a distraction, but because a sweet smile towards our broken, alcoholic yet determined protagonist is so hard to find. Recently, the character of Becca came as a breath of freshly smelling bourbon in Preaker's circle full of stale vodka. Hillary Ward played the role of Becca in 'Cherry,' and just like everyone else in the cast of 'Sharp Objects' left a lasting impression.
She was nothing like the women of the small southern town that we had seen so far - there was a certain warmth about her. Just like Camille and Becca's friendship, she was fleeting but cherished. Like all good things though, Becca must say goodbye, says Hilary Ward. "Unfortunately, we don’t see Becca again," she says as she explains how Becca was like a shelter in the rain for Camille. "It feels important to the story that Camille doesn’t get to have a safe haven in Wind Gap. She has to be forced back into her mother’s home to face her demons."
Like Becca, Camille never feels like an insider - always like the reporter from St. Louis, watching from the sidelines. Ward says that this was the crucial connection she made when she prepared for the role. "I latched on to Becca being the only black girl in this popular clique. They accept her but with conditions, always reminding her where she comes in the pecking order. So when Camille, a person who could have easily used her popularity and rank to crush Becca protects her a bit from Katie and the other girls, I think that Becca starts to recognize her as a person who also feels like an outsider. In the moment that Becca discovers the Camille is a cutter, her suspicion is confirmed. But they never talk about it. While Becca may be stuck in Wind Gap, she has never fully embraced the behavior that it takes to gain influence or rank. So this opportunity to finally talk it out with her old friend is something that Becca jumps on," she says.
'Sharp Objects,' one of HBO's most talked about shows wouldn't have been the same without Amy Adams and her spectacular performance. Ward agrees and says that she is unable to find enough words to say just how great Amy is. "She is creative, present, generous, prepared and most importantly (to me anyway) kind. She sets you up to do your best work. And while I’m sure that all the headaches that come with being an executive producer and spending every single day on set as the lead of a limited series must have gotten to her from time to time, we never would have known because she treated everyone with such respect. I think she’s a shoo-in for an Emmy and deservedly so."
The show is intensely dark - so much so that HBO decided to make it a one season show only. Surprisingly, the set wasn't as intense, reveals Ward. "The vibe on set was surprisingly chill despite the intense subject matter. I’ve been on enough sets to know that the people in leadership usually set the vibe," she says before noting that they had one hell of a director who did not allow phones on the set.
"Jean-Marc Vallee works with an exuberant confidence, and as actors, you feel like it's a creative space. He also has a strict no-phone policy. It’s nice because you have to talk to the people around you between set-ups instead of distracting yourself with your phone. It helps you get to know the people you’re working with more quickly. And as mean as Katie and the crew were on screen, they are ridiculously fun in real life. We spent a lot of time laughing between takes."
Hilary has been in showbiz for a long time. She's starred in 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Criminal Minds,' 'The Fosters,' 'Castle' and 'NCIS' among an array of other TV shows as well as some indie films - 'Like You Mean It' and 'Other People,' to name a few, which opened the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was one of the most talked about films of Sundance. For someone who "resisted the urge to be an actor," it definitely feels like destiny. "You never know what is coming down the pike," says the talented actor who was part of the Tony award-winning South Coast Repertory. "I try not worry about the particulars and dive into one project at a time."
She appears to be exploring her roots in theatre extensively at present. She has two plays coming up this fall - Pasadena’s acclaimed 'A Picture Of Dorian Grey,' which focuses on themes of youth, beauty, and the power of reputation and a dark comedy called 'Death and Cockroaches' by Eris Reyes Loo. "'Death and Cockroaches' is a beautiful new comedy all about a man who moves home to take care of his dying father. Our tagline is that he runs from his grief straight into a wall of d****. Written by our company member, Eric Reyes Loo, it’s a frank look at his experience with loss, love, identity, and redemption." The play will world premiere in November in Los Angeles.
As much as she is humble, she is also kind. Outraged by the practice of family separation at the border, Hilary recently spearheaded a fundraiser that raised over $6000 for RAICES and is working with fellow activists to support RAICES’ social media campaign #lovemeltsice to continue to put pressure on the current administration. She says that the stories made her "sick."
"I’m mom to a six-year-old and the thought of risking both our lives to come to this country for help and then to be separated from him, kept me up at night. So on Fathers’ Day, I used my Facebook page to put out a challenge. My goal was at first to raise, $500. My husband and I thought we would match that and be done. But we raised it so quickly, we pledged to match $1000. Then we raised that so I kept putting out calls to action and spreading information about why it was so important to support RAICES who was providing legal aid to the children and parents. Before I knew it, we had raised $6000."
More of this please. I love this company and will support them and family reunification today. Let us love one another. #lovemeltsice #familiesbelongtogether #family #familia *****************************Repost from @thebeeandthefox on Instagram: “I held my own children this morning and cried. It's difficult to carry on with such a heavy heart.…” using @RepostRegramApp - I held my own children this morning and cried. It's difficult to carry on with such a heavy heart. . So many remain separated with no stated plan as of yet for those already torn apart. Stating this right here, right now because if there's one thing I've learned via this strange world of social media, it's that our voices matter. Yesterday we proved that. But now is not the time to silently rejoice. The letter Martin Luther King wrote from Birmingham jail spoke not to the strident clamor of the bad people but the appalling silence of the good; "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends". There are far too many that need us. The over 2,000 children that have been separated from their families still need us; silence is a luxury we can no longer afford. Organize, act, and remember that when you feel helpless and overwhelmed by the enormity of it all, you always have your voice. Use it. And for crying out loud, vote. . On Saturday, we will be donating 100% of our profits to RAICES | @raicestexas; a refugee and immigrant center for education and legal services and we're inviting other shops, companies, and individuals to do the same. We also invite you to use #turningenergyintoaction to share other ways you are turning love and empathy and anger into action.
She has also been a part of campaigns that help organize rides and places to stay for parents who had been released. "As human beings, we have the capacity to get used to almost anything. That ability has helped us survive as a species, but it also makes it easy for us to get numb to the injustices that are happening around us. So, I’m doing my level best not to get numb."