Lauren Holly, who plays Dr. Betty Rogers on CTV crime drama Motive, has a new fashion line for the holidays through Canadian retailer Le Chateau.
Photograph by: Handout , Handout
UNEDITED: Lauren Holly
Listen to Francois Marchand’s entire conversation with actress Lauren Holly on the Unedited podcast below.
Before she played Dr. Betty Rogers on the CTV crime drama Motive, before her comedic turn as Mary Swanson in Dumb & Dumber, or even before she got her first break performing on daytime soap opera All My Children, actress Lauren Holly was cutting her teeth modelling.
For Eleanor Coppola.
“Acting was, in my mind, not something I could make a vocation out of, it was a hobby that I loved,” Holly said in a recent phone interview. “When I went to college, I did a play with a guest director on a fluke. Francis Ford Coppola and his producing partner Fred Roos, who ran Zoetrope Studios, saw me in it and hired me for my first movie during my first senior year of college.
“They really supported me and really thought I could make a career out of it. My first job after college instead of going to law school was working for Francis Ford Coppola’s wife, modelling dresses that she designed for buyers from department stores in the living room of their New York apartment.”
Fashion has remained a passion for Holly throughout her career.
Her latest fashion line was created for Montreal-based retailer Le Chateau, and marketed as a “high-end yet affordable” collection for women. Dubbed Lauren’s Closet, the line features clothing, shoes and accessories Holly models herself, and she recently launched her 2015 holiday collection, available in stores and online.
“Le Chateau is an incredible Canadian company that I’ve fallen love with since I’ve lived in Canada,” she said.
Born in Pennsylvania, Holly married Canadian investment banker Francis Greco in 2001. They live outside of Toronto with their three sons.
“I’m so fortunate to be working with (Le Chateau). They’re a great group of people and great designers. I fell in love with them when they designed the wardrobe for a movie that I made called After The Ball (released in early 2015). I started spending all my money there and I told them, ‘You should really call the store Lauren’s Closet.’ I think they saw in me a customer they wanted to target: A woman on the go who doesn’t have a lot of time to spend thinking about the next outfit but always wants to look my best wherever the day takes me.
“Everything I choose for Lauren’s Closet is very adaptable,” she added. “It can be worn in many different ways on many different occasions. It all works together — comfortable but very polished looking. For the holiday line this year, I have a lot of black velvet. I was very excited about it this year, in all different ways: from cool little military jackets to skirts and leggings.”
When not designing her clothing line, Holly remains as busy as ever with her acting career.
She contends that her academic parents — her father a professor of literature and her mother an art historian — weren’t so surprised when they saw their law school-bound daughter make a leap into the arts instead of following in their footsteps.
It rapidly became a point of pride when, at 23, Holly joined the cast of All My Children in 1986.
“It was particularly thrilling for my parents, which I found very amusing,” Holly said. “They barely watched television and I really did not think they were involved in soap operas at all. But my father found that with his college students, they weren’t scheduling office hours to talk to him during the time All My Children was on. So he decided to try to understand what his students were into and he started checking it out and he got hooked. So he got thrilled when I became a big topic of conversation on campus.”
Holly found herself on the TV show Picket Fences, where she got her big break playing deputy sheriff Maxine Stewart alongside Tom Skerritt from 1992-96.
“That was a glorious show to be a part of. I loved it so much,” Holly said. “It started with David E. Kelly’s writing. We all could not wait for the scripts every week. They would be delivered to the set in a box, still warm from the copy machine. And we would all grab a draft and scurry off to a private corner of the stage to see what we were going to be up to the following week. That was so fun.
“It’s the example I use now for how much television has changed. In the mid-’90s, Picket Fences aired on Friday nights at 10 p.m., which was a nightmare time slot. Even though we were winning all the Emmys, we ranked routinely around 50th in the ratings out of the Top 100 shows. At that time, with our 50th ranking, we were still getting about 22 million viewers a week. Now, the No. 1 show is what, like 15 million?”
After the humour of Picket Fences and the Jim Carrey comedy Dumb & Dumber, Holly made her way into grittier crime dramas for television (NCIS) and into more serious films (Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday).
She is set to appear in horror thriller February, the directorial debut by Oz Perkins (son of Anthony, of Psycho fame), alongside Emma Roberts, Lucy Boynton and Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.
“Those three girls are terrific, by the way,” Holly said. “(Perkins) did an amazing job with this movie. I’m not a horror fanatic. I’m too scared of horror movies. It’s not something I do a lot. The way the narrative is set up, there’s a good twist to it. It’s very old school. It’s not blood and gore. There’s a real ominous thing that draws you in.
“At the end of the movie I cried,” she added. “It’s so unusual for a horror movie. I think it’s going to get a lot of attention.”
For the past three years, she has been tough-yet-sweet lead medical examiner Betty Rogers on crime drama Motive, and at the time of our interview she was in Vancouver shooting scenes for the show’s fourth season, which should air in 2016.
“I love her (character) because she’s smart and she has her own wit,” Holly said. “I tease everybody by saying she’s the real brains behind the operation, she’s the one who solves everything. I like my character because there’s nothing really about how old she is or whatever, it’s just about who she is. She’s just very straightforward — she’s great at her job.
“I just like ‘Dr. B.’ She’s cool.”