HFPA in Conversation: Liv Hewson Learns by Doing

by Kirpi Uimonen Ballesteros January 15, 2020
Australian actor Liv Hewson

rachel luna/getty images

Last year has been quite hectic for Australian actor Liv Hewson, working on TV shows  - Top of the Lake, Marvel’s Inhumans and Santa Clarita Diet - and movies - Let It Snow and Bombshell. Storytelling has always been important to them. “I’m a middle child. I grew up with two brothers and both my parents worked in the public service in different capacities. But there was a great deal of emphasis put on storytelling in our house. We were always exposed to a lot of films and music and we would be taken to see plays and encouraged to read a lot. That was something that was valued and encouraged just from a standpoint of pleasure and using it to understand the world around us,” Hewson told HFPA journalist Jenny Cooney.

Hewson started acting in school plays at age nine and joined the local youth theatre at 14. “Throughout my career so far I’ve definitely felt that I’m always learning by doing, which is really lovely and I get a massive kick out of doing that. You sort of ride the adrenalin wave also “of god, what am I doing here?”. There’s this weird thrill that I get from being just almost a little bit not ready for an experience as it’s happening to me and then rising up to meet it as it’s happening. And I feel like that’s a pattern that’s followed me around so far.”

After they got a role in Santa Clarita Diet, they moved to Los Angeles. “I lived out of a suitcase for longer than I needed to so it was time to get an apartment. I thought it’d be nice to have a houseplant.”

Soon they will be seen in the drama movie Under My Skin. And after that, they don’t know what is happening next. “I’m not a planner, I never have been. I’ll take it as it comes and respond to things as they happen in the best way that I know how. My favorite thing about my job is that you have the capacity to constantly be surprised by new things and new experiences.

Listen to the podcast and hear why being bored helped Liv find acting; why they are grateful for their mother; how they felt the first time they were on stage; why they thought they would end up doing theatre in England; why they didn’t like school; how an eating disorder changed their attitude toward life; who are their mentors; why they lived in South Korea; how was their audition for Top of the Lake; what kind of candy they ate next to Nicole Kidman; how was it working on Santa Clarita Diet; what they learned from Drew Barrymore; where they were when they turned 23; what they learned while filming Bombshell; why they are supporting LGBTQ youth; what is their advice to a young person struggling to find their genre and sexuality; and when they started to be open about their genre and sexuality.