Hayley Atwell’s Best Career Advice: “I’d say the main thing is: show up. Show up and be professional”

Hayley Atwell Acting Advice

Actress Hayley Atwell didn’t have to wait long after Agent Carter was cancelled — in fact, she ended up landing the lead role on another ABC television series, Conviction. In a conversation with Moviefone to promote the series, Atwell reflects on her career and recounts why she wanted to become an actress since she was a child and what was the best career advice she ever received.

Reflecting on her childhood, Atwell reveals that she was inspired to be an actress from attending theater with her mother. She says, “I was very shy. I didn’t think or didn’t know if I could do anything. I wasn’t kind of a showy kid at all. Didn’t have a showy mom either. But I loved theater, and she would bring me to theater. And I would watch the works of Helen Mirren and Fiona Shaw, Juliet Stevenson, Helen McCrory, Judi Dench — these women, these powerful women who were clever and they were empathetic, but they were also complicated. And I looked at them and I thought, ‘Whatever they are, I want to live in that world.’ And I felt that the actors that I aspired to kind of be in rooms with were ones who were aware of current affairs. They had strong opinions. They were willing to challenge themselves and their kind of muscularity and their ability to hold an audience for two hours on a stage. And what that really takes. So that, for me, was always what I wanted to do.”

When asked what was the best career advice that he ever received, Atwell first jokes, “Oh God, that’s really hard. Emma Thompson said, ‘Always wear matching underwear and matching bra.’ I do, and that really helps!”

Getting a bit more serious, she continues, “I’d say the main thing is: show up. Show up and be professional. And to be good at what we do, I believe I’m figuring it out how good I am at it, but it takes a discipline. And I think that can be a danger, that sometimes actors get to a point and then they can be lazy. And the minute I feel like I’m starting to dip, I get very scared. Then I get restless. Then I get bored. And I go, ‘I’m missing out on the side of being in this industry which is to be incredibly stimulated and challenged in many ways and to be privileged enough to be working with truly great minds.’ That’s what inspires me, and I hope that I keep going forward. So my main thing is I hope I always feel like an apprentice.”

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/laura-linney-genuis.jpg
Laura Linney: “The thing that makes the theater different from any other art form: it’s time”
Linney cast's some light on why revivals in theater are looked at differently than their television and film counterparts.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/corey-hawkins.jpg
Corey Hawkins: “I grew up a theater nerd”
"The fun of it and the challenge of it is to take the play — to take the text — and make it your own, to find it your own way" - Corey Hawkins on Theater
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/sally-field-the-glass-menagerie.jpg
Sally Field on Performing on Broadway: “You’re so totally and utterly and completely alive”
Field reveals how the lack of intermission helps her maintain her energy and why she decided to return to Broadway after a nearly 15-year break.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/watch-sag-conversations-with-geo.jpg
Watch: SAG Conversations with Geoffrey Rush of ‘Genius’
Rush speaks at length about his career and portraying who many consider to be the wisest man of the 20th century.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Ben-Platt-Dear-Evan-Hansen.jpg
Ben Platt on How He Found Himself Starring in ‘Dear Evan Hansen’
"Every day is a different sort of vibe and feeling. It can be impacted by anything from like, "Is it raining outside?" to "Are there a lot of old people?"" - Ben Platt