Katie Lowes’ Fast Connection to Rachel DeLoache Williams

“I don’t care what the position is,” says Shondaland alum Katie Lowes, maybe finest recognized for her position on Scandal as Quinn Perkins. “I don’t care if it’s massive or small, if it is available in late, early, no matter, I’m recreation. I simply wish to be within the Shondaland universe.”

Properly, contemplate that aim achieved. After her Scandal days, Lowes has gone on to cement herself within the Shondaland universe with, first, her hit Shondaland Audio podcast, Katie’s Crib, on which Lowes sits down with consultants and superstar moms alike to speak concerning the generally messy aspect of motherhood. Now, Lowes is rejoining Shondaland TV as a part of the ensemble forged in Shonda Rhimes’ newest Netflix collection, Inventing Anna, taking part in finest pal and con goal Rachel DeLoache Williams to Julia Garner’s Anna Delvey, who memorably swindled New York excessive society in her quest to grow to be the town’s subsequent massive energy participant.

Lowes remembers listening to about Shondaland optioning the rights to the hard-to-believe-it’s-true true story of con girl Delvey, who posed as a rich German heiress however was actually born Anna Sorokin in her dwelling nation of Russia. Being a local New Yorker, Lowes had heard rumblings of the story, however when it was introduced that Delvey’s rise and fall was going to grow to be a Netflix collection courtesy of Shondaland, Lowes instantly seemed up extra particulars and realized that there have been components for ladies of their late 20s and 30s. After which she noticed an image of Williams, who famously penned an essay for Vainness Truthful that uncovered how Delvey organized a lavish journey to Morocco for herself, Williams, and their buddies — after which left Williams with a $62,000 resort invoice to pay for all on her personal.

“I used to be like, ‘Huh. Fascinating,’” says Lowes of the collection. “However I didn’t talk about it with Shonda. I simply didn’t assume there was any manner that lightning strikes once more. I rely my blessings. She saved and adjusted my life perpetually. I’m so grateful. However, like, name me if you would like me to play waitress No. 3.”

Months later, in 2019, nonetheless, Rhimes did name Lowes to inform her that, sure, there was going to be a component for her in Rhimes’ new present.

“I used to be so excited,” gushes Lowes, “after which so terrified. As a result of when Shonda comes knocking, all you wish to do is an efficient job. And when she comes knocking greater than as soon as, you’re like, ‘I hope the performing gods look favorably upon me!’”

Regardless of the nerves, Lowes felt a connection to Williams instantly. Not solely from the Vainness Truthful essay, however from Inventing Anna producer Jessica Pressler’s New York journal article that first broke the story on Anna Delvey — and that serves because the inspiration for the collection, which is a fictionalized retelling of occasions — and from a deep dive into Williams’ Instagram feed.

“I felt a right away empathic connection to her and felt like I may do an excellent job understanding the place she comes from and what she went via,” says Lowes. Shondaland caught up with Lowes to interrupt down that connection, and to dive deeper into the surrealness of taking part in somebody so near a scenario that’s nonetheless unfolding, filming the collection’ loopy scenes in Morocco, and teaming up once more with so many Shondaland alums, together with director Nzingha Stewart.

VALENTINA VALENTINI: There are fairly a couple of different Shondaland alums in Inventing Anna. What was it wish to reconnect with them?

KATIE LOWES: What I believe is so cool about with the ability to have been on a number of Shonda exhibits is that there’s a vibe and an enthusiasm that comes with it. There undoubtedly was on Scandal. It was superb to stroll into the primary desk learn for Inventing Anna, and there’s Jeff Perry and Kate Burton, Anna Deavere Smith, me; Tom Verica has directed plenty of Shonda’s exhibits; and even plenty of the identical behind-the-scenes individuals who have been concerned on Scandal. We began the desk learn, and we have been hooting and hollering and banging on the desk. It was electrical. And I may see that the opposite folks have been used to desk reads which are quiet and critical, however we come to play and have enjoyable. I imply, when Jeff Perry is on the desk learn, you might be getting a $350 Broadway efficiency.

VV: And what have been your ideas concerning the script?

KL: The essential factor that makes the Shonda sauce — and it doesn’t matter the medium: miniseries, collection, cable, streaming, no matter — it’s this: You’ll be able to’t learn the scripts quick sufficient, can’t flip the pages quick sufficient. There’s this type of want for extra info, and you may’t get sufficient. I don’t know the way Shonda faucets into that, however she does. After which there are difficult, human, sturdy ladies in all places you look. There may be steamy intimacy and fascinating relationships. And there may be that I-don’t-know-who-to-root-for grey space that Shonda is so good at taking part in in. Somebody’s on the suitable aspect, and the subsequent week somebody’s on the mistaken aspect. Am I alleged to hate this particular person, or am I supposed to like this particular person? It makes it so addictive.

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VV: Should you have been in a position to, did you attain out to Williams?

KL: I didn’t attain out to her. There are some actors from the present who labored intently with among the real-life folks they have been taking part in. I simply felt from the start that I needed the real-life her to be a jumping-off level, however, like, I’m not taking part in Jackie O; I don’t must embody an individual that everyone knows as a cultural icon. I used to be going to get my info from the story that Shonda was telling. I’ve by no means performed a real-life particular person, so I accessed what I may on-line. I didn’t learn her ebook. I checked out her interviews, did a couple of deep dives on her Instagram web page, which everyone knows isn’t an ideal illustration of ourselves anyway. What I discovered probably the most useful was going to Morocco. The minute I used to be there within the place the place she received conned, in scenes with Moroccan resort workers and law enforcement officials and cabs driving via the streets of Marrakech, all of it influenced it so simply. I felt it from each nook; I even met a workers member who was there when Rachel and Anna have been there. Issues like that hit dwelling for me.

VV: It should be surreal to play somebody, an present particular person, who remains to be, in idea, coping with the issues that you just’re portraying on-screen.

KL: Yeah, it was. I believe that was additionally why I didn’t wish to meet her. This can be a trauma that occurred to somebody in actual life. And Rachel is part of the Anna Delvey story — she is one small half to this greater factor that was occurring. I did do plenty of creativeness work, and I felt like I do know plenty of ladies that I believe is likely to be like Rachel in my life who influenced me loads. After which, working with [costume designer] Lyn Paolo once more — plenty of that character formed up the minute I began having fittings. And once more, she wasn’t copying Rachel DeLoache Williams’ precise look; she was barely impressed by it, however then we ran with it. All the things began trying actually preppy, and the place Rachel matches in with Anna, Neff, and Kacy, every particular person had a component to play. And that actually turned clear to me within the fittings too.

VV: Wait — let’s return to Morocco for a second, as a result of that’s actually the meat of Rachel’s story.

KL: We had the very best time there — me, Julia Garner, Laverne Cox, and Chris Lowell. It was magical. And in addition, we have been simply such a bunch of misfits. We shot for 3 weeks nearly each single day, they usually have been lengthy days. Nzingha Stewart was directing that block of episodes, and that was so nice. I felt so secure and related to her as a result of she directed my final episode of Scandal, after I was like 9 and a half months pregnant with my son. And he or she took that duty very significantly and made me really feel secure. They have been very bodily episodes — I used to be kidnapped in Joe Morton’s basement in a marriage gown about to offer beginning to Quinn’s child. Nzingha was so caring and an unbelievable chief. She’s additionally married to a Moroccan man, so there we have been in Morocco, and my husband [Adam] is there and our two children, Julia’s husband is there, and Nzingha’s husband together with his entire, whole Moroccan household. So, all the women can be working all day, daily, and our guys would simply be out on camels within the desert, roasting meat beneath tents, driving ATVs, having the time of their lives. I did get two days off, although, and we drove to Essaouira on the water. But it surely was my final worldwide journey earlier than your complete world modified, so after I speak about our life with my household, it was an enormous a part of our lives. However this is the reason working with Shondaland is the very best place on this planet. I had instructed them that I’d by no means left my child for longer than three nights, in order that they have been like, “Carry your child. And Adam too. We’re placing everyone up.” For this reason Netflix and Shonda are superb.

Julia Garner, Katie Lowes, and Laverne Cox in Morocco for Inventing Anna.


VV: You’re from NYC, and also you started your profession there. Have you ever ever come throughout folks like Anna and her posse?

KL: Properly, I’ve by no means come throughout a sociopath! I saved leaning into that whereas taking part in Rachel, although — like, lots of people received conned by a sociopath, somebody who has no emotions by any means. Julia Garner received to go meet [Anna], and I talked to Julia about it endlessly, which solely confirmed that Rachel was coping with a con artist. However I did go to school within the metropolis and spent three years cocktail waitressing on the Maritime Resort and as a babysitter for actually, actually, actually wealthy folks. So, I’ve seen the world that they journey, which is sort of a entire loopy factor. I may see the way it was such a carrot for Rachel, somebody who needed to work at Vainness Truthful her entire life, and she or he, who loves pictures, will get the crappy mailroom-equivalent job there. And I did all of these jobs in New York and labored my ass off and had buddies in increased locations who would invite me out. I’d get these nights out with the luggage and the attire and the garments and the $25 drinks and bottle service for $2,000 and all these things, and it was a completely totally different world. So, it was very straightforward for me to faucet into Rachel’s curiosity and desirous to really feel cool.

VV: I’ve interviewed plenty of the forged of Inventing Anna, and also you’re the primary one who has used the phrase “sociopath” to explain Anna Delvey. I believe it should be due to the character that you just’ve performed, as a result of these different characters are, in a way, extra on her aspect — or no less than keen to be sympathetic. I’m curious: Do you, Katie, assume Anna is a foul particular person, a con artist?

KL: I’m fearful of Anna Sorokin. I don’t ever wish to meet that particular person. She scares me. How do you belief her? I get the cool components about her, the Robin Hood components of her, like stealing from the Man, taking from the wealthy, however she’s not giving it to the poor.

VV: Do you assume all of it would have performed out in another way if she have been a person?

KL: Would she be in jail? I doubt it. Individuals who have completed a lot worse are working free with severance packages which are billions of {dollars}. I believe you’re proper — I name her sociopath as a result of I needed to play Rachel. However I simply can’t think about having a pal try this to you.

inventing anna l to r alexis floyd as neff davis, katie lowes as rachel in episode 105 of inventing anna cr aaron epsteinnetflix © 2021

Alexis Floyd (left) and Katie Lowes (proper) in Morocco on Inventing Anna.


VV: Talking of buddies, Rachel and Neff’s relationship is an fascinating one to look at. What do you assume is occurring there?

KL: I used to be taking part in it as that traditional highschool mean-girl vibe the place you’re jockeying for best-friend place to Anna. Being finest pal to Anna means you may have extra entry, and everyone seems to be utilizing one another for their very own acquire. Rachel doesn’t like the best way that Neff [played by Alexis Floyd] is doing it, and Neff doesn’t like the best way that Rachel is doing it, but it surely seems we’re each type of doing the identical factor, simply in our personal manner.

VV: Now, that is your first present again at Shondaland since Scandal ended, but it surely’s additionally Shonda Rhimes’ first present again as showrunner. What was that like for you?

KL: It’s all I do know, you recognize what I imply? As a result of we did Scandal, after which we took this break, I did a pair different jobs, acted in different issues. After which, coming again, it doesn’t really feel any totally different, truthfully. It simply feels actually familial, like coming dwelling. It’s so bizarre that I get to say that Shonda is a pal of mine, as a result of then while you work along with her, you’re like, “Oh, wait, she’s a genius. I’m truly buddies with a genius.” It’s not that I overlook that when she’s asking me to textual content her photos of my youngsters or after we FaceTimed to hang around over the pandemic and catch up, or when she’s baking bread and sending me a photograph, no matter it’s. However then when she’s within the showrunner seat and we’re all studying one thing that she’s written, I’m reminded that she is actually one of many biggest TV writers of all time.

Valentina Valentini is a London-based leisure, journey, and meals author and likewise a Senior Contributor for Shondaland. Elsewhere she has written for Vainness Truthful, Vulture, Selection, Thrillist, Heated, and The Washington Put up. Her private essays could be learn within the Los Angeles Occasions, Longreads, and her tangents and common complaints could be seen on Twitter at @ByValentinaV.

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