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Eve Lindley's Breakout Year Ends with Katie Holmes' All We Had

Eve Lindley's Breakout Year Ends with Katie Holmes' 'All We Had'

Eve Lindley's Breakout Year Ends with Katie Holmes' 'All We Had'

Lindley talks about her first feature, finding great roles as a transgender actor, and portraying Sylvia Rivera.

For Eve Lindley, 2016 has been a breakout year. The emerging actor appeared as Frida on Outsiders, Hot Carla, the local pyro, on Mr. Robot, and played transgender activist Sylvia Rivera in the forthcoming short film Happy Birthday, Marsha!. She was named one of the OUT100 honorees and landed a supporting role in Katie Holmes’ directorial debut, All We Had, where she found herself acting alongside Holmes, Richard Kind, Luke Wilson, and Judy Greer.

All We Had, based on the Annie Weatherwax novel of the same name, follows fifteen-year-old Ruthie Carmichael (Stefania Owen), and her mother Rita (Katie Holmes) as they flee from Rita’s latest boyfriend in search of a better life. Rita and Ruthie end up stranded in a small town after their car breaks down, where diner owner Marty (Richard Kind) and his waitress niece Pam (Eve Lindley) give the Carmichaels a second chance. Lindley’s character, who is at times a foil to Rita, forms a friendship with her daughter and reveals her own dreams of a better life.

Lindley talked to PRIDE about the experience of shooting her first feature, portraying Sylvia Rivera, and the importance of women in film.PRIDE: You started behind the scenes in costume design, but what motivated you to make the leap to acting?

Eve Lindley: I always wanted to act. That was always my passion, but I sort of gave up on it a little early because I felt like there wasn’t really an outlet for me as a trans actor. So, I got back into it. There was sort of a shift in media, and I was really fortunate to not have given up all the way.

PRIDE: It seems like roles like Pam in All We Had were maybe not around five or ten years ago.

EL: Yeah, roles like this have always wanted to be around, but in the past people have maybe reduced them to being a comical thing, or something like that. But yeah, it’s such a great role and I’ve been fortunate to be able to take it on.

PRIDE: What appealed to you about the role?

EL: I really liked her relationship with her uncle, played by Richard Kind. Mostly I liked that it wasn’t something that I had read or seen yet.  It was exciting and fresh. It wasn’t just an idea of a trans person. It was a fully rounded trans person with interests. There was a lot to her.PRIDE: You mentioned Richard Kind (currently starring in Amazon's Red Oaks). There are a lot of really seasoned actors in this movie, and this is your first feature. What was that experience like on set?

EL: It was really exciting. I was definitely pinching myself a lot. I think it took me a second to feel worthy. It took me a second to feel like I belonged there with all of these people that I either admired for a very long time from afar, or just have known of and seen. It is quite a daunting thing to show up to set ever, so to do it with major names, I think it was a bit of a 'Woah, this is real?' moment. It wasn’t that way for long. It just took a few days, and I feel like I settled in and realized at the end of the day it was just a bunch of people who wanted to make a movie. It didn’t stay daunting.

PRIDE: You also share a lot of scenes with Stefania Owen, and there’s this great big sister/little sister chemistry going on. What was it like to work with her?

EL: It was just fantastic. I really love Stefania. I was very lucky—we were both very lucky—that we actually hit it off and got along. It was such a great way to spend that summer. It felt very camp-like, because she and I pretty much just hung out for whatever it was, a month or two weeks. I was so privileged to share screen time with her.

PRIDE: These characters go through a lot—sexual assault, abuse. But at its core, it feels like a hopeful film, and it’s about women supporting each other through these common struggles. I feel like we might need to see a lot of stories like this in the coming years.

EL: Oh, yeah.

PRIDE: It’s not an overtly political film, but I’m wondering what you think the role of art is as it relates to politics.

EL: I think that this film is going to be political even when it’s not political, just by existing. Just by Katie deciding to direct. Just by it being a film that was run by women, produced and directed by women. I won’t say that it’s only about women, but primarily it’s a story about a bunch of women helping each other. So, I think that it will always be political. Just by our voices being heard, we are political. I think that seems really scary, but it’s also something that’s worth embracing.PRIDE: This is a more obviously political movie—but there are a lot of people looking forward to Happy Birthday, Marsha!coming out soon. What was the process of playing such a huge, iconic presence like Sylvia Rivera?

EL: It was pretty great. Fortunately, there’s so much video, so much about [her life]—so I was really getting into research to embody her. As an actor, it’s so much fun to do that. I really had a lot of fun working with everyone on that set. I haven’t even seen it yet. I can’t wait to see how it turned out.

PRIDE: What was it like to see the film and people reacting to All We Had at Tribeca?

EL: Truthfully, I don’t know. I went to Tribeca. I did the red carpet with my dad. We went to this little room and everyone was sort of shaking hands and chatting about the film. But there wasn’t really an opportunity of me to just see people’s reaction to it. Maybe I avoided it or something. It’s really funny when you’re new at filmmaking. The thing that I noticed was, 'Oh this movie is so different than the movie I thought I made.' Because when you’re in real life and you walk through the dinner, you’re a person, so you’re walking over a cord, and putting things down on the counter, or whatever. And then you see it in frame and you think, 'Oh my god, that shot was just on my face. No one knows that with my hand I was tapping Morse code on the table,' or whatever it is. So, my reaction to seeing it was really like, 'Woah, we made a movie! It wasn’t just us hanging out and simulating all these scenes at a diner.' It’s such a crazy experience. I’ve never seen my mug so big. I’m sure a lot of people were giving me feedback but I was really just like, 'I made a fucking movie! I’ve always wanted to make a fucking movie, and I just made a fucking movie!'

PRIDE: What are you doing now, and what to do you hope to do in the future?

EL: I’m about to open an Off-Broadway play on December 2nd called Street Children at the New Ohio Theater in Manhattan, and I’m really excited about that. I just feel very lucky to keep doing the work. I feel ready to keep doing the work. I’d love to keep on keeping on and learn as many different facets of this industry as I possibly can.

All We Had opens in theaters and VOD on December 9th. Watch the trailer below.Photos courtesy of Gravitas Ventures.

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