Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Mackenzie Lansing lands juicy role on 'Mare of Easttown'
by Jerry Nunn
2021-05-01

This article shared 3418 times since Sat May 1, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Mackenzie Lansing is an out and proud performer who is currently on the rise. She's part of the cast a brand-new HBO televisions series called Mare of Easttown.

Lansing grew up between Villebon-sur-Yvette, a small town outside of Paris; and Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She began acting in local theater before moving to New York, where she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

This talented actress began guest-starring in television shows such as Red Oaks, on Amazon; and Tell Me a Story, on CBS. The HBO series Mare of Easttown appears to be her big break, though, with Lansing playing the feisty character Brianna. This is her second show on HBO after The Deuce, in which she acted alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Mare of Easttown stars Kate Winslet and Evan Peters as residents of Pennsylvania dealing with a brutal murder.

Windy City Times: Where are you calling from, Mackenzie?

Mackenzie Lansing: I'm in Queens, New York. I have an apartment here.

WCT: You come from a French background?

ML: Yes. I am naturalized French, so I lived the bulk of my childhood in France. I am also American now and have lived in the States for 11 years. I do identify as French first, though.

WCT: What subjects did you study growing up?

ML: I went to a French high school, where I had to specialize in something, so I specialized in literature. I studied philosophy and art history. I then got into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, so I moved to New York to go there. I never left!

WCT: It seems like it has paid off.

ML: Yes. I hustle and I am a firm believer in earning your stripes in the industry, so to speak. It is finally all coming together.

WCT: Did you ever have to come out publicly in your career?

ML: Yes. Part of the reason I got a slow start was because when I moved here, I worked with somebody, who will remain nameless, who discouraged me from coming out. That person told me to stay in the closet, had me see a voice coach to make my voice three octaves higher and made me wear pink. I went out for roles like "girl in bikini number 3" and other things that weren't who I was.

I met the lovely agents I am with now at Clear Talent Group, who told me to be authentic and explained that being who I am would reflect in my acting. They were a hundred percent right.

When I came out I started booking roles. It was a big turning point in my career, after hustling for so long and lying to myself. I was 26 years old when I came out later in life.

WCT: I understand that they were trying to mold your career, but this sounds personal.

ML: It was! Luckily, it is changing, but at the time I came on the scene, I got the tail end of that old school theory around acting that you have to erase everything about where you come from and who you are.

The problem is that you can forget what is unique about you. That uniqueness is going to make you good and be able to bring life to a role.

WCT: Thank you for sharing your story about this. How was working with Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Deuce?

ML: It was amazing! She was so laser-focused. It was intimidating to be around, but in a good way. When she is on the set, she is such a charming and nice person.

She has an intense presence and I am a huge fan of hers. We didn't get an introduction, we were thrown into the scene together. I spent about three seconds in the dressing room and then I had Maggie crying in my face. It was incredible!

WCT: That sounds intense.

ML: It was, She was ready to go when I came on. She was very complimentary of me, which gave me a huge boost to feeling I was on the right track with everything I was doing.

WCT: How is Kate Winslet compared to that?

ML: There's a British show called Extras with Ricky Gervais. She was on that playing herself. She is like that and takes her job very seriously. Kate is hilarious and always cracking jokes. She has a lot of wisdom when it comes to the industry. She really cares about what she does and about everyone on set.

WCT: Did you see the movie Ammonite, [in which] Kate played a lesbian?

ML: I did not see it yet, but she was telling me about it. She is very proud of the work she did on it. She said she enjoyed working with Saoirse Ronan.

I'm a bad lesbian for not seeing it yet! [laughs]

WCT: We will let it slide since you've been busy landing this role on Mare of Easttown. How did that happen?

ML: I had talked to my agents about being more authentic and going for grittier roles. This is closer to me in real life, but I am not mean like my character. I do gravitate towards roles like that, though. I want to play everything, but right now that is what I am doing a lot of, while I can do it early in my career.

Sometimes I am out reading for roles and I think, "This is me." That may sound bad when you know this story and character on Mare of Easttown. She is very dark.

When I was a teenager, I was very confrontational. I was lost and in the punk scene in France. This character is what might have happened to me if I hadn't found acting and made me leave my small town. I had been in a lot of fights when I was a teenager and got in trouble. I may have been one of the few people who read for this and had been in an actual fist fight. I knew what it was like to be in that situation. I wasn't a bully. I was defending myself from other people trying to bully me. I knew it was the role for me. I went through three rounds of auditions and eventually booked it.

WCT: Your character Brianna may have been bullied herself and just paying it forward.

ML: Yes. I don't think you can play anyone as a horrible person. Even if your character has a questionable point of views, you have to be able to stand behind them.

She is trying to literally fight her way out of the town!

WCT: Tell our readers what Mare of Easttown has for the LGBTQ audience.

ML: Mare's daughter, Siobhan, has a girlfriend, so she's queer. That will be developed more and that is all I can say.

There is another storyline, but it hasn't been touched on yet. It will reveal itself eventually…

WCT: What is The Repulsive Parts project that I saw on your social media?

ML: That is a play I wrote shortly after I first came out. It is about a struggling stand-up comedian who is queer and is hiding those parts of us that we are all ashamed of. It follows three women with a lot of magical realism.

WCT: If you were going to write a new queer story, what would you want to convey?

ML: I am actually writing a pilot right now. I am writing a storyline that is very similar to what my life was like, such as coming out later in life.

It is partially because my parents were very religious, although they have taken a very different route in life now. We were originally missionaries.

Being educated that way can sometimes make you resent yourself and it becomes very hard to come out. It helped to have therapy and surround myself with a chosen family. That is the story that I am currently writing and really want to tell.

WCT: Being out seems to have really transformed your career.

ML: Yes. When it happened I thought I would never work again. It was a slow start when I reintroduced myself as the person I am today. It eventually paid off in my career and my personal life!

Mare of Easttown airs every Sunday at 9 p.m. CT on HBO.


This article shared 3418 times since Sat May 1, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets' LGBTQ+ Representation in the Media' panel Nov. 4 2021-10-21
--From a press release - In recent years LGBTQ+ people have increasingly seen representations of themselves, celebrations of their lives and stories, and coverage of LGBTQ+ issues across media channels. This has led to a worldwide rise in understanding, cultural acceptance, ...


Gay News

Celebrities support trans employees in Netflix walkout with video 2021-10-20
- As the Netflix walkout in response to the company's continued support of Dave Chappelle's special The Closer was underway at the streamer's Los Angeles headquarters Oct. 20, a video that includes activists and Netflix talent alike ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Superman, TheWrap, Oscar Wilde, Billy Porter, Cher, 'Dragula' 2021-10-17
- The ongoing comic Superman: Son of Kal-El, by writer Tom Taylor and artist John Timms, launched in July and saw Jon Kent officially take up the mantle of the Man of Steel now that his father, ...


Gay News

Jury selection in Smollett trial starts Nov. 29 2021-10-15
- The Jussie Smollett saga continues. Almost three years since out actor Jussie Smollett (TV's Empire; the film Alien: Covenant) was allegedly attacked in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood, Cook County Judge James ...


Gay News

PBS to air queer documentary 'Things We Dare Not Do' Oct. 25 2021-10-12
- American Documentary | POV announced the national broadcast premiere of Things We Dare Not Do (Cosas que no hacemos), the second feature film from Mexican director and cinematographer Bruno Santamaría, as part of POV's 34th season. ...


Gay News

Netflix suspends trans employee who tweeted about Chapelle special 2021-10-12
- Netflix suspended a transgender employee who criticized the new Dave Chappelle stand-up special The Closer, writing on Twitter that Chappelle's jokes were harmful to transgender people and the LGBTQ community, NBC News noted. The company denied ...


Gay News

MOVIES Colman Domingo to star in Bayard Rustin biopic 2021-10-09
- LGBTQ+ actor Colman Domingo—who has been in movies such as Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Candyman, and TV shows ranging from Fear the Walking Dead to The Big Gay Sketch Show—has landed the lead role the ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ groups call out Dave Chappelle over latest special 2021-10-07
- Dave Chappelle's new Netflix comedy special, The Closer, is already making headlines due to material several groups have called anti-LGBTQ, Variety reported. In a statement, GLAAD called out the pattern of derogatory jokes, saying that "Chappelle' ...


Gay News

Few LGBTQ nods from the Emmys even as RuPaul makes TV history 2021-09-21
- Netflix's The Crown and Apple TV+'s Ted Lasso were among the big winners as the Television Academy presented its 2021 Emmy Awards on Sept. 19 in Los Angeles. While the Academy had drawn praise for the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Genera+ion' axed, sports items, Wilson Cruz, k.d. lang, Lil Nas X 2021-09-19
- HBO Max did now renew Genera+ion, its OC-high-school-set dramedy, out.com noted. "We will not be moving forward with a second season of Genera+ion," a spokesperson for HBO Max said in a statement. "We are very proud ...


Gay News

Stephen Amell, 'Outlander' star to be at Wizard World Chicago 2021-09-17
- Stephen Amell, known to millions as the crime-fighting vigilante lead in the hit TV series Arrow, will return to Wizard World Chicago on Saturday, Oct. 16. Amell—who also starred in DC Universe vehicles such as DC's ...


Gay News

TELEVISION 'Drag Race,' 'Queer Eye,' 'Pose' among Creative Emmy winners 2021-09-13
- Three 2021 Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremonies took place Sept. 11-12—and Netflix's The Queen's Gambit led the way with nine wins going into next weekend's Primetime Emmys, Deadline reported. LGBTQ+ individuals and shows also scored se ...


Gay News

MUSIC Lil Nas X wins top award at MTV VMAs 2021-09-13
- The MTV VMA Awards took place Sept. 12—and an LGBTQ+ artist took home one of the night's top awards. Lil Nas X won Video of the Year for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," besting Cardi ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA 2021-09-12
- Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...


Gay News

TV Rory O'Malley lands his second gay cartoon role with 'Chicago Party Aunt' 2021-09-11
- Inspired by a popular Twitter account, Netflix's latest adult cartoon, Chicago Party Aunt, takes the Windy City to a whole new level. Superstore star and Second City alumna Lauren Ash plays the titular character, Diane Dunbrowski. ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.