Natalie Alyn Lind was born to be an actress, and was raised on TV sets
Natalie Alyn Lind’s mother was literally pregnant with her while on set filming a TV show, back when she was acting.
Talk about being born into it!
But actually, Natalie was born into the entertainment industry – her mother being a full-time actress and her father being a producer and director – and Natalie mentions that she was destined to be in acting from the start. The rest is history.
Fast forward to now, and Natalie has tons of huge acting roles under her belt – One Tree Hill (alongside her mother at age 4), iCarly, Criminal Minds, Gotham (as Silver St. Cloud), The Goldbergs (as Dana Caldwell), and now, The Gifted (as Lauren Strucker), a new Marvel TV show about mutants.
Natalie is obsessed with acting and doesn’t see herself stopping any time soon, but she acknowledges that her career can definitely be all-consuming. The Gifted actress tells me that for her, it’s extremely important to remain unique and herself while playing so many different roles.
We sat down with Natalie to talk about these ups and downs of her career, what it’s like filming on the set of The Gifted (hint: there’s lots of stunt people), her go-to makeup, and her favorite animal (you will never guess).
Check out the exclusive interview and photoshoot below, and be sure to check out Natalie playing Lauren on The Gifted ASAP!
You’re on the new Marvel TV show called The Gifted. Can you tell us a little bit about the show and your character, Lauren Strucker?
The Gifted takes place in the Marvel X-men universe. Mutants are living in a world where they are being mistreated and terrorized for being who they are. Everyone is fighting for survival.
The show follows a family, the Struckers, and their journey after they realize that the two siblings are mutants. Our characters are forced to go on the run, until they meet the mutant underground. Together, they form a new family, and fight for survival and equality.
How are you and your character similar (if at all)? How are you different?
Lauren Strucker and I are definitely similar. Before the pilot, I had a conversation with our show runner, Matt Nix, and he asked me a lot of questions so that he could pattern Lauren’s character after aspects of my personality. It was important to both of us that my true self with shown through Lauren.
She is very hardheaded, and follows her heart no matter what. Her main priority is always protecting her family and fighting for equality for all. My main goal has always been keeping this character extremely compassionate, even when being put in difficult situations. She’s also extremely stubborn at times (which i’m not at all…wink wink).
Jacket: AMO, Skirt: R13
Your character Lauren is meant to be the popular girl. How does that affect how you play her?
When you first meet Lauren, on the outside, she has the perfect life. But what you don’t realize is that she is hiding who she really is, because she is afraid how others might see her. For me, being “popular” is an illusion, and is overrated.
Lauren was having to put on a front, which in the long run made her extremely unhappy. In this season, I’m excited that we’ve gotten to see another side of her. She finally gets to be who she truly is, and she realizes who her real friends are. In the long run she’s so much more content, and 100 times more confident.
What are your powers on the show?
My character has force fields – which allows her to block and pick up objects. This season we have been experimenting a lot more with Lauren’s powers, and she is discovering that she can do things she never knew she could do before.
She also has a combined power with her younger brother, Andy. When they hold hands, they can disintegrate objects. Together they become some of the most powerful mutants in the X-Men universe which makes them extremely dangerous (and fun to play).
Tell us what a day to day is like on set of the show!
Days on The Gifted set are always different. I feel extremely blessed to be surrounded by such talented and genuinely loving people. The cast and crew are like a second family to me. Our call times are typically 6AM, and I am not a morning person. I drag myself out of bed, and force feed myself coffee.
But, the moment I arrive on set, I feel awake and ready to work, because honestly, it’s so much fun and it’s always where I would choose to be. Working with the powers and stunts is probably one of my favorite parts. I’m lucky that I have an awesome stunt team that allows me to attempt most of my own action sequences.
It’s hilarious because we’ll be all be extremely serious filming a scene where we’re racing to save mutant kind. The mood will be dark and edgy and suddenly cars begin to blow up, and stunt people go flying. But, the moment they yell “cut,” we all laugh and tell stupid jokes. Seriously, best of both worlds.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve gotten from someone?
In the entertainment industry, we are constantly having to pretend to be people that we are not. We create characters in our minds, and live them out day to day. In the process of doing this, sometimes it’s hard to remember who you are. It can leave you feeling lost.
I was told at a very young age to hold on as tight as you can to your true self. Because once you lose that, you’re nothing. Pretending to be something that you’re not is an easy routine to fall into. Staying original is vitally important.
What genre of TV would you like to delve into next?
Since I was 2 years old, I have been obsessed with anything horror/spooky/thriller related. I’ve always loved scary movies, and it’s so exciting to me that the horror genre has come to television. The Haunting of Hill House is one of my new favorite shows. I’d love to find a project similar to that.
Jacket: AMO, Skirt: R13
You grew up in an industry family, both of your parents being in entertainment. What was that like? How did that help you figure out your career path as an actress now?
I was literally born into acting. Literally. My mom was pregnant with me while she was still filming her TV show. I grew up surrounded by film and television, spending my childhood on sets visiting my mom and dad and hanging out with their crews. I will always look up to my parents, especially my mom. She’s an incredible actor, and has taught me almost everything I know.
When I was little, I admired the way that she would be able to play all these different people. I knew immediately that this was something that I wanted to be a part of. I am beyond lucky that both my parents were supportive of me following my dream. I owe them everything.
What’s it like navigating the industry as a young female actress?
Being young and a woman has its perks and its downfalls. Especially in this industry, I found that people can, at times, be extremely condescending. When that happens, instead of taking offense, I have learned to do this – prove them the hell wrong! 2017/2018 has been a huge transition period for women. We are approaching an era where women will stand together, and demand respect. And I’m proud to be a part of that movement.
You wear so many cute outfits! Where do you love to shop?
My style is so wacky. I love mixing and matching. Online shopping is my favorite pastime. I’ll spend hours looking for cool new upcoming brands. My favorite website is The Real Real – they carry vintage designer clothes that are impossible to find elsewhere. My sister, Emily, and I also love to thrift shop. I love the idea that clothes can be passed, then passed, and passed again. My closet creates its own history.
Favorite new brand?
My favorite new brand is Y/Project. I love that the company is not afraid to step outside the box. Women always ask me where I find my clothes, and guys ask what the hell i’m wearing (laughs).
Day to day beauty routine?
Whenever I’m not working, I like to keep my look simple. When I’m doing my makeup, I make sure to keep my face looking fresh. My face is covered with freckles. I used to hate them when I younger, but now they’re my favorite feature.
So, I use a tinted moisturizer, and concealer underneath my eyes. Then I add some mascara and bronzer to give my skin a pop. For my hair, I shower and add some beach wave sprat for texture. Then I’m good to go!
Jacket: AMO, Skirt: R13
I use Chanel’s Hydra Beauty Créme. I’m obsessed with the scent of all Chanel products. I recently just started adding Drunk Elephant’s moisturizer to my nightly routine. I love their company because their products are all natural. They stay away from synthetic ingredients that sometimes end up being harmful to your skin.
Lashes or lips?
I’m a lips kinda girl. Whenever I meet someone their mouth is one of my first things I notice. I try to do a lip mask every other night to keep mine healthy. I also have a huge lipstick obsession. I own every hue on the spectrum.
3 fun facts about you?
Since I was little pigs have been my favorite animal. I love them so much that I have never consumed any pork products (but, I am curious about how bacon would taste).
Baking is a passion of mine – one day I hope to open up a bakery.
I grew up homeschooled. My parents are both in the film industry, so instead of spending time in a classroom, they allowed me to travel and experience the world.
Hair: Carly Walters
Makeup: Melissa Hernandez