Tara Lynne Barr Reveals The Secret to Being ‘Young and Successful’ in Hollywood

What if, instead of getting your first “real” job after you graduated college, you grew up working on “real” jobs from the time you were in grade school? That’s exactly the way life has been like for a generation of young Hollywood up and comers like Tara Lynne Barr, who grew up and into their roles on the screen. At the age of 22, Barr already has over 10 years of acting experience behind her. And, while it may seem fun and glamorous, if we’ve learned any lessons from former child star darlings Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes, growing up in the spotlight doesn’t always pave the way for success. But, unlike the plethora of child stars that came before her who may have crashed and burned in their transition to adulthood, Barr has a secret to making sure her best days in the business are ahead of her. Check out our conversation with her to see what she has to say about what it takes to be young and successful in television, and watch her do her thing on the Hulu original “Casual” that premieres this week.

What’s it like growing up in the film and television industry?  Do you feel like you missed out on childhood moments while you were working on set as a kid?  

I always felt like I grew up industry-adjacent rather than smack dab in the middle of it. I was lucky enough to have parents that were supportive of me, but also very aware of the fact that the business can chew up child actors and spit them out. They always encouraged me to live as normal a life as I could. That said, I really didn’t miss out on much! I had a pretty well-rounded childhood. Sure, I may have missed a school dance here or there because I had a late night on set or a dress rehearsal but it never got to a point where I felt like it stunted me.

What was your very first role? 

My very first role was in a musical called ‘Toy Camp,’ I was seven and I played a character was named Ted E. Bear. The show was about this group of toys that goes to a camp to learn to be good so they can graduate and earn their price tags. I couldn’t dance, could barely hold a tune and was at the age where I thought the louder the acting, the better.

What’s your dream role? 

That’s tough to answer because it’s constantly changing! I’ll have something in mind that I think is the ultimate “I-can-die-now” role and then I’ll read a script that completely knocks my last dream role off the table. Although I will say, I’ve been obsessed with the horror genre since I was a kid. It would fulfill a childhood dream to play the ass-kicking protagonist in a good horror film.

Your favorite director? 

I have way too many to pick but if I had to narrow it down: Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, The Coen Brothers, David Lynch, Jason Reitman, Jean-Marc Vallée.

Have you ever met anyone through work who made you feel completely star struck?

Absolutely. Although I’m usually only star struck by people whose work has really had an impact on me. The show I’m currently working on is produced and directed by Jason Reitman and I’ve always loved his movies. Juno, in particular, was one of the first films I remember watching and thinking, wow, you can tell a story well AND tell it in a stylish, unconventional, totally unique way. I held it together okay, but auditioning for him was a definitely a sweaty-palms, shaky-knees moment.

What do you love most about your job? 

I love that my job has yet to feel like a job. I mean, there are things that go along with it that make me want to rip my hair out sometimes, but it’s never dull. My favorite moment is sitting down to read a script. Whether it’s something I’m currently working on or something I’m hoping to work on in the future, I always get this weird, kid-in-a-candy-store moment when I first open a script. Sometimes they’re totally disappointing, but when all the right stuff is there, it’s like magic.

And dislike most? 

Red carpets and photo shoots, in general, are never comfortable for me. I have friends who strike these killer poses and know exactly which angle suits them and they amaze me.

The best movie you saw this past summer? 

Trainwreck. I’ve been a fan of Inside Amy Schumer since it first aired and I, along with probably every other human on the planet, think she’s brilliant. I love when women break the rules. And then rewrite them for good measure!

Can you give some advice you have for young women who are trying to break into the industry?

It sounds so cliché, but you have to stay true to yourself, always. I’m still trying to follow that advice myself, but it’s the one thing I’ve found to be true of all the women in this business that I look up to. There’s so much pressure in this town to look a certain way and behave a certain way that it’s easy to lose yourself. But the women who have had the most varied, fascinating careers are the ones who rose above their critics and embraced what made them different. Preserving your integrity and remaining true to yourself is badass. It’s a form of rebellion in this business.

HAIR: Dean McDaniel
MAKE UP: Dusty Starks
STYLING: Lo VonRumpf

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