Katie Lowes’ Fast Connection to Rachel DeLoache Williams

“I don’t care what the function is,” says Shondaland alum Katie Lowes, maybe finest recognized for her function 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.”

Effectively, contemplate that purpose 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 movie star moms alike to speak in regards to the generally messy facet 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 buddy 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 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 residence 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 girls 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 pals — after which left Williams with a $62,000 lodge invoice to pay for all on her personal.

“I used to be like, ‘Huh. Attention-grabbing,’” says Lowes of the collection. “However I didn’t focus on it with Shonda. I simply didn’t suppose there was any manner that lightning strikes once more. I depend my blessings. She saved and adjusted my life eternally. I’m so grateful. However, like, name me if you need 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 an element 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 effective job. And when she comes knocking greater than as soon as, you’re like, ‘I hope the appearing 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 direct empathic connection to her and felt like I might do job understanding the place she comes from and what she went by way of,” 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 state of affairs 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 number of different Shondaland alums in Inventing Anna. What was it wish to reconnect with them?

KATIE LOWES: What I feel 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 wonderful 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 loads of Shonda’s exhibits; and even loads 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 might see that the opposite folks have been used to desk reads which are quiet and severe, 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 in regards to 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 may’t learn the scripts quick sufficient, can’t flip the pages quick sufficient. There’s this type of want for extra info, and you’ll’t get sufficient. I don’t understand how Shonda faucets into that, however she does. After which there are sophisticated, human, robust ladies in every single place you look. There’s steamy intimacy and attention-grabbing 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 facet, and the following week somebody’s on the flawed facet. Am I imagined to hate this particular person, or am I supposed to like this particular person? It makes it so addictive.

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VV: In the event 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 a number of 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 should 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 might on-line. I didn’t learn her e book. I checked out her interviews, did a number of deep dives on her Instagram web page, which everyone knows isn’t an ideal illustration of ourselves anyway. What I discovered essentially the most useful was going to Morocco. The minute I used to be there within the place the place she bought conned, in scenes with Moroccan lodge workers and law enforcement officials and cabs driving by way of 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 residence for me.

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

KL: Yeah, it was. I feel 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 happening. I did do loads of creativeness work, and I felt like I do know loads of women that I feel is perhaps like Rachel in my life who influenced me so much. After which, working with [costume designer] Lyn Paolo once more — loads 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 pieces began trying actually preppy, and the place Rachel matches in with Anna, Neff, and Kacy, every particular person had an element 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 most effective 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 virtually each single day, and so they 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, once I was like 9 and a half months pregnant with my son. And he or she took that accountability very critically 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 delivery 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 complete, complete Moroccan household. So, all the women can be working all day, every single day, and our guys would simply be out on camels within the desert, roasting meat beneath tents, using ATVs, having the time of their lives. I did get two days off, although, and we drove to Essaouira on the water. However it was my final worldwide journey earlier than all the world modified, so once I speak about our life with my household, it was an enormous a part of our lives. However for this reason working with Shondaland is the most effective place on the 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, “Deliver your child. And Adam too. We’re placing everyone up.” For this reason Netflix and Shonda are wonderful.

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: Effectively, I’ve by no means come throughout a sociopath! I saved leaning into that whereas taking part in Rachel, although — like, lots of people bought conned by a sociopath, somebody who has no emotions in any way. Julia Garner bought 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 Lodge and as a babysitter for actually, actually, actually wealthy folks. So, I’ve seen the world that they journey, which is sort of a complete loopy factor. I might see the way it was such a carrot for Rachel, somebody who needed to work at Vainness Truthful her complete life, and she or he, who loves images, 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 pals 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 items, and it was a very completely different world. So, it was very simple for me to faucet into Rachel’s curiosity and eager to really feel cool.

VV: I’ve interviewed loads of the forged of Inventing Anna, and also you’re the primary one that has used the phrase “sociopath” to explain Anna Delvey. I feel it should be due to the character that you simply’ve performed, as a result of these different characters are, in a way, extra on her facet — or not less than prepared to be sympathetic. I’m curious: Do you, Katie, suppose 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 suppose 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 executed a lot worse are working free with severance packages which are billions of {dollars}. I feel 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 buddy do 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 pals, Rachel and Neff’s relationship is an attention-grabbing one to observe. What do you suppose is happening 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 buddy to Anna means you will 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, however it 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, however it’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 completely different, truthfully. It simply feels actually familial, like coming residence. It’s so bizarre that I get to say that Shonda is a buddy of mine, as a result of then while you work together with her, you’re like, “Oh, wait, she’s a genius. I’m really pals with a genius.” It’s not that I neglect 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 best TV writers of all time.

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

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