Laura Harrier

By
Photography Craig Mcdean

Published June 5, 2016

AGE: 26. FROM: Chicago and Evanston, IL. UP NEXT: Spider-Man: Homecoming.

JOHN ORTVED: Where do you live in New York?

LAURA: HARRIER: Red Hook. I was in the East Village for ages, and I just moved in November.

ORTVED: What brought you to here?

HARRIER: I moved here to go to NYU and then started modeling, randomly. In high school, my mom’s friend was a location scout, and there was a shoot at our house. I came home from school, and the photographer said, “You should call my friend at this agency.” But I always wanted to act. I stopped modeling so I could go to drama school at the William Esper Studio. It’s Meisner. My dad works in insurance, my mom is a speech pathologist. Very Midwestern, adorable childhood. My parents are smart, creative people but not involved in this stuff whatsoever.

ORTVED: What was your first real-deal acting job?

HARRIER: Steve McQueen’s pilot for HBO, Codes of Conduct. He’s a genius, but also the nicest, coolest guy. It felt like, for him, it was about making it as natural and authentic as possible. If I didn’t feel comfortable, we would stop and discuss it and work on it together. 

ORTVED: You’re going to be in Spider-Man! Are we getting a black Mary Jane?

HARRIER: I can’t tell you. We’re starting filming in June.

ORTVED: What did you learn on One Life to Live?

HARRIER: It was such a weird experience, being thrown into something where everyone else has been there for, like, 50 years. I was replacing another actress, and soap fans are crazy; I would get hate mail. It was good because I can memorize anything now. They would throw you 50 pages a night, and you would have to know them right away.

ORTVED: What else are you working on?

HARRIER: I just shot the Kenzo campaign film directed by Carrie Brownstein with Natasha Lyonne. I’ve been obsessed with Opening Ceremony since I moved to New York. I’ve spent whole paychecks there. And Carrie is just the coolest. The hardest part was staying in character. During takes, I’d be crying because Natasha is so funny. 

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