Raised in Malibu and Los Angeles, California, Samantha Lockwood the only child of Hollywood actors Gary Lockwood and Denise Dubarry Hay, is more than just another pretty Southern California girl. Lockwood is a self-made accomplished actress, artist, jewelry designer, entrepreneur and accomplished Bikram Yoga instructor.
Samantha began studying the fundamentals of acting at the age of 16 at the Aaron Speiser Acting Studio. At UC Santa Cruz, she studied Theater Acting and Marine Biology. Under the direction of Robert Eastman she got her training in voice and accent, and joined workshops for improv, commercial, and cold-reading under the direction of Carolyn Barry, Lesly Kahn, and her current teacher, Joseph J. Pearlman, who coached her in the leading role as "Kate" in Shoot the Hero (2010), in which she received great reviews.
Beginning her work as an on-camera spokesperson for her mother’s firm Thane International, Lockwood has been featured as an upcoming actress in Esquire's "Me in My Place" photo series, and in her yoga-inspired action shoot for Maxim UK. She appeared in many commercials to include Apple, Old Navy, Swim-ways, and in the Miller Light "Skinny Jeans." In the movies, she played the leading lady role in the western, Mexican Gold (2009) (aka "Return of the Outlaws"), a pill-popping teen in the "CSI: NY" (2004) episode, "CSI: NY: Manhattan Manhunt (#2.7)" (2005), and as Topper's girlfriend in Lords of Dogtown (2005).
As a self-made online jewelry entrepreneur Lockwood is also the inventor of an eco-friendly jewelry line, Fleurings, an idea inspired by her grandmother, earrings made to hold live flowers..
At the age of 30, Lockwood is a young beauty with a no-holds barred awareness of the lure and frailties of the always tough and sometimes stagnating entertainment industry. Unafraid to speak up, Lockwood shared with PINK many secrets and why she refuses to be be pigeon-holed by taking the reality television road to instant success.
PINK: Growing up with famous actor parents, your father who was in the original pilot for Star Trek; your mother was a player for Aaron Spelling and Stephen Cannell, Charlie’s Angels, and Black Sheep Squadron. Then you in the string of successful infomercials and in yoga. How did all those Hollywood crossroads made you the woman you are today?
Samantha Lockwood: (Laughing) Well I think it definitely gives me a different perspective to be an actor. I believe all things happen for a reason. I really feel you have to be committed to being an actor for the rest of your life, going the long haul, constantly expanding your horizons as an actor,. I see a lot of people come in to Hollywood to do reality TV just to get famous! I think because my parents were actors, it helped to ground me more. I’m at this age now where I feel like I will do whatever I have to do to continue doing what I love to do. However, it’s not the same as when my father was coming of age, the opportunities are just not there like they were when he got his start.
PINK: How has the industry changed since your father’s time?
SL: Our business has changed a lot with regard to submissions compared to my parents. Today a lot of actors have to write and develop their own material, They’re famous because they’re writing and developing their own parts. I’m going down that road now, trying to develop projects that will correctly showcase who I am as an actor.
PINK: Who are some of your peers who see being successful developing their own material?
SL: Seth Rogan’s wife Lauren Miller and I were in a short film together. My boyfriend, Alex (Kudo), was in it as well. So we all three were talking. She was telling me about this movie she was writing. So it’s a couple of years later and it got a theatrical release through Focus Features -- it was a darling at Sundance! I thought ‘wow’ she has more clout now. I thought she went for it herself, she’s truly made her own vehicle, and the part is really sweet!
PINK: So it seems a good path for young Hollywood to take?
SL: Uh, hmm, I did another movie this past year, The Other Country, the director Brett Leonard did The Lawnmower Man. It was the kind of role that I feel will establish my style, will get me out there, much like the music video I just did for JT Hodges song, (Goodbyes Made You Mine). I’ve been getting a lot of good reviews for the work I did on that music video.
PINK: In addition to racing to auditions, you also are the CEO of your own jewelry line, Fleurings? (www. Fleurings.com)
SL: I feel part of the thing that’s going to get me out there is the jewelry line. I’m definitely trying to tap into the Japanese market. I’ve been in their celebrity magazines, I‘m known as “the actress creating this jewelry.” My jewelry is being picked up in their wholesale market, so it’s wholesale and resale in Japan. I just got my first store in a Japanese shopping mall so I’m pretty excited. In Hawaii and Japan, they have such respect for flowers. They give flowers for everything. It’ such an integral and important part of their life! When I did go to Japan --I went last year for my father’ in laws art show, (Muramuso Kudo) -- I literally had women buying my jewelry off my body. I couldn’t believe how much they loved Fleurings over there. Then, the interview that I did for the Honolulu Star Advertiser became a cover story. It was amazing! When I can tie it all together! Whenever I meet people who live in Hawaii or have family there, about 20% of the time, they say they’ve seen my jewelry in Hawaiian Airlines Magazine, so I feel I’m known throughout the Pacific region.
PINK: Getting back to your acting career, what is the temptation for young actors to do reality television as opposed to waiting for that perfect dramatic role?
SL: Well, to be honest, I don’t think reality TV has that much to do with acting. It has a lot to do with being dramatic, who can blame them? I’ve considered it, but something makes me feel it would be so embarrassing in the long haul. I understand the attraction to that business, it’s sort of a big shiny carrot in your face. You basically just have to be willing to sign your life away -- have no shame whatsoever, then go for it! But I think for people like myself who want to do it the hard way, achieve some success in a more, challenging, classy way, I do think you have to search out or build decent roles. I’m very fortunate at this point in my life, I do struggle, I have to work to make ends meet, but I’ve never been willing to go after reality TV. I would feel I’m not serving the artistic side of myself if I did. I know my family was considered for this Bravo (network) show. They were looking for a huge multi-generational Hollywood family, My dad (Dr. Frank Poole in 2001 A Space Odyssey), my mom (Denise Dubarry Hay) is very successful, my grandmother! So Bravo came, they shot, afterwards they came to me and said, “they will probably want to see you in all the episodes.” I thought, “I’m so scared of people seeing my personal stuff, it would feel like I’m selling out.” But at the same time, I don’t like the way reality TV has the capacity to totally distort family relationships. Some topics are just not for the camera. So I just said no.
PINK: You studied with Aaron Speiser, Robert Eastman, Carolyn Barry, Lesly Kahn, and most recently Joseph Pearlman, how did each of these teachers affect your style of acting, your craft?
SL: Thanks, that’s a good question! I have learned something different from each one of those teachers, ultimately the most important thing I’ve learned has been how to bring a very genuine authentic entity, being who you are, bringing your own humanity to the role, especially with my most recent coach, Joseph Pearlman. Carolyn was all about the commercial technique, even so she was about being authentic as well. In any case they are some of the best teachers in the business! Joseph above all, he’s all about being who you are, right now he’s considered one of the best coaches, he coached Zooey Deschanel and her show New Girl really went over the top! Yet bringing yourself to the role is very challenging. But I feel that’s where the connective tissues lie, when you the can fully bring yourself to the part. Meryl Streep makes every character she plays a piece of her, you never catch her acting, she’s fully believing everything she does.
PINK: Streep is a hero then?
SL: I actually met Meryl a couple of years ago. I told her I was Gary Lockwood’s daughter and she said “he’s a fine, fine actor.” It made me feel really good, I thought, I‘m from great stock! She said, “when you’re an actor there are many ups and there are many downs. The downs are low and the ups are very high -- you just have to have the stomach to stick in there with all of it.” That was her advice to me, she was basically telling me the nature of our business. I felt like what she was saying you have to be understanding of our business, how it works, the long haul, you can’t be at the top every day of your career. As our business continues to morph and change, you see famous actors doing 30 second commercials, I think you have to be very understanding of that! Ultimately, everybody just wants to do good work!
PINK: You’re an accomplished Bikram Yoga teacher, in fact you were raised with Yoga, your mother does Yoga, how has this “hot” yoga impacted your work both as an actress and as a jewelry manufacturer?
SL: I feel yoga has offered me a sense of community. I have lots of friends through my yoga practice. It has given me the ability to do anything in my life, on a karmic level -- how we are all tied together. When I teach and even through my acting work, I’m offering a service. I think it’s a great service to entertain people. Yoga teaches me that whatever I do, even with my jewelry line, I want the end user to love this piece. I always think about servicing the person with whatever I do. I taught them to do a yoga post, the jewelry, it gives me a great philosophical back bone.
PINK: As an entertainer, what would be your perfect role?
SL: (gasping) I have auditioned for so many types of roles! I do feel overwhelmingly a lot of roles that are out there for women just seem to be the girlfriend or the wife. There are a few roles every year that have that element of heroism that I love to see in female characters, No matter where the character starts, I love to see women with a backbone!
PINK: Are you pursuing theatre?
SL: No, I have not pursued theatre. I feel like I’ve trained myself to be a film actor, to develop the more subtle actor in me. You need that for film. I have done theatre, but it’s not something I’m dying to get back into for the moment.
PINK: How will you go about developing custom made roles for yourself and the others in your circle?
SL: I don’t know, that’s a difficult thing to say. The only power I currently have is to develop those things on my own. You just have to give yourself those parts, so that other people will see you as that strong, unique character, when somebody sees you bring a role across, I think that’s what gets you get cast as that other person, that other breakout role. But you have to be careful. I’ve got to find a piece of work that’s going to draw those kind of roles for me -- like Jennifer Lawrence had in Winter’s Bones, then she got Hunger Games. It always takes that one piece of work. Mostly because it’s hard to find those parts, they are usually taken by the top 20% of actors, the ones who have access to those parts! But it’s my goal to be part of that 20%!
PINK: You’re having great success with your jewelry line in Japan, have you thought about acting in that market?
SL: (pausing) Well, I think you have to speak the language! (laughing) No I’ve never really considered that. But it’s interesting that you asked me, I just got a flyer from AFM (the American Film Market). I haven’t been in years, but this year I’m going, so we’ll see.
PINK: Tell us more about the sitcom you‘re developing...
SL: My boyfriend Alex (Kudo) is a co-creator on the project along with a writer by the name of Tim O’Hara. The pilot is for an ethnically diverse sitcom. Alex is half Japanese and his father (Muramasa Kudo) is a famous artist, so we’re loosely basing it on that. At this point, we’re still in the early stages of development. Tim, the writer, wants to bring my Dad (veteran actor Gary Lockwood) into it as well, so it’s an ensemble piece. I’m also interested in doing a show about three or four girls who are trying to develop their own business. As a business owner myself, I’d like to do something that shows how challenging and rewarding it is to be an entrepreneur.
PINK: Are there other roles you dream about?
SL: I would love to do something action oriented, really cool stuff, riding horses, shooting bows and arrows. I could list a bunch of roles, I love great stories! I love the work that Emily Blunt does, they’re all great Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Your Sister’s Sister, really fantastic, independent, fun stories.
PINK: Isn’t there a certain amount of luck associated with getting those meaty, heroic parts?
SL: I think you make that kind of luck! And you definitely have to be lucky -- because the first couple of parts you get, you have to follow through and do well. My dad always said, “Hollywood is no different then it ever was before, you have to be in a couple of movies that made money and when you’re associated with a success then you’re considered to be a success!” The bottom line is you cannot control all the elements of a film, you’re performance can suffer or shine depending upon your fellow cast and crew, from marketing to story.
PINK: Does the California girl good looks impede your ability to be cast in a wide variety of roles?
SL: (Laughing) Right now my hair is a little darker. I think today I bring a little bit less of the beach bombshell, (laughing again). I think if you can bring a powerful performance to the part, your looks are secondary. Amy Adams, Rachel McAdams -- they’re very pretty but they seem to work on great parts. You just need that first part, that showcases your talent. Plus, you can do anything with wardrobe and makeup!
PINK: What other things are you working on now?
SL: I’m really just focused on acting. I feel if I could do one thing well, I’m trying to put all my creative energy into that. Tomorrow we have a 5 hour development meeting, that’s part of my day, when I’m not auditioning, I’m branding my jewelry line.
PINK: Which celebrities are wearing your jewelry?
SL: Seth Rogen and his wife Lauren bought a bunch for their bridesmaids. I’ve given some to Hayden Panettiere, Mandy Moore, Jessica Alba. At the MTV Music Awards my jewelry was part of a gifting suite. Jennifer Love Hewitt loved, loved, loved my jewelry and she was showing it off to her girlfriends on the client list. There’s Molly Burnett, Claudia Lee. Fortunately I have great photographs of them wearing my jewelry. I even gave one to Angelina Jolie -- her nail girl is married to my boyfriend’s father.
PINK: Any last thought?
SL: (pausing) I think it’s really important to have foresight and longevity! I think you have to be willing to commit to something for the long haul. Sometimes I want to throw my hands in the air and run laughing or run screaming. Either way, my whole thing is I really want to see it through. Eventually I would like to get into directing. I can see that. But I really want to do funny stuff, witty. I can be really silly. I want roles that showcase that side of me.
For more information go to www.SamanthaLockwood.com