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Lorenza Izzo, who plays Pilar Herrera on AMC’s Feed the Beast, talks about dealing with grief, sampling food on set and the budding friendship between Pilar and “The Tooth Fairy.”

Q: You’ve appeared in quite a lot of horror productions. Was it nice to work on something different? 

A: I think it happened circumstantially that I ended up doing a lot of horror because that was kind of how I got into the industry. I do love the genre, and I didn’t want to separate myself from it, but I was really looking forward to going for other types of storytelling at some point. I was really excited when this came along and that I actually got it. My part was originally written for an older Latin woman, but when I came in, I convinced them it had to be me. I’m just so lucky that all of these elements happened for me to be able to do this.

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What do you get when you combine food, the mob and David Scwhimmer? Well, for one, a chubby Schwimmer with a Goodfellas attitude. Actually, the result is a fascinating new show on AMC, Feed the Beast, which stars the former Friends star, Jim Sturgess (21) and the stunning Lorenza Izzo.

The Chilean actress of horror film fame is stretching her acting chops beyond screaming at the top of her lungs by delving into the equally as scary world of restaurants. Here, she lets us in through the kitchen door and drops info on the show before its premiere this Sunday.

What’s the deal behind your new AMC show, Feed the Beast?

It tells the story of two best friends and one of them is coming out of jail the character that Jim Sturgess plays. These two buddies grew up in the Bronx and one of them is a sommelier and one of them is a chef and they had a restaurant which one of them blew up and now they’re trying to start it up again in the hopes of starting a nice new environment and to pay back the money they owe to the mob. So there’s a mob element to the show, there’s a dysfunctional family dramatic element to the show and then there’s a restaurant business element to the show which I think is such a cool interesting mix of themes to watch on TV.


How does your character come into the story?

I play a Cuban born in Harlem named Pilar Herrera. She’s kind of a crappy waitress who doesn’t really know what she’s going about in life. She’s a hopeless romantic and that’s always an interesting thing for me to approach because I think there’s very few of those left in the world we live in, right? I mean come on it’s 2016 in the world of Tinder and Facebook and all these incredibly insane apps and she’s just truly looking for love and the ways she goes about it may not be that morally correct. She’s also kind of a weirdo, she’s a little big quirky, she’s a goofball; she doesn’t really know much about social cues. She’s the kind of girl that if you’re in the restroom peeing she’ll just walk in and start talking to you and has no idea that that’s not okay.
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“I’m sort of getting some redemption, aren’t I?” says 26-year-old Chilean actress Lorenza Izzo.

Izzo was born in Santiago, but moved to Atlanta at age 12 while her dad was getting his Ph.D. at Georgia Tech. “When I first moved to Atlanta I had a really strong accent, and I got bullied like hell,” she recalls while sitting at Irving Farm Coffee, around the corner from the Gramercy apartment she rented for her stay in New York. “It was awful. I got over my accent pretty fast, thanks to ‘Blue Crush.’ I started watching that movie and I got obsessed with Kate Bosworth. I had no idea she was Australian — to me she was American and it was all I needed to know.”

Oddly enough, she’s frequently cast as an American, a fact tinged with a certain sweetness in light of her bullies. “It’s such a payback isn’t it?” she grins.

On Sunday, she joins David Schwimmer and Jim Sturgess in AMC’s “Feed the Beast,” which follows two best friends in their attempt to open a restaurant in the Bronx, in the midst of cleaning up their lives. WWD chatted with Izzo about landing the role, meeting her director husband, and what she wore to be crowned “best dressed” in high school.

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“I’m from Chile, born and raised, so my ideas about beauty are very rooted in being Chilean. Growing up, simpler was always better, so my routines were really easy. Then I moved to LA, which has a similar climate, and I would do the same things…wash my face, put on sunblock, and then do serums at night. When I moved to New York, everything shifted like crazy. I wasn’t used to the dryness, first of all. And the dirt–you get so dirty. The pollution is palpable—I feel like I’m always fighting against it.

We’re filming Feed the Beast, and the hours are crazy, but I always try to wake up, wash my face with rosewater, put on Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+, and go to work. They put calendula oil on my face before my makeup and it works wonders. After we shoot, I take off my makeup with Klorane Makeup Removing Wipes and Bioderma Créaline…I love that. I’ll cleanse with Osmosis Cleanse because I love their products. Before bed, it’s Osmosis Antioxidant Serum and Christine Chin’s night cream. Another thing I’m using right now is the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask. It dries your face, you can’t even move your lips, and then you take it off and your skin feels amazing.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is also my jam. I have to do my own makeup for auditions but I can’t do foundation. I’m not good at it, and it feels thick, like I have a mask on. But I love the Laura Mercier. I’ll also do Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! mascara, it’s probably the best mascara in the world. Then Tom Ford Eye Quador Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in a brown, gold, or orange. My eyes are greenish, yellowish blue and they react best with those shadows. All the girls out there that have blue or green eyes, browns and golds make your eyes pop. Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long-Wear Luminous Eye Shadows are everything, too. They’ve been using them on me for the show—oh my God, they’re amazing. I’m a Chanel convert.

I was blessed with big-ass, thick hair. It’s awesome, but it gets tangled very easily. I’ll get dreadlocks in the course of a couple hours. Recently I found It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In detangling spray and it saved my life. Like, I’m married to it. Spraying the detangler and using an extension brush, that’s the trick. Then a little argan oil, and it’s all good. In New York, I have to use so much more product. But anywhere where it’s humid, like if I’m in the Caribbean, everything is perfect. My skin is glowing, my hair is great, I’m tan…everything just works.”

—as told to ITG


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