You may recognize Haley Lu Richardson from her guest-starring role on Shake It Up and lead role in the ABC/20th Fox pilot Keep Calm and Karey On. The talented actress captured a starring role in the independent film Escape From Polygamy, which will make its world premiere on Lifetime on Saturday, August 24th at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Celebrity Teen Scoop had the chance to chat with Haley about her role in Escape From Polygamy, the greatest lessons she learned from her work on the film, and what it was like working with Bella Thorne and Zendaya on Shake It Up. The actress also revealed which hilarious actress she wants to work with the most!
CTS: You will star in the Lifetime Original Movie, Escape From Polygamy. Please tell us about the movie and your character.
Haley: “I am so thrilled to be a part of this movie, because it is so different and unlike any script I’ve ever read! The film is about two young people exploring, taking risks and discovering. The twist is that they grew up on a polygamist compound, so what they’ve been strictly told to believe all their lives is all they know to be true. However, then they find love, which is the real game changer. I think the overall idea is that when you find love and true happiness in someone, you believe that anything and everything is possible.”
CTS: How were you cast for the role?
Haley: “To get the part, I went through the traditional audition process with the help of my lovely agents. From the very first time I read the script, I could see myself as ‘Julina.’ It shows in your work when you have that confidence and connection with a role, so I think that helped a lot in the end.”
CTS: The movie centers on overcoming tough obstacles in the pursuit of true love. What are some of the greatest lessons you learned from your work on the film?
Haley: “When you’re fully immersed in a project, you can learn things from the story and your character and apply them to your real life. Julina is introduced as a very innocent girl, but you can tell she’s got a lot of fight in her. I was able to learn from her as she progressed through her journey and I discovered that beautiful things can happen when you open yourself up and stop thinking so much.”
CTS: You had a guest-starring role on Shake It Up. Could you please share some highlights of being on the show?
Haley: “Working on Shake It Up was an absolute blast! I did competitive dance for 10 years, so I always love when I can incorporate dancing into my work. It was a very tiring week, but the outcome was well worth it!”
CTS: What was it like working with Bella Thorne and Zendaya?
Haley: “The cast and crew were awesome! Bella and Zendaya were such sweet, hardworking girls and it was really easy to keep high spirits while working with them, even after we had done the dance 100 times!” [laughs]
CTS: How did you get your start in acting?
Haley: “I am originally from Arizona and I moved to LA with my mom when I was 16. But, let me tell you, it wasn’t easy to convince my parents to let me move out here. I had to really prove to them that I was serious about acting- which meant writing ‘pros and cons’ essays and delivering presentations at the dinner table! [laughs] I have lived here in LA for almost two years now and a lot of it is luck, but most of it is hard work and constant learning.”
CTS: Which actors and actresses would you like working with the most?
Haley: “Kristen Wiig. Kristen Wiig. Kristen Wiig! She is definitely one of my all-time favorites- I think she’s just genius! I would also love working with Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio someday, as they are two unbelievably talented men. And then (duh!) Jennifer Lawrence!” [laughs]
CTS: What other upcoming projects do you have?
Haley: “I have been working really hard the past few months on two movies that I believe will be amazing! The first movie, The Well is post-apocalyptic thriller revolving around a young heroine- played by me- who essentially leaves all her innocence and fears behind to protect humanity and save the people she loves. The other movie I just finished is called The Young Kieslowski, which is about two awkward college kids losing their virginity to one another and facing the consequences. They are both in post-production now and I can’t wait for everyone to see the final products!”