Paramount+ and CBS’ Evil(2019) is taking us on another mystifying journey into the world of the supernatural. This psychological mystery follows psychologist and a priest-in-training as they both work on debunking the Church’s backlog of unexplained mysteries, including supposed miracles, demonic possessions, and hauntings.
We sat down with series regular, Skylar Gray, who portrays Lila Bouchard to give us an inside scoop on the second season, her character, acting career, and hopes for the future. Skylar was born into the entertainment industry and grew up performing and reading scripts by virtue of her talented parents, Shanelle Gray (The Bold and the Beautiful) and David Barry Gray (Game Change) as well as her aunt, Ariel Winter (Modern Family).
Her impressive list of credits include CBS’ Me, Myself & I, Life in Pieces, Married, Room 104, and ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat. She has also starred alongside award-winning actor, Anthony Hopkins, in Now Is Everything (2019).
What inspired you to be an actor? Can you tell us your background and how you developed a passion for acting?
I grew up in a family of actors and was always around scripts. I always knew I was going to be an actor from the moment I picked up a script.
Congratulations on your role on the hit series, Evil! Why did you want to be involved in this project?
From the moment I read this script, I wanted it! I loved the fact that I would be working with other kids and that they were around my age, and I was super excited! It motivated me to work hard!
Can you walk us through the process of auditioning for the role? What were the challenges and breakthroughs you’ve encountered along the way, and how did you overcome it?
Ups and downs for sure. On the first audition, they grouped us together and there were hundreds of girls lining up to audition. I had never been to an audition like that. The first girl I went into the room with started crying! I didn’t think I would stand a chance! Once I got to the callback and I was under pressure my confidence kicked in. By the screen test I wanted it and got it!!
Can you tell us more about your character Lila Bouchard?
Lila Bouchard is the best character I could ever ask for. I love how she is brave and a scaredy cat! I was able to bring her to life because she is a lot like me! She has been shaped more as time has gone on. In Season 2 a lot of her mother in her comes out.
What did you like about the story?
I like how the show is not a generic horror story. Kristen chooses a balance between two lovers, 4 daughters and enemies.
What was the dynamic like between you, your castmates, and film crew?
This is the BEST cast and crew I have ever worked with. They are so so nice to me, and we have a lot of practical jokes. We crack up before, during, and after filming!
Can you give us a sneak peak of what we can expect from Season 2? What did you love about filming this season?
You can def expect more character arcs and shaping-maybe a few new characters. Although the second Season starts 5 seconds after the first it was a year for us but we still had our dynamics that never went away.
What kind of films do you like watching? Which films and filmmakers have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?
I REALLY like watching horrors-but warning-DO NOT watch them with me. Since I am obsessed with special effects I give spoilers HA! Coraline is my favorite movie. Tim Burton, Adam Sandler.
What were the monumental life lessons, mistakes, and things you’ve learned that you would like to share to young aspiring or emerging actors, storytellers, and creatives in general?
The biggest mistake I made during acting was when I was younger. I thought I “had it” and didn’t work hard enough. After a few of those mistakes, I didn’t let that happen again. I taught my sister that too. Always work like it’s the first audition. It’s never yours until its yours-and even then…
The pandemic has greatly affected the entertainment industry. How did you spend your time?
I was definitely scared the pandemic was going to impact my acting, but it didn’t. I am sure a lot of people were worried. One of the big changes was that the acting world went “on tape“. I miss being in the room and feeling the energy and chemistry with the director and casting directors, but I am a huge supporter of the arts so any way it has to be done I am in it!
What kind of roles do you want to take on in the future?
I cannot wait to be the main character. That will be exciting. The daughter role can be old HA.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind as an actor?
Other than being an actor-I would like to be a human rights activist.
What’s your advice to young actors who want to break into the entertainment industry?
Biggest advice is to get a trusted agent or manager or someone who can help you get there. Go to an acting studio-get your skills up and kill it!
Season 2 of Evil (2019) is available to stream on Paramount+ streaming platform from June 20th.