You may have seen Amy Aquino grazing the big screen as Miss Martinez in White Oleander or Alice Baxter in Working Girl, but more recently she has been taking on roles that hit closer to home.
The Siegal by Michael Mitnick is a play about love and learning when to let go. It recently premiered at South Coast Repertory under the direction of Casey Stangl. The show closed on April 23rd after a month-long run. Amy Aquino played the role of Deborah, a dry humored mother. When asking about her role she stated that it was “A Delight and a beautiful journey. From the first time she sat down with Matthew Arkin there was an immediate affinity, it felt like they knew each other for 30 years although they barely knew each other.” She loved the “Language, humor, love, and the familiarity” that came along with this role in the Siegal.
In preparing for her role, Amy went back to “Acting 101 looking at action and objective, who I am, what I am, and where I am coming from.” Personality wise, her character Deborah was close to home. She was able to relate to the character through Deborah’s “smarts, sharp-witted dry humor, and Pre-Med education.”
How do you relate to The Siegal on a personal level?
We were asked to complete a writing assignment for our blogs, about the one who got away. It made me stop and think. I was MAD for my first love and it still is in my head, this person. I saw him once or twice after time had passed and realized it wasn’t meant to be but at the time it felt that way. When I met my husband I knew that this was the person I was supposed to be with. My first love occupies a place in my heart, but both can coexist. He may have been my soulmate, but my husband can still be my soulmate and he isn’t a runner up.
Can you tell me about your prior theatre experience and how that has prepared you for your current role?
I did a lot at Yale primarily doing smaller comedic roles; it helped me with getting comfortable on stage. I’m always looking for the comedy in each role even if the tone is very serious. Two years ago I had a tremendous experience going professional Shakespeare at The Old Globe in San Diego, CA doing the Twelfth Night. I’ve never done it before but loved the puzzle of breaking it down and breaking down the language. I have been very lucky with the plays I have been able to do. I love being on stage and it always feels more comfortable. Making the complete journey, you don’t get that on TV and the relationship with the audience is unique. It’s so immediate. I love being present and I love the regularity with the cast knowing that you all are going on this ride.
On screen, Amy Aquino most recently has taken on a role in the Amazon series Bosch, a detective show set in Los Angeles. Amy plays the role of Lt. Grace Billets and has appeared in 30 episodes thus far.
Let’s talk about the TV show Bosch, what do you like most about your character?
Grace is complicated and is constantly working to maintain and project a sense of control. Managing these messy making sure business and justice get done, just not always exactly by the book. She is always walking a fine line but also making sure lines font get crossed. She needs to be in control at work. Outside of work, Grace identifies and accepts herself as a gay woman – understanding that – and raising a daughter as a single parent in law enforcement. She is dealing with a lot of things, but always keeps her sense of humor, She can definitely hold her own with the guys.
What do you like about film acting?
I don’t like getting my picture taken, so it feels weird being on camera. I like the community on set, it’s an enormous family. Acting on film is an interesting challenge; you have to be so real. On film, you better be deeply into it. The cameras are looking into your soul and you have to be dedicated in order for the camera to pick it up. It’s a challenge of truly embodying a person. To truly embody a person you have to forget anyone is watching. I’m not aware of the camera half of the time, but it is most problematic when cameras are right in front of me.
How is New York different from when you first started acting?
It is night and day. I came in 1979 and it was as rough as it can be, there was very little Off-Broadway. Los Angeles hadn’t found its footing as an arts center. NY had the theatres and galleries that LA didn’t have. But now, LA has received people with open arms and it more affordable that NY. So many actors are in LA because they take so many chances on young people It’s a different paradigm now. Should you go to LA or NY first? On some levels, I encourage LA because the expense of NY is unreasonably priced, but there is no comparison to theatre in NY. You can see as many shows that there are days in a week. Things have changed tremendously.
“The Impending death of theatre has just never happened. It’s thrilling to know that there is an audience that craves live performance. That makes me really happy.”
This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.