Hayley Lovitt: "The Gifted" takes her acting career to a new level ("1on1 with Jon Evans" podcast)

Hayley Lovitt: "The Gifted" takes her acting career to a new level ("1on1 with Jon Evans" podcast)
Hayley Lovitt as Sage on "The Gifted". (Source: hayleylovitt.com)
Hayley Lovitt as Sage on "The Gifted". (Source: hayleylovitt.com)
Click on the links inside this story to listen to past episodes of the "1on1 with Jon Evans" podcast with guests including Vivian Howard, Charlie Daniels, A.J. Tata and Trot Nixon.
Click on the links inside this story to listen to past episodes of the "1on1 with Jon Evans" podcast with guests including Vivian Howard, Charlie Daniels, A.J. Tata and Trot Nixon.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Hayley Lovitt and the rest of the cast members from the Fox Television Network show The Gifted are waiting to see what Season Two holds in store for their band of underground mutants. Fox renewed the hit show in January, after reports showed it was the third highest-rated new drama of the network television season. Lovitt, a 2009 graduate of UNC Wilmington, plays Sage on the show, the biggest role of her acting career.

"I'm really excited to see how our cliffhanger leads into Season Two," Lovitt said in an interview from her apartment in Atlanta. "I got a text from Emma (Dumont), who plays Polaris, and she said, 'just got picked up for season two'. I was so glad she texted me because I immediately texted my mother, and like five minutes later Twitter blew up about it, and if I hadn't told my mom before Twitter came out with it, she would have been pretty upset!"

Hayley was born in Oklahoma, and her family to North Carolina late in her middle school years when her father got a new job. By then Hayley says she had developed a longing to act.

"I always wanted to be an actor, since I was a little kid," she remembers. "When I got into middle school and high school, I got into theater and getting really serious about it. I did theater in high school, and also did a group called National Forensics League, which is speech and debate. It took me a while to join, because that sounded really nerdy and I was like 'I'm not joining the speech and debate club!'. But then I watched some of my friends do it and realized it was pretty cool. I did an event called "dramatic interpretation", just did one semester my last year of high school and won the state championship with that event."

Hayley did some acting while attending high school in Morganton. But after talking to people involved in the business, she decided to give up chasing the dream. After graduating from Freedom High School, she enrolled at UNC Wilmington in 2005.

"Just because so many people want to do it, and if you have a little success doesn't mean there is a longstanding career in it, I thought I want to do something that is kind of related, but more stable," Hayley says. "So, I was looking for colleges with good communications programs, and there is a communications studies program at UNCW. It's actually a really good program, it was, with great professors, great department, great classes. That's what kind of drew me initially to UNCW. Then when I went and visited and saw Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach I was like, 'alright this is where I want to go for sure'."

Following graduation in 2009, Hayley took a job at a law office. But she says the work left her unfulfilled, and that's when she decided to give acting another try. She lived in Wilmington for "about a year", then moved to Charlotte because a friend there was doing crew work for film and television. That led to more acting opportunities, including an appearance on One Tree Hill. Hayley spent several years doing the behind-the-scenes work, landing a few on-camera roles along the way. But it was her move to Atlanta in 2014 that opened more acting doors, including a part in the film A Walk in the Woods, which starred Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. Hayley talks about that at 14:15 of the podcast.

"That stands to be the most fun I've ever had on a set," she says with a wide smile. "Working with Redford and Nolte was great. I had been watching Robert Redford since I was a little kid, and working with him was obviously amazing, but also because of who he is as a person. He would come down and say 'Let's talk', 'Do you want to have a talk or do you want to practice our lines?' He asked me what I had done and what I wanted to do."

Hayley joined the Marvel Universe in 2014, playing Janet van Dyne, known as The Wasp, in the movie Ant Man. Although she did have lines of dialogue with acting legend Michael Douglas during filming, they were cut out in the final product.

"It was pretty disappointing," she says with a chuckle. "I wish I would have known beforehand."

Hayley turned to acting full time in 2017, giving up crew work when she joined the cast of The Gifted. She appeared in 12 of the first season's 13 episodes, giving her a new level of exposure and more material to use when auditioning for roles.

"The Gifted has been great to put me in a place where I could at least show more footage on a consistent basis, of the show and the episodes and the actors I'm working with," she says.

As for where fans will see Hayley Lovitt next, she can't tell us. Several of her projects are under non-disclosure agreements, meaning the contact stipulates Hayley is not allowed to say anything about them.  She did pass along some advice to aspiring actors and actresses hoping to one day see themselves on a network television show or film.

"I would say get started as early as possible, and take classes, take classes, take classes," Hayley says. "Find experienced teachers, not just Joe Schmoe actor who put a sign up above his door and says 'I'll teach you something'. Starting young is helpful because you have more time to gain that experience on set, on auditions, in classes with other actors. Then as you age, more life experience helps too."

Hayley is active on social media, on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. She also has her own website, hayleylovitt.com.

You can listen to the entire interview with Hayley Lovitt on the free "1on1 with Jon Evans" podcast:

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