Interview by Victoria Innocenzi
Diana Hopper has made a name for herself as series-regular, Denise McBride, in Amazon's original television drama Goliath. Growing up in Memphis, Diana has recently made Los Angeles her home and gets to do what she loves for a living- acting. In this interview, Diana gives us some insight on what it's like working both in film and television.
You’ve worked as an actress in both film and TV, can you give us some insight on what inspired your interest in acting?
I've always loved storytelling and creating imaginary worlds. As a kid I used to read books and watch movies and act them out in the backyard. When I discovered theatre, there was no going back.
What is the biggest difference between acting for TV and film for you?
I've always loved movies and so, naturally, I love making them but they are challenging in the way that you have to tell a character's entire story in two hours (unless it’s a franchise of course.) TV is a much slower burn. “Goliath” has given me the chance to take my time with my character, to allow her to grow as I grow.
Growing up in Memphis, which seems very down-to-earth, how does it feel to be living in LA now?
I love both cities for very different reasons. Memphis is a more laid back, slow paced environment. People really take their time there and know how to enjoy the process of things- like cooking a delicious meal for example. It's also a very rich artistic community with a lot history especially when it comes to music. Los Angeles is my home now though. It's a place where I have built a life with beautiful friends and where I get to do what I love for a living. I also love the fast-paced environment of the city because it means there is always something going on. Plus the beach and mountains aren't so bad either!
What helps keep you grounded?
Family and friends. Finding joy in the little things.
How do you personally define being authentic.
I believe authenticity is the ability to check in with yourself. If you can look inward and have a truthful inner dialogue about who you are, where you are, what you want, what you need. If you can face yourself, know yourself, and work on yourself then amazing things can happen. Being honest with ourselves leads to self-growth and ultimately reaching our full potential as individuals who each have something different and special to offer the world.
Let’s talk about some of the roles you’ve played, what is one that stands out to you the most?
Other than Denise McBride, my first film role will always hold a special place in my heart. I played Sammy, a 15-year-old tomboy with an attitude. It was an amazing time.
What has it been like working in TV as recurring and then becoming a series regular on ‘Goliath’ for the past two seasons?
Great! To become a series regular on “Goliath” was a dream come true.
What’s the most interesting thing about playing Billy Bob Thornton’s daughter on the show?
Working with Billy and watching him work with others on set has been more powerful and inspiring than I could've imagined. I feel extremely lucky to be having this experience and it's one I'll carry with me for the rest of my life.
Is there an actor that has inspired your career path as an actress?
Katharine Hepburn and Liz Taylor are my favorites.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I just wrapped a movie called "BIT" in which I play Duke - a killer vampire. It was rad.
If you’re going to be a book, what book would you be and why?
Somewhere between "Gone with the Wind" and "Tom Sawyer." Sometimes I'm a stubborn yet glamorous young woman and sometimes I'm an adventurous little boy with a wicked sense of humor. But I'm always Southern.
If you will be given the chance to help a specific cause/charity, what would it be?
There are many causes that speak to me. On a global scale the WILD Foundation is making an impact by protecting both communities and wilderness alike. www.wild.org
On a local level Memphis Tilth helps families in Memphis "grow their own food, share knowledge of sustainable growing practices, support urban and rural farmers, and cultivate community." www.memphistilth.org
What I feel connected to about both organizations is that they each work towards longevity for our planet and human beings alike.