By Tyler Sullivan > Senior > English and Studio Art > University of Virginia, Photos By Dove Shore
Beautiful, well spoken, and with infectious enthusiasm, seventeen-year-old Cassi Thomson
, talks about her biggest gig yet: joining the HBO series Big Love.
Thomson plays Cara Lynn Walker
, a character who was abandoned by and then reunited with her mother. The show is centered on a polygamist family with three wives secretly (that is, until this last season) living in modern day society.
While Thomson’s character is Mormon and living a life that’s a far stretch from her own, she says that, in a way, she and Cara Lynn have similar personalities. “We are both very feisty and confident in certain aspects.”
It took some time to adjust to her character but Thomson says she is really getting the hang of playing Cara Lynn in season five. “As an actor you’re portraying somebody; it takes a while to really fall into them.” Thomson says Chloë Sevigny, who was awarded a Golden Globe for her role as Nicolette Grant (Cara Lynn’s mother on the show), was different. “Chloë was Nicki from day one,” Thomson says, “she can turn it on and off, she knows her so well."
A stranger to the show Big Love, Thomson had no idea what she was getting into at her first audition. When she finally watched the show, it was eye opening. “At first it was strange, I didn’t realize how much polygamy was still in the world,” she said. “Polygamy was very much overlooked and shoved under the bed. Big Love shed light on an important issue.”
Now wrapping up Big Love’s fifth and final season, Thomson is nostalgic about her time on the show. “It’s my favorite set I’ve ever worked on,” she says. With such an amazing cast, Thomson works alongside some of Hollywood’s hottest talents including young actors Amanda Seyfried and Ginnifer Goodwin. “…such incredible creators and writers—it’s amazing, you feel so privileged. It’s going to be hard to find another project like that.”
So what new drama can Big Love fans look forward to in season five? According to Thomson—a lot. “Cara Lynn’s father was killed and everyone is lying to her about it, yet she can see through the lies enough to know something’s happening and that something is not right.” Between Cara Lynn and her mother, things only get rockier. “She loses a lot of respect and trust for her mom after that.” All in all, fans are going to see a lot more of Cara Lynn this season.
Playing Cara Lynn and focusing on her acting career is a full time job for Thomson. “I would love to go to college, but you have to be careful. When you’re working your way up, you can’t really take any time off.” Currently she’s auditioning, reading scripts and working towards her next deal. Meanwhile Thomson already has a Hallmark movie coming out in June entitled “Rock the House” about a strained father-daughter relationship that is revived through rock ‘n’ roll. “…I would like to take some time off and go to college and do some real schooling,” but for now, “[acting] it’s so much fun for me.”
Her advice to aspiring actors and actresses? Make sure it’s what you want to do. “It’s so competitive,” she adds, “there are so many people wanting to do what you’re doing.” Patience, it seems, is the key to success. Patience, and never giving up.
CM: What do you do in your free time?
Thomson: I’m a big horseback rider; I’ve been riding basically since I was born. I love sushi! And going to the movies with friends.
CM: What are your favorite TV sitcoms?
Thomson: Anything HBO. But I’m partial, I suppose. Boardwalk Empire and True Blood are two shows I never miss. I also really enjoy Jersey Shore, for some terrible reason.
CM: Do you have an iPod? What’s on your playlist?
Thomson: I’m a big hip-hop/rap girl. It’s my favorite genre. On my iPod- there are so many songs. I love Eminem’s latest album, I’m a big Kanye fan too, and Lil’ Wayne.
Thomson: I do use twitter- @CassiNThomson- I love it! It’s so much fun, you can connect with your fans on a personal level.