For her first screen role, Tierney Smith was cast as Lizzie Saltzman in The Vampire Diaries alongside her real-life sister Lily Rose as Josie Saltzman, where they stayed until the end of the final series and have recently returned as their characters in the new spin-off show, Legacies. Later this year, Tierney will be seen as Young Bev in feature film Hillbilly Elegy, where she’s been working alongside director Ron Howard. Recently speaking with Tierney, she tells us about appearing in The Vampire Diaries, being on set of Legacies and the upcoming production Hillbilly Elegy.
What was Lizzie Saltzman like to play in The Vampire Diaries?
It was a lot of fun being a witch! I really liked when we had scenes where things would catch on fire!
Did you have a favourite episode to film or a special moment on set?
It was pretty cool seeing how movie magic works behind the scenes. Like, the first time we did a spell and set the goldfish on fire, I had no idea how they were going to make that happen when we read the script but when we were on set and they showed us how it all worked, it was SO cool! And they were super safe about it. They had firefighters right there off camera just in case something happened.
How was it being on the set of Legacies playing Young Lizzie?
It was cool being at the Salvatore School. There are a lot of crew members from TVD working on Legacies so I really liked seeing so many familiar faces.
How did it feel being asked to reprise your role for the new spin-off series?
I had been waiting to be asked since the series started! I always thought that it would be awesome to be back and hoped that they would find a way to bring us back.
What was it like booking the role of Young Bev on Hillbilly Elegy and being in the cast?
AWESOME! Getting to meet and work for Ron Howard was the best! And he started acting when he was a kid so I felt like he really understood me. Being on set was great and my set teacher was the same set teacher that my sister had when she filmed HBO’s Watchmen, so that was cool! I also got to work with another actress, who played my little sister, Lucy (Capri) and she was super sweet.
What are you looking forward to for the release?
I hope I get to walk the red carpet and be at the premiere!
What was it like filming for an episode of MacGyver?
That role was like playing myself! My dad had just deployed so auditioning to play a little girl who was sad that her dad was deployed was, well… easy! Because that’s exactly how I felt.
Can you tell us about the short film that was released last year, Dear America: A Film by Generation Z?
That was a really great project. Being a kid, it’s hard to have a voice on how we feel. Adults are making all of these decisions about guns and laws how to protect us but they aren’t listening to how we feel as kids going through lockdowns and stuff. There’s a lot of talk about what to do but to kids, it is like nothing is actually being done because these big shootings are still happening too much.
How did your acting career start?
I started as a baby doing print ads and little commercials and just loved being funny. I wasn’t shy at all! So when the audition for The Vampire Diaries came, we auditioned and it changed everything for me! I loved it and now that’s all I want to do!
What do you enjoy most about being an actress?
Getting to take on roles that are so different from who I am and looking at their story through their eyes and trying to tell the story for them.
Do you have a favourite screen actor/actress?
My favourite actress is Julie Andrews. I LOVE older movies and LOVE her voice. My favourite actor is Tom Hanks. Everything he does is so different. No two roles are the same type of character, which is so cool.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I like to play with my baby brother and my other sisters and big brothers. We like to go on bike rides, to the park, swimming, the beach… we live near the beach so we like to go a lot! I like to read and I’m currently reading the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It’s SOOOO good!
Are you currently working on any productions or have any coming up you are able to talk about?
A few weeks ago we went to Los Angeles for pilot season, so fingers crossed!
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