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Lena Hall Opens Up About Snowpiercer And More - Exclusive Interview

Tony Award winner Lena Hall cut her teeth in Broadway musicals such as Cats, Kinky Boots, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch (for which she won the Tony), but now she's making a splash on the small screen playing multifaceted Miss Audrey on Snowpiercer.

The TNT series takes viewers on a wild ride upon a nonstop train that's circling the globe while carrying the last remnants of society who have survived a modern ice age. The 1,001-car convoy is filled with different classes — upper-class passengers are at the front of the train, the working class populates the middle, and the lowly stowaways are tucked away in the tail.

At the center is the Night Car, where all the classes mingle in a nightclub-like atmosphere overseen by psychic/singer Miss Audrey, whose therapeutic ways help soothe the souls of those aboard. It's a role Hall seems perfectly suited for, given her theatrical background.

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Hall dished on her multidimensional role on Snowpiercer, discussing what it takes to bring Miss Audrey to life.

Lena Hall uses her Broadway skills to channel Miss Audrey onscreen

What's it like working with fellow Broadway star Daveed Diggs, who also stars on Snowpiercer? Did you guys know each other beforehand?

I did know him briefly, pretty much from the Tony rounds and we have a lot of mutual friends. Of course, the Broadway community is very small and you end up knowing everyone very, very fast. And working with him is so amazing. He's a sweet, positive, open-heart kind of guy. He's so much fun and we laugh all the time, so the fun thing with him is that we're constantly laughing on set. You see him and you think... I don't know about you, but when I see him I think... he just gives off the sense of positivity and he is that way in real life.

Other than your fantastic ability to sing, what tricks or strategies from your stage background do you bring to your role as Miss Audrey?

Certainly physicality. I'm a physical actor. I used to be a ballerina when I was a kid and so I am better at emoting with my body and embodying a character more than just words or emotion. So, for me, it's like the dance aspect. Even how she moves and how she wears clothing and how she moves her head, how she looks, is very important. Her physicality, and also the clothing and the sense of beauty, that whole thing. That is definitely a holdover from my Broadway days. Wearing wigs and all the makeup and the fabulous looks, that's definitely something that adds to her dimensions, and then I think her connection with people, as well.

As a performer, when you're onstage singing, I have a connection to my audience that I cannot put into words, and also when I'm singing it makes me feel like I am somewhere else. It's almost a cathartic feeling for me, and the connection and the energy I get from the audience is also something that I feel so very deeply when I'm in the moment. So to be able to loop that into Miss Audrey as well, I think works because she's an empath and she's kind of a therapist and is someone who can help someone else heal through extreme trauma just by listening and by kind of repeating their story back to them. So that is all kind of looped into my character, for sure.

You originally auditioned for a different role on Snowpiercer. Why do you think Miss Audrey was the right fit for you?

Well, it was written for me, so I'm lucky. They said, "Hey, we're going to change what role you're in and we're basically writing this role around what you do." And I was like, "Okay." When they were saying that, I was just like, "Amazing." I look at Miss Audrey and think she's so awesome and so it was like, "Well, if you think I'm that awesome then, gee, yeah, okay. Absolutely."

So I was excited. Originally, I wasn't supposed to sing, and when they told me I was going to sing, I was just like, "That's fabulous." And then they were telling me about the fashion and what she represents and I just was like, "That is amazing." So the fact that was adjusted for me as an actor, that felt really special and I didn't want to lose that.

Snowpiercer airs on TNT on Mondays at 9pm EST.