Heather Hemmens - Inspiration Through Resilience
Heather Hemmens currently stars as the lead in 2019’s highly anticipated new CW series Roswell, New Mexico, a reimagining of Roswell. The series focuses on the residents of New Mexico, where aliens live undercover among humans, and premiered on January 15th. Concurrently, Hemmens can also be seen in Tyler Perry’sIf Loving You Is Wrong on OWN, where she stars as “Marcie Holmes,” a real estate agent stuck in an unhappy marriage, currently airing it’s 6th season. Best known for her role as “Alice Verdura” on The CW’s Hellcats, her other television credits include Grey’s Anatomy, Without a Trace, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, and The Haves and the Have Nots. She most recently appeared in Paramount Network’s Yellowstone alongside Kevin Costner. On the silver screen, Hemmens’ credits include Complicity, Road to the Altar, and The Candy Shop, as well as the critically acclaimed Glory Road and cult favorite The Dukes of Hazzard. Additionally, Hemmens has done her fair share of work behind the camera by both directing and producing the short films Designate and Perils of an Active Mind.
Jamie Agoglia: Congrats on Roswell, New Mexico, the show is fantastic, your character is phenomenal. How do you feel about it thus far?
Heather Hemmens: I’m not going to lie, I have high hopes for this show, I’m probably it’s number one fan. I believe in this show and the reception to it so far has been so kind and very supportive.
Appearing alongside Kevin Costner inYellowstone, that must have been thrilling?
I loved working on Yellowstone, it’s such a great show. They were shooting it much like you would a movie so it was huge budget, amazing scope of the landscape in Utah where they were shooting. Kevin is amazing to work with, always has an open door, very welcoming to work with.
Growing up in the very small town of Waldo, Maine, roughly a population of 800, what small town lessons have you carried with you to the big world of entertainment?
It’s full-circle. I feel like growing up in a small town, everyone is supportive of each other. Then coming out to LA, when you spend enough time here, you find that community, I feel like you can come back to those important things that matter and make up the humanity that we’re all craving in our life. Having that community of people that will catch you when you fall.
Many of your roles portray a strong female lead (“Marcie Holmes” on If Loving You Is Wrong on OWN, “Maria DeLuca” on Roswell, New Mexico); what role has been the most impactful on you as a female actor?
I really loved my first big role as “Alice Verdura” on Hellcats. I thought “Alice” was a warrior! She was a true underdog, she was scrappy as hell, she was so smart, she was so feisty, she could really speak her mind and fight for what she wanted. She fought dirty sometimes while she was also learning to be a better human. Because it was my first big role it will always be near and dear to me. I think that in a lot of characters that I play I find something that I relate to within that experience that they’re going through or someway to connect it to my own life and I’ve been fortunate to play some really badass female characters and I definitely try to emulate that in my own life; it gives me courage in my day.
You’re a black belt in Martial Arts and have weapons training. Pretty badass, when did you get involved in Martial Arts and why?
It was through my brother, it’s a family art if you will. My oldest brother is four-time Grand Champion and was already a second-degree blackbelt by the time I joined. It was opening up parts of my meditation and self discipline that I hadn’t accessed before and I was really intrigued by that. It was a journey that I took together with my family.
Alongside acting, you also are a producer and director. Are you working on anything now? Or have plans to in the future?
I directed two short films that went to festivals and they both did really well, and I had the time of my life the days that I was shooting those films. I shadowed on this entire season of Roswell, I learned so much from that. I know the right opportunity will come soon and I keep learning so that I will be prepared when that situation does arrive.
Do you prefer TV more than film or vice versa?
I love TV. I think I’ll always focus on TV more than film for several reasons. It’s where I got my start so my experience is very much in the TV world with respect to the casting, networks, studios that know me. I’m happy to have my roots in TV where you can have consistent work, you can have a family of people that you see everyday and can grow over years. It’s an incredible work experience. I’m a creature of habit. With television now, the quality of the production, the writing value on shows is so amazing, I really feel like the best stories are being told on TV.
What is your greatest inspiration, what inspires you?
Resilient people. People that have been through really tough times and prevailed against the heaviest of tragedy.
Who inspires you?
A group of women that are all involved in the CW Network; I am so in love with their generosity. I’ve come to a place in my career where they’re not only my co-workers, they’re my peers, my friends, and they are inspiring, amazing, successful women. Not only do I look up to them, they remind me why I’m with them.
What is on your playlist? Do you find music inspirational to you?
I’ll go from Norah Jones to Drake really quick; a little bit of everything! I truly believe that all art can be inspired from music. I think music is the universal language, the soul of all of us. I try to tailor my playlist for the day to the mood I’m inspired to. I love music so much that I offered to sing onRoswell, and I was so honored to get to sing on television, that was like a bucket list moment.
What is on your nightstand?
Books. Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming.” Lavender hand cream. Steven Hawkings “Brief Answers to the Big Question.”