Interview with Laura Slade Wiggins

Laura Slade Wiggins is notorious for playing Karen on Showtime’s ‘Shameless’. Unlike Karen, who may be one of the most hated characters currently on ‘Shameless‘, Laura is a complete sweetheart! She has a laugh that is contagious, and a beautiful singing voice. Laura recently released her first EP entitled “Clementine” which you can now purchase on iTunes here. Check our interview with Laura below. We discuss Disney, Karen and Lip’s future, and “Clementine”.

What made you want to become an actress?

“I was always the kid  performing for anyone and everyone, so when I found out that I could make money being an actress I knew that’s exactly what I wanted to do for a long time.”

What was your very first audition?

“I don’t remember the first one, I wish I did though. But one of the first one’s that I can remember was for a voice over for a don’t do drugs commercial. I wanted to get it so bad. I remember I was fifteen years old and I had to talk in these weird little voices. I tried so hard to get it, but I didn’t end up getting it. I just remember this guy being like ‘Alright, can you just slow down a little bit or something’.”

Did you originally audition for Karen on ‘Shameless’?

“I did. I auditioned for her about two to three years ago now. It was originally going to be a guest star reoccurring and then they switched it to a series regular for the first two seasons.”

If you could pick any actor to work with who would it be?

“I think right now, well everyone wants to work with Meryl Streep, so that would be amazing. It would also be cool to work with Charlize Theron. I really love her choices as an actress and I think she’s a phenomenal woman too.”

If you could collaborate with any musician who would it be?

“If it was any musician, I would collaborate with the remaining members of Pink Floyd, I think that would be very cool and experimental. I also like to listen to country music a lot, so maybe Dolly Parton.” 

Do you have a favorite song of your EP ‘Clementine’?”

“One of them I really like is ‘Stepping Out’. I wrote that when I was 17 years old. I really like that one because it was one of the first songs I wrote. I also like ‘Where Have All the Cowboys Gone’, I wrote that about the boyfriend that I have right now, so it’s kind of sentimental, so I really love that one too.”

Have you always wanted to be a musician? 

“I have, I was a singer before I was an actress. I sang to my dolls, and sang all the Disney songs. My mother is a really good vocalist and sang in our church choir back in Georgia. I always wanted to be like her and be a good singer. My day plays guitar so I learned how play guitar like him.”

Favorite Disney princess?

I like Ariel and Belle a lot. It’s a tie between those two.”

Do you have any plans to tour as a singer? 

“I would like to. I think it’s all about getting organized and making the time. I don’t think it would be a huge tour, but it would be fun to go and try to book some gigs and try to travel throughout the country. I think that would be really fun.”

Did you watch the UK version of ‘Shameless’ before filming the US version?

“I did. It is really different, but just as crass as the American version. I can barely understand what they are saying on the British version. Watching the first season of it, I did learn that before we got started with ‘Shameless’ with Karen would sleep with Frank. I was really nervous about it because Karen is so different from who I really am. I really loved the British version and I think they did a great job. I think that Rebecca Atkinson who plays Karen is a really good as Karen too.”

If you could write one story line for Karen in season 3 what would it be?

“I don’t know how much they’re really going to play with it, but I would like to see her sugar momma Lip the way that her mom sugar momma’s Frank, because Lip has that huge breakdown. So I would like to see Karen take care of Lip in a way that he’s not used to, because Lip doesn’t want people to rely on him so it would be interesting to see him relying on another person.”

Who are you closest to on the set of ‘Shameless’?

“We are all so close that I don’t know if I’m closer to anybody really. We all have really different relationships. I hang out with Jeremy a lot and his girlfriend who plays Mandy on the show. They’re just the people I call when I want to go out and have fun. Then Shanola has all this wisdom so I like to go get coffee with her. Also, every time that Emmy has people over for dinner we always have a great time. The kids are just like little siblings for us.”

Would you like to see Karen sing on season 3 of ‘Shameless’?

“I would love that. Maybe she’ll join a punk/rock band. Maybe she’ll sing to Lip and try and serenade him back. That would be fun!”

Since a lot of ‘Shameless’ is filmed in Chicago, do you have a favorite thing to do there?

“I really like to walk around the streets, Chicago is really a beautiful town. We go to Joan Cusack’s house a lot. She has this really cool house with this pool and basement. I also like to go to plays over there. I went and saw Million Dollar Quartet, it was really good, I really love theater. I didn’t know how much I loved theater until we started filming in Chicago.”


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