I had the great opportunity to sit down with Abby Miller today and I can’t tell you how exciting it was to be able to sneak in 10 questions during the conversation. Abby is best known for her recurring role As: Ellen May on FX TV’s “JUSTIFIED” However, she has also had some great guest starring roles in other TV series as well. (here are a few – Mad Man, Private Practice, The Nine)
I caught up with Abby during a busy time. She has just completed a few independent film projects and also has a spot in another series too. A native of Nebraska, Miller lives and works in Los Angeles. When not on set, she lends her time and talent to causes that promote the responsible and loving treatment of animals. A great talent from acting, music and writing, I think you will agree, she has a huge future ahead of her. Enjoy getting to know more –
1. How does a girl from Nebraska, study in London & then hit LA’s acting scene?
Honestly, I have no idea. My immediate response would be one foot in front of the other. I’d grown up doing theatre so I’d always had a fascination with London, the West End, the Globe…when I was in college I felt myself questioning my abilities as an actor. I knew I needed to escape everything I knew and London seemed like the perfect place to escape to. Not knowing a single soul and living in a foreign country was the best thing I could have done for my spirit. And then L.A. came after… I had never focused on film and television but had grown up loving the movies. A woman came to my university, taught a workshop focusing on film and television, and told me I should move to L.A…. I had no idea how much I needed a little guidance. That was all it took. I turned to my friend Adam and asked him if he was still moving to L.A., he said yes, and I said, “Need a roommate?” That was that.
2. Your recurring role is Ellen May on FX channels “Justified” How great is that?
SUPER great! I love working on this show so much. It’s been truly amazing, this is the first time I’ve been cast in a role where I’ve gotten to see her journey, feel her growing and changing and have an incredibly active role in making that happen.. I feel the writing on this show is superb and they are wonderfully giving toward their actors, then there’s the producers and of course the cast. Working with EVERYONE on this show, from Heather, our key PA, to Ela and Maxine, hair and make-up, to Tim, the lead and one of the producers on this show, I consider myself very fortunate. Every day as Ellen May is a gift.
3. Any other acting projects on the horizon?
I’ve had a busy last couple months! I finished working with Adam Arkin (another wonderful man I met while working on ‘Justified’) on an amazing series called ‘The Booth at the End.’ It’s in its second season and will air on hulu.com starting in the next few months. I also recently finished three independent features…one comedy called ‘Feeding Mr. Baldwin’, another romantic comedy (with my dear friend Joelle Carter, from ‘Justified’) called ‘It’s Not You, It’s Me’ and lastly, an all improvised drama called ‘The Big Day.’
4. As a music fan, I noticed you have a band…. “Jen & Abby” Tell us about it?
We met in 2005 and started writing songs together with no real goal in mind except just that. “To make music” I’d always loved to sing and had just recently started writing poems I thought could become songs, and Jen was finishing up school at the Musicians Institute and looking for a project. We met and we clicked. We started performing out a month later and ended up getting songs placed, touring for a bit, and performing regularly at Hotel Cafe. I was very fortunate to have found Jen. There can be some serious down times in the business of acting so music filled a void, it still does. It was one of the happiest accidents of my career thus far. Oh and if you wanna hear our tunes, we are on itunes. Yay!
5. One thing fans wouldn’t know about you?
I love watching old reruns of ‘Friends’…it’s one of my guilty pleasures. I’m watching an episode right now!
6. Any hidden passions other than music & acting?
A big passion of mine is Animal Rescue and Adoption. I just recently adopted a Beagle (named Pirate :)) from this amazing organization called ‘Beagle Freedom Project’ founded by Shannon Keith in 2010. She rescues dogs, cats, rabbits, all kinds of animals from laboratories that have been using them for drug and pharmaceutical testing. The main objective of Beagle Freedom Project is to obviously rescue animals but also to stop drug testing entirely. It’s unnecessary and I have seen, first hand, the effect drug testing has had on these doggies. It’s incredibly tragic but there is hope. And Pirate has been such a gift to our lives! Check out BFP when you can. You won’t be able to stop yourself from getting involved.
7. As a girl from the Midwest, how has the change been to London & then LA?
London was big. Huge. (I was just impersonating Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman’ in my head) No but seriously, as I’ve said, not knowing a single person and being in such a big city was eye-opening for me. I loved it. Even though I spent my entire childhood in a tiny town I had always known I’d wanted to be in a city. So I guess London was the first step. And sure it was nerve-wracking at times, figuring out the tube and meeting and making new friends, but it totally prepared me for L.A… Compared to London, L.A. was a piece of cake. The only big adjustment I had to make with L.A. was recognizing that it was a permanent move. It wasn’t going to be short term for me. But I love this city. I love the food, the people, and the weather. It’s been such fun.
8. Biggest charity or cause you like to be a part of?
BEAGLE FREEDOM PROJECT!! http://beaglefreedomproject.org/
9. If you were not acting or playing music, where and what would you be doing?
I’d be a writer. I’d live in Paris part of the year, Nebraska (in a home my parents built in the middle of the forest) part of the year, and L.A. part of the year. I’d travel and write (screenplays)…I’m hoping to be able to live in these parts of the world through acting and music too. But that’s what I’d do. Write and Travel. Drink great wine, eat stinky cheese and write.
10. Typical day in the life of Abby Miller?
Walk my dog with my man in the a.m., cup of coffee at Intelligencia, meet up with friends for good food and conversation, maybe a class, hopefully work (whether it’s writing, auditioning, a booked gig) end the night off with some great food and a glass of wine with my man. Walk the dog, night night.
Please tell us where we can find your music, acting bio’s, website’s, twitter, etc…………………………………
I’m on twitter! @absmiller
Jen & Abby music can be found on itunes!
I have a site now: www.abbymiller.me
I also have a facebook page as well…so much going on. Yowza!