MTV is continuing to broaden its scripted programming slate with Underemployed, and lighting up the comedic drama is Israeli-born actress Inbar Lavi, who recently sat down with Digital Airwaves to talk about what brought her to the character of new mom and would-be rock star Raviva, and what she’s learned from playing her.
“Raviva is a lot like me in many ways,” explained the actress, whose other credits include Entourage and The Closer. “She is such a free spirit. She is wild and unapologetic about who she is and what she stands for. She believes that with hard work and dedication, anything can happen, and that’s pretty much my motto in life. She is passionate, a good friend and loves life and the people around her. I can relate to all those things, and they all inspire me. When I can relate to a character that inspires me, I’m always intrigued.”
Like her character, Inbar is still hard at work pursuing career success, albeit as an actress instead of an aspiring musician. It’s a goal that she’s had since her youth. “I’ve been performing ever since I can remember. I used to put on plays and musicals for my family all the time as a kid,” she explained.
“I remember watching The Professional with my dad when I was young. Natalie Portman’s character was so magnetic and fascinating to watch. I remember thinking, ‘God! I wish I could be that cool!’ That was when I decided to go to Hollywood and be an actress in American cinema.”
She moved to Los Angeles and found life in the entertainment hotspot to be slightly different than what she expected. “Living in LA definitely has its perks when it comes to working in the ‘biz’. I live in Hollywood. We all are trying to make Hollywood cinema,” she said. “It’s as close as it can get. [There are] plenty of auditions to go around, but just as many starving actors trying to snatch every little role. It sure is competitive.
“I knew LA is a big city but I didn’t realize how lonely it can get as opposed to New York. [In LA] you don’t really run into people in the streets; everyone pretty much keeps [to] themselves,” she added. “It still surprises me [to] this day. [What] are they so scared of? Stay a little, hang out!”
Just as Raviva moved back from LA, Inbar left Los Angeles behind to film Underemployed, which was shot in Chicago. “We were really lucky. We got an amazing crew and cast,” she said. “We were all away from home and therefore kept each other company. We were always joking around.”
Being away from home also had its perks: “One of my favorite bands is Coldplay [and] we actually got to see them live in Chicago while filming,” she added. “It was amazing. Front row madness and we even got to sit down with the band afterwards for the after party. That was an epic night!”
When it came to work, playing the character of Raviva presented a new batch of challenges for the actress, because there were just as many differences between Inbar and her character as there were similarities. “She’s a musician, I’m not. [I] had to learn to play guitar and sing. It’s been scary and wild but awesome,” she explained. “And she’s also a young mom. I got to explore that on the show. To portray young unexpected motherhood is quite the challenge. I was terrified – which meant I had to play her!”
Looking ahead to the rest of Underemployed‘s season, “Raviva is about to have her decision-making skills put to the test,” teased Inbar. “She is in a relationship with her baby daddy, but with him working every day she ends up spending a lot of time with someone else. She will also need to find the balance between her music life and her baby. [It’s] kind of difficult being a rock star mommy. All those things are going to erupt.”
In addition to the MTV series, the actress also filmed a guest role on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which airs tomorrow night on CBS. “It’s a very cool role. I play Chastity [and] let’s just say I had to channel some Pretty Woman skills,” quipped Inbar, who addeed that “I think my male fans would appreciate my wardrobe choices.”
What are some of the things she’d like to do with the rest of her career? “I’ve recently been very impressed by Ben Affleck’s work,” she said. “[I] would love to work in one of his projects. Always been a fan of [Martin] Scorsese and [Quentin] Tarantino. I’ve been an addict of Breaking Bad. [It] would have been cool to book a project I love and follow, but I’m pretty sure that ship has sailed as this is their last season. Maybe in the movie version!”
And there’s one thing Inbar would like you to know: “I actually like my fans,” she added. “In fact, I love them. Don’t be afraid to reach out. It always makes my day!”
Underemployed continues tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on MTV. You can check out a clip of Inbar as Raviva with this article. Her CSI episode airs tomorrow night at 10 PM ET/PT on CBS.
For more from Brittany Frederick, visit Digital Airwaves and follow me on Twitter (@tvbrittanyf).
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. Appears at Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.