By Taylor Van Arsdale
What you notice first about Lindsey Haun are her inquisitive blue-green eyes. The actress, who is best known for her role as Hadley on the HBO cable series True Blood, is a true chameleon. Wholesome looking, poised and articulate, she looks nothing like her vamped up character on the show. In fact, she’s a brunette arriving in casual black yoga pants, and I almost don’t recognize her.
When we sit down over coffee at a trendy Santa Monica café she sips her mocha latte delicately and talks with me about her acting career, the Miley Cyrus debacle (on which she has definitive opinions), her new music project (of which she’s most excited) and all things science fiction.
Haun doesn’t have the “typical” child actor’s story. She wasn’t forced into a career she didn’t want nor did she suffer any great trauma. Her father, a musician who toured with the band Air Supply, and her mother, who worked three jobs, both encouraged their daughter to pursue the arts because she loved performing.
“I was five years old when a friend of the family got permission and took me from preschool to the agency and then to the audition and I booked the job,” Haun said.
From there she landed parts on Melrose Place, 3rd Rock From the Sun and Diagnosis Murder. It’s not every child actor who gets the opportunity to work with director John Carpenter, and at the tender age of nine, Haun landed her first feature film role in Village of the Damned. “John was wonderful with the kids on set as was Kirstie Alley,” she said.
Haun fondly recalled a tough scene in which Alley joked around with the kids to get them to laugh between takes and the patience from the adults on set. However, what Haun took away from the experience was more valuable—a deep insight into the craft of acting.
“At nine years old I realized I had to act ‘on the other side’ meaning I had to bring [emotion] to the scene for the other actor,” she said. “After Village came out and I hit 12, I lost a lot of roles. Casting directors saw me as the ‘scary child’ and didn’t want to cast me in “Barbie” commercials anymore. It was a really weird time and I was in this transitional phase and for the first time, the rejection was starting to get to me … before, I loved going to auditions and it was fun and it didn’t matter whether I got the job or not.”
Undaunted, Haun started writing poetry and putting her lyrics to music. She formed a band, 7th Fall and despite the rejection, continued to audition while playing clubs on the Sunset Strip.
“I started to develop an anxiety around acting but I didn’t want to quit,” she said.
Haun admits stubbornness is a great trait in some ways though not in others. As she got older she looked less like the child from Village Of The Damned and began to receive calls from Disney once again. Taking roles on shows such as Malcolm in the Middle, Alias, and Star Trek Voyager, Haun jumped back into the fray.
It was several years later Haun said, “I had heard an interview with Alan Ball on NPR and was like, “I’ve got to work with him.” The opportunity to work on Ball’s latest show came soon after in the form of a co-star role on True Blood.
“Junie Lowry-Johnson and Libby Goldstein were casting, who I love and I thought I was auditioning for them,” Haun said. “I didn’t realize it, but it was an audition for everyone; for all of the producers and writers and Alan Ball was there as well. I did three lines on one page and two hours later they called me and told me I booked it. It was the easiest job I ever booked.”
The part was not scheduled to be a re-occurring role and when I asked her why she thinks they wrote her in for six more episodes she credits her ability to work well with others.
“I was professional, I got along with everyone on set,” she said. “I remained on set during my breaks in case I was needed, and I made sure to give the editors a lot to cut back to when I wasn’t reading lines. I made sure I was reacting to the actors in my scenes, I tried to bring an interesting element to each scene and with my character I tried to create a fully realized human being.”
Today Haun is excited about her band, aptly called, “The Haun Solo Project” which has a residency the first Tuesday of every month at Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood.
“It’s this beautiful Russian vodka bar with a separate space for the music. We’re typically a four-piece band but we play how we feel—some nights we have four guitarists on stage with cellists and other nights it’s just me and a guitarist.”
The music is best described as Fiona Apple meets Queen and her latest music video, “Addicted”—which she also directed, is about a woman who’s been abused by her husband and ends up beating him to death and sewing him into the sheets of a bed. A look at the video shows directorial depth and imagination and Haun’s character, while a little dark, is both captivating and delicious.
“The story is told non-linearly, very David Lynch very Kubrick,” she explained.
Haun loves Kubrick and is quick to share her favorites, among them The Shining, Dr. Strangelove and Barry Lyndon. And even though she’s young she cherishes iconic films such as Logan’s Run, Bladerunner, The Twilight Zone (the original series) and a new flick called Anti-Viral. She’s also a huge fan of HBO’s Game of Thrones, AMC’s Breaking Bad and Dexter. Her film and television appreciation was fostered by her father, who shared his love of films with his daughter.
And just because it’s still on everyone’s mind…what does this performer think about Miley Cyrus and the MTV “twerking” debacle? “There’s a part of me that thinks it was a stroke of genius … I saw her on SNL and thought, “she’s so punk rock” I mean, she’s more punk rock than anybody out there who is mainstream … She just shocked everybody. But I think she knows exactly what she’s doing.”
For more information on The Haun Solo Project visit HaunSolo.com.