actress Laura Harrison

Actress Laura Harrison is a Chicago stage veteran and Northwestern graduate. You might have seen her in Syfy’s Jersey Shore Shark Attack or the Showtime series finale of Weeds. She recently talked to The Dodgy from her LA home about those experiences along with current/future projects, how Chicago and LA men differ, who she looks like, beer, and music.

What was it like to appear on the series finale of Weeds?

Being in the finale of “Weeds” was an incredible experience.  When a show runs for that many years there’s an enormous bond and sense of family that develops among the cast and crew.  One of my scenes was Kevin Nealon’s final scene of the series, and Kevin, Hunter Parrish, and Alexander Gould could not stop laughing/crying off-camera for about 30 minutes because the emotions were so high.  I felt very humbled and honored to be in the room for that.

Why did you choose to attend Northwestern University? 

My parents actually met at Northwestern University, so I grew up wearing a lot of purple.  I’d kind of always wanted to go there, so I applied early decision.  It’s an amazing school for studying acting while taking other fascinating courses…some of my favorites were Astronomy and Sociology.

Laura Harrison Northwestern University

Laura at Northwestern

If you are going back to visit Chicago, what’s the first restaurant you would visit – or the first meal you want? I understand you were raised a vegan?

Yeah, I was actually raised vegan….a lot of soy cheeze fajitas and fakin’ bacon bits.  I’m no longer vegan, but am passionate about healthy eating.  My favorite Chicago restaurant is Blind Faith Cafe in Evanston.  The tofu frosting cupcakes are my favorite!

What’s your beer of choice?

I rarely drink these days, but I’m a big fan of Guinness Black and Tan.

What’s the difference between Chicago and LA guys?

LA guys seem to do more yoga and juice cleanses.

You’re married (musician Keith Harrison), but you can do this sort of thing with a spouse, so what’s the perfect date?

I’m a Sagittarius, so I love spontaneity.  I also love nature.  So I’m a huge fan of picnics and hikes on a whim.  Also, forests are sexy.

Did you meet your husband in Chicago or LA, and what kind of musician is he?

I met my husband, Keith, at Northwestern doing a summer show.  He was a music direction and conducting major, and now does a lot of music production work for theatre and TV, and also writes and performs his original music.  You can check out his website at http://www.keithmakesmusic.com/.  We’ve actually recorded a few songs together recently, which you can hear on the website.

I said you looked a little bit like a younger version of Mary Louise-Parker (not that she’s old) and maybe that’s just because of your appearance in Weeds. Have you been told you resemble anyone else?

I’ve gotten the Mary Louise comparison way more now because of “Weeds.”  Other repeats over the years are Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Lea Michele, and Lacey Chabert.

What’s your music? What song could get you rocking out in the car?

I’m a big fan of The Beatles, Nina Simone, Patty Griffin, Eminem, Coldplay, The Police, Ben Folds, among many others.  But sometimes I just like to rock out to top 40 when I’m driving.  My current favorite is Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop.”

Jersey Shore Shark Attack – what was that experience like?

“Jersey Shore Shark Attack” was way too much fun!  The cast and crew were awesome and there was a definite self-awareness of the hilarity of the material.  The conditions were pretty rough at some points, though.  We shot in the middle of January, and it got very cold very quickly when I was performing a scene in the ocean; the medic had to keep checking me for hypothermia.  And yeah, it was fun to see myself getting sprayed with blood on “The Soup.”

Laura Harrison in Jersey Shore Shark Attack

Laura in Jersey Shore Shark Attack

How did you come about developing your film company, Arborhouse Productions? 

Keith and I decided to create our production company, Arborhouse Productions, when we made our first short film “Seaglass” in the summer of 2011.  We had just spent some wedding money on a camera and wanted to make something.  We saw an advertisement for a film contest sponsored by Rainbird Sprinkler asking for films 10 minutes and under that dealt with water conservation.  We ended up making a pretty epic little movie about a guy lost in a world without water searching for sustenance and the love of his life.  Although we did not win the Sprinkler contest, we were accepted into multiple film festivals, the most recent of which took us to NYC a couple months ago.  You can check us out at www.arborhouseproductions.com.

Can you give us any updates on your recent films Your Friends Close and One Small Hitch?

“Your Friends Close” is a Sci-fi thriller that is set to hit the festival circuit in the next few months, and “One Small Hitch” is a fun romantic comedy set in Chicago and LA which has been playing in festivals across the country and is currently in talks for distribution.  I’m also starring in a very cool video game, which will be released in 2014.  Check my website for details!  (www.thisislaura.com)

Actress Laura Harrison

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