O’Fal­lon’s own Meadow Nguy to ap­pear Sun­day night on ‘Madam Sec­re­tary’ episode

Belleville News-Democrat (Sunday) - - Local - BY LYNN VENHAUS

O’Fal­lon ac­tress Meadow Nguy gets to stretch her dra­matic chops in an episode of “Madam Sec­re­tary” on Sun­day night.

The CBS drama se­ries airs at 9 p.m. CST., but is some­times de­layed be­cause of foot­ball games), and is in its fifth sea­son.

In this episode, called “Baby Steps,” Nguy is listed in the credits as Ai­lani Lo, a sur­ro­gate car­ry­ing the Vice Pres­i­dent Teresa Hurst’s fu­ture grand­child. She is ar­rested in Laos for hu­man traf­fick­ing, and Hurst asks for the Sec­re­tary of State’s help. The star of the show, Tea Leoni, plays the ti­tle char­ac­ter, El­iz­a­beth McCord.

Nguy, 23, who cur­rently lives in Brook­lyn, made her crime­drama de­but on an episode of “The Black­list” in Jan­uary, called “The In­for­mant.” Al­though un­cred­ited, had three lines and was poi­soned. It was a day-shoot in New York City. This part, also filmed in NYC, is more sub­stan­tial.

“It’s more dra­matic than any­thing I have done. We shot for three days, and I am in sev­eral scenes. I was hired a week be­fore we shot the script, so I had time to learn my lines. My part has a lot of non-ver­bal act­ing, so it was in­ter­est­ing to see how it fit into the whole sto­ry­line,” she said. She has been au­di­tion­ing for many roles through her agency, TKO Krasny, in New York. She re­cently signed with them for a sec­ond year and has three agents work­ing in dif­fer­ent gen­res. She has built up ex­pe­ri­ence in mu­sic the­ater over the years since her per­for­mance days in the metropoli­tan St. Louis area, but wants to branch out into other medi­ums, she said.

“I love mu­si­cal the­ater but I want to be ready for TV and film too. They sent me on tons and

I AM RE­ALLY BLESSED TO HAVE TH­ESE OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES COM­ING SO EARLY IN MY CA­REER.

Meadow Nguy

tons of film/TV au­di­tions, and I was su­per-ex­cited to get this op­por­tu­nity at the end of Septem­ber,” she said.

“I am re­ally blessed to have th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties com­ing so early in my ca­reer,” she told the BND.

The ex­pe­ri­ence was very pos­i­tive.

“I didn’t work with Tea Leoni, but ev­ery­one I did work with was so pro­fes­sional. The crew and pro­duc­tion team were amaz­ing. I was re­ally im­pressed by the team that runs the show. They’ve been do­ing this for awhile and they are as sharp as a nee­dle,” she said.

“Ev­ery­one was su­per-re­spect­ful. I loved work­ing with the di­rec­tor. He was very one-onone,” she said. “We spent some time in hand­cuffs, which can be un­com­fort­able, but they were al­ways mak­ing sure were OK. They were very sweet,” she said.

She also had to wear a fake preg­nancy belly.

“That was quite a new ex­peri-

ence,” she said, chuck­ling.

She doesn’t have any projects cur­rently on the hori­zon. An in­de­pen­dent film, “The Artist’s Wife,” that she ap­peared in as an art stu­dent of Bruce Dern’s, was shot ear­lier this year and is in pre-pro­duc­tion.

“I can’t wait to see the fin­ished prod­uct. The ex­pe­ri­ence was so amaz­ing. Bruce Dern is older now, and he was so fun to be on set with – he was al­ways telling us lit­tle tid­bits, act­ing ad­vice and life ad­vice,” she said.

When she’s not au­di­tion­ing or per­form­ing, she works a day job as a re­cep­tion­ist for a phys­i­cal ther­apy of­fice.

Prior to her TV se­ries roles, she was an ex­tra on Show­time’s “Bil­lions.” “I’m happy for the op­por­tu­ni­ties in any medium.

Act­ing is act­ing,” she said.

SHE GOT HER START AT OTHS, IN­DI­ANA UNIVER­SITY

A 2013 grad­u­ate of O’Fal­lon Town­ship High School, she earned a bach­e­lor of fine arts de­gree in mu­si­cal the­ater from In­di­ana Univer­sity in May 2017. She spent that sum­mer play­ing Con­suela in a pro­fes­sional pro­duc­tion of “West Side Story,” and in a world pre­miere mu­si­cal “Joe Sch­moe Saves the World,” at her alma mater.

She moved to New York that fall and she made her off-Broad­way de­but in a chil­dren’s mu­si­cal called “In­ter­stel­lar Cin­derella.” She played the ti­tle char­ac­ter, and it ran from Nov. 18 to Dec. 17, 2017, at The Beck­ett The­atre, pro­duced by the New York Chil­dren’s The­atre.

While a ju­nior in high school, Nguy won the Illi­nois High School Mu­si­cal The­atre Award and com­peted at the na­tion­als in New York City, which are known as the Jimmy Awards. She was fea­tured in the 2012 PBS doc­u­men­tary, “Broad­way or Bust.”

Her se­nior year, she re­ceived a schol­ar­ship as a semi-fi­nal­ist in the Fox Per­form­ing Arts Foun­da­tion’s Teen Tal­ent Show­case in 2013.

She per­formed pro­fes­sional the­ater in St. Louis, as Martha in the mu­si­cal “Spring Awak­en­ing” in 2012 and as the fe­male lead in the orig­i­nal mu­si­cal “Spell­bound” in 2015, both at Stray Dog The­atre.

She won the Ju­nior Idol con­test, se­nior divi­sion, spon­sored by the Belleville Cham­ber of Com­merce, in 2011.

Her par­ents, Au and Ali­cia Nguy, have lived in O’Fal­lon for 17 years. She has two sis­ters, Wil­low and Sym­phony.

She will be com­ing home for the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day.

“I am very grate­ful that I get to be with my fam­ily. Then it’s back to the grind of au­di­tion­ing,” she said.

Pro­vided

Meadow Nguy, who grew up in O’Fal­lon, ap­pears Sun­day night on ‘Madam Sec­re­tary’ on CBS.

Pro­vided

Meadow Nguy of O’Fal­lon plays a sur­ro­gate mother Sun­day night on ‘Madam Sec­re­tary’

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