Spahh Day: Boardwalk Empire's Margot Bingham Talks Breakout Role and Music Career
You can't avoid a love/hate relationship with Margot Bingham's character, Daughter Maitland, on Boardwalk Empire, but off camera--her warm spirit and zealous personality draws you in. "Whoever created Post-Its-- I want to introduce myself and say, 'Can I please be the spokesperson for Post-Its,'" she hilariously quipped during our "Spahh Day" at the Guerlain Spa in NYC's Wardolf Astoria.
Margot was pampered with a massage and luxury mani/pedi as we talked about her breakout role, family (“My parents have been together for 32 years–very much in love, best friends, stronger everyday,") and music ("I’m trying not to rush it, I’m just trying to let it happen.").
Spend your afternoon getting to know this sassy Vixen!
*We officially 'Vixen Verify' the Guerlain Spa for their hospitality. Visit their full site–www.guerlainspas.com–to book your spa treatment today!
Photo Credits: Stacy-Ann Ellis
VIBE Vixen: Which do you love more--acting or singing?
I think both work hand and hand to me. When I’m preparing for an acting role or stage role, music helps me get to where I need to be. When I’m singing becoming somebody else or putting myself or imagining myself in another role helps me overcome my fears on stage. They’ve always helped both for me and I never wanted to choose ever so with Boardwalk [Empire] I lucked out.
Margot: If you had to choose, which would it be?
I don’t know--music I feel like you can never live without. Music helps everybody with everything. If you’re going through loss, relationship issues, job transformation, you're excited, want to celebrate or you want to wake up--it’s music that you choose. It's harder to think about becoming somebody different. All you have to do is press the on button and you become somebody different.
Is there a song that takes you to an important time in your life?
The Mariah Carey ‘Hero’ song. I was in the car with my mom and we were in the driveway and she started singing it and I asked what was the song. She said, "this song reminds me of your grandfather," who I’ve never met because he passed away right before my parents' wedding. She started teaching me the song and it was the first song that she taught me all the words. I still remember the song and learning the words. And it’ll put me back to our garage every time I hear it.
Do you have a character or show that made you want to be an actor?
I don’t really have a TV show that did that. I guess acting always fed me. When I was a freshman in high school, my acting coach now--it was his first day when it was my first day. It was like a charter performing arts high school and I was in the musical theatre department–singing, dancing, acting–and I really just took it because of singing and dancing; I really hated acting.
He was going around the room and introducing himself to all the new students and he was like, "well, why are you here?," and I was like, "it’s the only program that has singing and dancing." He was like, "Okay, we’ll see, we’ll talk again in 4 years." Sure enough, after 4 years acting, it was the biggest bite of all and I loved it more than anything. To this day, he’s still my acting coach and he’s who I go to for every project and every job.
How do you feel about your Boardwalk Empire character being in love with a married man?
I mean morally that’s not okay. My parents have been together for 32 years–very much in love, best friends, stronger everyday–and I don’t believe in adultery in any way. But it made it a little easier that in real life, the girl who plays Chalky’s wife is my best friend. It’s weird out of a city full of actors, the one show I do--she’s the wife of the person I’m cheating with.
It’s all pretend, so I had to make sure in my mind I thought it was okay. When you play a character like that, you have to find the justice in it. My reason to believe in the cheating was I just fell in love with Michael [Williams] as a person and as a friend. I tried to not think about the cheating part because to me, we were really in love.
Why do you think the world roots for them?
I think because everybody saw they were so sad and they had similar souls and out of that sadness they came together. They were really one of a kind together--they just fit like a puzzle. It was something very special and different than a normal love affair. It was two lost souls that finally found each other. People can’t help but relate to that.
What’s the best thing you enjoy about the show being set in the 1920's?
The name and definition of diva is so skewed today from what it was. Sexy in the 1920s was women that were so empowered and knew their sexuality and could seduce you in a turtle neck. They didn’t have to show skin to be seductive and show sex appeal. It was what they had to offer, their different gifts and their smarts. But today, we give so much away because we think that’s sex or sexy, but everybody’s used to it now.
In the '20s it was beautiful and now I can live vicariously through these women who made this mold of sex appeal. I started dressing a little bit differently because you found the beauty in something else and unfortunately, we don’t really have that figure in today’s generation to really look up to.
How far along are you with your new music?
I’m working right now on new music, so I’m working with a couple different producers. I’m trying not to rush it--I’m just trying to let it happen. There's a couple of things in the oven for acting, so hopefully you guys will be hearing stuff soon. Acting is buying me time with music which is nice because for the first time, I can take my time.
How would you describe your sound?
I would say if Joss Stone and Lauryn Hill had a baby in Amy Winehouse’s backyard, it would definitely pop out my music.
Top 5 dream collaborators, dead or alive?
Jo Strafford would be one. I really want this because he’s a friend of mine. I want to collab with Seal--that would be dope. James Blake—I’d freak out. Prince, somehow on something, even if it was creating a fun song with just a hook. And Iron and Wine.
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