In case you were living under a rock, or perhaps on some fiery place somewhere, season four of the series Lucifer debuted on Netflix yesterday and was the number one trending topic all day on Twitter! And a huge part of this, other than the series being saved by the fans, is that in this season we are treated with a new addition to the cast, the lovely Inbar Lavi as Eve.
Yes, Lavi plays the Bibical Eve, as in Adam and Eve, and she’s been someone that is a standout, so let’s say that she’s the perfect addition to the ensemble. In a surprising twist, Lavi played Maddie Jonson, a con artist on the series Imposters, and this show is also streaming on Netflix for the first time. So basically, Inbar Lavi is our Netflix dream stream team and getting the opportunity to speak to her was a very special experience.
The following is a condensed and edited version of our phone chat with the generous Inbar Lavi.
Brief Take: The lead up to this season of Lucifer, and the appearance of Eve in particular, has been greatly anticipated by the fans. What has the reaction been like so far for you?
Inbar Lavi: The LuciFans are really just the best. [chuckles] They’re very open and very loud about everything, which is why the show was resurrected. [laughs] And they’re so welcoming and just as excited as I am to see it all come to life, so it has been amazing.
BT: What is something that you are excited for the Lucifer audience to see?
IL: I’m excited for the audience to get to see Lucifer and Chloe try and juggle this newcomer. She seems to bring a lot of fun sides to both of them that we haven’t yet seen. So I hope that an audience gets a real kick out of it–every time I would discover a new trick, it’s kind of like “Let’s push this button and see what happens”, with each of them. So on set it was fun to see what happens, like “Oooooh! What if I touch this one? If I move this one?” [laughs] And so I think that an audience will hopefully have fun seeing that happen.
BT: Tom Ellis has described you as fantastic. What do you enjoy about working with him?
IL: Well it’s funny, because for me, Tom is the definition of fantastic, and I’m happy to hear that he felt the same way. I would say that Tom’s biggest thing with work is “have fun”. He would always turn around to me and say “Just have fun with it!”. He was so encouraging for me to take risks and try new things and go for it, and when you have that kind of safety net, to really explore, exciting takes happen. Other than that, he’s a total pro, he’s always on time, he always delivers, always kind, always funny, always present–a dreamboat and I can’t say enough.
BT: Lauren German talks about your energy and how present it is, so what do you think of hers?
IL: I love her! I adore Lauren so much! She is a unique combination of this precious, loving being, mixed with a saucy, tomboy goofball. She’s that person that shows up on set that morning with a messy bun and slippers and brightens up everyone’s day immediately. On the work note, I would say that she’s an incredibly generous scene partner, she is so fully engaged, you can’t help but be right there with her every step of the way. And when you work so hard and so intensely and go in and out and do 14-hour-days for weeks, sometimes it gets really exhausting and hard to stay in it, and hard not to let your mornings affect you, or what happened yesterday affect you in a scene, and to have someone so strongly connected and rooted to what she’s doing, it helps so much to ground you and keep you focused and keep you in the moment. And I loved every scene that we had together and I love her as a person. I can’t say enough!
BT: What would you say is your own energy?
IL: [Laughs] Well, at work I can be very focused. It’s such a total experience for me, from the moment I step out into my trailer to the moment I wrap and I go home, I put my phone away and have to be fully immersed in this character. Thank God, Eve was so much fun, she was such a delight, so I think that the energy I was putting out was probably the energy that I was receiving from the character herself, and thanks to that, I was able to have a really good time.
BT: We really enjoyed your series Imposters. What was something that you took from that experience?
IL: Well first of all, thank you so much. I’m so glad that you liked it! I’m so proud of that show and I’m glad that people are aware of it now, and get to see it. Maddie Jonson was a dream role for me, and I truly tried and gave her my all and at times it felt like it would physically and emotionally drain me. [laughs] So to have it turn into numbers and calculations, in terms of ratings, there was something so heartless about it. And on top of it, we had created this family for two years and this cast and crew became my world, and I genuinely get a bit heartbroken every time a project comes to an end. I think that’s the biggest lesson that I got from the show is that: “That’s show biz”. Everything in life is ever-changing, and you have to learn how to jump in and out of characters and families at ease.
BT: In your experience, is the hustle and coming over from Israel a large part of your work ethic?
IL: Absolutely. I think in any business, you have to have a good work ethic and work hard in order to get to whatever destination you put ahead of you. And this business is tough, it’s not easy, it’s a constant struggle and I still have obstacles that I have to overcome, and you kind of have to be your own biggest cheerleader, because you can’t rely on anyone else to hold up those pom-poms on a rough day. I think that emotionally, that’s the challenge, to remind yourself of your worth and to continue on this journey, even though there’s a lot of rejection—there’s always going to be rejection in this business, and it can get gruelling, for sure.
BT: You seem like an incredibly generous person and scene partner. Who are some people with whom you’ve worked who give it back to you?
IL: Oh my goodness, that’s so sweet of you to say. Well I want to say, real quick how fantastic Lesley-Ann is–let’s just talk about that for a minute. [laughs] She is just fire and I’ve had some really fun, fun moments on screen with her this season so [raises voice] I’m looking forward to those! I mean, look, I can’t not mention the incomparable Uma Thurman. I got to work with her on Imposters—that was just surreal and will forever remain a highlight of my career. Charlie Hunnam also really stands out for me as a scene partner (on Sons of Anarchy). [chuckles] He has this ability of bringing so much honesty and charm and sex appeal [giggles] into everything he does, so that was a real pleasure.
BT: Do you follow the principle of Tikkun Olam (A Hebrew expression meaning “repair of the world”)?
IL: [laughs] I love this question! I love that you’re bringing Tikkun Olam into this—absolutely! I believe that all mankind has the ability to be the best that we can be for ourselves and for each other. We should aspire to do good and be good, as a society, as human beings, to care for and nurture Mother Earth and all the living creatures who walk this planet, absolutely.
BT: What do you stream on Netflix?
IL: Well, I love Imposters. [laughs loudly] I can’t wait to watch Lucifer! I also have seen every episode of Friends, so I’m a big fan and a geek of the Friends franchise, and I love The Office, that was a big one. You know what, I’ve seen some of the tapes, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, and I’m so fascinated and I’m dying to finish it, but it’s giving me such bad nightmares, [laughs loudly] but I need to get over myself and finish it because it’s fascinating. I don’t know if I’m ready yet, I need a breath and to recoup a little, although these are the ones that stand out.
BT: How much do you believe content matters in helping to shape the landscape?
IL: Well the way that I see it, the content that we consume shapes our community and eventually our society as a whole. And by telling authentic stories that reflect the experiences of real men and women, we create positive role models for future generations of storytellers, and I think it’s [raises voice] vital to showcase a range of characters that are vital and complex as the society and the world in which we live. One of the most fascinating aspects of Lucifer is the struggle between good and evil and the push and pull between purity and desire, and that is what the Garden of Eden presents, not only between Lucifer and Eve, but the also the struggle within each of them and I think it’s important to showcase these struggles. Everyone can relate to that in our battle and hopefully through the show we can help guide some of the audience through it.
Lucifer seasons one to four are streaming now on Netflix