Laura Slade Wiggins is best-known for playing Karen Jackson on Shameless. The talented actress is set to star as Meredith in Lifetime World Premiere The Cheating Pact, which deals with high school students cheating on their college entrance exams.
Celebrity Teen Scoop recently got to catch up with Laura about her character Meredith, a “gifted high school student who wants to be the coolest girl in school.” Laura also revealed how she really feels about college entrance exams and shared what it is like working with Emmy Rossum on Shameless!
CTS: You star as Meredith in the Lifetime World Premiere The Cheating Pact, premiering on September 28th. Please tell us a little about your role in the movie. Do you do anything special to “get into character”?
Laura: “Meredith is a gifted high school student who wants to be the coolest girl in school just like any other young girl. She uses her brains to have it all. Driving to work early in the morning, I listened to my favorite songs from high school and remembered how it felt in high school to get support and attention from my peers and the friends I lost touch with in high school. I always liked receiving high marks on my papers and tests, but I relished it when my peers said that I was cool.”
CTS: The movie’s subject was inspired by true events. How do you feel about the pressure some parents put on their kids to score big on these college entrance exams in order to go to good colleges?
Laura: “I took the SAT twice and the ACT twice. It was a ton of preparation with little reward. I tend to look at questions more abstractly and want to take my time finding the answers to my questions. The SAT isn’t for everyone, and I think that we are turning bright kids away from learning by forcing them to test against each other for college enrollment.”
CTS: You also currently star as Karen Jackson on Shameless. Has this role given you the opportunity to grow as an actress?
Laura: “I can’t give enough credit to the people at Shameless for teaching me professionalism and artistry. The entire cast is brilliant and everyone brings infectious energy to the screen. On Shameless, we are required to come to set off-book (memorized) and ready to work. I think that work ethic will stay with me for life.”
CTS: What is it like working with William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum on the show?
Laura: “‘Bill,’ as he prefers to be called, is a hilarious Oscar-nominated actor who is very down-to-earth. Talking to him in hair and makeup, he’s this really nice guy, but on-set, when he turns out a three-page monologue of drunken rambling, you realize he really is such a talented and brilliant artist. Emmy Rossum has many sides to her. She’s very thoughtful with each and every character choice, and I can’t take my eyes off her when she plays Fiona Gallagher. She fills me with inspiration.”
CTS: How did you get your start in acting?
Laura: “I was always very dramatic and would cry to get my way all day long. My parents realized I needed an outlet to express these emotions (not in the car rider line in elementary school or at church!), so they put me in a musical theatre camp in 4th grade. My first play was Cinderella, and I played a bratty stepsister.”
CTS: Tell us a little about your musical side. Are you working on an album?
Laura: “I sing a lot: in the car, shower, in line at Starbucks…I learned to accompany myself on the guitar and have played in a few bands. My newest project is called ‘Clementine,’ and I have an EP on iTunes. As soon as filming slows down, I’m going to work with musician Philip Creamer from Dovetail (winner of the 2013 John Lennon songwriting contest) in Dallas, TX. It will have remakes of songs like ‘Cowboys’ and ‘Stepping Out,’ as well as some new ones that I’m sending back and forth with him now.”
CTS: What do you like to do for fun when you’re hanging out with friends or family?
Laura: “I love to watch the Georgia Bulldogs play football in the fall and I’ve also become a hockey fan because of my Shameless family. I like to play guitar, and my parents and I also like to Kayak down the Broad in GA.”
CTS: What is up next for you?
Laura: “I’m going to be a recurring character on the CW’s new series The Tomorrow People. The series starts October 9th at 8pm, and my character will make her entrance in the fifth episode.”
To watch Laura in The Cheating Pact, tune into LMN on Saturday, September 28th at 8pm ET/PT.