Growing up in Detroit taught Angela Lewis that anything can be achieved with hard work and passion. The stage and screen actor has starred in numerous hit shows including Code Black, The Last Ship and The Good Wife. Currently, you can check out her gripping performance as Louise Saint in John Singleton’s latest series Snowfall on FX. Coming from such a strong and caring family, Angela says she was shielded from a lot of “noise” that creeps through beleaguered big cities like Detroit.
Finding the right mindset to play the lovelorn, drug-addicted Louise seemed like a challenge for Angela at first, but she turned to compassion to breathe life into the character. “I wanted for everyone to not disregard her and women like her and be able to see her from a compassionate place and human place,” Angela says. “That became really important to me and was the reason I wanted to love her, even if no one else was going to love her. She deserved love.” The cathartic process even opened her own eyes to how easily we can write people off because of their unfortunate circumstances. She believes we all can be happier in life with a little more love.
Who taught you the most about happiness and why?
I taught myself the most about happiness through life experience. I certainly have role models and people who I have looked to for examples of this or that. In terms of what makes me happy? I have to go deep and explore the inner workings of myself, because no one can give you happiness. You have to find that on your own; you have to know that it comes from inside you. I’ve learned that the hard way, but I have certainly learned.
What do you do to pay it forward?
Now that I have a platform, so to speak, I’ve got my eyes open and my ears open for a specific organization or a couple of organizations that I can really connect with and believe in, so they will be able to have a louder voice and longer reach.
How do you make others close to you happy?
I like to encourage people to be their best selves. I remember I had a birthday party recently and one of my friends said, “I won’t wear that dress, because it’s your birthday.” I said, “Oh no, honey. You wear that dress.” Because, no one can dim my light. Everyone should show up as their best selves and shine. I don’t believe that anyone has to dim for anyone else’s light to shine. The more someone else is shining, that just gives me permission to shine.
How do you like to get some down time?
Going to the movies, going to see plays. We went go-kart racing recently. I haven’t done that in years. I like to go roller skating, I like to go to dinner with my husband or my friends. All kinds of things.
Where is your happy place?
This may sound cheesy, but my happy place is anywhere with love. That could be with my husband, if it’s just us two here at home, or overseas somewhere, when I am with my close girlfriends or my family. I think of myself as a pretty happy person. Recently l went to see Amma. She travels the world and gives hugs. I went to visit her for the first time when she was in Los Angeles. It was such a beautiful experience, and I was there with my husband and a friend of mine. I met a couple new friends. Eventually we were surrounded by swarms of people I didn’t know, but there was so much love and joy in that space that it was really incredible. Wherever there is love, that is my happy place.