At the young age of 15, actress Lydia Hull
was already beginning to make her mark in the industry. She won the Seventeen magazine cover contest which lead to several years of modeling. After deciding to become an actress, Lydia moved to Los Angeles at 18 where she quickly booked several supporting roles in films such as Sorority Boys and Van Wilder. With momentum on her side, the Lawrence, Kansas native decided to take a break and go back to school. She finished degrees in Apparel and Textile Marketing from Kansas State University and Jewelry Design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Los Angeles. Now she is back and again focusing on her acting career. She’s recently been seen in films such as Escape Plan with Sylvester Stallone, Empire State and Frozen. She also had a guest appearance on the hit ABC series Castle. She now currently stars in the hit series Saf3 as Lily Maddox, a Los Angeles firefighter who is tough, but also has a softer side. Lydia was kind enough to sit down with us and talk about Saf3, her influences and what it’s like to be a role model.
Pop Culture Principle – What made you decide to become an actor?
Lydia Hull – I think it started as a little kid actually; sort of the actor bug was born. I started doing theater as early as I could, which was in junior high and high school and then I moved to LA when I was 18.
Pop Culture Principle – How did you get involved with the series Saf3?
Lydia Hull – I had met Greg Bonnan and Tai Collins and I’ve known George Furla for years. I heard about the project and wanted to get involved. I got the opportunity to talk with them about the character and audition with them. It was a dream come true for me just to be part of a television series, especially one that had a guaranteed 20 episodes.
Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us a bit about your character Lily Maddox?
Lydia Hull – Lily is a very interesting character to me because she has her work life where she is very strong and confident and gets the job done by the book. She follows orders, takes initiative, goes out and gets the job done. She gets everyone home safe and that’s what she does and she’s good at it. Her personal life she’s very vulnerable, compassionate and wants to take care of her teammates. She’s not quite as confident as she is when she is at work. She lost her father when she was very young and has an abusive stepfather, so her work life is different from her personal life and she’s this dualistic character.
Pop Culture Principle – What type of research did you do for the role?
Lydia Hull – I wanted to be as believable as I could. You would believe that I could drag someone from a building. I hired a personal trainer, lifted weights and also worked with a swimming coach to help me get ready for the role. I focused alot on physical fitness, not so much bulking up, but trying to put on some muscle which I did, almost 15 pounds. One thing I really want to do that I didn’t get to previously do is go on a ride along and just really go out with them and see what it’s really like. I have a cousin that is in the fire department in Hutchinson, Kansas. I emailed him to ask for his advice and he said you just go; you go in balls to the wall because that is what we do. If something happens, I know my family is taken care of and I know I’m good with God.
Pop Culture Principle – Saf3 has a very diverse cast, what is it like working with the cast?
Lydia Hull – It is so cool. I feel extremely lucky that it’s just a great group of people to work with. We all really got along and it makes going to work fun. Sometimes it can be stressful because the hours are long, people are sleep deprived and it gets cold, but having a really great, positive group of people that you enjoy their company, that makes it so nice.
Pop Culture Principle – Do you see yourself as a role model for girls who may want to become firefighters/rescuers?
Lydia Hull – I hope so. That is one of the things that I really love about this show is that it is very positive and very family friendly. The female characters are very strong, smart, real and still girly. Again, I’m not a real firefighter, they are the real heroes and role models, but If I can portray one and inspire people, that’s awesome.
Pop Culture Principle – When people watch the show, what message would you like them to take away from the series?
Lydia Hull – I think the people who get what the show is, really like it. I’ve had people tell me that this is the only show that they are not embarrassed to watch with their grandkids or have to change the channel when someone is watching the show with their child. I also think there is interesting stuff for adults as well. The show has cool action sequences, beautiful beaches and the storylines are nice and the messages are positive. I think there is a place in the market for that and I think there are people who want family friendly TV with good morals and inspiration.
Pop Culture Principle – You’ve also been involved with films such as Escape Plan, Broken City and Frozen? Any interesting stories working on the set for these films?
Lydia Hull – Hmm, it was pretty cool meeting Sylvester Stallone on Escape Plan and always fun being in New Orleans because it’s such an interesting city. That is one of the fun things about being in this industry is that you get to travel and also get to take in stuff that you normally wouldn’t get to do.
Pop Culture Principle – Where would you like to see you and your career in the next 5-10 years?
Lydia Hull – Hopefully still employed! Getting to work on new projects with new people and growing as a person and as an actress. I hope to get to do different types of things and find out what I’m good at and what I need to work on.
Pop Culture Principle – How involved are you with social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook?
Lydia Hull – I’m not on Twitter. I don’t get it, I just don’t. It’s so weird to me. I don’t know what the original intention of Twitter was, but using it to get news out and things like that is great, but having Twitter battles or posting just monotonous stuff is just weird. I am on Instagram and Facebook but I keep my Facebook private to family and people I actually know and have a relationship with.
Pop Culture Principle – What actors past or present have inspired you?
Lydia Hull – Audrey Hepburn is amazing. I don’t think I truly appreciated how amazing she was until I read an autobiography about her. She survived war and was a dancer and a philanthropist and had this crazy personal life, so she’s very interesting to me as a person. Current actress, Cate Blanchet. I think she is such a fine actress and I don’t think it gets much better than her.
Pop Culture Principle – When you aren’t working, what do you like to do for fun?
Lydia Hull – The normal stuff, I like to go to lunch with my girlfriends and go shopping. I really like fitness a lot. It not only improves your body but it also improves your brain. I love to take all types of dance classes because I love dance. I like to go hiking with friends, being with my family and basically just normal stuff.
Pop Culture Principle – Any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
Lydia Hull – I’m kind of in a holding pattern until I found out what is the deal with Season 2 of Saf3, so hopefully another season is in the cards!