Elizabeth Ludlow has acted in The Vampire Diaries, Satisfaction, Max Steel, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Currently, she stars as Arat, one of Negan’s Saviors, on The Walking Dead. Who among us will ever forget this scene?
Yeah, I’m still reeling over that quick shot, too! Even though we have a love/hate relationship with Arat, let’s learn more about the woman who portrays her, Elizabeth Ludlow.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Savannah, Georgia.
What was your first acting role?
My first professional acting role was on The Vampire Diaries in 2013. I booked the role of “girl” and have never been so nervous in my life. I remember right before we started filming I felt like I was going to pass out but luckily I didn’t. That day changed my life. Not only did it solidify the fact that being an actress was possible but it confirmed the fact that it was the only path for me.
How did you land the role of Arat?
I had auditioned for the show a couple times before I received the audition for Arat. It was an interesting process because the first couple roles I auditioned for didn’t quite feel like the right fit. When I received the notice for this role and read the sides I knew immediately it was perfect. I’ll never forget the night I received the phone call from my agent. It was Friday the 13th, two days after I auditioned, and I was on set the following Monday. It all happened very quickly.
Were you a The Walking Dead fan before getting the role?
I was a fan of The Walking Dead before getting the role but I had only watched up to season two, I think. So I had a lot of catching up to do.
Did you do anything special to prepare for the role of Arat, like giving her a backstory of any kind in your own mind, maybe one that would help justify why she was part of the Saviors?
Absolutely. I always give my characters a back story no matter how small the role. If I’m going to bring a character to life then I need to know where they came from, how they got here, and where they want to go. Our lives are heavily influenced by our past whether we like to admit it or not. It would be impossible for me to honestly portray the characters if I didn’t have an understanding and sense of empathy for them.
Did you get a lot of negativity from being the Savior that killed Olivia?
I did receive my fair share of negativity for killing Olivia but it was expected. She was an extremely loved character so I had an expectation of negativity when I read the script for that day. The love I have received and continue to receive heavily outweighs the negativity though so it’s easy not to pay attention that stuff.
Have there been any funny or memorable behind the scene moments?
There have been a million! The cast and crew are all so awesome it’s hard to pick just one but I would have to say when Norman gave me half of his “signature” sandwich. It was quite a moment. It was completely unexpected and such a welcoming and open gesture. I really appreciated it. It can be extremely intimidating being the new kid on set and working with such talented and successful people so his gesture helped me feel a little more like a part of the family.
(Oh, Elizabeth, that is why we positively love and adore the man! He is kind and generous, besides being drop-dead gorgeous and sexy! If he had handed me half his sandwich, I probably wouldn’t have eaten it but went and squirreled it away in a freezer somewhere as a souvenir!)
How does working on a movie set like Guardians of the Galaxy 2 compare to doing The Walking Dead for television?
Working on Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t compare to anything else I’ve worked on. I’m not allowed to say much but working with just a blue screen was extremely challenging, but also one of the greatest experiences I’ve had. Most of my TWD scenes were filmed outside so the weather was always a concern and the heat was extremely trying. They were very different experiences but both amazing to say the least.
Outside of work, what do you like to do for fun?
I consider myself a foodie. I love trying new restaurants and cuisines. I also love cooking and testing new recipes so I spend a significant amount of time in my kitchen. I am also classically trained in piano. I took lessons for most of my adolescence, so when I can, I try to play. I also love music and intend on getting into that more in the future. I try to see live shows as often as I can. Lastly, I really enjoy maintaining a healthy lifestyle so I work out regularly. I enjoy snowboarding, long-boarding, and playing soccer as well.
Do you have any new acting roles in your future?
I can’t speak on anything that is still in production. Aside from Guardians you can catch me in Table 19, a new comedy featuring Anna Kendrick which comes out March 3. I will also be in an indie with Jurnee Smollett-Bell called, “One Last Thing”. The release date is still to be announced.
Is there anyone who has been an inspiration to you in your acting career?
Yes. Meryl Streep. I have always been in awe of her abilities. It’s very difficult to pick only a few but I would also have to say that Daniel Day Lewis and Viola Davis continue to inspire me.
A lot of fans will marathon The Walking Dead quite frequently. Do you have a favorite show you could watch over and over?
Absolutely! I have watched Breaking Bad from beginning to end three or four times and would do it 100 more times!
Is there anything you can tell all us fans about yourself that we don’t know, but are dying to?
I want my fans to know that I wouldn’t have made it this far without self-motivation. No one in my family or extended family is involved in the entertainment industry. This was and is my dream and mine alone. I encourage anyone who has a dream to make it their reality because you already have the one thing you need and that’s yourself.
Elizabeth, you keep right on living your dream! We are behind you 100%. Maybe Arat will come over from the dark side of Negan’s Saviors to fight with our Survivors. We can dream, too.
I’ll leave this picture of her ethereal beauty right here for all the fans.
The Walking Dead returns on Sunday, February 12, at 9/8C on AMC. I’m looking forward to the war that will rage between all the groups. Where will Arat be in all this? Tune in with me to find out and let me know what you think on Twitter @sassypoo.