The ‘Chicago PD’ actress has another hit show — and a philanthropic play — on the horizon.
Having transformed from pop star to silver-screen siren, “Chicago PD” actress America Olivo, 36, has major star power. This month, she joins the cast of Syfy Network’s “Defiance,” but you wouldn’t know it at first glance: After more than six hours of prosthetics and makeup each day, Olivo’s alien ensemble renders the beauty completely unrecognizable.
“I was at Burning Man with my husband, then we went to my family’s vineyard to recoup — and I got a call [to send an audition tape for ‘Chicago PD’]. I’m off the grid, can barely get a signal; I’m beyond sun-kissed and have sand in my hair and nothing to wear. So I threw my hair up and put my mom’s black skirt on as a top and had my husband record it and sent it in. A few weeks later, I got a call from my agent saying, ‘You have to fly to Chicago tomorrow.’ ”
“ ‘Chicago PD’ might be the first role where I actually look like myself — [usually] my characters are so odd and my hair color is different. My husband [actor Christian Campbell] hasn’t changed since he was 18 and still gets recognized from his first film. But people just think they went to high school with me, or college — that’s the vibe I get.”
“The best part [about doing sci-fi] is going through the lunch line. You see alien after alien in front of you, getting their turkey and stuffing. Some of the [people in] costumes have to maneuver a straw [in order] to eat. It’s just the funniest cafeteria.”
“My husband and I wrote a play called ‘Hush,’ based on our own experiences with infertility. It’s like ‘The Vagina Monologues’ but for the womb, and it’s become more of a musical comedy than a tragedy, which we didn’t expect. We really put our skin out there and it’s been inspiring and terrifying to be that exposed, but it’s been wonderful. We’re looking to get it published for others to perform for awareness, education and fundraising.”
Get lost in the post-apocalyptic world of “Defiance” Thursdays at 7 p.m. on Syfy and catch “Chicago PD” when it returns to NBC September 24.