Celebrity

The Umbrella Academy Star Emmy Raver-Lampman Takes On The Bustle Booth

The actor on Black Lives Matter and why she doesn't like getting comfortable.

Jenny Anderson

When celebrities (virtually) hang out with Bustle writers, we want to give them the chance to leave their mark. Literally. So we hand them a pen, a piece of paper, a few questions, and ask them to get creative. This time, The Umbrella Academy star Emmy Raver-Lampman is leaving her mark in the Bustle Booth.

Emmy Raver-Lampman doesn't like getting comfortable. "I grew up in a very creative and open-minded household, so I think I've always been accustomed to life throwing curveballs," the Umbrella Academy star says. "[I like] exploring the things that make me nervous and the things that scare me."

The Virginia native's resume is a reflection of this mentality. She spent her early career hopping between Broadway shows like Hair, Jekyll & Hyde, A Night with Janis Joplin, and Wicked, and joined the original ensemble cast of Hamilton in 2015. By 2017, she had performed as Angelica Schuyler in the musical's first national tour. She left the show at the height of its popularity in search of a change in pace and ended up landing her first major TV role as Umbrella Academy's persuasive Allison Hargreeves shortly thereafter. Most recently, she joined the cast of the AppleTV+ animated sitcom Central Park as the biracial character Molly after Kristen Bell stepped down from the role.

Raver-Lampman always sees change as an opportunity to grow, and in Umbrella Academy Season 2, that philosophy is mirrored by her character's own journey. Though a beloved celebrity in the present day, Allison finds herself stranded in Jim Crow-era Dallas after Five's plan to undo the apocalypse goes awry. She's run out of town almost immediately by a group of white people, but finds community with a group of Civil Rights organizers and throws herself into their grassroots work.

Though Umbrella Academy filmed last year, it's impossible not to view the scenes of their diner sit-ins and the ensuing police brutality riots through the lens of the current protests against systemic racism. "I don't think we could have ever imagined that [the show] would be released in the wake of George Floyd, the [calls for] defunding of the police, and the Black Lives Matter movement," Raver-Lampman says. But she's honored to have the "opportunity to put that part of American history and Black history on millions of TV screens."

"It's jaw-dropping, the amount that is left out from our history of this country," she adds.

Still, Raver-Lampman says, "The Civil Rights Movement is not done and dusted." And as America continues to reckon with its racist past — and present — not being comfortable is the only way forward.

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