Walking on a tightrope has been a “through line” for the actress Britt Lower, who actually ran away and joined the circus during her hiatus from Severance earlier this year.
At the Gotham Awards Monday night, the 37-year-old star shared that she used her time off from the Apple TV show to return to the Big Top roots she experienced as a child.
“I’m a huge fan of the circus,” she told PEOPLE along the red carpet. “I’ve just been obsessed with the circus as a performance art for my whole life. I like the pomp and circumstance, the fun of it, and I like a little bit of mischief in fashion.”
She continued, “I joined an American one-ring circus and performed for a whole month as a character named Steven, who played the ukulele. But I got to perform with the Flying Wallenda family, the tightrope walkers. It was just a lifelong dream come true to be performing alongside my heroes.”
And all the while, she found that the risks she took while maneuvering in mid-air were just a thin line away from performing as an actor.
But was trying out for the circus or auditioning in front of Severance producer and director Ben Stiller more nerve-wracking?
“Oh, gosh. I mean, equal parts, in a way,” she said. “I ran a small business with my mom as a face painter as a teenager, so I got to know the circus world as a kiddo. It’s just been a through line in my life and it was, again, a dream to get to perform in one this summer. And a nice break from TV and film to do live performance. I guess that’s tied into fashion. It’s sort of this live art form. It’s endlessly inspiring.”
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Severance has been renewed for a second season; Season 1 is now available to stream on Apple TV+.