Tiffany Boone (‘Little Fires Everywhere’) on not wanting to do an ‘impersonation’ of Kerry Washington [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

While Tiffany Boone studied Kerry Washington extensively on the set of “Little Fires Everywhere” to prepare for playing the younger version of her character, Mia, she didn’t want it to match exactly. After all, Boone was playing Mia 16 years younger, before she built up the tough exterior we see from Washington’s performance in the show’s present day. “I didn’t wanna do an impersonation of her,” Boone says in an exclusive new interview with Gold Derby. “I wanted to make it feel like this is the same person, just 16 years before.” Watch the full video interview with Boone above.

“It really did start with the mannerisms and the physicality that Kerry was creating for the character I watched her on-set for a few weeks, like a shadow pretty much,” Boone discusses, of her process to prepare for playing young Mia. She took notes on the set and then went home and watched footage of Washington while going over the script. She also had multiple talks with the former “Scandal” star about how to approach playing Mia. “She was really great in sharing with me her process and how she looked at the character,” Boone states.

Boone was very excited to dig into Mia’s backstory in the sixth episode of the series, where we see her strong relationship with her brother, Warren (Aubrey Joseph), her developing romance with her mentor (Anika Noni Rose) and her decision to keep her baby after agreeing to a be a surrogate for a couple. “I wanted you as the audience to have empathy for her after you watch the sixth episode,” Boone explains. “So for me it was about tapping into an innocence and a deep love of her art and then once she goes through all these emotions, she’s being really vulnerable and raw.” While Mia is not always the easiest character to love, Boone appreciates the sheer act of centering a hard-edged character like her. “She’s not the most likable character and I think it’s great that we’re showing women that aren’t likable, that don’t have to be likable.”

Being part of “Little Fires Everywhere,” even for a comparatively shorter time than the main cast, was also another lesson for her in having empathy for others. “If we take the time to simply get to know each other, just to listen to each other’s stories and feel compassion for each other, I think that could change so much,” she observes. That extended to the set atmosphere as well, with a primarily female cast and crew that held each other up. “Everyone supported each other and created something I think is really magical and we all have the opportunity to do that in our lives every day.”

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