Multi-talented actress, writer, director, and legal advisor Trisha LaFache stars in “Jury Duty,” a documentary-style comedy revolving around an American jury’s daily chronicles and inner workings. Previously a federal criminal defense attorney herself, LaFache’s lawyer character is a tenacious and thoroughly entertaining force. With “Jury Duty” from the creators of “White Lotus” and “The Office” Trisha LaFache named dream role. All she had to do was go to law school to get land it! The much series is currently on Amazon Studio’s streaming service, Freevee. Audiences will get a chance to experience a fantastic acting performance from Lafache—she also wrote every piece of the material she performs in the show! Her character was carefully crafted from experience alongside the show’s executive producers, Cody Heller, Jake Szymanski, and Andrew Weinberg. Produced by Lee Eisenberg (“Little America”/”We Crashed”), David Benard (“White Lotus”), and Todd Schulman (“Borat Subsequent Movie Film”) and made up of a stellar cast led by James Marsden, the series is sure to capture audiences from the start.
USA Today selects Jury Duty as one of the 7 shows to binge in 2023!
Hi, Trisha welcome to OLC! A pleasure to have you here. You’re a talented actress, writer, director, and also legal advisor. So how did your career begin? You began in dance I believe?
Hi, thank you so much for having me. As a kid, I did acting in community theater and I absolutely loved it. I had a great teacher/director, his name was Dr. Ralph Slayton and he was very encouraging of me. He even let me choreograph a production of Annie when I was 5 years old. The adult parts as well. But then I got really seriously into ballet which took up most of my time and didn’t truly make my way back to acting until college.
So what made you want to get into law?
To maintain my father’s love. My dad is a lawyer and he really wanted me to go to law school, my mother did too. I knew I wanted to act/write and direct but I was scared to admit it. But soon after I began law school, in the first couple weeks, I was in New York City attending law school and I decided to try to get an agent and so I did.
From there you landed in acting, so how were you discovered and what was the very first acting role you got, and how was that audition process for you?
I actually booked my first episode of television, on “Law & Order” and my first movie “Garden State“ with Natalie Portman and Zach Braff in the same week.
You served as a legal adviser for some popular shows like ‘Perry Mason’ and ‘Clarice’, I didn’t even know that was a thing, how were you approached to do that, and did you know it was a role at the time?
Oh, for sure I knew it was a role. For Perry Mason, I was approached by a writer friend of mine who I worked with on a short-lived Greg Kinnear FOX show, called “Rake.” His dad was the Brooklyn DA when I was in law school and he hired me. Once we figured that out we became fast friends. They wanted him to do the job but he wasn’t available so he put my name in the hat and I got it. It was an absolute dream. I got to work with Tim Van Patten who I was a huge fan of as a director of The Sopranos. As well as Matthew Rhys, Stephen Root, John Lithgow, and Chris Chalke, who was actually a friend from NY.
You’re also a co-writer and co-host of a podcast, can you tell us a bit about that and why you love doing it? Because it’s a lot different to being on screen, I’d imagine it would be less daunting?
I’m now doing my second true crime podcast called “The Unexpecting” that I am so proud of. Good question about less daunting, I would say in some ways yes, but in other ways the way it’s structured it’s very real and raw and I’m interviewing a non-actor about his life story so I don’t have a ton of control over what he and his family and friends say but I also have a tight storyline, similar to Jury Duty in a way!
You can now be seen in Freevee’s highly anticipated Series “Jury Duty”, can you tell us a bit about the show and who you play?
I play the Plaintiff’s attorney Debra Laseur. People keep calling her a prosecutor but she’s not because it’s a civil case but, I love her. Loved playing her.
It’s from the creators of ‘White Lotus’ and ‘The Office’, which is a massive draw card on its own I guess, but what drew you to this show in particular?
I would say that was it! Just kidding. Casting said that they were looking for an actor with legal experience. She was described as driven with a chip on her shoulder. I’ve been doing both acting and law for a very long time and I’m from New York so, yeah, I knew that I could be that for them.
You wrote every piece of material you perform on the show, which I think is amazing, how difficult is it to write comedy?
That’s very sweet. The writers wrote all of the beats for the script. The plot line and the relationships were so well done in what they did. When I came on board we, from the first day of rehearsal took the ideas they had about the case and started developing it together. Collaborating on what we would present in court, and then yes I had to put that all together. And we continued to collaborate the whole way through.
And do you test the material out on other people to make sure it’s funny? lol
I think a lot of what I did is actually really funny and a lot of the really funny stuff of my stuff is not on the show because I’m the straight man. I’m the grounding factor of realism for Ronald whenever he thinks things are crazy he would look at me and say “but she’s real.” But we did rehearse prior to shooting for two weeks and we got to work on some bits that made it and others did not. But it was all a collaboration.
You’re multi-talented, but what do you love to do most, acting, writing, or directing, and is there anyone you’d love to work with and why?
When I’m acting I love acting the most. When I’m writing I love writing the most and when I’m directing I love directing the most.
There are so many people that I’d love to work with. I’d love to work with Spike Lee. Because he’s a genius and “Do The Right Thing” is one of my favorite movies. Plus, I really would love to be in something that oozes New York.
Do you have any projects in the works you can tell us about?
I am currently editing a pilot I directed. Finalizing the podcast we talked about earlier “The Unexpecting,” directing a play this summer, and a music video That’s a lot of directing but I’ll pivot back.
What’s been the most challenging part of your career?
Let me tell you something. Everything about this career is challenging, when you’re up and when you’re down. But life is challenging. I don’t think any career or job is without its challenges.
What has the entertainment industry taught you that you didn’t expect to learn?
That I didn’t expect to learn? That’s an interesting question. You can handle anything if your sense of self-worth is not connected or defined by what others think of you. Your confidence has to be defined by how you treat other people and how you move through the world.
But I honestly think I would have had to learn that in any profession because it’s not just entertainers who look for outside validation. It’s human nature, right?
What advice do you have for aspiring actors, directors, and screenwriters that hope to make it in the industry one day?
I think if you make the choice to do this ridiculous endeavor you have to do it because you have no other choice and there’s nothing else you want to do. THEN, you have to remember that no one, no one ever said to you “Hey, you know what you should do? You should pursue a career in the entertainment industry.” In fact, they told your behind NOT to do it. And you did it anyway so, suck it up buttercup.
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings