Actress Lauren Buglioli is proving herself to be one to watch in Hollywood.  The up-and-coming starlet has graced screens both big and small, with her most recent performance as “Margaret,” in “A Jazzman’s Blues,” streaming now on Netflix.   The film is a heart-wrenching love story written and directed by Tyler Perry and is a must-see! We had the opportunity to speak with Lauren about her work, her go-to style, and why she found strength in acceptance.   

You star as Margaret in “A Jazzman’s Blues,” streaming now on Netflix… what can you tell us about the film without giving away any spoilers?

It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking love story centered around the romantic relationship between the film’s leads, Bayou and Leanne (played by Joshua Boone and Solea Pfieffer). It spans the 1930s to 1980s and the obstacles that these two lovers face in the south during that time period.  

This was a very special film for Tyler Perry (who wrote and directed the film). What was it like to work with him on such a personal project of his?

Mr. Perry wrote the film 27 years ago and it was inspiring to see his passion for the project at every stage of production. He’s such a beautiful example of what it means to believe in yourself– and what you’re called to do by following your dreams.  Doing so can impact the lives of so many people for the better. 

What would you say has been your favorite role you’ve played to date? And what did you take away from that character?

I honestly can’t choose a favorite. I have loved every character I’ve played for different reasons. That feels like asking me to pick a favorite child! I loved playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret at The Straz Performing Arts Center in Florida.   I had taken a break from the business to teach full time and that show was the catalyst that got me to pursue acting full-time again. That experience and that role will always have a special place in my heart. It reminded me that you never know where life will take you, and what’s meant for you will find you. 

As someone who has experience with both stage and screen, do you have a preference? If so, why?

This is so tough. They’re two totally different experiences and I have to say I love both for different reasons. My dream is to be able to do both. I am grateful that I was trained in theatre from a young age because it gave me a work ethic that has served me well. My drama teacher in London, Buck Herron, instilled a reverence for the craft of acting and a love of the process that I credit to doing theatre growing up. 

When it comes to red carpet premieres, what’s your go-to glam routine? Do you have a certain ritual you follow?

Yes, I hire a hair and makeup artist and stylist that I trust! Red carpet experiences are still relatively new to me and I’ve discovered asking experts in their field for help is the way to go. When I’m off duty, so to speak, I am very much a “sweatpants, hair tied, chilling with no makeup on” gal so it’s really fun to get dressed up for events.  

You’ve spoken openly about being true to who you are, and why it was so important for you to stop comparing yourself to other people… how has your life changed since living by this mindset? 

I still slip into comparison. It’s how the system is rigged, especially with the prevalence of social media. There are a few things I like to remind myself of:

-I am happiest when I go inward and am consistently journaling, meditating and focusing on the internal. That’s always in my control and the anchor I like to come back to.

-No matter how perfect someone’s life looks, we all have our stuff. 

-Nothing external is ever the answer to fulfillment and happiness.

-People are spiritual assignments and/or expanders. So if I see someone living an experience I’d like to experience for myself, they’re a gift from the universe reminding me anything is possible. 

-When I am scared, it’s fear. So I like to get curious about why and focus on healing that frightened part of my psyche. 

That’s a lot to chew on… but while there are always bumps in the road and I’m human, reminding myself of these principles is key for my own happiness and growth. 

What advice do you have for others who may be struggling with insecurities or body issues?

That is a deeply personal journey and I like to remind myself that healing compounds on itself. Every book I’ve read, every professional I’ve talked to, every meditation I do, every time I journal… it all adds up– and working through our “stuff” is the ultimate form of self-love and bravery. Be kind to yourself. I never thought I’d be able to say this, but it gets better. Things will always come up for us to work on as we evolve and we can ask for and find support when we need it. One of my favorite things about the process of healing is being able to connect with others who have been through similar experiences. When I can support someone else on their journey, it makes me feel like I didn’t go through hard times for nothing. Some resources that have helped me immensely are Tory Stroker Nutrition, The Paradox Process and To Be Magnetic. 

You have great style! What are some of your favorite brands, and is there a particular style icon you look to? 

Thank you! I am obsessed with NUULY. I order 6 pieces a month and decide what I want to keep. With my body type, I can love something in a store or online and it just doesn’t flatter me. With NUULY I can wear something for a month and return it or if I really love it, buy it at a discounted price. It’s changed the game for me! I’m a huge fan and unbeknownst to them, an unofficial member of their advertising team. If you ever compliment my outfit, be prepared to get the rundown on NUULY. I don’t have one particular style icon I look to, but I love to find outfit inspiration on Pinterest! 

When not on filming, what’s a typical day in the life for Lauren Buglioli?

Every day looks different, but it usually involves some combination of dog-momming, errands, auditioning, working from home, cleaning, cooking, laundry, self-development work where I can get it in, the gym and time with friends. There was a period of time when I was working 4 jobs at once and holding it all together with one bobby pin, so I never take less chaos (or 7 hours of sleep) for granted. 

Lastly, what’s the greatest advice anyone ever gave you?  Any advice for our readers? 

My mom shared a poem with me called “the woman in the glass”. It essentially describes how we can’t let our self-worth be determined by the opinions or judgments of others. I often remind myself that at the end of the day what other people think of me is none of my business. I can only do my best, learn, grow and rinse & repeat. My advice would be what I’m always reminding myself of: I’m not here to be perfect (and neither are you) but rather we’re all here for our soul’s evolution. Sure, it sounds woo woo, but the Kool-Aid is delicious, would you like a glass? I find I’m infinitely happier when I focus on learning rather than chasing perfection or the approval of others. 

Photography by Ben Cope bencope.net