Alumna talks ‘Turn,’ NYU

NYU alumna Heather Lind returned to her alma mater for a screening of the first two episodes of “Turn: Washington’s Spies’” second season. Set during the Revolutionary War, “Turn” follows farmer Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), dramatizing his involvement in the Culper Ring, a spy network tasked with finding information on the British. Anna, played by Lind, is the Ring’s headstrong, intelligent female member.

WSN: How does coming back to NYU feel?

HL: It feels great, this school’s done amazing things for me as a person and as an artist and I feel it is always here to nurture me.

WSN: What drew you to your character, Anna Strong?

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HL: Initially, what drew me to her was really how little I knew about her. I did not realize she was a real person or that this character was based on a real person until about the third audition I had for it. So I was really excited about this heroine in history I had never heard of, and I always kind of liked to look at parts as puzzles, and I liked not having a lot of info and having to kind of search it out. I really admired her strength of purpose and her bravery and what she was willing to risk for what she believed in. It really inspired me.

WSN: What should we expect this season?

HL: This season, you can expect a lot more action. I think last season we found a way to develop the characters and make the spy ring kind of complete, and this season it feels like we are just pressing all the boundaries. We’re going beyond Long Island, to England, to Philadelphia, and we are kind of expanding the conflict into a broader place, and there is a lot more risk taking.

WSN: Why should people watch?

HL: I think what it does is it make history current, and I know it sounds like a nerdy thing to say, but I think in the time where our culture is really contemporary and kind of pop-y and trendy and fast, I think it’s helpful to remember the revolutions and the changes that happened before us. Beyond that, it’s just a really relatable story about people and love and family. The way we understand history is that it’s a lot of old people with white hair making these decisions and actually there was a group of really young people that we’re telling this story about. I think all revolutionaries begin some way as rebels. It’s kind of a story about what it is to grow up and participate in your society and your world.

WSN: What are your future plans?

HL: I’m doing a play, starting rehearsals next month at MTC [Manhattan Theatre Club] and have a film coming out in the fall, but mostly just keep working and finding new things.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 7 print edition. Email Mary Ann Odete at [email protected] 

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