HBO’s Vinyl premieres on Sunday, February 14, 2016 with a pilot episode directed by Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese and starring Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, and Ray Romano. Scorsese’s latest collaboration with HBO following Boardwalk Empire is set in the 1970s music industry, with Cannavale playing the founder and president of a record company. Wilde stars as his wife, a former model and actress who’s now a mother of two. HBO presented a Vinyl panel at the Television Critics Association winter 2016 press event and I had the chance to briefly sit down with Wilde to discuss the world in which Vinyl is set and her own music influences.
Olivia Wilde Interview:
What is your relationship to music? As an actor are there ways music affects your performance?
Olivia Wilde: “Yes. I mean, I’ve used music in my work always, whether it’s to reach a certain emotional state or to inspire me to remember sort of different sense memories. I’m very, very connected to music in my own life as well. It’s gotten me through some of my hardest moments. It’s been the soundtrack of some of my best moments. I’m someone who’s deeply connected to music.”
Who is the most recent artist who’s captivated you?
Olivia Wilde: “You know, it’s interesting. It varies from an artist who’s mainstream that I think is really exciting, like The Weeknd – The Weeknd is exciting as an artist, I really like his work – to someone much, much more on the indie world, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. I really still listen to a lot of older music. I still listen to the Blues; I still listen to ‘70s rock and R&B. I mean, I listen to a lot of hip-hop. You can catch me listening to Kendrick Lamar on any given day. But I’m sort of eclectic in that way.”
How much music do you actually get to hear on the set?
Olivia Wilde: “A lot. We play music just to kind of get into the right vibe off and on set. Each script is written with the music already established so we can have a chance to kind of, as a group, understand what the rhythm of the script will be, what the rhythm of the scene will be so we can get on the same page with that.”
How do you get into a woman of the ‘70s? You also starred in Rush which was set in that time period. Did that help you get into that era for Vinyl?
Olivia Wilde: “Yeah, it did. I did a huge amount of research for Rush of the London fashion and music world, and the racing world of that time. [It was] a different environment than Vinyl, but certainly that research helped with this research. Really, I’ve been obsessed with the ‘70s for so long that I was ready for both roles.”
The Vinyl Plot: This new drama series is set in 1970s New York City. A ride through the sex- and drug-addled music business at the dawn of punk, disco, and hip-hop, the show is seen through the eyes of a record label president, Richie Finestra, played by Bobby Cannavale, who is trying to save his company and his soul without destroying everyone in his path.
Vinyl is executive produced by Scorsese, Mick Jagger, Terence Winter, Rick Yorn, Victoria Pearman, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, John Melfi, Allen Coulter and George Mastras.