With a dazzling array of characters under her belt, Denise Boutte seems to shine brighter and brighter with each role she portrays. With a clear passion for her craft and a tenacious spirit that guides her, Denise has embraced the variety and relishes the opportunities as a chance to grow and play. She innately understands that one’s work is more than just a series of career steps and her life is richer for it. In an exclusive interview, Denise shares a bit about her fun role in STAN AGAINST EVIL and what she has learned so far in her career.
What appealed to you about portraying Lara Bouchard and working on STAN AGAINST EVIL?
DENISE: When a casting director, of the talent and caliber of G. Charles offers you a role, you simply say, “Yes, please!” LOL! Combine that with awesome writing and my long-standing desire to add creating in the magical world of CGI and special effects to the resume… Deal!
How would you describe who Lara is and her place on the show?
DENISE: Lara’s a Boss! I fell in love with her strong, mysterious, invincible qualities and admired her vulnerabilities. That’s what true artists do. Dana Gould, generously layers his characters. It’s not about what you think you see on the surface, but rather the layers underneath.
What do you most admire most about Lara?
DENISE: My description of what “appealed to me most” about her, says it all. Thanks to a bountiful career and the opportunity to breathe life into an array of characters, I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to portray those that are more complex.
What was it like working alongside John McGinley and Janet Varney? Who did you get to work with the most?
DENISE: John was my main, partner in Stan crime. When awarded the opportunity to create alongside an artist as talented and revered as John C. McGinley (Mr. Platoon, Wall Street, Point Break, Nixon, Get Carter, Scrubs, the list goes on!) It’s Game-Time Baby! To say I was excited, would be quite the understatement. Janet Varney is the queen of deadpan. Proof that less, certainly is more… More hilarious!
Any favorite scenes that you can share from working on STAN AGAINST EVIL?
DENISE: Episode 7, the Mirror Mirror episode, as a whole, is my favorite. It goes beyond the Lara surface and provides a glimpse into what makes this character “tick.” Favorite on-set moment? After a scene in which my character goes into hysterics, a concerned Mr. Gould, met me on the porch to ask “Are you alright?” So kind, so unexpected, my respect for this “gem” of a person, soared even higher!
What has been your favorite part about working on STAN AGAINST EVIL as a whole?
DENISE: STAN AGAINST EVIL marked yet another, career milestone. First time I’d joined the well-oiled machinery, Season 2 of a very talented cast and crew. You’re jumping onto a moving train here folks! That said, you’ve got to be ready to “play ball” and have some fun. Thanks to the warm reception received from all sides, I was enabled to do just that.
Then, as an actor, what has been the one thing you haven taken away from the experience of working on STAN AGAINST EVIL?
DENISE: Just another reminder that what may look like a setback, is oftentimes a blessing in disguise. At the time that STAN came along, the plug was unexpectedly pulled on another series I’d been promoting for months. Everything does indeed, happen for a reason.
What would you say you gained from jumping from your role on “Meet The Browns” into working on nearly a dozen film projects right after?
DENISE: Diversification is key… In addition to producing my own Film and Television concepts, I’m in the thick of creating a Culinary Empire: from Weeziana Girl Seasoning Blends, to cookbooks “Southern Modified” up first, to heat-&-eat meals and desserts… I’m just getting started folks!
What kinds of challenges have you experienced in your career that you have faced and conquered?
DENISE: As with many careers, especially the Arts, it’s either a time of feast or famine. It’s during the times, that appear to be those of “famine” that you often reconnect with your truth, values, purpose… You know, the things that really matter.
What has surprised you most about your career so far?
DENISE: How resilient and strong I really am. Always suspected it. I now have proof.
Then what are the perks of where you are in your career right now?
DENISE: That my experience, choices and standards have earned me a voice, that people are inspired by and listen to.
Do you find any of you character’s habits manifesting in your own life? Like what?
DENISE: Hmmm… How about I provide a habit, I’d like to see manifest in more of the characters I portray? That said, I wanna KICK SOME ASS… Like Angelina Jolie, Jane Smith in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” style!!! I’m not toting these biceps around, just for the fun of it people! I’d like to get more physical and know there’s an action role with my name all over it.
Has there been any great advice you have gotten about working as an actor?
DENISE: Specific to acting… When the script does what it’s supposed to, our job is to show up prepared, open, avoid judgment of the character and connect truthfully to our circumstances and surroundings. Don’t overcomplicate. Keep it simple.
What advice would you offer to other upcoming and aspiring actors?
DENISE: To familiarize yourself with the BUSINESS of acting and surround yourself with a trustworthy team. The creative element is one slice of an even larger pie. Diversify, persevere and stay the course. YOUR course.
Are you actively involved with any charities. Which charity do you work with most? And which would like to see your fans become more involved with and support?
DENISE: I thoroughly enjoy speaking with youth and giving back to the Louisiana folks, who gave so much to me. Thanks to my dear, family friend, Jonas Vanderbilt, I had the pleasure of addressing the students of Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA. I’m a huge proponent of individuals conducting themselves in a professional manner, no matter the business. Another crucial component: surrounding yourself with a trustworthy team/village that truthfully tells you, not necessarily what you want, but rather need to hear.
At a time when women’s voices are rising to be heard and respected around the country and world, what do you recommend your fans do to lend support in that endeavor?
DENISE: Diversify, persevere with conviction and stay the course…. YOUR course!
Do you have any other upcoming projects that you can share that fans should keep an eye out for?
DENISE: Sky’s the limit! In addition to the previously mentioned blessings, I’ve been invited to do voiceover work on multiple characters, for a DC Comics series. I’ve been sworn to secrecy, and therefore, can’t reveal the name of the series or characters. Let’s just say it’s a fan favorite and will be worth the wait 😉
To see what crazy adventures Lara faces in STAN AGAINST EVIL, be sure to tune in for the special 2-episode Season 2 finale on Wednesday, November 22nd at 9:00 p.m. on IFC. Then to keep up with Denise’s career and her further adventures, be sure to follow her on social media at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. She is sure to surprise us and delight us!
STAN AGAINST EVIL Season 2 promo: