Over the past 10 years, actress Mara Hall has been both working consistently and ﬂying under the radar.
The Detroit native has worked on a number of independent projects as well as having choice roles on such popular shows as Saints & Sinners, Scandal, and Grey’s Anatomy among others. Her latest role is as Darcia Lancaster on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s hit nighttime drama, Ambitions.
N’DIGO recently caught up with the multi-faceted actress to talk about her career beginnings, her new role on Ambitions, and why diabetes awareness is so near and dear to her heart.
N’DIGO: In your own words, who is Mara Hall?
I am a bold, vivacious, intellectual, sensitive amazing woman and mommy to Marley Nicole.
What did you dream of being as a child?
I wanted to own beauty salons all around the world. I use to do nails in high school and was mesmerized by the beauty industry.
Did you always know you’d go into entertainment?
No, I didn’t have any aspirations to pursue entertainment until I was an adult.
Was there an “aha” moment when you knew for sure that you’d be able to do this professionally?
Yes, when I booked my first TV gig on Nickelodeon’s Victorious. It was then that I knew I had something special.
Tell us about your new role as Darcia Lancaster on OWN’s Ambitions.
Darcia is the ﬁrst cousin to Mayor Evan Lancaster Jr. and his older sister Rondell Lancaster. She is from Chicago and comes to Atlanta in the middle of a chaotic moment in her cousins’ lives.
How do you prepare for a role like this? Do you create a backstory for the character or do anything special as far as preparation goes?
Absolutely, in order to have a fully ﬂushed out character, preparing a backstory is key. I ﬁrst spoke to the creator of Ambitions Jamey Giddens and then the showrunner Kevin Arkadie to ask what part of Chicago Darcia was from to inform exactly who and what makes her tick. With the information that they gave, I was well equipped to create, mold and sculpt exactly who she will be.
With November being National Diabetes Awareness Month, please talk a little about your battle with Type 2 Diabetes.
I have been a Type 2 diabetic since 2002. I have had a diﬃcult time with the disease, but I am working everyday to stay consistent with my diet and exercise regiment. Unfortunately, my brother passed away from the disease many years ago. That is a constant reminder of what I need to do to stay healthy now more than ever so that I can be around for my daughter, Marley Nicole.
Tell us something most people would be surprised to know about you?
I play the sousaphone, and I play it well!
If you had to name a single book that changed or really impacted your life what would it be?
Roots! My favorite book ever! It reminds me of what my ancestors went through and still came out victorious in spite of devastating circumstances.
Best advice or words of wisdom for aspiring actors?
Study your craft. Walk, don’t run. Be patient. Be excellent at all times!
Favorite quote or aﬃrmation?
I’m a queen and I’m destined for greatness.
What’s next for Mara Hall?
To take over the world one laugh at a time!
(For more information on Mara, visit www.marahall.com and follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @mara_hall.)