O’Fallon actress Meadow Nguy gets to stretch her dramatic chops in an episode of “Madam Secretary” on Sunday night.
The CBS drama series airs at 9 p.m. CST., but is sometimes delayed because of football games), and is in its fifth season.
In this episode, called “Baby Steps,” Nguy is listed in the credits as Ailani Lo, a surrogate carrying the Vice President Teresa Hurst’s future grandchild. She is arrested in Laos for human trafficking, and Hurst asks for the Secretary of State’s help. The star of the show, Tea Leoni, plays the title character, Elizabeth McCord.
Nguy, 23, who currently lives in Brooklyn, made her crime-drama debut on an episode of “The Blacklist” in January, called “The Informant.” Although uncredited, had three lines and was poisoned. It was a day-shoot in New York City. This part, also filmed in NYC, is more substantial.
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“It’s more dramatic than anything I have done. We shot for three days, and I am in several scenes. I was hired a week before we shot the script, so I had time to learn my lines. My part has a lot of non-verbal acting, so it was interesting to see how it fit into the whole storyline,” she said.
She has been auditioning for many roles through her agency, TKO Krasny, in New York. She recently signed with them for a second year and has three agents working in different genres. She has built up experience in music theater over the years since her performance days in the metropolitan St. Louis area, but wants to branch out into other mediums, she said.
“I love musical theater but I want to be ready for TV and film too. They sent me on tons and tons of film/TV auditions, and I was super-excited to get this opportunity at the end of September,” she said.
“I am really blessed to have these opportunities coming so early in my career,” she told the BND.
The experience was very positive.
“I didn’t work with Tea Leoni, but everyone I did work with was so professional. The crew and production team were amazing. I was really impressed by the team that runs the show. They’ve been doing this for awhile and they are as sharp as a needle,” she said.
“Everyone was super-respectful. I loved working with the director. He was very one-on-one,” she said. “We spent some time in handcuffs, which can be uncomfortable, but they were always making sure were OK. They were very sweet,” she said.
She also had to wear a fake pregnancy belly.
“That was quite a new experience,” she said, chuckling.
She doesn’t have any projects currently on the horizon. An independent film, “The Artist’s Wife,” that she appeared in as an art student of Bruce Dern’s, was shot earlier this year and is in pre-production.
“I can’t wait to see the finished product. The experience was so amazing. Bruce Dern is older now, and he was so fun to be on set with – he was always telling us little tidbits, acting advice and life advice,” she said.
When she’s not auditioning or performing, she works a day job as a receptionist for a physical therapy office.
Prior to her TV series roles, she was an extra on Showtime’s “Billions.”
“I’m happy for the opportunities in any medium. Acting is acting,” she said.
She got her start at OTHS, Indiana University
A 2013 graduate of O’Fallon Township High School, she earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in musical theater from Indiana University in May 2017. She spent that summer playing Consuela in a professional production of “West Side Story,” and in a world premiere musical “Joe Schmoe Saves the World,” at her alma mater.
She moved to New York that fall and she made her off-Broadway debut in a children’s musical called “Interstellar Cinderella.” She played the title character, and it ran from Nov. 18 to Dec. 17, 2017, at The Beckett Theatre, produced by the New York Children’s Theatre.
While a junior in high school, Nguy won the Illinois High School Musical Theatre Award and competed at the nationals in New York City, which are known as the Jimmy Awards. She was featured in the 2012 PBS documentary, “Broadway or Bust.”
Her senior year, she received a scholarship as a semi-finalist in the Fox Performing Arts Foundation’s Teen Talent Showcase in 2013.
She performed professional theater in St. Louis, as Martha in the musical “Spring Awakening” in 2012 and as the female lead in the original musical “Spellbound” in 2015, both at Stray Dog Theatre.
She won the Junior Idol contest, senior division, sponsored by the Belleville Chamber of Commerce, in 2011.
Her parents, Au and Alicia Nguy, have lived in O’Fallon for 17 years. She has two sisters, Willow and Symphony.
She will be coming home for the Thanksgiving holiday.
“I am very grateful that I get to be with my family. Then it’s back to the grind of auditioning,” she said.