Some may know her as Rachel Brooks from FX's Peabody Award-winning drama series, ‘Justified’, however I know her as Erica Tazel, a southern belle from Dallas, Texas. Splash Magazines had the opportunity to interview Erica Tazel and get up close and personal about her life on and off camera.
Sargent: So I hear you’re from Dallas, Texas, I’m from Houston!
Tazel: Oh really?! How exciting!
Sargent: I always get a sense of home and get excited when I meet someone from Texas! So tell me, being from Texas, what made you come to Los Angeles and what was your turning point?
Tazel: Well I was in New York City from 1997-2004 and studying at New York University. I was in my comfort zone mainly because New York Theatre embraced me. The main thing for me was to keep myself grounded, plus opportunities were more in LA. Since the move it’s been good. 2003 or 2004 was when I really embraced LA, but comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges.
Sargent: Change is always good, so I’d say your move to LA has definitely paid out and proven to be a wise decision. When you decided to move out here, did you have anything lined up or any possible leads?
Tazel: Well 2003 was a good work year, so I had some savings. I didn’t have any set plans but I was also in a bi-coastal agency which made it a littlee easier to move. The thing that I kept telling myself is that I could always go back home either back to Dallas or NYC. The thing I loved about LA is the design of the city; it’s more of what we grew up on.
Sargent: I agree! How has your journey been since your move from NYC to LA?
Tazel: Well it was definitely out of my comfort zone. For example I have a lot of training in thatre. The only difference is learning how to act on camera instead of in front of an audience. Since I’ve been here I’ve had interesting recurring roles and great guest leads and would go to castings like every other aspiring actor or actress would. If you don’t land the gig at least you may have one more fan. I remember when I was at a fork in the road and debating on staying in LA or leaving. That very next day I got an audition for ‘Justified’. It sort of gave me the confirmation I needed to stay in LA.
Sargent: That’s some confirmation indeed as FX has announced that 'Justified' is getting picked up for its fourth season! Congrats by the way!
Tazel: Thank you, it has been great!
Sargent: So lets talk about Justified for a bit. Would you say you are similar to your character Rachel Brooks, does your personality help mold your character?
Tazel: A little, but I’d say I’m not as serious as she is. Rachel has a lot to prove on the job, so as time passes maybe she will loosen up a bit. Rachel is more black and white while I’m ‘Bohemian’. Eventhough she is from Tennessee, she is more city and I’m a little more country.
Sargent: So theatre or on camera? What do you prefer after being out here in LA for quite some time?
Tazel: Well, ‘Justified’ is only 13 episodes per season. So a big chunk of the year, I’m free. In an ideal world I’d do the show and then do a play. I’ve been away from the stage since 2007 or 2008 so I’m sort of chomping at the idea of doing a play.
Sargent: That’d be great! Especially since you do have a big chunk of free time at the moment to perhaps juggle the two, it’d be a good medium!
Tazel: Yes, it would
Sargent: It was such a pleasure speaking with you briefly! Thank you for taking out the time to chat with me about your life on and off camera. I’m looking forward to seeing you in the FX hit television show ‘Justified’.
Tazel: Thanks Meagan, it was a pleasure!
In the show, Erica portrays 'Rachel Brooks' the no-nonsense and fearless U.S. Marshall, so be sure to check out, 'Justified', which aires at 10 PM ET/PT on FX!