The moment Tiffany Boone landed the part of young Mia on Little Fires Everywhere, the Hulu hit adapted from Celeste Ng’s best-seller, she started preparing. The actress, who makes her debut on the Wednesday, April 8, episode, opens up exclusively about becoming the younger version of Kerry Washington‘s character in the latest issue of Us Weekly.
“I watched Kerry on set. I’d watch a scene and take notes — about her hand movements, her reactions, the way she’d listen or the way her eyes would move,” the Hunters star, 33, says. “I’d go home, lock myself in my office for an hour or two every night and go through the episode, every night, every line. Then I’d try to implement the new things I learned that day. It was quite a process.”
For Boone, however, it was so worth it.
“I wanted to make sure I was living up to the incredible work Kerry and Reese Witherspoon were doing,” she shares. “It’s one of the most time-consuming jobs I’ve ever done. I wanted to put so much into it because I felt like it deserved that amount of attention.”
When she first landed the part, she had a very long conversation with Washington, 43, who she refers to as a “legend” in the industry.
“She gave me so much freedom to go in the direction that I felt. She was like, ‘We are creating this together.’ She was like, ‘If you need anything from me, I’m here,'” Boone says. “When I came to set, I almost wanted to be like a ghost, as far as Kerry was concerned, because I wanted her to obviously focus on the work she was doing. She’s so busy! She’s a mom and she has this production company that’s running the show, she just has so much going on. I really wanted to be really respectful of her process.”
The former Following star also notes that when people on set asked her how she was so perfectly emulating Washington’s motions, she couldn’t really explain it: “It literally felt like I wasn’t thinking like myself. I had researched it to the point that I didn’t have to think about the choices I was making, I feel like she had made such clear choices.”
Little Fires Everywhere is streaming on Hulu.
For more from Boone, pick up Us Weekly, on newsstands now, and listen to her full interview on the “Watch With Us” podcast.
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