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Nashville Series: Interview with Ivy Rhodes

Picture: Jasmine Archie
How long have you lived in Nashville?
My entire life (22 years). I was born in Nashville and lived in Nashville a lot of my younger years. We lived in a historic home near downtown when I was really young, and we would give tours of our home.

Why did you want to be an actress and model?
Modeling has always been something I enjoy doing because I like creative photography…photography that kind of tells a story or has a theme and is interesting. And a lot of my friends are photographers so modeling just naturally happened. One of the main reasons I love acting is because it is storytelling. I don’t think anything touches me more than a really incredible story. And the best way I have seen stories portrayed is in movies and plays. I just love that art—to be able to sit there and hear a story and leave the theatre with an epiphany taking place. [Performing] was always something I wanted to do. Now I know it’s more specific to film and TV, but before it was just performing in general. I chose acting because I wanted to live a hundred different lives.
How long have you done acting and modeling?
I have always wanted to do acting, but I really decided to get serious about it when I was twelve years old. I told my mom I wanted an agent then I went and booked the show Mother Goose Club. I have always acted but I have been paid to act since I was about ten years old. Modeling is fairly new because it took a minute to grow into myself and figure out that modeling was even an option… so I would say three or four years I have been modeling.

You just graduated from the University of Tennessee. What will you miss most about college?
Well, I graduated in three-and-a-half years (Ivy majored in Communications and had an art minor for a while) which has left me missing my friends. All of my friends are still there and I’m kind of out “adulting” and that’s been great. But I miss the atmosphere of having a lot of people in my age group around me and I miss the social functions like UT games. The games are obviously incredible because it’s like win or lose, we are still having a great time. (Ivy’s acting career funded her college education). During the summer, I would go back to Nashville and we would film for Mother Goose Club for two months. And those two months of rehearsals and filming would pay for my tuition, so I never had to take out any loans.
What is your plan going forward?
After spending my summer in Los Angeles, I know that I want to end up there. Right now I am doing some odd jobs but I am about to meet with my agent and we are going to lay out what my next steps are. I know Atlanta is going to have to be a stepping stone to LA, so I will be going there first. I am going to spend the next four or five months in Nashville and make a plan. It is going to be a strategic plan. I’m not just going to go somewhere with a dream; I’m going to go with a dream and a plan.
Picture: Jasmine Archie
How does Nashville compare to other cities you’ve been to/lived in?
It is my favorite city. It’s funny actually, because Nashville has a lot of different things that appeal to people we don’t think about. When I was in LA, I would be talking to people about Nashville and I was like “I want to live here in LA! I want to move to LA!” but everybody in LA wants to move to Nashville and would always ask me about Nashville!

Favorite aspect about Nashville?
Oh gosh. I always say this when I explain Nashville to people from other places: People are nice here, not because people deserve it, but because that is just how people around here are brought up. It is a community. People here [in Nashville] are ambitious, but it is a quiet ambition. There are some passionate, creative people. People help each other out.

Where do you like to eat in Nashville?
Pinewood Social (which is where Ivy and I met for lunch to conduct this interview). AVO, which is a vegan place. Wild Cow, which is vegan and vegetarian. Local Taco (Ivy and I both share a love for this restaurant). Wild Ginger, which is a sushi place. I will also eat at places where my friends are performing… so like The Sutler Saloon and The Bluebird Café.

If you could have lunch with any living person, who would you choose and why?
I have two answers. There is a girl I follow on Instagram named Tessa (@tezzamb) and I am so inspired by the life that she lives. She does music, she’s into style, she’s creative. She is the first person I have seen where I am like “this person has taken all of these aspects of her life that she loves, and created a lifestyle out of it.” I have talked to her over DM but I have never met her. Then also, I am kind of cheating with this answer, but I really want to do one of those roundtable interviews with influential actors and actresses. I would just want to be in the room. I wouldn’t even want to ask questions because I would probably be too nervous. (You can watch these interviews called Close Up with the Hollywood Reporter on YouTube at The Hollywood Reporter’s channel… Steven Galloway is the man hosting the interviews.) I would just want to hear their wisdom about the business.
Picture: Jasmine Archie
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