You just found out that your husband is having an affair. Revenge isn’t enough. You want to crush him and his mistress completely. But you can’t get your hands dirty. What do you do?
You call Hannah, the mistress hunter.
“I’ll be completely honest with you, the first thing I did when I got the role was I went to the Internet and I typed in ‘mistress hunter,'” Lydia Look told Entertaining Options.
Lydia is the award-winning actress who plays Hannah in Lifetime Movies’ latest thriller, Mistress Hunter, an absorbing story filled with strong women and jaw-dropping twists that premieres Friday, March 16 at 8/7c. It’s guilty pleasure gold! Lifetime at its best. Easily worthy of a continuing series pairing the two dynamic leads, Lydia and Lauralee Bell (The Young and the Restless), who plays Jackie, the distraught wife and mother.
“A lot of what I found online came from China and other countries in Asia,” Lydia relayed. “In emerging countries that have progressed really quickly over the last couple of years and grown really wealthy, they have people who do this for a living!”
Besides the intriguing subject matter, what makes this film so devilishly fun to watch is the beautifully on point acting.
“A shoot can go really bad if your lead actor is not happy,” Lydia noted, “but Lauralee Bell was just a dream to work with. She is a fantastic actress and she led by example. She was so great, and so was everyone else in the shoot. The director, Penelope Buitenhuis, really knew what she wanted and she had a firm hand on what we did. Plus, we had a good number of women on the shoot, and that was really nice because there was this kind of sisterhood thing going on.”
Lydia’s character, Hannah, is unsettlingly confident and shrewd, and there’s an air of danger surrounding her. She’s not someone you would want to mess with. Ever! That being said, Look offsets the tension with choice moments of understated humor, giving Hannah a wonderful depth and gifting the film with some of its most memorable scenes.
“I was playing a ‘mistress hunter,’ and I really felt if I didn’t laugh at myself in some way, Hannah wouldn’t play truthfully,” Lydia revealed. “I took the license to do that and made the decision myself.”
The chemistry between Lydia and Lauralee is magical. Think of your favorite buddy movie where circumstance takes two individuals with contrasting personalities and tosses them into a dire situation. That’s Look and Bell. With such an enticing on-screen crackle, you might think the story behind casting the role of Hannah was as gripping as the movie.
“I wish I had a really great story to tell you… but I don’t,” Lydia laughed. “I just went to the audition like every other actress.”
However, Look admitted, she only received the sides a short time before the audition and was considering not even going out for the part.
“It was a lot of material, and I wasn’t sure I could learn it because I had a prior commitment,” she recalled. But being the driven person she is, after honoring her obligations — which kept her out rather late — Lydia got up at dawn to prepare for the challenge.
“At the audition, I saw a friendly face, a girl I go to MasterClass with. She is a really good actress. I respect her. Seeing her there made me realize there were a lot of really great people who came to the audition. What was nice was she is the total opposite of me — she is blonde with blue eyes — and she was going out for the same role. That was a positive thing because then I knew they weren’t auditioning me just because I was a specific race. I really like it when they’re seeing everybody because it’s like going to the ice cream parlor and deciding which flavor you really want.”
When Lydia auditioned, Penelope (the director) was also in the room. She gave Look “a couple of smart lady notes” that the actress really appreciated. Then, Lydia did the scene and left.
“That’s it. That’s my exciting audition story,” she laughed.
Lydia has received 6 “Best Actress” awards. She is a member of WGA, SAG, AEA, and AFTRA. She speaks five languages, including Mandarin and Cantonese, and is a go-to person for voice-over and ADR work. She is also an accomplished writer who penned one of Disney Channel’s highest grossing films, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior. The film remains a personal highpoint of her extensive career.
“She is an Asian girl who is just trying to decide what to wear to her prom,” Lydia explained. “A week before, a vision came to her revealing that she’s really a kung fu kicking princess warrior. But all she wants to be is a normal prom girl. I am proud of this because after it aired, there were a lot of little Asian girls writing me saying, ‘We’ve always wanted an Asian superhero, but we never really had anyone to look up to.'”
Coming up, Lydia will be working on a film in Asia with her husband, Jen Sung (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Kong: Skull Island, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End). The last movie the pair worked on together was an action junkie’s apocalyptic nirvana called Battle of the Damned. The 2013 zombies-verses-killer-robots flick starred Dolph Lundgren.
“I’ve been in Asia for the past three months and the whole woman thing over there is big,” Lydia commented. “There’s this huge awakening. When you read about it on the Internet, it’s not the same as being there and seeing it. When I’m on the other side of the earth, I’m telling you, the spillover is massive. It’s given women there the impetus to really stand up and do something. In a way, it’s in the same vein as the character I play in Mistress Hunter… And that’s the way we bring it back home to the new movie!” Lydia concluded, laughing.
Mistress Hunter premieres Friday, March 16 at 8/7c on Lifetime Movies.
Special note: This August, you can hear Lydia’s incredible voice work in Jon Turteltaub’s summer blockbuster, The Meg, starring Ruby Rose, Jason Statham, and Rainn Wilson. The prehistoric shark film is based on Steve Alten‘s best-selling novel, MEG.