Torrey DeVitto on Activism, Family and ‘Chicago Med’
Torrey DeVitto is well known for her beloved characters on some of television’s most popular shows, including her current role as Dr. Natalie Manning in the NBC primetime drama “Chicago Med.” What you might not be aware of is that she wasn’t always on the course to become an in-demand force in acting; there was once a time when DeVitto might have taken a completely different career path. While her characters’ backstories may be incredibly compelling, DeVitto’s real life is equally filled with heartwarming anecdotes, a passion for others, and a love for music and activism. Torrey DeVitto counts her supportive family — from her parents to her sisters, as well as her boyfriend — as being a source of comfort and joy in a job where rejection is prevalent. Having such a diverse and incredible support system has helped her through some heavy and wonderful experiences as an actress and woman.
We chatted with the New York native about her upbringing, passion for animal rights activism, “Chicago Med,” and her countless avenues of inspiration.
What inspired you to become an actress?
Well, I grew up playing violin my whole life, so performing and entertaining was something I always loved to do. I think I was six or seven when I went to see “Les Miserable” and was completely obsessed with the character, Eponine. My mom even made me the costume and I would perform for everyone, so I think that’s what really planted the seed. When I was about 15, I got into modeling and a photographer told my mom I was a little shy in front of the camera and taking an acting class could be beneficial to me. So, my mom enrolled me in an acting class, and I thought, “Screw modeling, this is what I want to do.” I never really got into the whole modeling thing, and it didn’t last very long. I just knew after taking the acting class that I loved acting so much more. It was happenstance as opposed to something I grew into.
Is your family supportive of your career?
I’ve always been extremely lucky on that front. My father [Liberty DeVitto] is a musician, a drummer, and my mother [Mary Torrey-DeVitto] has always been into the arts. She loves to paint. She also played piano and taught some ballet when she was younger. My parents were huge advocates in my violin and in acting, totally supported me. Even when I decided to finish school early so I could move to LA, they’ve always supported me.
What made you pursue acting instead of concentrating on furthering your career as a violinist?
I don’t really know. That was kind of a natural progression as well. I love playing violin, but prefer being a soloist. I didn’t love being in an orchestra, and I didn’t really write music for the violin, so I wasn’t really sure where to go from there. When I got into acting, I took my violin with me in the back of my mind, hoping that at some point, I might be able to blend the two. And I hoped to make friends that would want violin on their albums. It was hard to think that something you worked so hard at since the age of six was falling to the wayside. That started happening when I move to LA.
When looking for your next job, do you keep an eye out for certain roles?
It’s interesting, when I’m asked this I realize people don’t know that unless you’re like Meryl Streep or someone of that caliber, you don’t really choose your roles. You just audition for everything thrown at you, and it’s luck when you land a role. When I went out for my role on “Chicago Med,” I knew I wanted it badly. But, I knew there were other women who wanted it just as badly. I feel very fortunate that I did get the job. You get rejected a lot in this industry, but just have to keep pushing through.
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