In Season 2 of the ABC anthology series "American Crime," Lili Taylor plays Anne Blaine, a struggling single mother who is horrified when she learns her son Taylor (Connor Jessup) has been raped during a drunken party by members of his private school's elite basketball team. In trying to help her son, and see that justice is done, Anne is soon caught between the school's manipulative headmistress (Felicity Huffman), who is trying to protect the school's reputation, and her teenage son, who is resentful of the unwanted attention his mother's actions are bringing him.
Taylor, whose work includes films ("Dogfight," "The Conjuring") and TV ("Six Feet Under") called her involvement with the John Ridley-created drama the highlight of her career when she stopped by The Envelope's video studio at The Times. The role was so intense, she said, that she had to come up with her own rituals to leave the character behind each night.
"I had a wig and that helped. I started to feel really … my heart was just hurting too much and I needed to do something. So I would do a little something with the wig," she said. She would leave the wig behind each night, sort of saying, "You stay here and I'm going back to my life for a while. But that only worked so well, so I started doing karaoke and I started swimming."
See what else Taylor had to say about Ridley ("He's so smart"), her most challenging scene in the series, and why her scenes with Regina King scared her more than scenes with Felicity Huffman in the video below.