Alumni Spotlight: Wynn Everett, Actress
Wynn Everett is a Georgia native who graduated from Auburn University in 2000, with a major in communication and a minor in Theatre. After graduation, she took her degree to New York City where she worked for five years at ABC’s “Good Morning America,” while also auditioning for acting roles and working in theatre. Throughout the years, she has been cast in multiple television series (including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House of Lies,” “Mind Games,” “The Newsroom,”) and films (such as “Charlie Wilson’s War,” and “The Maiden Heist”). Everertt is starring as the villainous Whitney Frost/Madame Masque for ABC’s second season of “Agent Carter,” – a series set in 1946 Hollywood and part of the Marvel Universe.
Everett lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters. She says she has never forgotten her roots, and is still in love with all things Auburn.
Q: Would you please tell us about yourself, and how you decided to attend Auburn University and what did you love most?
A: I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. During my sophomore year of high school, my family moved an hour north to Cumming, Georgia where my parents still live. After four memorable years at Auburn I moved to New York City and lived on 92nd and Broadway with two other Auburn graduates. We were there during September 11th, during the blackout; years that were both challenging and incredible. Living in New York, working for “Good Morning America” (4 a.m. -10 a.m. everyday) and then pursuing theatre in the afternoons created some of my greatest memories. Now my husband, Michael Albanese, and our two daughters live in Los Angeles in a little area outside of Hollywood. We love it because it feels like a small town inside a big city.
As for attending Auburn, I toured many universities but fell in love with Auburn. I decided it was the place for me after visiting one fall weekend with my best friend. We were still in high school, I remember it being a game weekend and I had never seen anything like it. We stayed with my best friend’s sister in her dorm room and I remember staring at the ceiling while falling asleep, completely enthralled with this magical place known as “the Plains”. I love the incredible friendships I made during those four years. I love the wide-open spaces, the friendliness, and the food! I miss fall weekends, the changing leaves and the simplicity of Auburn, which makes me miss the South.
Q: What has your career path been since graduation?
A: Working for “Good Morning America” was an experience I can never put into words. Presidents, authors, writers, every musician imaginable came through those doors. I loved my job and was inspired again to pursue a creative life. I began auditioning every morning after getting off from GMA. Standing in long lines daily, delirious from being up since 3:00 a.m. and all the rejection that comes from this work, but loving what small roles I was booking. Theatre productions in the east and west village, readings of new and old playwrights, I did anything and everything I could do to get experience.
Years pounding the pavement led me to one fortuitous day when I met my agent, who is still my agent today. She is amazing and took me under her wing. I began booking more TV/film in New York and we soon moved to Los Angeles. “The Newsroom” for HBO has been one of my favorite jobs, taking me through both of my pregnancies. I have some of my best friends from that show. Last year my work took our family to New Zealand for a month where I filmed a pilot for Steven Spielberg’s company Amblin Entertainment. Watching my two little girls playing on the New Zealand beaches overwhelmed me with joy and gratitude amidst the uncertainty and unpredictability of this career.
Q: Do you think a liberal arts education helped prepare you for success? If so, how?
A: My liberal arts education prepared me for the most important thing: a balanced life. First through my parents and then through my Auburn family I was taught family, relationships, faith, compassion and love – these are the measures of success. This and starting off on the bottom rung of the proverbial acting ladder provided me the opportunity to experience hard work and building something from nothing.
Auburn taught me that relationships always surpass career. I love that my daughters see me pursuing a creative life and working hard but they also know I am at my happiest when I am with them and creating a home.
Q: What has it been like playing a villain in a Marvel series?
A: My experience on “Agent Carter” has been a dream and playing the role of Whitney Frost was an inspiring challenge. It was my second time to dive into the world of visual effects and working in the Marvel universe is exploring the plight of good vs. evil at its finest. These characters are complex, flawed, vulnerable and believes intensely (even the antagonist) that they are working toward a common good. It is a human experience set in a superhuman world. That is an exciting place in which to play.
Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for students who may be interested in pursuing a career similar to yours?
A: Be insanely patient with yourself and the process. The business today can be confusing, measuring success in numbers: opening box office grosses, how many followers you have, how many “likes” in your social media presence, etc. None of that will bring you joy. Find your fulfillment in the act of creativity, connecting through story and the relationships that come from it. And even when you’re not getting paid for it, keep creating. I hope I’m still creating at 85. Probably just poetry or flowers for my girls but in that creating will be the joy.
An author I love (Emily P. Freeman) says something which I think applies to anyone interested in this career. She says to focus on “deep roots, strong ties and slow art.” Having deep roots in the South, strong ties to my family and friends and trusting that art takes time has helped me enjoy the journey. These components, I believe for most artists, lead to a very fulfilling life. That and an occasional lemonade from Toomer’s Corner.
You can follow Wynn’s career and support upcoming projects here
And more information about “Agent Carter” can be found here.
Last Updated: August 10, 2016