Exclusive Interview: Underemployed’s Inbar Lavi Talks Raviva, Music, Inspiration and more

Underemployed (MTV) Inbar Lavi (6)

Underemployed, MTV’s latest drama series has become another compelling drama to watch on the channel. Over the last six episodes we have come to love every single characters, including the talented and beautiful Raviva.

TV Equals got a chance to catch up with Inbar Lavi, who plays Raviva in the series, and talk about what we can expect for the rest of the season, music, and her inspiration.

Underemployed airs on Tuesdays at 10pm on MTV.

Now that we’re five episodes into the show, what else can you tease about the rest of the season?

Inbar Lavi: Well, there’s a lot going on. There’s a lot going on with the baby and between her and Lou, with the relationship between the two. There’s a little bit of a love triangle coming up, and a lot of decision making. She’s going to have to make some choices, which will have a few consequences for everyone involved. I think the main thing to expect is her music career is about to take a turn. I think the audience will be very – I don’t know if surprised is the right word – with how things work out for her in that realm.

So, we’re definitely going to see her into the music a little more because she’s doing the mom thing for a bit now?

Inbar Lavi: Absolutely. It’s been a long time coming for her, and I think for Raviva to have to put her music on hold for motherhood has been a big reason for this,  I guess you can say, unsettling feeling that she has in her stomach. It’s getting ready to erupt. So it kind of all comes together.

You have a baby with you in almost every scene. What is it like, working with the baby on set?

Inbar Lavi: Well, first of all, it was wonderful. It was a lot of fun. I really felt like there wasn’t any pressure because there wasn’t another scene partner waiting for you to give your best performance. She was just kind of content and happy just being alive, and she really lightened everything up. Everyone had to be extra careful and quiet and peaceful around the baby, and I was always with the baby. So I got to enjoy that environment on set. I was never bored, because I always had someone to play with and kid around with and make faces at and make her laugh. It was just awesome.
At the same time, I will say this, it was a huge challenge because you never know what she’s going to do. She could just go into crying for a full scene and we have to get out of there, and we kind of had to wait for her to finish crying every time,  or vice versa, it’s a serious scene and she’s just start to giggle or climb over my hair like a monkey and mess up the wardrobe. But that’s part of the magic of working with kids. You never know what to expect.

What’s been the feedback from fans of the show?

Inbar Lavi: We’ve been really, really lucky. People seem to really enjoy the show and relate to a lot of the struggles that the characters go through, particularly with Raviva. I have been getting a lot of slack for how she deals with everything in the beginning, and she is very opinionated and is not afraid to speak up and say what’s on her mind. I think a lot of the audience didn’t necessarily understand that at first, especially the struggles of being a new mom and trying to learn how to deal with that, with the hormones and the baby and all of that stuff. So a lot of people criticized Raviva, but it’s all a part of the arc of the character and gradually, as the episodes go by, they get more and more of her and they see how each character progresses. It was all a part of the plan. So I’m really glad that it’s working and people are starting to warm up to her.

This is a new path on your journey as an actress. What were the differences between your expectations and the reality of what being an actress means?

Inbar Lavi: That’s a great question. I don’t necessarily think that I’ve accomplished enough to be able to answer that question fully because I haven’t seen the great scheme of things. I haven’t had a full, long career in the business, knowing exactly what it’s like, but from the little bit that I got to taste, I do think that it’s a lot more work than I thought. I was nervous a lot at work. I didn’t know how much. I got to experience, as we talked about a little bit, the criticism that comes with it. So I haven’t had that yet. I’ve done a lot of work, but I haven’t really had the exposure that the show has had. MTV is all over the world, and so we really do get to hear what people have to say from all over. It’s been a bit of a rough struggle to try and understand why people don’t like it, if they don’t  like it, and how to deal with the people who do like it when they like it. It’s a lot. There’s a lot going on. So I would say I was surprised by how much effort goes into work after you’re done shooting. That was the biggest surprise.

And you sing in the show, very beautifully. Is music also a passion of yours?

Inbar Lavi: I can’t say I’m not passionate about it, because I love listening to music and I love doing music for the show. I actually wrote one of the songs that Raviva performs later on. So that was amazing. That was exciting, but at the same time, I’ve never done that before. I’ve never sang professionally. I was a shower singer for a long time. I never played guitar before, and so it’s all rather new to me and exciting and wonderful. I can’t say that I would want to pursue singings, necessarily. I think it’s something that I enjoy a lot, but it’s more for the heart, kind of like a secret passion.

Who inspires you?

Inbar Lavi: A lot of people do. I think it’s very, very corny, but my dad inspires me a lot. He’s been through a lot in his life, and he’s always dealt with everything that life threw at him with such grace, and he’s so courteous to everyone around him. He really inspires to be better and try harder and be the best that I can be. In terms of actors, Marion Cotillard really. I love her so much. Natalie Portman is wonderful. Cate Blanchett. Kate Winslet. Meryl Streep, of course. All the big ones.

Can you talk about some of the other projects you have coming up? I saw that you have a movie called ‘House of Dust’ coming up?

Inbar Lavi: Yes. That’s a horror film I shot in Connecticut last summer, and I play the lead. It was my first lead in a movie, and I play a college student who deals with schizophrenia and it’s very creepy and eerie and everything a horror film should be. I also have, this month, ‘CSI,’ and I play a prostitute. It’s very different from anything I’ve ever played before. The wardrobe is something to look forward to, and I think that all of my male fans from ‘Underemployed’ would be very upset if they miss that episode. So, tune in. It’s coming out November 28th (see photo below).

CSI Season 13 Episode 9 Strip Maul (1)

If you could guest star on any other show, which would one it be?

Inbar Lavi: ‘Breaking Bad.’

No hesitation at all.

Inbar Lavi: I know the answer to that, blindfolded, ears shut,  yeah. In the middle of the night, if you were to ask me that, waking up, I would’ve said that answer, because I don’t really watch TV. That’s the only show that I do watch, and I would love to be on there. It would be awesome.

Unfortunately it’s ending.

Inbar Lavi: I know. I missed that meth train. That meth train is just walking away from me. Maybe I’ll catch the next one.