Paz de la Huerta — the bad girl you can’t help but love from HBO’s hit Boardwalk Empire — doesn’t quite match. Her sing-song, Spanish tinged voice isn’t what you expect to hear when the plump-lipped, raven haired actress speaks.
Don’t let the wild-child, bad-girl image the media has cultivated fool you. Yes, de la Huerta is known to appear nude in a number of her roles, and yes she’s had tongue-wagging romances (Scott Weiland, Orlando Bloom are just a few of her famous ex-paramours) but they don’t quite match her accomplished artistic career that began when she was just a teenager. Despite her red carpet antics (wardrobe malfunctions) and being arrested last spring for trading words and blows with a reality starlet, de la Huerta’s many lives are much more compelling.
María de la Paz Elizabeth Sofía Adriana de la Huerta was born and raised in downtown New York City’s Soho neighborhood in the 1980’s, the youngest daughter of a Spanish Duke and an American non-profit worker. Like most Latinas, she went to a good Catholic high school, St. Ann’s in Brooklyn and studied acting at the SoHo Children’s Acting Studio.
If you know indie-arts counterculture, than de la Huerta is a familiar face. Her portrait has appeared at the Modern Museum of Art; she’s been muse and model for her high school BFF/fashion designer Zac Posen; she’s strutted down international catwalks; and acted in 20 features and dozens of indie films (some she’s written and others she’s directed). From literary adaptations (A Walk to Remember and Cider House Rules) to indie Sundance favorites (Enter the Void, The Limits of Control) Paz’s presence is impossible to ignore.