Age & Hometown: 30; Morecambe, England
Current Role: A captivating Broadway debut in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder as Sibella Hallward, a flirty and frivolous tease who becomes entangled in a love triangle with social-climbing murderer Monty Navarro and his clueless fiancée.
Enough About You: Audiences are eating up Lisa O’Hare’s performance as a self-centered beauty who is so bored with her rich husband that she has an affair with her ex-beau. “Sibella is the ultimate narcissist,” O’Hare says of her status-seeking character, adding that she had to locate her own vanity in order to play the part. “She’s all of the things that you don’t want to admit about yourself: She’s naughty, flighty, unpredictable and calculating. I like to think I’m not a narcissist, but truth be told, we all have those sides to our character. It was hard at first to be honest enough to draw on that part of myself, but now I’m having fun with it. Too much fun, actually.”
No Plan B: O’Hare headed to London at age 11 to study at the prestigious Royal Ballet School. “I had to grow up quickly,” she says of being apart from her family. "I lived and breathed dancing. It was my everything." After five years of hard training, O’Hare decided that "being in the corps de ballet wasn't going to be fulfilling enough" and made the leap to Millennium drama school. “I’ve always known that performing is what I want to do,” she says. “There was never a defining moment. I just came out that way.” She landed her first professional gig in Copacabana in Denmark. Did she have yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there? “Yes, the whole thing.” O’Hare laughs. “I was a show girl. I was 18, and it was just the most fun ever.”
Two Milestones: After playing a trifecta of dream roles (Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady on tour, the title role in Mary Poppins on tour and in the West End and Cabaret’s Sally Bowles in L.A.), O’Hare is happy to settle into an East Village apartment with her husband of four years, sound engineer Brian Shoemaker, and cross off one her top bucket-list items: originating a role. “I spent four years in Los Angeles waiting for the right project. This is it,” O’Hare says of the show that brought her to New York City. "I'm absolutely over the moon, not just to be on Broadway, but to be doing this show. I am so proud of it.” The actress marked a milestone birthday five days before the opening night of Gentleman’s Guide. “To celebrate my 30th birthday and to have opened on Broadway in the same week is pretty exceptional,” she says. “I’m like, ‘What’s next week going to hold?‘”