'The Midnight Sky' Star Tiffany Boone Reflects on Her Breakout Year (Exclusive)
By Stacy Lambe
Not many performers have had a breakout year like Tiffany Boone, who followed her departure from The Chi on Showtime with coveted supporting roles as a younger version of Kerry Washington’s character on Little Fires Everywhere, a forgery specialist on the Jordan Peele-produced alternate history series Hunters, and an astronaut in George Clooney’s ambitious film The Midnight Sky.
And that’s just 2020, with next year promising to be even bigger thanks to Nine Perfect Strangers, the anticipated Hulu miniseries led by Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy. Speaking to ET by Zoom from Australia, where she was filming at the time, the 33-year-old actress says, “It’s strange to have so many things come out all in a row.”
Starring Al Pacino, Jerrika Hinton, and Logan Lerman, Hunters was the biggest departure for Boone so far this year. Playing Roxy Jones in the grindhouse series about killing Nazis is unlike anything audiences have seen from her before. While renewed for a second season, production on the Amazon Prime series has been delayed due to the pandemic. “We’ve had to retool a little bit with everything that's happened with COVID-19,” Boone shares.
“But we did talk about deepening the story for Roxy,” the actress continues, hopeful her character will have even more interaction with her daughter. “I think those moments are beautiful and something that I’m really interested in for season 2.” She also wants to see Roxy have some fun. “You see her go through a lot in the first season and she’s, you know, pretty tightly wound,” the actress says.
When it comes to Clooney’s latest project, which is now streaming on Netflix, Boone plays flight engineer Maya Lawrence who is part of a crew returning from an exploratory mission to find a sustainable place to live beyond Earth. “She’s the rookie and has all this energy. She wants to jump in and be a part of everything,” the actress tells ET of her character who appears opposite of Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Demián Bichir and Kyle Chandler.
“I just felt so blessed to be part of this team,” she continues. Despite being the most green of the acting ensemble, Clooney kept making Boone’s part bigger and better, appreciating her truthful energy and presence onscreen.
And when it came to specifically working with Clooney as a director -- despite also starring in the film, the two do not share any scenes together -- Boone says that he set a really high standard for everyone on set. He also had a lot of helpful advice, especially having been to space several times in previous films, like Gravity and Solaris.
The one trick for getting those space walk moments right was learning how to move slowly while speaking at a normal pace, “which I think sounds easier than it actually is,” Boone says, revealing that it took months of training for a 10-minute-long sequence in the movie. “But it was worth it.”
While The Midnight Sky was an opportunity to work with Clooney, Nine Perfect Strangers puts Boone in the same room as Kidman, McCarthy, and even more greats, like Regina Hall, Michael Shannon and Bobby Cannavale.
Adapted from Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name, the series tells the story of nine guests who sign up for a pricey yet transformative 10-day retreat at a boutique hotel and spa led by an eccentric woman played by Kidman. “And chaos ensues,” teases Boone, who plays one of the employees named Delilah.
Currently filming the series in Australia, where the cast has been quarantined together amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Boone says every day on set is “like getting paid to go to acting class.”
She adds, “So I soak up everything I possibly can when I’m on set of Nine Perfect Strangers, because I’m watching Michael Shannon, who’s amazing, giving five-minute monologues and you’re just like, ‘Oh, I’m in this scene.’”
While the job came as a surprise -- Boone was expecting to take the rest of the year off -- she feels “really blessed to have spent my last four months here, because it’s been really beautiful.”
With the series wrapping up in time for the holidays, it’s not a bad way to end such a standout year. “It’s been a difficult year for everyone, myself included, but I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given this year and that I’ve been able to share some art with people that’s hopefully uplifted them in a difficult time.”