Lucy Danziger

played by Paz de la Huerta

Nucky's former girlfriend, Lucy is a former Ziegfeld Follies girl.

Character Bio

Lucy is a former Ziegfeld Follies girl with a hair-trigger temper and passionate lust for life. After her breakup with Nucky, a night spent with Agent Van Alden has resulted in an unwanted pregnancy.

Bio

This past year has been Paz de la Huerta's most exciting so far. In addition to being cast in 'Boardwalk Empire,' she is starring in Gaspar Noe's film 'Enter the Void,' which will be released through IFC and which has taken her to Cannes, Toronto and the Sundance Film Festivals. She also starred in Jim Jarmusch's feature 'The Limits of Control' opposite Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray and Gael García Bernal in a role that Jarmusch wrote for her.

In 2007, de la Huerta starred in Clark Gregg's adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's 'Choke' as Nico, an inmate struggling with sex addiction, and in Amy Redford's 'The Guitar,' opposite Saffron Burrows. She was thrilled to discover that both films were chosen to screen at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where she was named by GenArt as one of the '7 Fresh Faces of Film' alongside Olivia Thirlby and Jason Ritter.    

De la Huerta made her film debut in Lasse Hallsrom's 'The Cider House Rules' in 1999 after the director discovered her walking down the street at age 14. Her next role was in Ethan Hawke's ensemble piece 'Chelsea Walls.' After several independent films, she appeared in Griffin Dunne's 'Fierce People,' starring Diane Lane and Donald Sutherland, in 2005, and played the role of Becky Burns, a promiscuous and uneducated girl trying to find her way, in 2006's  'Nail Polish,' a comedic-drama set on the New Jersey Shore in the 1980s.

A native of New York City, de la Huerta is the daughter of an American mother, who is a women's rights activist, and a Spanish father, who is a rancher.

Interview with Paz de la Huerta

HBO

What kind of girl is Lucy?

Paz de la Huerta

She comes from a very poor background. She grew up with a single parent, her father. They didn't have the healthiest relationship, but she still has this attention for older men because of how she idolized him.

HBO

Is that what she sees in Nucky?

Paz de la Huerta

Her love for Nucky comes from a lot of places. He's not only an older man, he's also rich, he has charisma and he's powerful. She hit the jackpot with him.

HBO

We know she's a former Ziegfeld Follies girl. Does she miss show business?

Paz de la Huerta

She teases Nucky about going back to the Follies, but really what she wants more than anything is for Nucky to just love her as much as she loves him. That's all she wants. Sure, she misses dancing and singing, but she loves her life of luxury. She's constantly being catered to; it's very glamorous for her.

HBO

In this episode [103], we see her tell Nucky that he's smart not to have children, then she offers to have his baby moments later. Does she just want to please Nucky?

Paz de la Huerta

When she's with Nucky, she'll do anything to get him. If he says, "I want a baby," she'll have a baby. It's all about him. She's starting to feel him drift towards Margaret, so she's putting all of her cards on the table.

HBO

Does she feel threatened by Margaret?

Paz de la Huerta

She's infuriated by Margaret. She doesn't think Margaret is pretty or sexy. She feels that this woman has nothing on her. She's perplexed why the man she's in love with is even talking to this mousy, mousy girl. It's maddening to her.

HBO

We also see a darker side of Lucy in this episode 103, when she puts Margaret in her place while shopping for lingerie. Is she a manipulative person?

Paz de la Huerta

She's definitely manipulative. I actually think she's one of the smartest characters in the show, in her own way. She'll stop at nothing to get what she wants. But I think that manipulation stems from a place of deep longing to be acknowledged. More than anything, she just wants to be loved.

She's a complex person. She's manipulative. She's streetwise as all hell.
HBO

Is there more going on in her mind than she lets on?

Paz de la Huerta

Absolutely. Every conversation that Nucky has she's listening in on in the background. She's not educated, like Margaret seems to be. It's a sore spot for her because she grew up poor. She gets really pissed at all of Margaret's ramblings about women's rights. Lucy doesn't give a shit about women's rights. She just wants to be a woman. Sit on the lap of her man. Shake her tits in his face. Be loved. Be loved. Be loved... That's everything to her.

HBO

Was there any special preparation you did for the period aspect of the role?

Paz de la Huerta

I listened to a lot of jazz and Dixieland music. Marty gave me some music from the era and I listened to it every night. I would move to it and learn how to dance. I feel the popular music of a certain time really tells you a lot about what life was like in that period.

HBO

Lucy has an amazing wardrobe - though she spends most of the time undressed. How did you feel about playing a character who spends so much of her screen time in the nude?

Paz de la Huerta

Lucy feels sexy in her body; she wants to show it off. It's more comfortable for her that way. That's one thing I share with Lucy. I disgust wearing clothing. I don't have any qualms about being naked on screen. I know it's being shot by a wonderful cinematographer, so why would I fret? If it was for Playboy, I'd be worried.

HBO

Are there any other traits you feel you share with the character?

Paz de la Huerta

Like Lucy, I like to be the center of attention. I think it comes from a longing to be loved. That's the place where we connect.

HBO

What can we expect to see from Lucy as the season goes on?

Paz de la Huerta

I don't want to tell. That would ruin the surprise.

HBO

Is there anything else about Lucy that you'd like for viewers to recognize?

Paz de la Huerta

I hope people understand that she's not dumb. She's a complex person. She's manipulative. She's streetwise as all hell. Secretly, I wanted her to be a nerd who reads Millay and other poetry. She's a box of surprises. She's really sensitive. The more you get to know her, the more you'll like her. And you'll be rooting for her. I want people to have compassion for where she's coming from.