The second Loren Lott walked in to her audition for American Idol in 2015, the judges fell in love, with Harry Connick Jr. exclaiming, "Well, you look like a superstar!" Unfortunately, America voted the talented singer out of the competition just shy of her reaching the final 12 contestants. However, the reality show's huge loss ended up being a huge gain for The Young and the Restless, which recently cast Lott as Devon's (Bryton James) little sister, Ana Hamilton.
The San Diego native has only been on the canvas for a couple of weeks, but she's already proving she's got the chops to go the distance in Genoa City. Ana has been an integral part of trying to help Devon, who has experienced a heartbreaking slide into depression following the death of Hilary (Mishael Morgan) and the couple's unborn child. And the actress tells Soap Central this is just the beginning of Ana's light, which shines bright despite a very dark past that includes being given up by her drug addicted mother, Yolanda.
Keep reading to get Lott's thoughts on how Ana will fit into Genoa City, why her contract at Y&R should be tweaked to keep her away from Bryton James (really!), the eerie connection she feels with her real-life twin brother, and the inspiring reason she wants to become the next Disney princess.
Soap Central: Congratulations on your new Y&R role!
Loren Lott: Thank you! I'm loving it.
Soap Central: Is being on a soap opera anything like what you imagined it would be?
Lott: Um, no! Not at all. For one, it's definitely a lot harder than I thought it would be. On other shows, they kind of baby you a little bit more. But on this show, you have to have your things together, you have to know when to be on set, and you have to just really be responsible. And you have to know all these lines; it's like learning a whole play every day. So, it's a lot harder than I thought. But once you get the hang of it and get your flow, it's really amazing.
Soap Central: It probably didn't help that you were thrown into such a serious storyline the moment you started, with Ana helping Devon with his grief over Hilary's death.
Lott: Right! They were not shy at all about throwing me right in. But I'm grateful. I like being in a great storyline, because that means I'll be around a lot. [Laughs]
Soap Central: Viewers have gotten to know Ana a little bit over the years, but now she's all grown up. Can you give a little tease about who she is today and what viewers can expect from her in the weeks ahead?
Lott: Well, one thing is that she has a good heart. She is not conniving at all, so I believe that anything she does will not be done with malice behind it. She has good intentions, and I know that is kind of different for soap characters; I know a lot of times, you can't trust anybody! [Laughs] But so far, I can trust that anything that Ana does, even if it might not be the best thing, there is no malice behind it, ever. She's got a good heart.
Soap Central: She has a very complicated past, with her mother being a drug addict. How has that past influenced who she is today?
Lott: Well, I know that in her past, especially with music, she has been burned. She has run into people who have manipulated her situation and her singing career, and people stole music from her. So, that has made her not want to sing anymore, because the business side of singing is so complicated, and you can't trust anybody. She trusts Devon, but I can already tell that she has some trust issues from things that she has been through in the past. But even with her mom being a drug addict and she was raised by her aunt and stuff, she's still very loving. Especially to her brother. And that's probably because that's a solid family member who she has always had and can always depend on. But she's still very loving and positive. And not even in just how I play her, but how it's written, as well. She's not bitter. A lot of times, we carry a lot of our hurt with us, but she's way more optimistic than that. She does let some things get to her, like the music. She has definitely been hurt by that. But other than that, she's pretty bright.
Soap Central: Ana may have been burned and is not so into music now, but she does have a very strong musical past, as do you. So, do you foresee any possible musical performances in the future?
Lott: Oh, I hope so! I'm having a little hunch that it's going to happen, because, come on -- you hired me knowing that I sing, this character was a singer as a child, it's in the cards! It's going to happen. I truly believe that we will eventually hear something. But you know, we all just have to tune in. I'm going to tune in just like you tune in and see if we will hear Ana sing.
Soap Central: It looks like you and Bryton James really hit it off immediately. Are you loving having him as your on-screen brother?
Lott: I looooove him. I love him so much. I have so much fun with him. He's my favorite. Today, we were doing a scene, and we were trying not to laugh, but it's so hard. We weren't supposed to be talking in the scene at all; we were both just supposed to be there. But it was so hard not to talk and not to laugh. Maybe I should get it put in my contract that I'm not allowed to stand next to Bryton anymore during scenes when I'm supposed to be serious! Because he's so funny to me, and we have so many little inside jokes. For one, his dancing is so funny to me. Because he doesn't move much. He's kind of stiff, so when he takes a second to do a little shimmy or something, it kills me. He's so funny to me. So, we have a lot of fun, and we're always giggling and laughing. He's a giggle box by himself, but I just walk in the room, and he giggles more. I love that. He's great.
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My favorite thing about my on screen brother is that he giggles 24/7. He was bestfriends with Michael Jackson. I loved him on Family Matters (cutest kid ever lol). He lets me pinch his cheeks and be annoying and squeeze him as much as I want. He smells like money 😂. He doesn't move much so everytime he dances i aneurism laugh spasm lol. And our whole off screen relationship is us laughing. I wuv you soooo much @brytonejames 😂😂@YoungAndRestlessCBS @trillervids
Soap Central: You know what's it like to have a brother because you have one in real life -- a twin, actually. What's your relationship like? I heard he's an engineer, which sounds very different from your career.
Lott: Oh, I will totally own up to the fact that he is the smart twin and I am the artsy one. I accept that, and I know my place! [Laughs] He's very smart. When we were children, he used to beat calculators. It was his thing, his hobby. He loved to get to the front of the cash register and already have everything calculated and see if he could go faster than the calculator. He loved it, and it was so annoying! I'm dyslexic and just wanted to paint and play with Play-Doh. And he wanted to build things and do things that would help him with his future. So, thank God I'm acting! But we have a really great relationship. I think he's one of the funniest people ever. And we have twin connection, which is cool, also. It's not something that we notice as much as adults, because we're not around each other as much. But when we were younger, there used to be all these strange connections that we would have, and it would be so weird. Like, I was in India, and I was singing a Beatles song, and he couldn't stop playing it on the piano in San Diego because it was stuck in his head. And we've been connected like that our whole life.
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Happy birthday to my twin brother and me! This is the worst birthday week I've ever had. Lol like dang. But to know that I have new angels in heaven motivates me to live every day to the fullest. This year is going to bring more blessings than I could ever pray for! I'm going to try so many new hot sauces and have so many new wigs! Im going to have huge bookings!! My goal is to give even more hugs than I got to give this year! I got the be a leading lady in two shows, I booked a movie, I'm moving to Cali, I gained a whole new team of agents, and I got to inspire thousands of people a week. I know I'm so close to my dream of becoming a Disney princess! Thank you all for the birthday wishes and the condolences and the kindness! Yay for this year! Yay hot sauce! I love you virtual cousins! @evan_ll @lorensharice I love u guys!
Soap Central: It must be so weird for him now that you're on a soap opera. When Ana is going through traumatic experiences, he might feel it through you!
Lott: Oh, yeah! And he wouldn't have any idea [what was going on]. We're not as in tune to it as adults, so I could totally be feeling him one day if he's angry or something and just think that I'm PMSing. [Laughs] Because we're not around each other as much in order to identify. But there was one time when he called me and said, "Loren, are you having cramps?!" I was like, "Yes." He could feel my cramps! It's so weird.
Soap Central: Totally! But it must be nice to know that you're never alone. That would be a really cool feeling.
Lott: Yeah, I'm never alone in the universe. That is exciting.
Soap Central: From what I can tell, mostly through your first post on Instagram about getting the Y&R role, your faith is very important to you, as is your acting career. But the two don't always align, because there's a lot of bad temptation in the entertainment industry. So, how do you stay on the right path in what can be a tricky environment at times?
Lott: Well, one way that I stay on the right path is that I'm working. And I think it's ingrained in me that working is a blessing, because a lot of us just go so many years without working. All we want, as actors, is to work. So, I used to pray for that all the time, so now that it's here, I feel like the only thing I can do is wake up every single day and thank God. Even just on my way to set, I'm thanking Him the whole way. I do that every single day, thank Him for another day and another opportunity to be alive and have a job. It's a lifestyle. It's not just something that I do; it's like eating for me. It feeds me, it makes me full, and it satisfies me. If I don't do it, like if I don't pray or stay positive or think good thoughts about God or other people even -- because it's the most important to love your neighbor the way you love yourself -- if I'm not doing that, if I'm not loving other people, I feel empty. So, keeping God with me no matter where I am, in any of these situations, it feeds me. I notice when it's not there, because I feel empty.
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ITS OUT 😭 my first series regular! I have joined the cast of the Young and the Restless. My prayer before my screen test was that " if this opportunity isn't the one to launch my career to the places I dream of and it's not from you then I don't want it. I trust you and I pray you cover this with the blood of Jesus and your will be done". I couldn't believe it when I got the call from all of my team on the Fone. I'm so grateful. To hear my manager almost crying because we've been on this journey together so long and she knows the empire I want to build. I left New York to be closer to my grandparents and my hope was that when they turned on the tv they would be able to see me and be proud of me with out them having to fly to New York and pay for a show. I wanted them to be alive to see me do cool things. By the grace of God they have gotten to see me star in two big shows and now will see me almost everyday on the Young and restless. I'm beyond grateful. I had only been in LA for a month and had gotten far for almost everything I auditioned for. This is my 12th year in this game. I've been humbled and been ego stroked but now I just want to keep growing and keep giving all the glory to God. For all the nights I cried. For all the times I was afraid to buy something because I didn't want my money to run out. I'm so grateful. I'm joining a show with a beautiful reputation for launching the careers of so many people I love. Mine is next. This is just the beginning for me. I will keep praising Jesus and keep being patient even when it's hard, because so far so good. I took a leap of faith moving here, and I'm so grateful the lord caught me. @crackerjackmanagementsoutheast @cleartalentgroup #thanksGod #CBS
Soap Central: I really love the story on your IMDb biography page about when you were a kid, and your mom said you couldn't go to Knott's Berry Farm if you were famous, so you temporarily focused on other career aspirations rather than acting. Do you remember that conversation?
Lott: Yes, and what she said was, it wasn't necessarily that I couldn't go to Knott's Berry Farm, but she said I couldn't go to the bathroom in Knott's Berry Farm. She said, "You won't be able to go to the bathroom if you're famous, because people will follow you in there." And I liked going to the bathroom by myself, and I didn't want to give that up! [Laughs] I'm a twin, so using the bathroom alone was a rarity. So, I was like, "Oh, no, I'm not giving that up!"
Soap Central: Do you feel like you could go to the bathroom today and not be followed by fans?
Lott: Well, so far, I have not yet been recognized from The Young and the Restless. But I think there just is something different on me, maybe my wig looks different, I don't know. Because when I walk around, people do stop me and say, "Are you an actress? Are you working on something?" But they never know what exactly. It's just a glow lately, I guess.
Soap Central: What about from American Idol? Did you notice a boost in people recognizing you after that?
Lott: Oh, my gosh, yes, all the time. And then, right after American Idol, I began doing viral videos, which became a hobby of mine. So, then I had millions of people watching videos that I was doing. So, if it wasn't from American Idol, it was definitely from a viral video with help from American Idol, I'm sure. After American Idol, it was everywhere, and anywhere I would go, someone would recognize me. Which was surprising to me, because I didn't know that many people were still watching! So, when they'd stop me, I was like, "Oh, you're still watching? Great! I'm glad I dressed nice today." [Laughs]
Soap Central: So, you've done American Idol, you've done theater, you're now on Y&R. But it says on your Instagram page that your goal in life is to be a Disney princess. Is that still true?
Lott: Yes! My ultimate goal in life is to be a Disney princess! And I want to be a live-action one. An animated one would be fine, too, because that lasts forever. But really, becoming any Disney princess would just make me so happy. You have songs and all of that, and I also want to meet little girls and be able to empower them for life just from one conversation. That would mean everything to me. I want to do that so bad.
Soap Central: Well, since we're on the topic of princesses, what makes you feel like a princess?
Lott: Last night, actually, I got a call from my grandmother. One of her friends in Georgia, her friend's granddaughter was having a really hard day because she had been cut from a play, and the play was supposed to be happening in two days, and they had cut all of her cool scenes, and now she was only in the background. The little girl, who was like ten or eleven, was just devastated. My grandmother asked if it was okay if they called me, because she was a really big supporter of mine, to see if I could do anything to cheer her up. I didn't think the little girl would care that much, but I said of course I would talk to her. So, her mother called me and explained that the little girl was in her room, just sobbing, and she was crying, too, because she didn't know what to do to brighten her up, but she said she knew that I had been on Broadway and that maybe I could talk to her. So, she gave her the phone... and I heard a little sad, "Hello?" and I said, "Hi, it's Loren!" and she said, "LOREN?!" and there was no longer an ounce of sadness in her voice. She was so happy just to have me on the phone, and that was all I had to do. And after that, I told her to just be a Loren-ish Beyonce, even if she is in the background, and to just shine no matter where she is, and that if she keeps going, she'll get her chance to be in the front... but that she's a star already. And just by telling her that, she was so happy, and I said, "No more crying over this! You're still great, and this is just the beginning." So that, seeing what our conversation did for her, and how she just believed me so much, I knew that she would hold onto this conversation for life. That made me feel like a princess.
Soap Central: Look at that, you don't have to be a Disney princess to inspire young girls!
Lott: Yeah, I definitely don't! I can keep working as an actress and keep doing great and working it out and still have the same effect. But there are millions more children that I could meet if I were a Disney princess! But that was so special to me. Being able to encourage other people makes me feel like a princess.
Soap Central: Is there anything else you'd like to add before I have to let you go?
Lott: I will say that I do receive a lot of Instagram messages from people so happy that someone of my complexion is on a daytime soap. That means everything to me. It's so special that people can feel represented on a show that they've been watching for years. I love that, and I love to be the one to do it.
What do you think about our interview with Loren Lott? What would you like to see as Ana's storyline progresses? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.