Angela Sarafyan On 'Westworld,' 'The Promise,' And How To Dream Big

The actress discusses her upcoming roles and her love of acting

Photographed by Ellie Mclean. Styled by Dani Michelle.

The following feature appears in the October 2016 issue of NYLON.

There is a leather-bound journal tucked under actress Angela Sarafyan’s arm when I meet her for coffee in downtown Los Angeles. Dressed in a whisper-thin, floor-length floral dress and sandals, with her hair in loose curls, she embodies that boho California spirit that’s been a thing since 1969. “This place is just absolutely beautiful,” she says when we sit down at the café, genuinely taken aback at the little slice of sunshine, floral arrangements, and pastry heaven in the middle of an otherwise construction-filled street.

Sarafyan has been living in Los Angeles since she was four, but was born in Yerevan, Armenia, in 1983. When she was three, her grandmother left for the States and Sarafyan’s parents followed shortly after. “My dad and mom both loved American culture—movies, cars, music. They were total hippies,” she says with a laugh. “My dad’s an actor and my mom’s a painter, so they were very ‘Whatever, dude! Get me to California now!’”

Growing up in L.A., she started performing early on, piano and ballet before acting. “I was a really, really weird kid,” she confesses. “I loved stories—like, I preferred them to reality. I think most kids like to live in their imagination, but that went on for a while. I liked to tell stories in front of my fourth grade class. I’d get emotional and cry and there’d be this huge drama, and then I’d go sit down and feel great!”

In 2000 Sarafyan scored her first high-profile role on the CBS drama Judging Amy. Since then, she’s been in more than 50 films and television shows, including Law & Order, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Immigrant, and -TheTwilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 2

When asked about the moment she decided to pursue acting, she says that it was never really a choice. “It’s a natural passion. I think people are so fascinating, how we all function and talk and move a different way.”