Fun seems to follow Lourd—even on the set of Star Wars, which is notoriously intense. “I got there and immediately started making jokes and singing Jersey Boys,” she says of shooting The Force Awakens. It was then that Lourd realized acting could be her career. “I thought, ‘If I’m comfortable here, this is something I should do,’ because most people aren’t comfortable in this high-pressure environment,” she recalls.
Her ease makes sense, as Lourd grew up within the orbit of figures like Meryl Streep, her godmother, and famed ’50s actress and media darling Debbie Reynolds, her grandmother. It’s thanks in part to role models like these that she’s developed such a down-to-earth relationship with fame. “My parents were very nervous about me being an actress because of the negative things—being in the public eye, having people nitpick you—and being able to see that has helped to ignore it better,” she says, before doling out wisdom also fitting for the nonfamous in today’s social-media-saturated era. “If people are saying I don’t have a chin—or whatever they say—I can turn that off and realize they’re just insecure and it’s part of the job. You have to feel bad for them rather than be angry,” she reflects.
One other lesson she’s learned is not to take anything for granted. Even though Lourd has just scratched the surface of her aspirations—which include improv and music (“If I could be Drake, I’d be the happiest woman alive,” she says, offering a touchstone)—she knows this ride could be over tomorrow. “When you enjoy something,” she adds, “why not do it as your career? Or, at least for now—because, who knows, I could end up [jobless] crying with the fishnets back over my head.”