As more and more television viewers choose to “cut the cord,” opting to watch captivating series in intense binges on streaming services, online providers are thinking bigger and better with their original programming. On Amazon Prime, the show that has viewers hooked is Goliath, starring Billy Bob Thornton as fallen-from-grace high-powered lawyer Billy McBride who stumbles into a massive lawsuit that pits him against his former firm. Thornton recently won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the role. Helping McBride is a motley crew, including hooker turned pseudo-paralegal Brittany Gold, played by the beautiful Tania Raymonde.
“I thought I was a surprising choice for this part because I’m kind of a nerd, but I was super flattered. I love the idea of doing anything that’s different than the person that I am,” says Raymonde of her character. “I really like her; I never judged what she did. I always thought of Brittany as a young woman who is very smart who made the wrong choices, that couldn’t figure her life out, and thought this escort thing is probably a really quick way to make money and I don’t think that’s too radical an idea. I tried to sympathize with her—I always saw that she was lost and trying to figure things out. I identify with that.”
The show returns for its second season on June 15, dropping all eight episodes in one binge-able burst. “This year is really exciting,” says Raymonde of the series that originally appealed to the actress it for its noir feel and similarities to her all-time favorite film, Chinatown. “There are some fantastic new characters this season and we explore this whole other side of LA that I don’t think we saw in the first year. There’s a very insidious, seedy underbelly to this year that’s exciting and a really creepy villain. I think people will like it.”
Also new for the actress is an engagement ring, announcing on Instagram in May she said yes to artist Zio Ziegler. “Zio is my collaborator and writing partner,” says Raymonde who is working with Ziegler on Studio Visit this August. “We’ve been working on a bunch of projects, and found a super awesome collaboration in work and in life. It’s the best situation I could imagine. He’s my best friend. I never thought I would be sentimental in that way but I’m super happy and finding someone I can collaborate with on that level is so cool and hopefully we get to continue making things together forever.”
Goliath is Raymonde’s first major series since Lost, where she played Alex Rousseau, one of the “Others.” While the sci-fi series was set on a tropical island, Goliath is filmed in the actress’s hometown of Los Angeles. “I’d shoot 10 minutes away from where I grew up; I could walk to work. I remember hanging out with my friends when I was 15 years old on the Third Street Promenade and now I’m shooting a TV show down the street,” she laughs. “I always thought, “Are my parents’ friends going to drive by and see me in a tight skirt hooking on the sidewalk in broad daylight? I hope not!’”
Here, take a look at some of her must-visit stops around Los Angeles.
Cup of Joe: Peet’s! I’m not a pour-over person. I’m patient, but not when it comes to coffee.
Power Lunch: Lemonade because it’s basically a cafeteria line; you can point at what you want and it’s a quick and easy way to get to those huge pink macaroons.
Cocktail Hour: Hotel Shangri-La—there’s a bar on the roof overlooking the pier, where you can watch tourists on the Ferris wheel. My dream cocktail is a pisco sour, but I usually wuss out and get a beer instead.
Retail Therapy: I grew up in West LA. I remember the old Santa Monica Place with nostalgia (they had an indoor waterfall in the food court) so I typically go to the mall and complain about how much nicer it used to be. Jonathan Adler has nice expensive things for the house, though!
Field Trip: I go to the LACMA at least once a year so I don’t feel like a total idiot.
Date Night: La Petite Porte is very romantic. I’m Corsican and I heard it’s owned by Corsicans although this may or may not be true. You can order a cheese plate at the bar and pretend you have a reservation.
Don’t Miss: Chez Jay’s on Ocean Boulevard! It’s where we shoot Goliath!
Hidden Gem: The original Versailles on Venice Boulevard is always kind of perfect for dinner every night. It was my Dad’s favorite restaurant, so now it’s mine.