The Idea of You
It has been ten years since Katie Stevens auditioned for American Idol, and It seems like yesterday for her: getting up in the middle of her math class during her junior year and heading to Boston with her mom. It was a culture shock going from singing at high school talent shows to being thrust into the Idol realm. She remembers feeling overwhelmed, but it was an unbelievable learning experience.
Stevens is of Portuguese descent on her mother’s side. Her uncles and cousins always resided within a mile radius. She was raised speaking both English and Portuguese. She says it’s something to go out into the world and realize that not everyone is bilingual. It has changed her perspective, and she feels grateful to be raised understanding a different culture. Her childhood was filled with so much love, and she feels fortunate to have such a special bond with her parents and brother. She also always had a home-cooked meal, thanks to her grandmother, who had a garden and even taught Stevens a few tricks on how to cook.
Stevens made the big move to Los Angeles from Middlebury, Connecticut, after wrapping up the summer tour of Idol in 2010. Now, at age 26, she apologizes to her mom profusely because she was so young when she moved to a big city. “I thought I was hot sh*t. I got off American Idol, and I was like, ‘I'm an adult. I could live in L.A.,’” she recalls. Regardless, her parents allowed her to spread her wings and follow her dreams. Music has always been such a huge part of her life, and she gets inspired by the artists who are lyrically vulnerable with their listeners (“The best way to kind of get the best songs is to continually be writing and exercising that muscle”). We will have to wait, however, to hear the music from her because her acting career is in full force nowadays, including her starring role in the upcoming horror/thriller film Haunt. “They're on the rise to being just the most incredible horror filmmakers. They’re also just the sweetest people. Their passion for the project and their collaborative essence were just really incredible to work with,” she says of Scott Beck and Bryan Woods who wrote and directed the movie.
More importantly, Stevens has probably been best known as Jane Sloan on Freeform’s The Bold Type: the series that follows the lives of three best friends working at a magazine and supporting one another while navigating through the mess (just like the rest of us). “We don't really say, ‘Here’s the secret key to how to get over your ex, here’s a secret key to learning your sexuality or getting the perfect job,’” Stevens says, adding that the show’s fans often come up to her and say, “I know I’m not your demographic” – because a lot of women watch the show, but a lot of men do, too. “One of the greatest things that The Bold Type showcases is that men are also feminists. We are a generation raising feminists, men, and women,” she affirms.
It’s particularly important for Stevens to tell Jane’s story because the man she fell in love with in real life went through a similar experience – Paul DiGiovanni lost his mother to breast cancer. “I know I've been so blessed to hear from fans who are going through the same thing, whether it would be that they lost a parent to breast cancer or they found out that they were positive with the BRCA gene,” she candidly shares. “I get to touch people and feel like that's why we tell these stories that will inspire and reach others.”
On another note, Stevens and DiGiovanni currently split their time between L.A. and Nashville. Before they met, she would go out with friends and wonder if her future husband was in the same room as her. Little did she know, she was actually in the same room as DiGiovanni when she was 14 years old. He was the lead guitarist for a pop-rock band Boys Like Girls, and she went to their concert as a teenager. She finally met him when she was 21. Even after five years together, she feels very lucky in love. As a matter of fact, before she met DiGiovanni, her father gave her advice after she went through a bad breakup: “I know you're bummed but when you say no to the person who's wrong for you, you open yourself up to who's right for you. You've always dreamed about the idea of that person. That person is somewhere in the world right now dreaming about the idea of you.”
Writer: Dylan Worcel
Photographer: Catherine Asanov (@catherineasanov)
Fashion Editor: Lassalle (@stylebylassalle & @stevenlassalle_ - www.stevenlassalle.com)
Fashion Editor Assistant: Gala Lee (@galaleestyle)
Hair: Scott King
Makeup: Rob Scheppy
Videographer: Trip Digital Radio (@tripdigitalradio)
Editor: Eiko Watanabe