Hollywood Florida served as the birthplace of a future star actress.

Her name: Bethany Joy Lenz. Beth’s versatile acting skills came from within. Her father Robert George Lenz worked as a history teacher and therapist, while her mother Catharine Malcolm Holt Shepard had jobs as a personnel manager and entrepreneur. Her parents’ careers were excellent, sturdy, and well worth being inspired by, but passion overruled job security in Bethany’s eyes. Such ambition led to her landing roles in hit shows and theatre productions. Prior to her big break, the stage was where Lenz built up her acting prowess. She performed in numerous productions including “The Wizard of Oz”, “Annie”, and “Cinderella”.

The most prominent role landed by Bethany was in Warner Brother’s One Tree Hill as “Haley James Scott”, who was the wife to James Lafferty’s “Nathan” and childhood mate of Chad Michael Murray’s “Lucas”.

Other performances by Bethany worth noting can be seen in the shows “Men at Work”, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” and even Netflix’s “Dexter.”

Aside from her portrayal of unique characters, Lenz also has a knack for putting her vocal cords to work. Her revered voice spans a four-octave range, thanks to training in the big apple by Richard Barrett, the director of the Brooklyn College of Opera, and in Los Angeles by renowned voice instructor Eric Vetro.

Chilled had the pleasure to sit down and speak with Bethany to learn about her upcoming projects, preferred ways to imbibe, and how she has been tolerating quarantine.

Chillin' with Bethany Joy Lenz

Chillin’ with Bethany Joy Lenz

Photo by Monika Sed

Tell us about the projects you are working on.

I just saw a final cut of my new film, Michael Koryta’s thriller “So Cold The River”, which will release this year. I’m also about ready to workshop my latest musical for stage, which is a challenge in a pandemic, but I’ll figure it out. I am developing a few projects for TV as well and will be recording a new album soon, hopefully for a spring/summer release.

With your busy schedule, what do you like to do with your downtime?

I love to paint; it is a great release for me.  Big canvases with messy, splattered paint, pumice, gel, mixed media, etc. The more I can put my body into it the better. And, as it happens, I really love mixing cocktails! I was given a small bartending set for Christmas and I use it all the time.

When you go out to eat, where do you like to dine?

Pace in the Canyon is probably my favorite spot in LA because it just always feels cozy and friendly there. But I have had some incredible meals at Norah, at Openaire. But for an easy night out, I love Sushi Dan, Grandma’s Thai Kitchen and The Great Greek.

Chillin' with Bethany Joy Lenz

Chillin’ with Bethany Joy Lenz

Photo by Giuliano Bekor

What types of dishes do you typically order?

I love a well-plated fish dish, pizza, simple & flavorful pastas, lamb— I’ll eat almost anything honestly, as long as it’s plated well.

Any favorite bars?

Eveleigh has great cocktails, as does No Vacancy. My go-to wine bar is Augustine. I love a dive bar too.  There is a smattering of dives in the valley that I do miss right now.

What drinks do you order when out? Favorite drink?

Very Dirty Martini with a blue cheese stuffed olive. So cold you could skate on that layer of ice on top. I also love a Bees Knees, Aviation, Paloma, or Campari & soda on a hot day.

Chillin' with Bethany Joy Lenz

Chillin’ with Bethany Joy Lenz

Photo by Monika Sed

Do you prepare drinks at home?

Absolutely. I have been getting fairly good at the egg white dry shake!

Tell us about your home bar. What is it stocked with?

I rely heavily on bitters and I have a large selection from House of Botanicals. I also have a delicious collection of aperitifs & digestifs from Pietro Nicola- the black walnut & peach are my current favorites. 

Have you ever been a bartender?

Never been a bartender! I did seriously consider taking some courses when I was 19, but I had a job already and it did not seem practical. I wish someone had talked me into it!

Chillin' with Bethany Joy Lenz

Chillin’ with Bethany Joy Lenz

Photo by Giuliano Bekor

If you could share a drink with anyone, who would it be?

If I could share a drink with anyone it would be my Grandfathers. I was young when they both died. I’d love to hear their stories over a long sequence of great drinks.

What dishes/drinks are you making at home right now during “stay-at-home?”

During quarantine I’ve been perfecting a quick & creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese. Drink wise, I’ve created a cocktail I’m just calling the French Girl.  Fleurette Vermillion Gin, Rose Liqueur, quick squeeze of 1/2 a Clementine, Teapot Bitters, Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro, St. Germain and Egg white.

How are you coping?

I’m coping by writing and singing, fixing up my ranch, playing with my daughter, facetiming with friends, watching a lot of tv if I’m honest, and spending quiet time with God just listening and trying to keep my heart open and encouraged.