Paz De la Huerta has spent the past years in downtown New York, making various independent films and directing shorts yet attracting little attention. However, it is impossible not to notice this temptress when she ‘strips’ in the critically acclaimed HBO series Boardwalk Empire. De la Huerta received positive acclaim for her role as Lucy Danziger, Nucky’s (Steve Buscemi) temperamental mistress.
Born on September 3, 1984 in New York City, Maria de la Paz Elizabeth Sofia Adriana de la Huerta grew up in the neighborhood of SoHo, once the center of the city’s art scene. She spent her childhood always groomed while visiting art galleries with her mother Judith Bruce and father Íñigo de la Huerta y Ozores, the Spanish Duke of Mandas and Villanueva. She was raised with her older sister Rafaela de la Paz.
De la Huerta attended Saint Ann’s School in the borough of Brooklyn. She also attended Buck’s Rock, a performing arts school. When she was just 12, her parents separated due to her father’s alcoholism.
After her parents’ separation, her mother increased workload to support the family and always travelling abroad. Soon, her older sister got into a crowd of drug addicts. She spent her teenage years experimenting with different things as well; she shaved her head, became a punk rocker, commiserated with drug addicts and befriended musicians.
Even before, De la Huerta started honing her skills in acting at Saint Ann. Her first acting experience was in the film The Object of My Affection (1998) starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd, where she played the role of young Sally. Shortly after, she appeared in The Cider House Rules as Tobey Maguire’s young romantic interest.
At the age of 20, Paz De la Huerta got bit roles in several films including Chelsea Walls, A Walk to Remember and Riding in Cars with Boys. Besides her fledgling career, she experimented with films, appearing in various art projects of her friends. She worked on a dozen of short films and two of which, she directed herself.
Before she took a trip to 1920’s Prohibition-era Atlantic City, De la Huerta lent her perfect body to camera lenses, appearing nude in a few films and photographs. Her first contribution to the art house cinema was in Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control where she played the role of ‘Nude’. Her second contribution was in Gaspar Noe’s ‘Enter the Void’, which Noe labels as a psychedelic melodrama film.
Produced by Martin Scorsese and starring some of the most accomplished actors in Hollywood, Boardwalk Empire has been perhaps HBO’s biggest gamble for a huge hit. The female cast were largely unknown: Gretchen Mol is likely the most recognizable. However, one thing is for sure about the women of Boardwalk Empire – Paz De la Huerta has been the most daring, sexiest and the most intriguing of the bunch.
De la Huerta emerged as the confused, unpredictable and potentially violent woman that exudes sexuality more than any other character on TV. She plays Lucy, the mistress of Steve Buscemi’s character, the head gangster Nucky Thompson. The drama has given De la Huerta exposure, which led her into more film projects.
In 2011, Paz De la Huerta received the Screen Actor’s Guild Award for her work in Boardwalk Empire. She also appeared in the film 4:44 Last Day on Earth. Slated for 2012, she got a starring role in the comedy horror film Nurse 3D where she will portray Nurse Abby Russell, a devoted nurse with an evil side.