Vinyl Star Susan Heyward on Costumes, Co-Stars, and Letting Bobby Cannavale "Do His Thing" on Set

Susan Heyward Vinyl Lead
Photo: Lelund Durond Thompson

We love some record label drama—and HBO’s new show Vinyl packs plenty of it. Produced by Martin Scorsese, the series premieres Feb. 14 and stars Bobby Cannavale as the president of a struggling record company in 1970s New York City. Susan Heyward plays his assistant, Cece Matthews, on the show, and according to the star, it’s going to look authentic. “The costume people did an amazing job of being true to the time,” Heyward recently told InStyle over the phone. “Everything really evokes that time period.”

We already got the scoop on wardrobe specifics from the show’s costume designer, John Dunn—but Heyward elaborated on how her character’s style reflects her evolution as the show progresses. “I love Cece’s journey, specifically,” she said. “She starts off in the office, and she is very separate from all of the glamour and the sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll part, because she’s very much ensconced in the business.” But not for long. After a while, “We see her take a little trip outside the office, and her wardrobe follows that journey,” said Heyward, adding that “there’s a physical transformation that happens.”

Susan Heyward Vinyl Embed
Macall B. Polay/HBO

But when she's in the office of American Century Records, Cece is busy assisting her boss, Richie Finestra (portrayed by Cannavale). And both on screen and off, the cast turned to Cannavale for guidance. “He’s somebody who is just a great leader and a great energy to have on set," Heyward said. "More than anything, you just want to support him and not distract him, so you get out of his way and let him do his thing. You learn so much about the craft of acting and the craft of being a leader on set just by watching him.”

Another veteran actor on the show is Ray Romano, who plays Cannavale's head of promotions and partner at the record label. Needless to say, his character, Zak Yankovich, is nothing like the family man we came to know and adore on Everybody Loves Raymond. “It was great to see a different side of him,” Heyward said of Romano. “We had seen him play a character who was basically at home, and to see him play this slick record exec who moves through the world very differently is kind of a revelation.”

While Heyward wouldn’t reveal whether or not we’ll see her character interact much with her boss’s wife, played by Olivia Wilde, she did share which co-star you’ll see her hanging out with plenty on the small screen. “I worked with Juno Temple the most on set, because she's in the office too,” said Heyward. And while “the vibe on set is really fun and exciting," there are definitely serious moments as well. "It’s really focused because it’s about the work," Heyward said. "We can really create a moment here.”

PHOTOS: Olivia Wilde's Changing Looks

Watch the trailer for Vinyl above, and tune in to HBO on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 9 p.m. ET for the series premiere.

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