Winter Ave Zoli has managed to parlay what was originally a quickie guest spot into a full-fledged recurring role on the smash FX biker drama Sons of Anarchy. Her character Lyla’s tragic romance with Opie ended this season, but Lyla remains a part of the SAMCRO family, turning up for some quality screen time in tonight’s episode. Zoli, who can also currently be seen costarring with Kenneth Branagh in the short film “Prodigal,” part of the Stars in Shorts feature film, took some time to answer our “7 Questions.”
You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose?
Newsweek, probably Vogue, and Vanity Fair.
If your DVR only carried three shows, which three would you pick?
Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire and Dexter.
What has been your strangest fan encounter?
I’ve really had just very mellow, nice encounters, but there was this one guy who kept surfacing on Facebook. I never actually bumped into him, but he was just very creepy and figured out how to get into places where I didn’t even know how he got into and that kind of became an issue for a second. But he’s gone, so that’s good. He wasn’t necessarily a Sons of Anarchy fan. I just don’t think he was in his right mind. The Sons of Anarchy fans, just for the record, are actually very, very nice people, all the ones that I’ve met.
Tell me about a time when you were starstruck.
I was auditioning for a film and Mark Wahlberg was in it, and also producing. I was in the room by myself waiting to go into the auditioning room, and he walked in. I nearly died, because I thought I was going to have to audition with him. I didn’t. He wasn’t in the room, but then I was leaving and he called out and stopped me and said, “Hi,” which I thought was very nice. He seemed like a very nice person.
What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
Good, organic butter, a really good sea salt and kettle chips.
What was your reaction upon hearing about the death of Opie?
I found out in March. I ran into Ryan [Hurst] at an audition, before we started shooting Season 5. He told me, then I just remember my jaw dropping. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t believe it. It was upsetting because Ryan is a friend of mine. I just loved working with him. It was so hard.
You spent much of your youth in the Czech Republic. What effect do you think that’s had on your life?
It’s just opened me up to different views on life, which are important for an actor to have. I’m half Czech, and I had been traveling to the Czech Republic since I was 4 to visit grandparents, and we eventually moved there. It makes you more open to different people and perspectives and culture. I think it also makes you more accepting.
Photo: Credit: © 2012 Steve Schofield