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Michele, Ma Belle

By Andrew Stone
Posted On Sep 28, 2016
Michele, Ma Belle

With a pair of plum TV roles on deck, actress-model Michele Hicks’s light just keeps getting brighter.

Cool, chic, and gifted actress Michele Hicks is grabbing attention on two hot series. USA Network’s Mr. Robot has her playing an information security officer grappling with cyber vigilantes. The second, Public Morals, is a TNT series with Ed Burns that centers upon a defunct branch of the NYPD.

Hicks, 42, hails from Essex County, New Jersey, and spent her young adulthood working in New York nightlife. She became a big model in the late-nineties, walking runways, gracing magazine covers, and appearing in campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana, Miu Miu, and Marc Jacobs. Her first feature was Twin Falls Idaho, followed by roles in Mulholland Drive, Ropewalk, and Northfork, as well as on TV’s The Shield and Heist.

Despite busy days, she happily returns home each night to her husband, British actor Jonny Lee Miller, and their son, Buster. (Yes, Buster.) We stole some moments with Hicks to learn the secrets of her success.

Michele, what’s at the heart of Public Morals, setting it apart from other cop dramas? 

It takes place in the 1960s in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a very specific time, and elements are loosely based on actual events. “Public Morals” was a real division of the police department—all about the gambling and hookers and temptations. Meanwhile, everyone in that neighborhood was interconnected, often related… That includes police officers and mobsters.

How does your character, Kay, fit into it all?

She’s from one of the big families in the neighborhood, related to cops and married to a mobster. She’s at the center of a lot of drama. I get to use a heavy Irish-American accent. Eddie [Burns] really liked it—so that was a relief. Ed has been absolutely amazing to work with. I’m constantly amazed at how his mind works on the fly.

What does it mean to be cast on this show? 

The production requires a lot of creativity and I work alongside all of these very talented people. Meanwhile, I’m shooting in New York, which is my home. As a mom, being able to play such a great part and still be able to come home and be with my son couldn’t be better.

Tell us about your other series, Mr. Robot

I play a techie business executive, a powerful businesswoman consulting for a big corporation. Like my other character, she tends to make really bad choices on the personal side of her life.

Have you noticed any shifts in the fashion world since you were a model? 

Not just fashion, but everything has changed. Information is a lot more accessible, and the measurements of success are quite different. I imagine print campaigns aren’t the markers of success they once were, and it’s much more about what we can measure.

What’s your approach to health and wellness? 

I don’t have crazy diets or rules. I’ll do a three-day juice cleanse every few months to reset the body and digestive system. I’ve never really spent time exposed in the sun. I use sunscreen all the time. Meanwhile, I’ve been doing Pilates for 15 years, and used to own a Pilates studio [AB Pilates in Manhattan]. I’m also a spin junkie and love SoulCycle. I work out for my head as well as for my body.

Photograph by Michael Williams