Getting to Know: Chicago Med’s Torrey DeVitto

Torrey DeVitto plays Dr. Natalie Manning in hit TV show "Chicago Med"

Gorgeous Torrey DeVitto is known and loved for her role as Dr. Natalie Manning in “Chicago Med” – the latest spin off in the successful Dick Wolf franchise.

But the actress started her career as a fashion model and musician and went on to star in “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “One Tree Hill” and “Army Wives,” leaving her indelible mark on whichever part she plays.

BellaLAMag.com had the wonderful opportunity to speak with the charming, kind and funny star to get to know her a little better. Read on to find out about Torrey’s life, career, favorite things about Los Angeles, and what makes her life Bella! Oh, and about her adorable Homie too!

Congratulations on landing “Chicago Med” – how has the experience been so far?

It’s been amazing. It’s truly a dream come true. I get to work with the most amazing people, such amazing actors, and I’m learning so much. I enjoy showing up to work thoroughly. I just found out that we’ve been renewed for Season 2 which is exciting for all of us.

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We really want you to get together with Will – what’s happening with your relationship?

I never want to give anything away but I’m a fan of their friendship. They’re really fun to watch, really endearing. When I’m filming it I see it just from my perspective but when I watch the show I then see it from Will’s perspective too and I love the looks he gives Natalie – so sweet – I’m a fan of their relationship so we’ll see where it goes.

Why did you want to become an actress?

I don’t know why. As cheesy as it sounds I didn’t have any other option. I loved performing from a really young age. I saw “Les Miserables” when I was six-years-old and I fell in love with it. I had my mum make me a costume and my dad would play Valjean – it was so much fun. And I used to play Sandy form “Grease” – I love putting on a show. I was so emotional as a kid – or dramatic according to my dad!

I got into acting class by accident when I was 15, I don’t remeber making the choice, and after high school I moved to LA. I sent submissions to managers and I went with one who I’m still with today actually. I jumped into my Explorer Sport when I was 18, and my mum helped me drive cross country and the rest is history.

You have a musical background – do you still play?

I do yes – I played on Episode 3 of “Chicago Med” which was absolutely amazing. I have been just wanting to marry acting and the musical world so badly. The producers asked how I would feel about playing on the show and I said I’d love to. I’ve been asked to do it for other things but this was such a great fit and they wrote it in. I practiced my ass off for weeks and weeks and luckily they picked a popular piece I learned in 4th grade – so it was somewhere in my memory. I haven’t had that much time to play since but I have an amazing teacher in LA that I visit whenever I’m in town.

Torrey got to play the violin in Episode 3 of Chicago Med - mixing two of her passions
Torrey combined her two loves of acting and music when she played the violin on Episode 3 of Chicago Med

You’ve landed roles in great TV shows – what would be your dream character to play?

I always said my favorite actress is Monica Bellucci, she starred in a movie called “Malena” that I love so a role like that, it was just amazing. Angelina Jolie in “Girl Interrupted” would also be so much fun to play. But truly I have been putting it out there energetically to get the role I have now – I got one of my dream roles – I love it!

Valentine’s Day is coming up – do you have plans?

I do. I have plans with myself. I’m jumping in my car and taking myself to a beautiful destination about two hours from Chicago. I rented myself a bed and breakfast room in a great mansion and I’m going to spend the night there and relax and take it all in and hang out with myself. Read some books, write in my journal and have a great time. When I’m in a relationship I put more attention on Valentine’s Day but this year feels good to take a really relaxing trip and spend time with myself. It’s a great way to spend it.

Bella LA’s tag line is ‘Beauty Defined By You’ – how do you define beauty?

I define beauty thorough kindness, empathy and compassion. It shines through when you can be empathic to someone and show compassion to not just people you love but to everyone. As of late I’ve been finding beauty in just being proud and feeling strong in standing on your own and relishing in the stillness and silence and not looking for validation externally but having strength within yourself.

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Torrey defines beauty thorough “kindness, empathy and compassion”

What makes your life Bella?

My family. I have such beautiful relationships, individually with my family members and all together; my father, mother and sisters. I don’t know what I would do without them. My grandparents, cousins and my friends make my life beautiful too. I’ve been awe struck – knowing I’m in Chicago by myself – I’m not a big talker on the phone, so I get nervous sending texts and am so bad about communicating over the phone, but whenever I need them they’re there in a moment. I love that and I love them.

Also my dogs make my life beautiful. I don’t know what I would do without them – I have a chihuahua mix named Beau and I have a little poodle terrier called Homie. They’re both the most ridiculous, delicious and hilarious duo on the planet. Homie is my homegirl – but Beau likes to snuggle and snooze and be in luxury. He had been in so many shelters – he was six when I got him and my sisters always say he went from rags to riches. He just wants to cuddle.

BFFS

A photo posted by Torrey DeVitto (@torreydevitto) on

If you’re having a sad day, how do you cheer yourself up?

Food – I indulge in eating whenever I’m sad. Some people, when they get depressed they can’t eat, but I’m the opposite. Whether I’m happy or sad I like to eat (laughs). And talking to my friends and family helps. Doing something outdoors always cheers me up too, I love being in nature, outside beauty, a park or a lake or among trees.

My guilty pleasure is pizza. I’ve been vegan for the last year and Whole Foods does a great pizza with vegan cheese. I’m more a savory than a sweet person and I love a good sandwich and bbq kettle chips or if I’m really low I love ordering from Veggie Grill – their crispy chicken sandwich and teriyaki french fries are amazing.

How long have you been vegan?

Being vegan has been great. I was pescatarian for six years and then vegetarian for two years, then I became vegan last year and it wasn’t a difficult transition. I’m 99.9% vegan in food and 100% vegan in fashion. If I’m at a dinner and they don’t have an option that’s completely vegan, I’m not going to starve myself. I’m practicing more for moral reasons than for health. If I indulge in a friend’s birthday cake and find out there are eggs in it, I won’t go crazy. But I feel great being vegan. I know everyone says it but it’s true, I have so much more energy and feel leaner. It’s so nice not ever having that feeling of eating bad meat. When I was 17 I had a Big Mac and it made me so sick – as a vegan you don’t worry about that stuff. I went to France and struggled though. I’d say I’m vegan and they’d say, ‘Oh here’s a cheese platter.’ (laughs)

But with my fashion I’ve gone 100% vegan. I still will wear items bought prior to turning vegan that have leather – I’m not going to throw out everything leather and be shoeless and jacketless – but I made a pact I would never buy leather – or any animal products ever again. There are so many great vegan designers – I have a vegan coat with no down in it.

For shoes I love Cri De Coeur, Beyond Skin for purses, Matt and Nat for my coat. Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart created Vaute Couture and she’s from Chicago and created a coat warm enough to sustain the winters here.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

It’s simple. I have a great therapist and she has spoken to me about not judging yourself. Brene Brown also has a great book about it. But being embarrassed or covered in guilt and shame isn’t good. We think, if I do x,y,z etc I’m not a good person. The advice is not judging yourself and building empathy towards yourself. Realize, I did the best I could and not judge yourself.

How would your friends describe you?

I think they would describe me as the best friend in the whole world (laughs). That I’m really open and loving, definitely passionate – I’m all or nothing and jump deeply into things may it be relationships or friendships – and I give a lot. And also that I’m there for them and reliable – if anyone calls and needs something I’m there.

Bella LA Favorites

Which neighborhood did you live in LA: I was in LA for 14 years so I lived everywhere – I moved like once a year. But towards the end I was in Santa Monica, right on the edge of Venice and 2 streets from the beach.

Favorite Restaurant: Crossroads

Favorite Brunch Spot: Crossroads and Sage Organic Vegan Bistro – they have great vegan pizza. And of course Gracias Madre.

Delicious vegan pizza from Sage Organic Vegan Bistro
Delicious vegan pizza from Sage Organic Vegan Bistro

Favorite Spa: I love getting facials. In LA I went to Alchemy in Santa Monica – they do the best facials. I was going to Ashley religiously – their stuff is all organic and all natural. They rub fruits and vegetables on your skin – it changed my skin completely. I haven’t been to a good spa in a long time but in Chicago I go to Elena Organics. The woman is a chemist from Russia and makes her own stuff all natural. She makes it per season so your face can acclimate – it’s incredible.

Favorite Shopping: Now that I have been introduced to vegan fashion I’ve been shopping mostly online. A lot of stores don’t carry vegan stuff but whenever I need to bulk up on clothes I go to Top Shop and Zara – they’re my go to. Their styles constantly change and it all looks so different. I don’t like spending a lot of money on one thing.

Favorite Cultural Spot: I like LACMA and my dad loves the La Brea Tar Pits – he loves it there. I went through a phase where I wanted to go to a museum every weekend.. but that never happened. (laughs)

A friend is in town for 24 hours, what do you do with them: Start at Griffith Park and do a cool hike – they have like 52 miles of trails and you can see the Hollywood sign at the same time, then head to the beach and go to Santa Monica Pier with the ferris wheel – that’s so nice. And then head to Topanga Canyon and the mountains and go to Inn of the Seventh Rey for dinner.

Catch Torrey on “Chicago Med” Tuesdays 9/8c on NBC.
Photos by: Rowan Daly

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