Emma Lyon had no designs on becoming a mother, really, but these things happen. In fact, they happened to her in the summer of 1983, the spring of 1988, and the fall of 1990 while she was on vacation in Rome -- all due to the romantic attentions of different men. In fact, if anyone had met Emma, say, in 1982, before the birth of her first daughter, Genevieve, they might have thought that she didn't have a single maternal bone in her body. Even after the birth of her daughters, some might say that, as she had a very blasé approach to parenting and discipline. But Emma loved only two things: the perks that came with fame and her three daughters. Still, if Julia's sudden arrival -- two weeks ahead of schedule, during that aforementioned holiday -- was any indication, it was that she was in for a life of unconventionality (or dysfunction). From the start, Emma wasn't about "hands on" parenting; not in the sense that she deflected many of the actual duties of care to a nanny (but she often did), but rather that she didn't think rules would do anything but create resentment. By the time the girls were old enough to walk and talk they were being treated as almost fully autonomous beings, at least in the sense that Emma figured they knew what was best for themselves. If Julia didn't want to go to bed at 8 like a normal child and stayed up, then that was fine. And if she was exhausted the next day, well then she learned her lesson, didn't she?
Although Julia had somewhat of an idea about the family she came from, her concept of the Lyons or even her mother's career really didn't form until she was in school and saw kids sporting lunchboxes with her mother's face on them. It was weird to think of her mother, the same woman who treated her more or less like a best friend, as someone as iconic as Princess Leia. It was unsurprising when a young Julia wanted to follow in her mother's footsteps, proudly proclaiming one career day that she too would be an actress. It was even less surprising that as Julia grew older and more disillusioned with the emotional messiness constantly creeping in due to Emma's behavior that she would deny any interest in following the Lyon legacy into Hollywood. Acting was in her blood, sure, but for the longest time she believed the craft and self destruction went hand in hand.
When Julia was 17, Emma finally settled down in nearly every sense of the word, marrying a long time boyfriend, Arnold Leisinger and sticking with rehab for more than a week. Julia, though proud of her mother's development and stability, still regarded the idea of a career in entertainment as frivolous at best and emotionally dangerous; though she enjoyed performing in school productions - a lot more than she cared to admit - she planned to attend college and be one of the only Lyons who lived a normal life. But really, Julia had never been an academic at heart. It wasn't even that she lacked book smarts, just that she was easily bored by the tedium and memorization of school and had a fairly dismal attendance record. Decent test scores and a generous donation still got her into UCLA, where despite her best intentions to give college the old college try, she dropped out after a week to follow her family's path. Despite using the Lyon connections at first to get her in the door of auditions, including the one for United States of Tara, Julia decided to use her step-father's name of Leisinger in hopes that it would stop potential detractors from crying nepotism. It didn't, of course, and they weren't necessarily wrong, especially when she was just getting her start.
Julia was willing, nay, determined to prove herself as deserving. She accepted bit roles and small independent flicks, establishing some clout during and especially after the run of United States of Tara. While she could afford to be a little choosier than her dreamy-eyed peers just landing in Los Angeles and taking roles as blonde victim #2 on CSI, Julia checked her ego at the door and made sure she cultivated a reputation as humble and professional (or what the internet would probably call a little basic), and in turn has worked steadily on both television and in film to mixed results. In 2014, with her profile starting to rise, Julia set her sights on tackling a new challenge: Broadway. Soon, she joined the cast of Cabaret as the second Sally Bowles in the revival's limited run. Although the critiques that her voice was too thin and brittle to carry a Broadway production were definitely valid, her performance was largely praised as electric, with Julia channeling her desire to prove herself as worthy of being on that stage, night after night. Once her engagement with Cabaret was through, Julia landed the role of Darlene on a new USA drama, Mr. Robot. From start to finish, Julia's casting was fraught with tension -- from the network, which wanted to axe the character first, from the series creator who wanted to cast literally anyone else, from her own team who didn't think USA's usual fare was the right course for someone on her sort of trajectory. But Julia -- having devoured the script from the moment she read it -- was determined to take part in the show in some capacity. And once it premiered, it was apparent that she had made the right call.
Currently, Julia is in production of Mr. Robot's anticipated second season; she's still something of a workaholic. Despite the fact that many would say that she's earned the film industry's respect, she still worries that she's still only there because she has relatives that helped get her there, and she won't stop til she proves every last naysayer wrong.
• Surname is pronounced Lie-singer, not lay-singer.
• Despite the fact that like the rest of the Lyon family, Emma was born and raised in Montreal, she chose to raise her children in Los Angeles so that she could keep working (and attending parties). Julia holds dual citizenship, but her ability to speak french is dismal.
• Has about 6 tattoos, but most of them are kept out of place as a means of keeping things easy for makeup artists and to avoid fielding questions about what they mean, why she got them, etc.