Now Playing

Taylor Made

This fall, Lili Taylor takes her career to the streets as a tough-girl cop in Almost Human.

Lili Taylor plays Captain Sandra Maldonado in Fox’s Almost Human.

Lili Taylor can see it coming a mile away. Name one of her most recognizable films—be it Mystic Pizza, Say Anything or The Haunting—and she immediately knows which one fans will want to talk about. “I usually see it as they are coming toward me, and I will be like, ‘It’s The Haunting, I know.’ But don’t mistake her intuitiveness for pompousness. If anything, Taylor, 46, a Glencoe native, is happy that her career has had the success to garner the constant recognition.

“Sometimes I get the, ‘Are you Liv Tyler? Lily Tomlin?’ The names get mixed up. Twenty years ago, maybe I’d get bent out of shape, but then I realized, ‘Who’s losing here? Me.’ So I take it with a grain of salt.”

But mix-ups don’t happen much anymore. Following the success of the horror film The Conjuring this summer, Taylor next stars in J.J. Abrams’ one-hour action drama, Almost Human, set 35 years in the future, premiering Nov. 4 on Fox. “I’ve always wanted to play a cop, and this is my first cop role,” she explains. It’s actually a role that Taylor—or any other female actress for that matter—almost didn’t get. That role of Police Captain Sandra Maldonado was originally intended for a man, until, as Taylor surmises, her manager inquired, ‘What if the character is a woman?’ Taylor was suggested and, as the story goes, case closed.

In her personal life, the ’85 New Trier grad is married to poet and memoirist Nick Flynn, and they’re raising their 5-year-old daughter Maeve in Brooklyn. “I love the East Coast, but when I go back to Chicago, I’m endeared by the goodness of the people,” she says. And that has nothing to do with recognizability.