Torrey Devitto has a more than impressive resume. She currently stars in the hit NBC drama Chicago Med and has had roles in Army Wives, Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and more. Her big and small screen roles are just the tip of the iceberg. Torrey is an accomplished musician, activist, philanthropist and volunteer.
Torrey’s most impressive role is played outside the spotlight all together. She is a regular volunteer for Hospice in Chicago. While most people would steer very clear of the topic of mortality, Torrey faces it head on and plays an active role in making sure that people go out with comfort, dignity and style. She told us all about her experience with hospice, her career, and plenty of other fun details you may not have known about her. Check it out below.
What was your favorite toy growing up?
Torrey: My favorite toy growing up was a Skip-it. Does anyone remember a Skip-it? You put it on your ankle and you would twist it around and jump over it, and then it would count how many times you did it. It was more of a summer toy in New York [laughs].
If you could eat only three foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Torrey: Oh, easy. They would be nachos, pizza and a really good vegan cobb salad with fried vegan chicken strips.
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Torrey: My favorite ice cream flavor would have to be just plain chocolate.
If you were invisible for a day, what would you do?
Torrey: [laughs] My sister can attest to this. I would probably spend the entire day dancing in public just because [laughs] no one could see me, which I try to get away with and do anyways, but I get caught a lot. So, I would just dance around in public with my sister, and tap her the whole time letting her know that I was doing it so she could be embarrassed just thinking about it [laughs].
What is your favorite family tradition.
Torrey: Whenever I’m home at my mom’s house, my favorite thing is she always says, “let’s put on cozy clothes,” and we put on like cozy pajamas, put on a movie, and we all play this game. It’s a card game called Hand and Foot. It’s our favorite card game to play. I’ve been playing it all December on my break. It’s a lot of fun.
What is your favorite holiday?
Torrey: I like all holidays because that means a break and vacation, and time to be with the people you love, but my favorite holiday is probably Christmas.
What is the last gift you gave someone?
Torrey: I gave my mother a Stella McCartney bag for Christmas. She was very excited about it.
Who’s your favorite Disney princess?
Torrey: Belle. My favorite Disney princess is Belle, hands down. I love Beauty and the Beast. Every time that movie comes out again in theaters, I go by myself. I love that movie, and I love Belle.
Did you like the remake?
Torrey: I did like the remake. I went by myself. I went straight after work the day it came out, nobody else could go. I was like, “I’m going.” And I didn’t even change out of my makeup, nothing. I just went straight to the theater. And I thought it was really great, ‘because I wanna be Belle so badly, and now I’m too old, I think, and I also can’t sing, that’s another problem. But, when I was watching it I was just like, “Oh. I wanna do this.” I loved it. I loved it, every moment.
If you could shop for free at one store which would it be?
Torrey: I have an unhealthy obsession with youngliving.com. It’s all these essential oils and vitamins and I have spent so much money on their website. I would love a day for free.
If you could drop in on one famous television family and have dinner with them, who would it be?
Torrey: I would love to drop in on the family from Six Feet Under [laughs]. It might be a little depressing [laughs].
Do you ever talk to yourself?
Torrey: I talk to myself all the time. If there was a conversation I wasn’t happy with, sometimes I’ll actually replay it out loud and be like, “well I should have said this!” Also, as an actor I’m always saying my lines out loud. Especially on a medical show with medical terms. I will walk around Chicago just repeating that one medical term over and over again for the first couple of days before I actually have to say it. Just so I get it in my head. I probably look a little insane because I just say one word, mouthing it and walking around the streets of Chicago.
If they scream out, “is there a doctor in the house?” are you ever inclined to step up?
Torrey: No. If anyone screams out, “is there a doctor on the plane?” I slouch very low in my seat. There is no way. The only thing I could do is call 911. That’s about it [laughs]. That’s all you’d want me to do.
Do people ever assume that you just know more about medical stuff because of the role?
Torrey: Yeah, my dad all the time. If anybody is talking, “well, I just went to the doctor and I have this and this, Torrey, you know what that is.” I’m like, “No, I don’t [laughs]. I don’t.”
What would your best friend say is your worst quality?
Torrey: My sister, who is my best friend would tell you that I have trouble being around people when they are loud. I actually once screamed out after a movie, “I would love to know who was eating pop rocks with their popcorn?” That kind of stuff drives me crazy. This woman was actually twisting in her seat during a ballet performance and it was so loud next to me, and my sister said I just stared. I just look and stare, and I think that will get the point across like, “Hello”, but it doesn’t always. So, I think that would be definitely my worst quality, that stuff gets in my ear, big time [laughs].
What would she say is your best quality?
Torrey: I’ve been told by my best friends that they admire how open and loving I am. I think I accept people very easily and I don’t shortchange love when I extend it to people.
If you could share the screen with one actor or actress, past or present who would it be?
Torrey: I would love to do something with Monica Bellucci. I love her and I love all of her roles. I feel like she’s been super daring and risky and anytime I watch her I just feel like she’s so present and so amazing. I would love to work with her and learn from her. Maybe we could like play sisters or something. Maybe she could teach me one of her many languages she knows how to speak as well [laughs].
What inspired you to pursue acting?
Torrey: I grew up playing violin, so I was always in the entertainment world. I think what really pushed me into it without knowing it, was when I was 6 and I saw Les Mis, on Broadway and I fell in love with Eponine. I made my mom make me a full costume, and I would recite every line and I wanted to perform it for people. The seed was planted then. When I was 15, somebody put me into modeling and I didn’t like it. And the photographer told my mom that I was a little to shy for the camera, so she suggested an acting class, and I went to the acting class and I was like, “oh, this is what I want to do.” Thank you to that photographer, I suppose.
Who inspires you?
Torrey: I’m very fortunate to have a lot of amazing people in my life. I’m very close to my family. I have three sisters now. I have a new little sister she’s like ten months old. I’m very close with my mom, my dad. Both my parents are with amazing people as well and I have incredible friendships and an incredible boyfriend. I draw so much inspiration from all of those people, so if we just put them into one giant ball of light, that’s my inspiration.
What would you say your favorite career moment to date is?
Torrey: One of the coolest career moments I had was, I do a lot of stuff along the lines of mental health awareness. Speaking out against, stigmas around anxiety because I grew up with a lot of anxiety, and I still have anxiety. I actually got to switch the light for Mental Health Awareness Month on the Empire State Building, to turn it green for awareness for the month. That was really cool. I got to switch this light as myself and bring awareness to mental health. That was one of the coolest moments, for sure.
What would you say the most embarrassing career moment is? If you’re willing to share?
Torrey: I’ve had so many embarrassing career moments. First of all, the auditioning process is quite humbling. There are so many embarrassing moments that happen. I screen tested for the Wayans Brothers. It was for their spoof Dance movie, and in the scene, I had to stop and breakout into this dance but it wasn’t supposed to be good, it was supposed to be funny. All I remember from that audition was completely blacking out and just literally throwing my body around [laughs]. I almost fell at one point, I stopped, and they were just stone faced, not even a pity laugh, nothing. And I was like, “I’m going to go now, thank you.” “Thank you.” I normally call my mom after these things and I’m like, “I’m never doing this again” [laughs]. I have a lot of moment’s like that.
If you could experiment with any other career, what would it be?
Torrey: I’ve always wanted to be a funeral director. I actually looked into going back to school for it. I do hospice work, I have for about the last eight years now. In one case this pastor had died and I was the volunteer for the woman who was still alive and I worked the funeral with her. I realized that I really love doing this. A lot of funeral homes are family based and passed down. I feel like I could make a really cool progressive funeral home where people could be buried as trees, and all different ways, like any way you want it. I just feel like I work really well in that atmosphere, so that’s always in the back of my head.
How did your involvement in Hospice come about?
Torrey: I was working a lot when I was 24 or 25, and I got majorly depressed. I loved my job but there were a lot of aspects that weren’t making me feel right and I felt like there needed to be something else. So I just literally typed volunteering in Google. I thought I wanted to work with kids at a children’s hospital, which I would have loved to do, but hospice popped up first and I didn’t even know what it was. So I researched it, I called them. They happened to be having a training that week. I went to the training and I fell in love with it.
So it kind of like landed in my lap, which was a very beautiful, fortuitous thing. Ever since then I’ve been doing it, in Chicago. You have to have different training with each hospice you work at. I retrained for the hospice in Chicago so that I can have a patient. And my patient in Chicago is actually the first patient I’ve ever had that even knows what I do. I was sitting in her home, and she was listing her favorite TV shows to me, and she actually said, Chicago Med and Chicago Fire are my favorite shows. And I was like, “I guess I have to say something.” I said, “Well, I am in Chicago Med.” And I think because I was in her home, she just stared at me for a while. I ultimately got to bring her on the set, which was really cool. It’s been really great being able to transfer that work into Chicago as well.
I love spreading the word about hospice volunteering because, even when I got involved, a lot of my friends, they were like, “You’re already depressed, why are you doing something so morbid?” And what I think people don’t realize is, for me, the dying process is the same as birth. I feel like I’m volunteering for a birthing process. You’re helping somebody on to the next phase. What that is I have no idea, but you’re helping somebody, and when people are alone and dying the major things that I’ve realized that they want to do is be around somebody who will listen. They want to tell their story. They want to cry about regrets and they want to talk. It took me out of myself and filled me with so much happiness. That’s the one guarantee, right? We’re all gonna die. So being able to be a part of that process, I think is really beautiful.
Do you get to carry your Hospice experience into the show?
Torrey: Actually, in this new episode that we’re about to film my character speaks about hospice to somebody. And what’s really cool is they use it in a very positive light. I feel like film and TV love to make things dark and scary. Anybody who has experienced it in real life, most of the time, will say, “Oh, my gosh, hospice came in and they made it so much easier. They helped so much,” you know. And it’s just about showing up for people at the end who deserve dying with comfort, care, respect, and dignity.
From a career stand point, what are your goals for the future?
Torrey: My goals for the future are just to keep doing things that make me happy. Doing roles that scare and challenge me. I have started getting my feet wet in the producing world. I just produced a short that film and I’m producing something else that I can’t really talk about yet but I’m very excited about. I’ve started entering a new point in my career that I’m really excited about. I just want to keep learning and growing and doing things that I love.
How are you using your musical talents these days?
Torrey: I’ve been very fortunate to be able to play violin twice on Chicago Med. I would love to keep doing stuff like that. It would be great to do a movie where I play violin. To play a violinist would be really cool. I was classically trained so improvisation is not my strong suit. My co-star Nick Gehlfuss is a musician and he is always like, “Come jam with us, come jam with us,” and it scares the crap out of me. So one my goals is to bite the bullet and go jam with friends.
If you could go back to your younger self and give a piece of advice to the pre-career version of yourself, what would that be?
Torrey: It would be to care more in the right ways and to care less in the wrong ways. When I was younger especially, I was so focused on and aware of somebody watching me. I would never just like be the one to get up and start singing karaoke. I was always very timid in that way. I would tell my younger self, “none of that matters, just do you and have fun and screw everything else.”
Is there anything you want to go on record about?
Torrey: My Wikipedia used to say I was from Lebanon. I’m not from Lebanon, that’d be cool, but I’m not. I’ll have people comment on my personal life about things that they just deduced based on God knows what, and it’s so not true. But to answer to people and correct them would just drive me insane. I guess, on record one thing I’d like to set straight is; you think you know, but you don’t know [laughs]. Especially if you’re basing your information off of internet theories and social media gossip.
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Photographer: Mario Barberio
Makeup: Melissa Hernandez
Hair: Lucy Gedjeyan
Wardrobe Stylist: Madison Dixon
Publicist: Status PR
All Wardrobe provided by: Harper’s PR