News Column

Pittsburgh actress juggles series role, music career

July 12, 2014

By Bob Karlovits, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

July 12--Pittsburgh'sMargot Bingham is staying on the move.

Not only does she have a role on the new TV thriller "Matador," but she plans to go into the recording studio later in July to work on some new music, was a guest July 8 in a New York City concert and will be appearing at the Detroit Jazz Festival over Labor Day weekend.

"I've been finding out the only way to succeed in this crazy life is to not be afraid to do different things," she says.

Bingham's new role is that of Abigail "Billie" Fisher, a CIA logistics operative who is, Bingham says, "one smart cookie." She comes to this role from her work as blues singer Daughter Maitland on HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," which is ending this fall after five seasons.

"Matador," which debuts July 15, is about the work of Tony "Matador" Bravo, a professional soccer player who also is a CIA operative. The 13-week series is on the El Rey Network, which is on DirecTV in this area. El Rey already announced a second 13-episode season.

Bingham says broadcast connections change frequently and can be checked at

She is the daughter of ex-Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Craig Bingham and a graduate of the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts school.

Besides her HBO work, she has done an off-Broadway revival of "Rent" and commercials.

This role is different from her work as troubled chanteuse Maitland, she says, and that change is exactly what she liked about it.

"Doing a completely different character is the best thing because who knows where that will lead," she says.

While the work of Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters helped shape her work on "Boardwalk Empire," Bingham says she didn't have that guidance for this role. She just tried to figure out what Billie Fisher was all about and worked to bring a human side to an analyst who was constantly putting facts together.

Bingham, 25, says the real test in doing that has been in the speed in which these episodes have been put together.

"It's a real quick turnaround," she says.

But she also has been keeping her music career going, aiming to put out some more singles and doing live performance.

Her work in New York City was part of the "Midsummer Night's Swing" series sponsored by Lincoln Center. The best part of it, she says, is that it featured the Boardwalk Empire Band, led by arranger Vince Giordano, an expert at early swing and jazz.

She invites her fans to follow her on Twitter at @margotbrsvp.

Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 412-320-7852.


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