Natalie Paul has been acting since childhood. (Photo Courtesy Jai Lennard)

The highly popular show “The Sinner continues to receive positive reviews, including a Golden Globe nomination. The anthology series examines how normal people commit brutal crimes. Natalie Paul, who plays Heather in the series, spoke to the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper.  

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL NEWSPAPER:  How did you develop a passion for acting? 

NATALIE PAUL: I’ve been involved with acting and theater since I was a kid. I used to put on shows for my family. I was constantly in the land of make-believe. It’s just a passion that I love. I went to New York University for drama school doing plays. Eventually I landed my first speaking role in television.  

LAS: Can you elaborate on your role as Heather? 

PAUL: Of course! The second season of “The Sinner is in a different town, however the storytelling is still amazing. I play Heather who is a rookie detective. One of her first cases is a double murder in her town. It looks like a child murdered his parents. They are trying to unravel why he would commit this crime.  

LAS: What makes “The Sinner different from other crime shows? 

PAUL: “The Sinner focuses on the reason behind the crime, more than the actual criminal. That’s what really sets it a part from a regular crime show. It’s not really about finding the killer but more on–why on earth would a child kill his parents? We find out later in the season that it goes deeper on what leads to that.  

LAS: Your character Heather seems to have a lot on her plate!  

PAUL: Yeah she does. She is a lesbian, a Black cop, and in a town where she is basically a unicorn. She totally sticks out. You will wonder, ‘why hasn’t she left yet?’ Those questions will be answered later in the season.  

LAS: Speaking of acting, who are some of your idols? 

Natalie Paul plays Heather in show The Sinner. (Photo Courtesy Jai Lennard)

PAUL: I love Phylicia Rashad. She is such an incredible woman. In terms of directors, it would have to be Barry Jenkins. He is an amazing visionary. Pam Grier is also an idol of mine. What’s so cool about her is that she overcame a lot of adversity. She is a pioneer who forged a path in a questionable genre and made it her own.   

LAS: Congratulations on following your dreams. What inspiration has allowed you to pursue your passion? 

PAUL:  Well, my dad has been super inspirational to me. He told me to start where you want to end up. So I start with the end in mind. We actually already have victory with us. We walk in that way.  We walk in as champions.  

LAS: Wow!  That does sound inspirational.  

PAUL: Right! He instilled in me that I was a winner before I even started the game. That kind of encouragement from my father helped me approach life differently. Of course I don’t always feel like a winner but I try to live by it everyday. When we know we are winners, everything else become inconsequential.   

The Sinner appears on USA Network.  Check your local listings for time.