Olivia Wilde Tells ‘Vinyl’s ‘Passionate Love Story’ as Andy Warhol’s Muse

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Don’t let her trophy good looks or picture-perfect house in Connecticut fool you: Devon Finestra—Olivia Wilde’s character on the new HBO series Vinyl—is no boilerplate ’70s Stepford wife. While she may be the better half to her husband, struggling record-label owner Richie (Bobby Cannavale), the former party girl and Andy Warhol muse turned Greenwich mom has plenty of colorful layers to call her own. (Hey, you can take the girl out of the Factory…) Wilde talks about getting into the swing of things.

In the pilot, Richie fell off the wagon and went on a cocaine-and-booze bender, with disastrous results. Where does that leave Devon?
They made this deal to stay sober and keep each other alive—everything is predicated on that—and he breaks their contract. But she loves him too much to dismiss him easily. They’re true partners. It’s fun telling a passionate love story. Their relationship is really complex, as most real relationships are.

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This week’s episode features flashbacks to Devon’s old life as a fixture of the downtown New York City scene in 1966. What was she like?
Devilish! She wasn’t a hanger-on. She was really Andy Warhol’s confidante. We took creative license and based her on an amalgam of women. I love exploring what she gave up—and why. And there’s still an invitation for her to return to that world. She’s not at all the long-suffering wife of Richie.

With the pedigree this series has (executive producers include Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger), will it be held up to extra scrutiny?
Yeah, sure. Any time you hear names like theirs, the expectations are very high—and rightly so. I’m confident we’ll live up to and surpass them. The people working on this show are largely responsible for creating the culture during the time it’s taking place!

Vinyl, Sunday, Feb. 21, 9/8c, HBO