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Northwestern grad gets big break on ‘Boardwalk’

Meg Chambers Steedle BOARDWALK EMPIRE HBO.

Meg Chambers Steedle on BOARDWALK EMPIRE on HBO.

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Meg Chambers Steedle’s route to “Boardwalk Empire” started in Evanston, where she graduated from Northwestern in 2008 with a degree in theater arts.

Steedle credits that training, which included singing and dancing, with helping her land the plum role of Broadway showgirl Billie Kent.

One of the new faces this season on “Boardwalk,” Billie is a freewheeling flapper who steals Nucky’s heart — and just about every scene she’s in.

“When I was a senior I thought I really wanted to work in TV, so I started taking the L into the heart of Chicago for my first TV lessons at Act One Studios,” said Steedle, who lives in New York City’s Upper West Side but misses “the best apartment of my life in Evanston.” She’s headed back to Chicago for a Tuesday screening of a “Boardwalk” episode at Tommy Gun’s Garage. (The event has reached capacity.)

Steedle’s prior TV experience consists of one episode of “Body of Proof.” This new role is by far her biggest break, and it comes on a series she longed to be a part of.

“My grandparents have a beach house in South Jersey, so Atlantic City is very familiar to me,” she said. “And it’s a period drama, which is my favorite kind of television show.”

Viewers will get to see a lot of Steedle; she bares all in the season opener — something her parents didn’t know before they went to choir practice and broke the news about their daughter’s new gig.

“My mom just flipped,” Steedle said, “because they’d told all of the choir and it was already buzzing around the church.”



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