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Interview with Allie Gonino of "The Lying Game" on
ABC Family 1/12/12
ABC Family’s Q&A Session with Allie Gonino – The Lying
Moderator What do you continue to enjoy the most about playing the
character of Laurel?
A. Gonino I think the thing I enjoy the most about playing Laurel is
that with every episode, as her storyline develops, she's learning new
things about life [and] I'm learning new things about life with her and
new things about myself too. I feel like I have a chance to grow myself
by playing Laurel.
Moderator What do you feel it is about a show like The Lying Game that
resonates well with viewers?
A. Gonino I think there are so many elements. I think the romantic love
triangle between Sutton and Ethan, you know, is probably stirring up
some excitement. And obviously, the fact that like we have no idea
whether Alec is a creep or if he's a good guy. And we have really cute
clothes which I'm going to say is probably a big reason why young girls
watch it or even, you know, women.
There's so many elements, though, and just like the mystery aspect. I
think there's so much going on in every episode and I think that's what
keeps the viewers coming back for more.
Moderator Now that Sutton is back in town how will that sort of change
things in the Mercer house?
A. Gonino Well, I know in the next episode they're still wanting to keep
the twins anonymity. Like, they don't want anyone to know that the twins
are twins and out and about because there's a killer on the loose and
they don't know if that's provoking the killer to go out and find them.
So the next episode is basically just both of them taking turns playing
Moderator What has been the most challenging episode that you had to do
A. Gonino That's a good question. I guess probably the episode that was
just aired. That's the first time that I've ever had to really break
down in a scene and cry. So, I'd have to say that one. It was just a
very emotional episode for Laurel.
She never really shows that side of herself. She's usually very strong
and happy and zealous. So I'd have to say that one. I just plugged in my
iPod and put on a sad song and thought about something really awful and
then the tears came.
Moderator Is there going to be a repair in the relationship between
Laurel and Justin?
A. Gonino Yes. There's definitely some trust issues that will be coming
up in the next couple of episodes you'll be able to see.
Moderator What makes your character so appealing to the fans? And how do
you identify with your character; similarities and differences?
A. Gonino I think what's most appealing about Laurel is that she is such
a real character. I think young girls can identify a lot with her. She's
just a regular girl trying to get through life and still remain true to
herself, while also trying to be a good sister to a nightmare of a
sister. I think there's a vulnerability to Laurel that I felt when I was
So I think she's just really relatable. I guess our sense of humor is
sort of similar. So I would say it's a similarity. But the difference
between us is, I guess, probably just our lifestyle. Laurel goes to high
school and I've been doing music and acting for my whole life. That's
probably the biggest difference.
Moderator Do you think maybe in the future Laurel will affect Sutton as
realizing she's kind of snotty? Or do you think that maybe with all the
stuff going on with Justin, Laurel might do some of the lying games
A. Gonino I know that the real Sutton and Laurel have a conversation.
And Laurel says something to the effect of like, you've been different
lately. And I think Sutton is taken aback by it because she's just now
figuring out what a cool person Emma is and, of course, that only like
sparks more jealousy.
I'm not really sure if Laurel is going to be in on the lying game. I'm
sure she probably will at some point. Everyone on the show is playing
the lying game. [laughs] So I don't know about that one though.
Moderator Do they spend a lot of time with you guys in the fitting rooms
with your wardrobe?
A. Gonino Yes. We do have a great stylist, Mimi Kaupe. She, basically,
just pulls in a big rack of really cute things. We get to try them on,
play dress up for like an hour and say what we like best. And then, it
just all kind of comes together. We don't have like a huge budget for
our clothes. So I think it's really, really amazing that we've been able
to stylize the show so well.
Moderator In which direction would you like to see your character go in?
What would you like to see your character do more of?
A. Gonino Well, I think she's been very enthralled with the boyfriend
sort of situation lately. And in the next episode you'll see she gets to
perform on stage for the first time. And so, I'm really glad that she's
kind of getting back into being Laurel, you know, not Laurel plus
boyfriends. And she's getting a little bit of her sass back and getting
to express herself through music. So, I'm hoping in the future that
they'll show that it's possible to balance both having a boyfriend and
pursuing your own thing. I think that would be really cool for the
Moderator Is there anything else you can tell us about future episodes?
Any tidbits you can spill about?
A. Gonino Yes, without giving too much away. Laurel finds out in the
next episode on Monday (1/16) what the big secret between Justin and Ted
is. So it has to do with the bracelet and it's going to rock her world.
So definitely look out for that. It's a pretty jarring episode.
Moderator So, Laurel is going to find out what Justin's hiding. Can you
tell us a little bit more about that? Does that mean they're going to
repair their relationship after she knows the truth?
A. Gonino I can't exactly say. I have to be very careful. But it's
definitely going to put a huge a dent in the relationship. You know,
they just broke up. So now the truth is coming out and Laurel is going
to have to decide whether to trust him again and try to repair the
relationship or dump him.
Moderator You also mentioned that you're performing on next week's
episode. Are there any plans in the work to come back and perform again
with your band?
A. Gonino Yes. We are performing in episode, I think, it's 116. So, like
three episodes after this Monday we'll be performing again.
Moderator Are you ever surprised when you get your next script, who else
is holding a secret and who else is involved in this whole game?
A. Gonino Definitely. I'm just as surprised as the viewers are with each
new episode. We don't really ever know what's going to happen until we
get the script. We'll hear like rumors about what's going to happen and
then they'll change their minds and write something totally different.
So yes, it is the mystery sort of surprise element to the show is what
makes it so successful.
Moderator Do you think that these characters are a pretty accurate
depiction of 15, 16, 17 year olds today?
A. Gonino I hope not. You know, television we exaggerate everything. But
that's why we do it is to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
And entertainment is there for us to just let go and forget about
everything else and get involved in lots of drama without actually doing
it in real life, you know. I think that's the good thing about it.
Moderator I have one more question in regards to the wardrobe. You guys
wear some pretty high heels. Is that tough on you guys on your long
A. Gonino Well, I've been wearing high heels for awhile. I'm a dancer.
So it's not too bad unless the shoes themselves are really uncomfortable
and then it's a pain. But, you know, I like wearing heels. They make me
Moderator When you first heard about the role of Laurel, what was it
that made you want to play her?
A. Gonino I think it was just that I saw so much of myself in her. And I
probably just felt some deep desire to live that stage in my life again
and probably relearn some lessons that I didn't necessarily remember.
And learn new things about myself. And I just love her wit.
She's so funny and energetic. That's just like the type of character I
want to play. And it is my first, like, big role. So I wanted to pick
something that would really allow me to learn acting and being in front
of the camera and all that kind of stuff.
Moderator Do you have a behind the scene moment or memory or something
that you could share with fans that they wouldn't know about from
filming or just some little tidbit?
A. Gonino Well, I guess, we rarely get to do scenes where it's all of
the cast in one scene. But the scene where we had the dinner party when
the parents went out of town. We were joking and it's just a fun set.
Like, we really do get along and all the actors are really intelligent
people and want to do good work and are here to tell a story. I think
the fans would like to know that all these characters that they're
seeing are not as evil as they appear to be on television. They're
really–they're really good people.
Moderator You started off appearing on Disney Channel shows Cory In The
House and The Suite Life On Deck. How did that help you get your role in
A. Gonino Well I think every role I've ever done, up until now, has
helped me even since being on stage in ballets as a little girl. I think
with every new job that I get it's really about just being more
comfortable to be in front of the camera as opposed to get in front of
the camera and feel tense or something. Those roles, like The Suite Life
On Deck role I guess that was my first big guest star. And it just
helped me to loosen up, make choices and stick to those choices as an
actor and believe in my ability as an actor.
Moderator What exactly would you like see happen with Laurel's character
in relationship to Justin?
A. Gonino They don't even know where they're going with that storyline.
But I think if she does decide to stay with Justin it needs to be like
full-fledged trust. Relationships are difficult. If you are going to
choose to spend at your youth with someone, like, that's such a big
decision to spend your high school years with someone.
So, I think I just want her to remain true to who she is and true to her
passions. And I want her to be ambitious and go off and do her own
Laurel thing. And be able to have a boyfriend. But I don't want it to be
all about him.
Moderator According to Episode 16 that's going to change. You're going
to be playing a Dixie Chicks song I think. Are you excited about that?
Can you tell us which one?
A. Gonino Yes. I'm going to be playing “Top of the World” which was
written by Patty Griffin, but sung by the Dixie Chicks. They're the
reason I got into music in the very first place when I was like four
years old. So to be able to play one of their songs on a TV show is,
like, really weird but really awesome. And I feel really honored to be
able to do that. It's like, it's my own little homage to them. So I'm
Moderator What was your first love; acting or performing as a musician?
A. Gonino I would say music. I think it has always been something that
I've just been in love with. I think it's universal for everyone. You
know, it's been around since forever. But I was, like, probably three
years old when I watched The Wizard of Oz for the first time and that
really, I think, inspired me to be an actress. And I would come home
from day care every single day and dress up like Dorothy, watch the
movie and act it out. So I was, like, definitely an actress from a very
young age. But I don't think I knew it until I actually started booking.
But I would have to say music is where my heart will always be.
Moderator Besides the violin what other instruments do you play?
A. Gonino I play a little bit of Mandolin. And I can play a little piano
but not very well. Just a little by ear.
Moderator Have the fans recognized you more since The Lying Game and is
there any fan experience that stands out in your mind?
A. Gonino I definitely have been recognized a bit more since the show
came on. The one I was most surprised to find out about that she even
watches the show. My band and I when we were in L.A. we play music for
this private children's hospital, and I walked in to this one girl,
Angela, who we actually wrote a song about.
So we walked into her room and she was just chilling and watching ABC
Family and our guide was like, "Angela, this is Allie." And she was
like, "Were you on The Lying Game?" I was like, "Yes, you watch that
show?" She was like, "Yes." And she was like really star struck but not
like freaking out. But just like happy that we were there to play music
for her. So that was like a really special moment for me that people I
wouldn't have even imagine who'd get to watch the show gets to watch it.
So that made me really happy.
Moderator What about your own, have you ever fanned girled out on anyone
A. Gonino Yes. I didn't let them know it. But I saw David Schwimmer,
Ross Geller, from Friends at a restaurant one time and I was freaking
out. He was sitting like in the table right next to us. It was actually
when I was in The Stunners and everyone else just looked at me like I
had lobsters, like, crawling out of my head or something. But that was a
pretty big moment for me. It's Ross, you know?
Moderator Could you tell us if you had a favorite episode from either
what we've seen or the shows that you've shot that we haven't seen yet?
If there's one episode that stands out to you?
A. Gonino Honestly, the episode you're going to see this week is my
favorite because I get to play the Dixie Chicks song and I get to
perform with my real life band. It's like a dream come true and I'm
excited for myself. But I'm also excited for the fans to see it because
I think the music element is interesting and I don't think any other
show is really doing it. So to have all this drama with like a backdrop
of music is fun. I'm excited for this one.
Moderator Being on The Lying Game and having your band, you're very
busy, very full of life, how do you balance it all?
A. Gonino I don't know. I really just try to take it as it comes and not
try to stress out too much which is, honestly, the hardest thing in the
world to do is not let it overwhelm me. But we've been in the studio and
in film. So you just got to take it as it comes and then treat yourself
every once in awhile with, a dessert or a drink or something which I
don't suggest to people under the age of 21.
Moderator So we know now that in The Lying Game signature was the white
and black bow surprise and we've already seen one. Will there be anymore
of those coming up?
A. Gonino We haven't seen anymore as of yet. But we're about to do a
table read of the next episode so maybe on that one. But that's all
we've seen of the black and white bow.
Moderator In terms of the mystery of the lying game, is there a person
you think you could expand to also target? Like Ethan or will they
exclusively stick to just going after Emma?
A. Gonino I know Ethan gets in trouble for something but it doesn't
really have to do with the twins. The episode we just shot is going to,
like, shock people. But that's all I can say right now.
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