I loved speaking with Ms. Milano. She is one of my
favorites, thanks to "Charmed". I have followed her on Twitter for quite
a while. This movie she's in is a lot of fun. You can
read my review.
She spoke passionately and at length during the
interview. I found her to be very intelligent, well-spoken and
insightful. It was a great interview. Below is my attempt to transcribe
it. If there are any parts I can't understand, they will be in italics.
Hope you enjoy it! This call was very long at about 43 minutes, so I
don't know if I will type up the whole thing or not...depends on how
difficult it is. I will at least have my questions and her answers,
Alyssa: Hi, Suzanne
Suzanne: Hi, Alyssa. It's great to talk to
Alyssa: You, too!
Suzanne: I'll get right into it. Why should
people watch this movie? What would you say is the best thing about it?
Alyssa: I think the best thing about it is,
actually, how romantic it is.
Alyssa: It's what I was first attracted to when I
read the script. It's really like a modern day fairy tale, in a
way. It's such an original concept, which I don't think we see that
often, any more.
Suzanne: That's true. What did you enjoy most
about making the movie?
Alyssa: I think, so many hours go into
making a movie. We were away on location for six weeks. I find that when
you're away on those getaways so much is focused on the task at
hand that you don't have your normal daily distractions. I always find
that the most useful to where you can tell the chemistry between
the actors. I was so crazy about this cast. I thought everyone did such
an amazing job and made it not only easy but an experience where it felt
like we were doing something great.
Suzanne: Okay, well, thank you very much, and
we'll see you on Twitter.
Alyssa: Thank you!
Courtney from Rake
Courtney: Hi, Alyssa, how are you?
Alyssa: Hi, Courtney, I'm wonderful. Thank you.
How are you?
Courtney: I'm good. So I was wondering how it was
reuniting on screen with Ivan?
Alyssa: Oh, my God, it was so great. And I've
actually worked with Eric Winter before, also, we did a pilot for NBC
that did not get picked up. So, to have both of those guys there, it was
awesome. So much fun. We filmed in Toronto, so we'd go to Second
City on our days off. We saw improv and laughed. Any time you are
reconnected with people that you've worked with before...people you
admire and like, it's always a great feeling. It's a very small world
anyway, so when you add on top of it the industry, which is a very small
industry, you hope that the people you really care for come back around.
Courtney: That's great. (something I can't
understand) Do you have any Christmas traditions of your own?
Alyssa: Oh, yeah, of
course. In my family, my mom is still the matriarch of our family, and
we spend every Christmas season at my parents' house. They've been
married for 43 years. And my mom makes an Italian feast like you've
never seen before. It's got an Italian main course, which is different
types of fishes, which is the tradition in Italian families on Christmas
Eve. Then she does an American course of turkey, ham and stuff like
that. We'll eat ourselves into a food coma. My dad and my brother
usually play instruments. My dad is a musician, my brother is a
musician. My dad will play the piano, my brother will play the guitar,
and then about 11:30 we open up all the presents from each other. Then
Saturday we have a big Christmas brunch and we open the presents from
Courtney: Oh, great, thanks for talking to me.
Alyssa: Sure, my pleasure, thank you so much.
Amy from Boston
Amy: (I had a hard time understanding this)
Can you talk a little bit about what keeps you coming back to the TV
Alyssa: I think what's
kept me coming back to the TV industry is that I don't know if I can do
anything else. I didn't go to a regular high school, I didn't
participate in college classes...so this is all I've really ever known.
I was a little girl, I started acting when I was 7, so...I think that's
what's sort of kept me here, and what's kept me going back to TV, you
mean like as opposed to films?
Amy: Yeah, it seems like between TV movies and TV
series, it seems like you really enjoy being on TV.
Alyssa: I like the stability of television.
Especially with series. This business is so, sort of, fickle, and you
enver really know when your next job is gonna be. So for me, to have
that stability of being on a series, and knowing, at least for that
season, that you have a job sort of allows me to enjoy the rest of my
life a little bit more because I don't have to worry about where my next
job's going to be.
Amy: And did you ever think about another career?
Or do you just like having the dual career of acting and the other
things you do.
Alyssa: I think everything that I do besides
acting, acting has been the sort of platform that allows me to do it.
I'm not so sure that any of those other things would exist without my
acting career. It's part of the reason why I'm so grateful to still be
working after all this time. When I was in my early 20's, I used to
think that at some point I'd go to med school. You know, study medicine
so I'd be able to help kids.
Amy: Great, well, thank you so much for your time
today. I appreciate it.
Alyssa: Thank you, Amy. Take care.
Jenny Schaeffer from ?
Jenny: Hi, Alyssa. Thank you for taking the time
Alyssa: Sure, Jenny. How you doin'?
Jenny: Fine, thank you. Those of us from the
celebrity site ? are dying to know if you and your hubby David are
hoping to have kids one day.
Alyssa: (Laughs) Um, we are going to take
what God gives us. We're not NOT trying, but we're not really
Jenny: Do you get sick and tired of people always
asking you that?
Alyssa: I wonder if there's a double
standard there because I wonder if male actors get that question, too.
They don't get the baby bump watch.
Alyssa: I've never seen, like a baby bump
watch on like, Brad Pitt, or something. I don't know, whatever God gives
us, we'll be grateful for.
Jenny: Do your parents want to have grandkids?
Alyssa: Um, yeah. I definitely think that
they do. Until that happens, they'll have to be content with my fur
kids, with my dogs.
Jenny: Awww. Okay, thanks so much.
Alyssa: Sure, thank you.
Paula from Bettyconfidential
Paula: How are you today?
Alyssa: I'm wonderful, thank you, how are
Paula: I'm good, thank you! So, we were wondering
what you have in common with your character, Jane.
Alyssa: I think that's what I was attracted
to when I read the script was that she was hurt in her past, and the
protection mechanism became a sort of repressed romantic. I really like
that aspect of it. I find the most interesting characters to play are
the ones that are kind of flawed, that have to go through this journey.
For me, the character was really about that she was sort of hardened off
to love, and through magical circumstances, she learned to love wholly
again. I think that's what I love about her. I was never not a romantic
in real life. I guess our business drive is similar, but otherwise I
think it's the differences that attracted me to her as a whole.
Paula: And one more question...we were also
wondering what you thought was the most challenging part of the role.
Alyssa: I think it was coming up a
character that was hardened off and protective of herself. Making sure
that didn't come off as bitchy. Does that make sense? I wanted to see a
distinct change between who she was in the beginning of the film and who
she was at the end of the film, but I didn't want her to come off as too
icy or bitchy in the beginning.
Paula: Great. And you produced it as well, right?
Paula: Thank you so much.
Alyssa: Thank you so much, have a beautiful
Moderator: And Jeri Miller
Jeri: Hi, Alyssa, how are you?
Alyssa: I'm very well, thank you. How are
Jeri: Good! At one point in the movie, Jane
says that she's obsessive about recycling. Now I'm with a green website,
so, are you?
Alyssa: Yes, of
course. I'm obsessed with everything green. I actually just pre-ordered
Jeri: Oh, you did?
Okay, great. When do you get it?
Alyssa: I think that January they start
coming to install the charging stock.
Alyssa: And then I think it gets delivered
in February. And my husband's actually getting The Volt.
Jeri: Oh, something car family.
Alyssa: I know, how cute are we?
Jeri: That's very cute.
Alyssa: I mean, after the oil spill I had
this distinct, strong feeling that if I ever were to be blessed with
children, I don't ever want my children to be pumping gas at a gas
Jeri:Being a potential parent, you're more
concerned about the next generation.
Alyssa: Yeah. I think it's our responsibility to
make the changes that we need to take, regardless of the conveenience.
Alyssa: I know it's more inconvenient to have an
electric car, but I'll do what I have to do to have it.
Jeri:Okay, I like that. You're also a vegetarian,
so that helps the planet, too.
Jeri:And do you have a lot of dogs and cats, do
you rescue animals as well?
Alyssa: I've got 5 dogs and 10 horses.
Probably 90% of all of those are rescues. I actually live in my animals'
house. They let me live there.
Jeri:What about the holidays? Is there anything
in particular you do that's green?
Alyssa: We don't normally do a lot of lights on
the house. We have a something on the door.
Jeri:I heard that the LED lights getting out are
way better than electricity.
Alyssa: Yes, and that's awesome. There's also now
solar outdoor lights.
Alyssa: They get solar during the day, they
recharge, but at night they go on automatically. I have some of those,
actually, in my garden.
Jeri:Oh, perfect. So you don't mind a bit. On
another subject, do you have any jewelry from Tiffany's?
Alyssa: Of course.
Jeri: Fantastic. What's your favorite thing?
Alyssa: I think my favorite thing...I have a
heart necklace with a pearl on it. My husband gave it to me.
Alyssa: He brought me the blue box.
Jeri: That distinctive blue box. Something good
always comes inside.
Jeri: Excellent. Well, okay, thanks!
Alyssa: Thanks, Jeri!
Alison from ?
Alison: Hi, Alyssa, how are you?
Alyssa: I'm wonderful, how are you?
Alison: I'm good, thanks. I was just curious,
what do you look for in potential character or role like Jane in
"Sundays at Tiffany's"?
Alyssa: There are a
few elements that are important to me, and one isn't specific to the
role, it's that the complete package is something that I know will
produce great movie. What I mean by that is, it's so hard to make
something that's great, anyway. There are so many elements that go
into making a great movie that I try to look for things that I know will
help that. I think having this story, and having it be based on a James
Patterson novel definitely helps. Then just all the other creative
elements attached--the directors, the producers, all of those things are
really, really, super important to me. We need to sort of work together
to make something great. I think the first thing I look at, as far as
characters go, I love playing women that you see grow on camera. Whether
that means they start out flawed and end up in a different place than
where we first saw them. I'm really attracted to flawed characters
because I feel like we're all flawed.
Alison: Yes, I agree.
Alyssa: You know? I feel like that it's more
challenging to portray something that's more real instead of something
that doesn't fit.
Alison: That's great. One more question. I'm
curious if you're going to be watching the premiere night Monday or do
you have anything special planned?
Alyssa: I hope so. I
think that I'm going to be traveling back from New York, though. I'm
going to New York to do Regis and the Today show, for the premiere. So I
don't know if I'm going to be home in time.
Alison: Thank you so much. I'm looking forward to
watching you on the Today show.
Alyssa: Thank you.
Alison: Thank you.
Alyssa: Thanks so much.
Moderator: Melissa from The Oklahoman
Alyssa: Hi, Melissa.
Melissa: Hey, Alyssa, how are you?
Alyssa: I'm wonderful, how are you?
Melissa: I'm good. Thanks again for taking our
Alyssa: Oh, it's absolutely my pleasure. Thank
you for taking the time with me.
Melissa: Sure. I notice you have been producing.
How do producing compare to acting for you?
Alyssa: I definitely think when producing a
project starts, it makes you a little more emotionally invested.
Alyssa: When you're hired to just act, it can
sometimes be feel completely like the position that everyone has. When
you're also producing, you know what that vision is like the back of
your hand. There've been many discussions about it. I feel it puts you
right on the same page with the creatives that are involved. Sometimes
when you're acting, especially in television movies, where you don't
have a lot of rehearsal time, you're sort of trying to figure out on the
set the direction where you guys are going to take the characters. I
think there is a sense of being more creatively involved and more
Melissa: Well, that makes sense.
Melissa: I also wanted to ask you to talk a
little bit about your work with Unicef and the Global Network for
Neglected Tropical Disease Control. That sounded really
Alyssa: I've been an ambassador for Unicef since
2003. And in 2000 I lived in South Africa for 3 months. I volunteered in
a children's hospital in a township there. I was very caught up in what
was going on socially in South Africa. Apartheid had recently been
abolished, less than a decade when I was there. So there was still a lot
of struggle and a lot of trying to find a break. And when I
came home, I lived in Beverly Hills at the time. I had a very hard time
assimilating from what I learned about in South Africa with the person
that I was in Los Angeles. I went through a bout of depression. My mom
looked at me, and said, "You should call Unicef. See if there's anything
you can do". I called Unicef and in 2003 they appointed me a good will
ambassador. I went to Angola, Africa, and that was in 2007. We
went to India 6 months after the tsunami hit and this year we went to
Kosovo. And then my work with the Global Network--I actually met with a
guy named Peter Hosten at the Clinton Global Initiative. A
few years ago, I sat on a panel with Jimmy Carter and discussed this
thing called Neglected Tropical Diseases. I was so fascinated by the
fact that, in all my travels with Unicef, I had never heard of
Negelected Tropical Diseases. I thought it was a worthy cause to sort of
adopt because these 12 types of bacterial infection affect the poorest
of the poor. People that live on less than one dollar a day.
They are perpetuating the cycle of poverty, and not a lot of people know
about them. I think this is one of the good news stories because they
are treatable, and the pharmaceutical companies are actually donating
the diseases. So, yeah, they're both work that I'm very proud of.
Melissa: Thank you for talking about that.
Alyssa: Of course, thank you for asking about
Melissa: Sure. Have a good day.
Alyssa: You, too, Melissa.
Amy from PopCulture
Alyssa: Hi, Amy.
Amy: Hi, Alyssa. We were wondering if you could
tell us about working with Stockard Channing.
Alyssa: Oh, my goodness. I don't even know where
to begin with that. She is exactly what you would think working with
Stockard Channing would be like. I mean, I was always a huge fan
of hers, but I'm even more so after working with her. She's lovely
and smart, her instincts are always dead on. Working with her is a
great reminder of why, after 30 years of being in this business, I still
love my job. I get to go watch people like her work and still
Amy: Amazing, yeah. Did you have an imaginary
friend when you were little?
Alyssa: I did not, no. I was an only child, so
you would think I may have. I don't know, I'll have to ask my mom. Maybe
I did and I just don't remember.
Amy: Best of luck with the movie.
Alyssa: Thank you.
Chris: So you're an only child? I am an only
child, also. Did you have a lot of extended family?
Alyssa: I was an only child until I was ten.
Alyssa: When I was 9 years old, I asked for a
Chris:And they delivered?
Alyssa: I was so spoiled, that they actually gave
me that. He and I sort of had the best of both worlds. I was an
only child for ten years, and then I got a brother, and then once I
moved out of the house, he was sort of an only child with my parents.
Yeah, I think when you're a kid...I think that was part of the reason
why I was such a creative kid because I didn't have anyone to play with
as a kid. So I would always make up stories and puppet shows, I did
interpretive dance in the living room, and, always stuff like that
because I didn't have a sibling to play with.
Chris: So as an only
child, how many children do you picture in your future?
Alyssa: Maybe two. I'm 38 in December, so I'm not
sure how that's all gonna work.
Chris: Okay. I follow you on Twitter. I'm
wondering if you ever find time to tweet when you're on set.
Alyssa: Oh, yeah, of course. I basically tweet no
matter what I'm doing. Probably a few things I don't tweet when
I'm doing them, but, yes, I tweet when I'm on set. The only time I have
found that Twitter isn't part of whatever activity I'm dong is when I'm
Chris: Probably get too dirty then.
Alyssa: I don't know, it just seems like that's a
Chris: Um-hmm. Okay, thank you so much.
Alyssa: Sure! Thank you!
Moderator: Jamie from Starry Constellation
Alyssa: Hi, Jamie.
Jamie: Hey, it's a pleasure to speak with you.
Continuing on with the Twitter conversation, how important do you see
Twitter and other social networking to promotion of shows?
Alyssa: I think that it's important, but I think
that there has not been a specific formula that has worked. All I know
is, for me, I have three accounts. I have one for Alyssa.com, and one
for my clothing line, and my personal account. For me, I feel weird
about self-promoting too much on my personal account. I might say blurbs
here and there, but the majority of promotion of projects I'm working on
comes from my Alyssa.com account, which has significantly less
Jamie: How did the direction of the James
Patterson novel help you with this? Did you get to meet James himself
and talk about the character.
Alyssa: I did not. But I think one of the
wonderful things about doing movies that are based on books, you have
such a deep well of information about the character, not only from the
script you're shooting, but from the book itself. So there's a lot of my
performance that even if it wasn't in the script, that I took from the
book. You know, where she is in her life, and sort of that arc that she
goes through. A lot of that was clearer in the book because
obviously you don't have to worry about wrapping things up quickly. It
was very beneficial to have that. I sort of looked at it as the bible
for the story.
Jamie: Thank you so much for your time.
Alyssa: Thank you.
Michelle: Hi, Alyssa, thanks so much for being
here this afternoon.
Alyssa: Thank you.
Michelle: I was just wondering, you've been
pretty open about how close you are to your family, I was
wondering how much of a challenge it was to play such a difficult
Alyssa: I think that it would have been a lot
more of a challenge if it wasn't written as well as it was written. I
think that honestly, no matter how close a daughter is with her mother -
and my God, I love my mother endlessly --I think there is always going
to be a mother-daughter relationship, and it's a very neat dynamic. My
relationship with my mom is very different, but it is a relationship
that I have in my life. I think that is what I was able to tap into for
that mother-daughter relationship in the movie. As moments go, like when
I was a teenager...I know that if I have kids, I'm going to have a girl,
for retribution purposes. When I was a teenager, wow, did I put my mom
through it! So that's the kind of stuff that you can sort of tap into.
That's the fun thing about being an actress, finding that thing that you
can relate to and make the scene work. Even if you can't relate to it at
Michelle: Also, did you have any favorite scenes
or highlights when you were shooting?
Alyssa: I think my favorite scene to shoot was
the scene where I'm having dinner and Michael shows up? I love that
scene. It was just one of those scenes where everything was
working better than you could have ever imagined. Everything was
Michelle: Thank you so much.
Alyssa: Thank you so much!
Lillith from The Gloss
Lillith: Hi there, Alyssa, thanks for speaking
Alyssa: Sure, thanks for having me.
Lillith: So the Gloss
is a fashion and beauty site. The first question I wanted to ask is, the
wedding dress selection is really, really important in this movie and
sort of shows who Jane is as a person. So how did you choose your own
Alyssa: My own wedding dress...one of those
moments that people tell you about but you don't quite believe them. My
mom said to me, when you put on your dress, you'll know. I had met with
probably 3 or 4 designers and I found one dress that I liked from each
designer. I was sort of ready to settle on one of those, and then, hey,
I got an appointment with Vera Wang. I went in and found this dress that
had just come off the runway show. I put it on, and I started crying. I
was like, "This is it". There was no way it could have been a more
distinct realization. I just knew as soon as I put it on, and I got
overwhelmed with emotion. So I do think there's truth to that saying,
that once you put it on, you know.
Lillith: That's great. Also, of course, the movie
has a huge nod to Audrey Hepburn in it. So is she a style icon for you,
and if not, who is your style icon?
Alyssa: Oh, yes, of course, Audrey Hepburn is an
inspiration for so many reasons. Most imprtantly that she's an ex-Unicef
ambassador, sort of before that was a well known thing. Her and Danny
Kaye were the two people that sort of used their voice originally to
affect positive change. But yeah, I love her.
Lillith: Thank you so much.
Alyssa: Thank you so much.
(They asked if anyone had more questions. I don't know
who this was.)
Reporter: There's a movie coming out February
25th called "Hall Pass" with Christina Applegate and Owen Wilson in it.
So what do you play in that and what's the theme?
Alyssa: What's the theme?
Reporter: Yeah, in a nutshell, what's it about
and what's your character?
Alyssa: The movie is about two guy friends that
are married and their girlfriends give them a "hall pass" so they can go
do whatever they want. Jason Sudeikis and Owen Wilson getting a hall
pass from their future wives to do whatever they want.
Reporter: Are you a wife, or...?
Alyssa: No, I play Andrew Wilson's wife, one of
their buddies, who in real life is actually Owen's brother.
Reporter: Ah, okay.
Alyssa: Yeah, I play a friend of the couples.
Farrelly Brothers directed it, so it's very funny.
Reporter: Very nice.
Alyssa: I think that they're pretty decent when
it comes to comedy.
Reporter: Would you do another series?
Alyssa: In a second.
Reporter: Okay. So we'll hopefully see you again
soon in one.
Reporter: You mentioned gardening before. What
kind of things do you grow in that garden? Do you have vegetables,
plants, flowers, what?
Alyssa: My husband, for our one-year anniversary,
built for me an organic vegetable garden.
Reporter: Oh, wow, how
Alyssa: Yes, and I'm
so obsessed with it, it's kind of ridiculous. I'm growing salad greens,
like arugula, spinach, beets, snap peas, string beans, broccoli,
Reporter: Oh, wow. So you don't have to go to the
market all that much.
Alyssa: Yeah, well, we just had our first salad
from the garden, actually.
Reporter: Oh, I'll bet it was delicious.
Alyssa: So delicious I can't even tell you.
It was amazing. With my arugula and my tomatoes. It was fantastic.
Reporter: All right, well, thanks again.
Alyssa: Thank you.
Suzanne: I have a question. So, Alyssa, with all
these things you do, with acting, producing, promoting, gardening, all
the charity stuff--how do you find the time and energy for all that? I'm
exhausted just listening to you talk about it. (Chuckles)
Alyssa: You know
what I do, I just try to balance things. So what that means is, if I'm
having an afternoon off, or if I'm not actually working, I really try to
use that time to things that I love to do. Like, for instance, I have
Thursday off, so my dad's gonna come over and we're gonna ride horses
together. So I just think balance is the most important thing. This is
very easy for me to say, since I don't have kids, but I don't feel
fulfilled unless I'm doing the things that I love. So it's
important to me to make time to do this.
Suzanne: So just sort of prioritizing and keeping
focused but not stressing about things.
Alyssa: Yeah, and also for me, I think that so
often we stress about responsibilities and how we have to get things
done. For some people you need that drive to do it. For me, I can stress
about work, or doing promoting, or doing the work I'm doing, but it
always somehow gets done. That's the same whether I'm doing a movie or
working in the garden.
Suzanne: All right, well, thank you, and do you
think there's ever a possibility of there ever being a Charmed follow-up
Alyssa: I would love that. I don't know if it's a
possibility, but I would absolutely love that.
Suzanne: Well, all the Charmed fans hope so!
Alyssa: I hope so, too.
Suzanne: Thank you!
(another person here)
Reporter: I have one more question. You talked
about before about starting off as an actress you tend to have a unique
perspecitive, coming up as a child and then becoming an adult. Do you
think it's harder today being a child star? What do you think helped you
make the transition and not being someone we read about in the tabloids,
so to speak?
Alyssa: I think it's harder and easier in a lot
of ways. What I mean by that, it's easier because when I was a kid on
television, there were very few people from my generation on TV that
actually made that transition. Also, I was on TV at a time when it
wasn't really cool to be on TV. A lot of those people did not work
in other mediums. They didn't do films, they didn't have other regions
to work in. It wasn't until really, "Friends", I think, maybe Michael J.
Fox, where people who were on TV were taken seriously as actors at all.
So I think it's easier now for kids to make that transition if they have
talent. But I thin it's harder now because we have this
fascination with celebrity, and the internet has made it very easy for
that fascination to alienate the celebrity from just being a normal
person. I think everyone is under a microscope now, and that was
not the case when I was coming up.
Alyssa: And I would think that would be an awful
lot harder to grow up with. What I usually tell people is, I think that
the people who had a hard time and struggled are the people that would
have had a hard time and struggled no matter what they did in their
Alyssa: I was blessed to have an amazing family
that kept me grounded and made me realize what was important in life,
and I don't think that a lot of kids in this business have that.
Reporter: Thank you so much.
Alyssa: Thank you.
Reporter: Alyssa, I just have one more question
for you. I'm sort of the same age as you, and I grew up loving you on
"Who's the Boss". You know, my brother and all my male friends had huge
crushes on you. Do you hear that a lot? That everyone loved you...?
Alyssa: I hear a lot, "You were my first crush."
Alyssa: And that always makes me smile and gives
me the giggles a little bit. I think the cool thing about, what I feel
is a such a blessing in my career is that I grew up in other people's
living rooms, so I always say I'm kind of like the eternal cousin. You
know what I mean? I was such a part of people's families, and I
think that's such a cool thing. Having that happen allowed me to
have somewhat of a normal life because I've always been accessible, and
I think what that allows for is for me to be able to do my own food
shopping, and you know, sort of be able to blend in. Or if people
do recognize me, they don't treat me like something untouchable. They
come over and say, "Hey, I loved you in Charmed" or "Who's the Boss", or
whatever. Then they go on with their day.
Reporter: If you do get a baby bump, they're
going to be following you.
Alyssa: You know what? I live so far away, they
won't be able to find me.
Reporter: (Laughs) Well-spoken. Thank you.
Alyssa: Thank you!
Read my Review
of the movie!
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