Interview with Alicia Willis of "Mommy's Little Princess" on Lifetime - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Alicia Willis in the movie

Interview with Alicia Willis of "Mommy's Little Princess" on Lifetime 3/13/19


Here is the recording of the interview.  Below is the transcript. I will finish editing it later today!

It was a joy to speak with Alicia. She is very laid back and is very warm and friendly. There's a little missing part at the beginning due to technical error on my part. I asked her how the audition came about for the movie. She didn't have to audition, which she was very happy about. She was saying, after all these years, she still didn't like it.

Alicia: My gosh, is it 20? 25 years? I don't know, but I don't like auditioning.

Suzanne: Yeah.

Alicia: It's very nerve-racking.

Suzanne: I'm sure. I don't think anybody likes it, really.

Alicia: No, I can't imagine. Yeah, that's the hardest part about this job.

Suzanne: I'm sure. And then, yeah, and the iffy employment too. So was there a big time lag between the time you were accepting the job, and when it filmed?

Alicia: They called me, I want to say, it was probably a few weeks before we started shooting, and it was great. They flew me out, as well my daughter and my mom, and put us all up for the time being, and not a lot of companies do that. So it was really, for a working mom, really just amazing.

Suzanne: Wow, that is nice.

Alicia: I mean, they treated me ... Yeah, but Lifetime is ... They're good like that.

Suzanne: Yeah, I've heard that from several people now, that they really treat their people well.

Alicia: They do, yeah.

Suzanne: And I think like to get, like you said, about the auditioning. I think they like to get people that they know, that they've had before, and that they know they can depend on. That kind of thing.

Alicia: Yeah, and I think, anyone with a soap background usually can handle the fast pace, that these movies are shot in a few weeks, and there's a lot of dialogue usually. And so, I think that comes with the ... To be a soap actor, you have to be able to do that.

Suzanne: Right, and also, you probably have a following from your previous projects, especially GH.

Alicia: Yeah, it's so funny, because I still ... I mean, I was in a kid's shop the other day getting clothes for my daughter, and a lady looked at me, and she was like, "Am I crazy, or were you Courtney on General Hospital?" And it's so funny because I still ... I mean, it's been over 10 years, but people still remember Courtney. It's funny.

Suzanne: Yeah, well, it was a good role, and you played it well, and you don't look that different now.

Alicia: Well, thanks, well, thank you. That's really sweet. I have to work a lot harder now, that's for sure, especially after having my daughter. It's like, things change. But if you want to keep working, you gotta do the best you can. It's a tough business.

Suzanne: Yeah, because I watched you in GH back then. I watched it regularly back then, and I liked Courtney and Jason together, and I like the whole storyline for the most part. So it was-

Alicia: And it was fun.

Suzanne: And it was so sad when she died.

Alicia: I know, even though the way she went out was funny because it was justso random. I think she got the monkey flu, or something... some virus.

Suzanne: Yeah.

Alicia: Yeah, it was sad. It was really sad leaving, because we had become like a family after a while. And so it's really ... it's sad to leave your friends and know that you're not gonna in there the next day and ... yeah.

Suzanne: Sure.  Yeah, and a lot of people get killed off on soaps. They come back, but they've been really good about keeping ... I don't mean good, but I mean,(laughs) they haven't ruined her death by bringing her back except ... yeah.

Alicia: Yes, they brought me back as a ghost a couple years ago, I think, and I got to see everybody, which was really cool. But yeah, I don't see them bringing her back, but who knows? Stranger things have happened.

Suzanne: Yeah, and when they do bring back as a ghost, it's like, "Okay, maybe it was just in that person's imagination, because when they made it actually a ghost and then they bring people back after they're ghosts, like, "What?" at some point. What was that then?

Alicia: It's funny the way they are just like, "Okay ... " They create stories for, you know?

Suzanne: Yeah.

Alicia: Yeah, -

Suzanne: Well, they did with Edward.

Alicia: It doesn't always make sense, but ...

Suzanne: They did that with Edward a long time ago, and then he talked to Lila. And his ghost was like ... There was a martini glass floating across the room.

Alicia: Oh, that's hilarious.

Suzanne: And I'm like, "So was she hallucinating then when he came to life?" It's like ...

Alicia: They really did... yeah.

Suzanne: It was funny. But yeah, no, so and then they had ... When they had Courtney's son (Spencer) grow up, and he's such a wonderful actor (Nicolas Bechtel), and we're just like, "Oh, I wish that I could see the two of you together more, because ..."_

Alicia: I know. Oh, I was so happy I got to work with him. And yes, he is so talented. I mean, I've been so fortunate to work with such talented kids. I mean, in "Mommy's Little Princess," Sarah Abbot, Kelly White, these girls were just amazing. I mean, I would get chills in my scenes with Sarah, because she would just go to this place, where you're like, "Oh, my gosh, that's scary." But it was so good. So yeah, and I loved working with him as well. He did a really great job.

Suzanne: Oh, yeah, he's one of the best parts of the show, really. When he comes back, everybody feels like, "Oh, good, he's coming back." He is so great.

Alicia: Oh, good, well, I haven't seen it, but is he on now?

Suzanne: I think he just left. I'm behind on watching the show, so I don't always know when somebody's on, but I think he was just on. They bring him usually in the summer when he's out of school, I think, and then he leaves again, and then.... I don't know.

Alicia: Oh, got it. Well, that's good. Give him some time to just be a kid.

Suzanne: Well, yeah, and I think he has another job. I think he has a show on Disney that he sometimes works for, so they have to work-

Alicia: He did. I don't know if that show's still ... Well, maybe he's ... He may be doing another one. My daughter used to watch him.

Suzanne: Oh, really?

Alicia: "Stuck In the Middle," yeah.

Suzanne: How funny.

Alicia: And she would get really silly because she got to meet him, because she went ... When I went to play the ghost, she went on set with me and got to meet him. And so, when she saw him on TV she was like "Whee!"

Suzanne: Aww, that's cool.

Alicia: Yeah.

Suzanne: And so, about the movie, what was your favorite part about filming it?

Alicia: I think that working with the cast and crew, everybody involved, it was just the nicest group of people that I've ever worked with. And I mean that, and I've worked with a lot of different people over the years. And I just feel like it was just ... It was such a joy to go to work every day, because everyone had such a good attitude, and everyone worked so hard. And no one complained, and it was-

Suzanne: Oh, that's good.

Alicia: Yeah, it was really nice.

Suzanne: And where was it filmed again?

Alicia: It was filmed in Ottawa.

Suzanne: Ottawa, okay.

Alicia: In Canada. And I had never been there before, actually, and loved it. And we had the best time exploring, my mom and my daughter and I. I mean, riding bikes, and going to the lake, and I mean, just such a beautiful, beautiful city.

Suzanne: Cool, yeah, I have a friend who lives up there. He likes it.

Alicia: Yeah, it's good.

Suzanne: And what was the toughest part of the filming?

Alicia: Let's see, the toughest part? I think the emotional stuff is always hard. I'm watching Sarah go to those dark emotional places, and she's just so young, and amazing, and sweet. And her and her mom are just two great people. But seeing her go through that process, it's hard to watch, because you know it takes its toll emotionally, and it's challenging. But, man, she went there, and I think she's gonna have a really bright, bright future in this acting world.

Suzanne: Good. And now, I just read a brief summary of the movie. I couldn't get the video clip to work. (It's OK, I'll try again.) So [the little girl] does all these terrible things. Do they show at all why she does ... ? I mean, I know what her motivation is. But why she's messed up, basically?

Alicia: Yes, it goes back and shows ... because I adopted her, and it goes back, and it shows what happened to her in the past that made her the way she is now.

Suzanne: Okay, good.

Alicia: And it's sad, and it's heartbreaking. It's so heartbreaking, but yeah. So yeah, it goes back. I don't know. I don't want to give away too much.

Suzanne: Yeah, no, I know.

Alicia: But I will say, like, I mean, it pulls at your heart strings, for sure.

Suzanne: Okay, good. I don't like when they make somebody evil and then they don't really show why. It's like, come on!

Alicia: Oh, they definitely show ... Yeah, and they show you the--

Suzanne: Especially a kid, you know?

Alicia: ... the backstory, yeah.

Suzanne: So did they help you at all with developing your character, or history?

Alicia: I think.. I met with Pierre David, who's one of my favorite people in the business, and he gave me the backstory, where my character's coming from. And it really nice, because ... They would give me notes and stuff while I was working, but they really let me do my thing. And that's not always the case. Sometimes you get directors that are a little too ... that talk too much, and then it just becomes a confusing set. And it wasn't that way at all. I mean, it was just very positive and uplifting and ... Yeah, it was a good experience.

Suzanne: That's good. What do you think that audiences will like best about this movie?

Alicia: I think... the drama. I mean, why does anyone watch Lifetime movies? Because they have ... they bring the drama, and people love it. And this is ... There is no shortage of drama in this movie.

Suzanne: And now, your daughter is about seven now. How's she doing?

Alicia: She is awesome. She's such a good kid. I am just like ... I lucked out.

Suzanne: That's good.

Alicia: She's just ... She just won an award... She had to get up onstage and the principal give her an award. It was the Empathy Award, because she said that's she's so kind to all of her friends, and she's always helping people out. And as a mom, that's just like... It's just the best thing in the world you can hear.

Suzanne: Right.

Alicia: That, and yeah, and we do-- She watches some of these kid show on YouTube, so she wanted to do our own little thing. And so, we did a little cooking show. We've only done one episode, but it's all about showing acts of kindness through food.

Suzanne: Oh, neat.

Alicia: And so, yeah, that's... It's called My Kind of Kitchen, and the first episode, we make cookies, Valentine cookies for teachers. And she loves it. She just lights up on camera. It's hilarious.

Suzanne: Oh, that's great. She must've got that from you.

Alicia: Maybe.

Suzanne: Well, clearly, you guys are doing something right.

Alicia: Well, I hope so. I'm trying.

Suzanne: Okay. And I know you stayed home with your daughter for a while. Was it tough going back to acting after that?

Alicia: It was. I think there were a few things that were really difficult. One, leaving her. Two, once you leave, it's almost like you have to start over again. And luckily, I had some friends in the business that were still reaching out in having me. And I'm so thankful for that. I think one of the hardest parts is ... Body image is such a big thing in our industry, and it's tough. I think it's slowly changing, which is good.

Suzanne: Good, yeah.

Alicia: But I had an agent tell me ... Simone was a few months old, and I had an agent tell me that I needed to lose weight. And I thought I looked pretty good, but it was really hard, because I just felt like, "I'm a mom now, and it's not like you're hiring to me put on a bikini and strut around. It's like, I want you to hire ... I want to be hired for my talent." And so, that was really hard. I feel like, especially young women in the business, it just needs to change. I think there is a lot of women that I know in the business that are starving themselves to fit what this image that is considered, you know?

Suzanne: Right, I'm sure. Yeah, you hear a lot of stories about that.

Alicia: Yeah, and I think that's why a lot of women have eating disorders. And it's ... I think it's ... That's not something I want my daughter to see. It's not the kind of role model I would like to be.

Suzanne: Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. I mean, I know it's worse probably in Hollywood, but I think it's everywhere in our society, and it's been there for quite a while. I mean, even me -- I'm in my 50s, and I don't know anyone ... I can't really think of very many women that have ever been satisfied with the way they look, and didn't at least at some point think they were fat even when they were skinny. You know?

Alicia: Oh, yeah, no, it's so ... And it's so easy in this business to beat up on yourself. I've done it. I mean, I have done it many times, where you're just ... you don't feel good enough. And I finally have come to a place where I'm like ... I think when I 40, it was just like, I love who I've become. I love the mother that I am. I love my body, even when I don't feel like I'm where I should be for work. I have a different attitude about everything now, and I fired that agent.

Suzanne: That's good. That's a very healthy attitude. Yeah, definitely. You should share that with more actresses too. I think even men are that way now, you know?

Alicia: Oh, yes, for sure. I think it works both ways.

Suzanne: Yeah, I don't know what the cure is for that.

Alicia: I don't know, either. I just think maybe showing more body types, and I think that we're doing that now. I think that it's getting better, but I feel like, yeah, it needs ... we still have a long way to go.

Suzanne: Yeah, and hopefully with the whole #MeToo thing, that goes along with that, I'm sure. And with fewer people of that type in that industry, and in other business, hopefully that will go along with it.

Alicia: Yeah, definitely.

Suzanne: So do you have any other projects besides this movie coming up that you want to tell us about?

Alicia: Let's see, I have "The Bay" series. It's on Amazon Prime. That is on right now, and I play Avery on that show. Let's see, I have ... It looks like I'm gonna be shooting something this summer, but I don't know all the details yet, so I'll let you know as soon as I do.

Suzanne: Great. And so, would you --  They always ask this question, but would you be open to returning to soaps?

Alicia: It's so funny, they do always ask that question.

Suzanne: Right. Fans want to know this stuff.

Alicia: It's so funny. I just screen tested for one not long ago.

Suzanne: Oh, really?

Alicia: And it was between me and one other girl. I didn't get it, but it was so funny to go through that process again, because it's been so long. But yeah, absolutely. I love soaps, and it's a great job for parents, because the hours aren't too crazy.

Suzanne: Oh, sure, yeah.

Alicia: So, yeah, if the opportunity arises, I would, yes, definitely be open to that.

Suzanne: I guess, it must be harder in a way, because there are so many past soap actors now, and only four soaps, so it's gonna be a lot of competition.

Alicia: Yeah.  The competition is a lot greater than it used to be, for sure, yeah. Yeah, there's a lot of actors and actresses that are out there, and they have a lot to choose from. And really talented ones, too, so it's like ... Yeah, you got your work cut out for you.

Suzanne: And there's so people on the soaps ... I mean, they have these huge casts now, and it's crazy.

Alicia: Yeah, it is crazy.

Suzanne: So, what would you like to tell all of your fans?

Alicia: Just thank you. Thank you for coming along this journey with me, and it's been an amazing ride. And without the fans, I mean, I wouldn't still be working. And I'm just so grateful. I get to do what I love, and a lot of people seem to enjoy it, and yeah, it warms my heart. It makes me happy. So hopefully, I'll get another 25 years out of it.

Suzanne: That's great.

Alicia: We'll see.

Suzanne: Well, I really appreciate you talking to me. You're a very easy person to interview and talk to.

Alicia: Oh, thank you so much. Well, I appreciate you calling me. Yeah, I look forward to seeing the article.

Suzanne: Cool.


Official Site  Promo


This twice Emmy nominated actress began her career as a child in Atlanta, Georgia, working with her father and siblings in a number of TV commercials and films. Her first big break came at the age of 15 when she landed the role of Corey Conway on the long running hit television series, 7th Heaven. By this time in her life the family had moved to Laguna Beach, California where Alicia had developed into a premier club soccer player. She had to choose between two burgeoning careers because time wouldn't allow for both. It's safe to say she made the right choice.

She quickly followed up 7th Heaven with numerous guest starring roles in several hit television series and at the age of nineteen landed the plum role of Ali Fowler on the venerable Daytime Drama, Another World. Her first time away from home and her destination was New York City. By the time Another World taped it's final episode in 1998 Alicia had grown up and fallen in love with the city, but the west coast, and her family, beckoned. She came back to LA and continued her acting education with Joanne Baron and D. W. Brown in Santa Monica. In no time at all she was back to work on ABC's General Hospital, originating the role of mob moll, Courtney Mathews. Four years and two Emmy nominations later, Alicia decided to try her hand at primetime TV.

Leaving daytime behind, she continued guest starring on television and in supporting film roles, until landing the title role of Elizabeth Wakefield on American Heiress. The following season Alicia ventured into the challenging role of Cindi Tucker on the "racy" Showtime hit, The L Word, garnering many new fans. Her latest role as Robin Fereti on the season finale' of Without A Trace, finds her, once again, mixed up with the Mob. After working on multiple films Alicia took a break to focus on her new role as a mother. Most recently she returned to the film world starring in Dangerous Company, and The Student. She is also part of the cast of The Bay series on Amazon Prime.  



Twelve-year-old Lizzy (Sarah Abbott) has had a pretty tough life. Raised by a poverty-stricken, drug addicted mother, who died of an overdose when Lizzy was ten, Lizzy spent two years in foster care before being adopted by an amazing career woman, Julianna, (Alicia Willis, “The Bay”) who wanted a daughter more than anything.  Upon moving in with Julianna and her boyfriend, Greg, Lizzy received everything a little girl could want and aside from her nightmares, she’s adjusted fairly well.

That is until Julianna buys Lizzy an online genetics test, hoping to give the little girl some insight into her family tree, and they discover that Lizzy is related to a royal family in Germany. Finally finding a purpose and feeling truly special for the first time, Lizzy begins to change. She becomes entitled and angry with anyone who doesn’t comply with her demands, including Allie, Greg’s 17 year old daughter who decides to move in with Greg and Julianna.

It all comes to a head when Lizzy discovers that the family to whom she is related holds a garden party every summer at a castle in Germany, and one of Europe’s most eligible bachelors will be present. Lizzy decides it’s time for her mom to dump Greg. To do that, she must make sure Greg doesn’t go on the trip to Germany with them. She starts by sabotaging a painting Greg was commissioned to paint in hopes that he’ll have to fix it and won’t have the time to go.

At resident arts camp the week before the trip, Lizzy finds out that not only is Greg going to Germany with them, so is Allie. With Lizzy’s entitlement and delusions both getting worse, Lizzy decides to collect poison oak and take it back home. Her plan is to hide it in Allie’s bed, making sure Allie, and subsequently Greg, will stay home. But when her camp counselor, Mila, catches her and threatens to tell Julianna, Lizzy fights with the woman and accidentally pushes her into a ravine. Believing Mila is dead, Lizzy tries to cover up the crime.

With the counselor missing, camp is canceled and Lizzy is sent home. But when Mila is found and tells the police what happened, Julianna receives a call to bring Lizzy in to the station to answer some questions. As pressure mounts, her delusions become indistinguishable from reality.  Lizzy will stop at nothing to get to Germany and escape the web of lies she’s created and the life she really wants… as a princess.

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