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Interview with Alicia Willis of "Mommy's
Little Princess" on
ALICIA STARS IN “MOMMY’S LITTLE PRINCESS” PREMIERING SUNDAY,
MARCH 17 (8PM ET/PT) ON LIFETIME
Here is the recording of the interview.
Below is the transcript. I will finish editing it later
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.
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.
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,
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.
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,
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
Alicia: Yeah, -
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.
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
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?
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
Alicia: Oh, got it. Well, that's good.
Give him some time to just be a kid.
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
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
Suzanne: And where was it filmed again?
Alicia: It was filmed in Ottawa.
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.
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,
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
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?
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
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?
She is awesome. She's such a good kid. I am just like ... I
Suzanne: That's good.
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.
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
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.
that's great. She must've got that from you.
Suzanne: Well, clearly, you guys are doing
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
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?
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.
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.
And so, would you -- They always ask this question, but
would you be open to returning to soaps?
so funny, they do always ask that question.
Right. Fans want to know this stuff.
Alicia: It's so funny. I
just screen tested for one not long ago.
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.
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.
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
Alicia: Yeah, it is crazy.
what would you like to tell all of your fans?
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.
Oh, thank you so much. Well, I appreciate you calling me.
Yeah, I look forward to seeing the article.
ALICIA LEIGH WILLIS - BIO
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.
WHEN A 12 YEAR OLD FINDS OUT SHE IS RELATED TO A ROYAL
FAMILY, THE CHILD BEGINS TO ACT LIKE AN ENTITLED LITTLE
PRINCESS AND STOPS AT NOTHING TO FIND A WAY FOR HER ADOPTED
MOTHER TO MARRY INTO THE FAMILY – EVEN MURDER – IN “MOMMY’S
LITTLE PRINCESS” PREMIERING SUNDAY, MARCH 17 (8PM ET/PT) ON
ALICIA LEIGH WLLIS AND SARAH ABBOTT STAR IN THE THRILLER
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
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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