This Awkward star talks girl crushes, tequila, and guilty pleasures.
Tell me about your role on the MTV show Awkward.
It's my favorite role I’ve ever had. I play Lacey Hamilton - the overbearing, narcissistic, self-involved, but very well intentioned mother to Jenna Hamilton; it’s the most fun I’ve ever had playing a character. It’s such a blessing and I feel so fortunate that we’re about to go into our 3rd season.
You definitely play the unconventional mother. Is that something you were used to growing up?
Not at all! In fact my mother was a teacher, then she was a principal, and now she is the superintendent of a school system. I had very strict parents, so Lacey is a departure for me across the board.
What was your high school experience like?
I grew up on set; I tend to think of the Mickey Mouse Club as being my own version of high school. I was cast as one of the seven younger kids who came on: it was me, Justin, Britney, Christina Aguilera, and Ryan Gosling. We were like the freshmen coming into high school that no one really wanted to be friends with, and we wanted so badly to fit in and for people to like us. Yes, it was different because it was in the world of the entertainment business, but it doesn’t feel any different. It was very awkward.
Have you ever been fought over by two guys the way Jenna Hamilton is on the show?
Never! I don’t know that I would want to be fought over. I think it would give me a lot of anxiety actually, to be fought over by two different guys. Plus I’ve been in a relationship for like 12 years now, so my window of guys fighting over me was gone a long time ago.
If you weren’t an actress what would you be doing with your life?
Oh my gosh! I’ve actually thought about that question a million times. If I wasn’t an actress I’d definitely want to do something in the arts and something that was very creative. I would hopefully produce, direct, and create material because I still want to be a storyteller. And then outside of that, something not in the arts whatsoever, I’d probably want to do something in the world of psychology, or being a counselor in some way shape or form. I went to school and got my degree in Psychology and English.
What is your favorite movie of all time?
O-M-G. My favorite movie of all time?! I would have to say Funny Girl. That movie encapsulates everything that made me want to be in the entertainment business. Barbra Streisand's performance in that movie was perfection to me. Every time I travel I take that movie with me and watch it while I’m going to sleep, when I get up in the morning, I just love it, she’s perfect in it.
What is the last meal you would want to eat before you die?
I would have to say it would be southern cooking by my mom and my sister. I’m talking fried pork chops, sweet potato soufflé, turkey with giblet gravy and dressing, green bean casserole, my mom’s strawberry pretzel salad.
What about drink wise; do you have a signature cocktail you always go to, or are you more of a beer drinker?
Shot of tequila and a Coors Light. That is for any good night, or even a barbecue. It just makes for a really nice buzz. It’s a slow burn, which I like.
Who is your girl crush?
I’m going to have to say Connie Britton. I have four big girl crushes. The first one being Connie Britton, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Anniston and Tina Fey. Hot, Hot, Hot ladies.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I actually have a lot of guilty pleasures. I love to drink. I love beer, I love wine, and obviously I love tequila. I also love to eat; I love French fries, chicken nuggets, anything fried. I also record so much bad TV, but it makes me so happy. One of my favorite guilty pleasures is The Young and the Restless, I record it every single day.
What do you want for Christmas?
Honestly, I just want to be with my family, I want everyone I love to be healthy and to be happy. I know that sounds a little cheesy and maybe a little Pollyanna of me to say, but it’s really true.
Photos by Elisabeth Caren