The Lying Game - Alice Greczyn Q&A Transcript

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					            ABC Family’s Q&A Session with Alice Greczyn – The Lying Game



Moderator            You have a Twitter called @alicefood, and on there you tweet a lot about food.



Alice                I certainly do.



Moderator            What is the most exotic dish that you have ever sampled?



Alice                The most exotic dish I’ve ever sampled, probably—it happened when I was a

                     toddler, and I can’t really remember—but according to my parents we were in

                     South Korea, and they fed me dog. That would be the most exotic. The most

                     exotic food I’ve ever eaten of my own accord was probably barbecued alligator

                     in Louisiana, which was actually really good.



Moderator            Do you ever see in the future of you doing a complete TV show about food?



Alice                You know, people have asked me that. People have asked me if I would even do

                     my own web series about food. I’m not very comfortable being myself in front

                     of camera, but I love to write about food. I used to do restaurant reviews as a

                     side hobby in L.A., and I love writing about it. I love food journalism, especially

                     travel and food together. I am working on a cookbook, so I think my passion for

                     food will manifest itself more in writing than in front of the camera. But who’s

                     to say, you know? I am open to the possibility.
Moderator   How do you think things are going to change for Mads and other characters now

            that she knows the big secret?



Alice       The biggest thing that changes for Mads is that being let in on the secret opens

            up a door for her to find out a lot more about her dad and his possible

            involvement in all the mysteries on the show. For the rest of the season, Mads

            is pretty much just uncovering more and more about him, and it brings a lot of

            tension between Mads and Thayer, and Emma’s sort of in the middle of it.



            Mads kind of acts as an ally to Emma because she’s really upset with Sutton, and

            now that she knows Emma’s not actually Sutton, she and Emma can be friends.

            But at the same time, Emma’s also the one telling Mads thing she doesn’t want

            to hear about her dad, so there’s still some tension there, and that plays out

            through the rest of the season…



Moderator   Is ballet a part of your life too?



Alice       No, but I am so flattered that they even asked. That means I’m doing something

            right if it’s not extremely obvious. No, I’m not a dancer. I was a competitive

            figure skater when I was a kid. I think I did, maybe, six months of ballet at some

            point in there in my childhood, but when I moved to Austin for the show, that

            was one of the first things I did. The first two, three weeks were filled with

            intensive days with a choreographer that the show hired to help work with me,

            since they weren’t going to use a dance double, and it was pretty brutal.
            I’m naturally thin, and people tell me I have a ballerina’s build, but I’m not

            naturally—my muscles were not trained to hold themselves in the way that they

            must for ballet. To even just hold your arm right is very difficult and painful. I

            have so much respect for dancers now after, kind of, putting myself in their

            shoes for a little bit.



Moderator   What are the similarities between you and your character on the show?



Alice       There aren’t many. I’m from a big family; I have four younger siblings. My

            parents are still happily married together. I grew up moving around a lot, and

            my family was certainly not affluent. So on face value, there’s not much I have

            in common with my character, like the whole—I was going to say we could get

            into the whole nature versus nurture argument, but that’s a different

            conversation.



            Basically, your environment brings you up when you’re a child, kind of shapes

            who you are. I think Mads and I had very different upbringings, and so we don’t

            really have a lot in common. Even if we were the same age and I met Mads, I

            don’t even know if we’d necessarily be friends. I think we tend to socialize in

            the circles that we’re raised in to an extent, and I don’t have that much in

            common with her. But that’s what makes her so fun to play.
            I’ve enjoyed putting myself in the shoes of this rich girl who has a father that is

            the villain of the show. And for the first time (I think) in my career, I’m playing a

            character that has a sibling, which is really cool. I really enjoy having scenes

            with Christian, who plays Thayer. It’s a fun dynamic to play with.



            I think the only thing, maybe, me and Mads have in common is that we both are

            very loyal and very keen observers, I guess. Mads, from day one, has always

            been suspicious of Sutton’s new behavior, and now she knows that it’s Emma.

            So all the dots are starting to connect, and everything’s starting to make sense.



Moderator   What do you admire most about Mads?



Alice       I admire her sense of confidence and discipline. I think anyone who dances

            ballet has to be a very self-disciplined person, very motivated, and very

            hardworking. She’s also a good student, and I think she prides herself on being

            a good friend. She’s very there for her friends.



            Char is not really in the show so much anymore, but I think with Char you really

            got to see what a loyal friend Mads was to her, and very caring. I think there’s

            very few people Mads lets in, but the ones that she does let in, she cares very

            deeply about. So that’s why it’s very wounding to her when, all of a sudden,

            Sutton is—she’s gotten used to Emma’s version of Sutton, who’s been really

            sweet and really kind, and I think that’s really meant a lot to Mads—and all of a

            sudden, real Sutton comes back, and before she knows it’s real Sutton, she’s so
            thrown because they’re two completely different people, and being inconsistent

            she’s obviously aggravated her. But now that she knows that there’s two of

            them, she and Emma can work on their own relationship, and Mads will have to

            deal with Sutton totally separately.



Moderator   When you first read the role of Mads, what was it about this character that

            made you want to play her?



Alice       When I first read it, the role was a lot different than it is now. When I first read

            it, she was sort of the edgy, punky one in the group, and she wanted to be a

            writer. She had a possibly abusive relationship with her dad. Her brother was

            gone and she seemed much more like a loner and much more of the darker one

            of the three girls—of Mads, Char, and Sutton.



            Obviously, that storyline has changed a lot. Once a pilot gets picked up, the

            network gives their notes on what they want to see happen, and so I guess, to

            be honest, a lot of things that initially drew me to her are no longer very

            apparent to a viewer. I know they’re there, but the storyline, dialog, and writing

            doesn’t shed so much light on it. But I’ve also found other things that keep me

            still drawn to her. I love that she was a dancer. I love playing someone that had

            a passion and a talent outside of just being an average high-school kid. I like

            that about her. And like I said before, I like that she had a brother that she

            really cared about. I loved playing with that sibling dynamic.
            I like working on a show that always keeps me in suspense. It’s really fun for me

            to see what the next episodes are as I get the scripts coming in. So that’s fun,

            you know? It’s a drama/suspense show, and I think as far as TV goes, that’s

            probably the main genre I’m interested in.



Moderator   Do have a favorite memory or moment from either on the show or behind the

            scenes that you could share with our fans?



Alice       Well let’s see, last summer when we shot the first 10 episodes, that was a really

            special time because we were all new to Austin. We were exploring all over the

            place and getting to know each other. On Fourth of July, we rented a boat on

            Lake Travis and went tubing, and that was a blast. We all really do have a lot of

            fun together.



            Let’s see, I think we might be going off-roading this weekend as sort of a little

            last hurrah for ourselves. Texas has a lot to do and a lot to explore, and so we

            all have fun doing that. And of course, I’ve made everybody explore every

            possible restaurant that they can. If anyone’s going to go eat with me, there’s

            lots of eating to be done. They’re all used to me taking pictures of their food

            before I allow them to eat it so I can either tweet about it or just have it for my

            own personal collection to inspire me in my cooking.



            As far as the show goes, I really had fun shooting—I remember I had a lot of

            shooting the homecoming episode. That was really fun. I think that was
episode 105 or 106. But really just—I mean, it’s hard because I feel like I know

each of the cast members so well individually, but I work with very few of them.

I have very little scenes with Allie, and Allie and I are very good friends off-

screen, but we hardly ever get to work together. If we’re in a scene together,

we never have dialog.



I have a lot of dialog with Christian and Alex. And Alex, (poor thing) she’s the

one who works more than any of us, so I rarely see her outside of work. I see

Christian quite a bit outside of work and Tyler, who plays Dan, he and I hang

out. I mean, a lot of the guest stars that come through—like Randy—I’ve known

Randy for a while, Misha—who’s playing Ryan right now—he and I hang out.

And then one of my best friends from L.A., Andy Fischer-Price—he plays one of

the guys in Laurel’s band and has no on-screen dialog—but when he’s around,

he and I hang out too.



So I don’t know. I wish the fans could—or I should say I wish the writers—could

give a little a lot more scenes where all of us are together. I’d love to be able to

have more dialogue with Allie. Blair and I were laughing the other day; I think

we said two lines to each other in the entire season, and we hang out a lot

outside of work too, so it’s like—how do you know that if you’re just watching

the show? But it is fun. We are all very close.
Moderator   You recently did a guest-starring appearance on Make It or Break It, where you

            performed as an anorexic character. Can you tell us about that experience and

            how it may have affected you personally?



Alice       I certainly did not realize what I was walking into when I did that role.

            Obviously, eating disorders are a very hot topic, and that’s one of the things that

            fans asked me the most about on Twitter or Facebook. It seems everyone

            wants to know if I have an eating disorder, and playing an anorexic character on

            Make It or Break It probably didn’t help much.



            To set the record straight, I certainly do not have an eating disorder. I think as

            anyone can gather, I love food, and it is not just a front to cover up the fact that

            I don’t eat any. I do like that. I think that arc on Make It or Break It—I was in

            there for three episodes—it was interesting to play that character because she

            did have an eating disorder and was in total denial about it and had been in and

            out of rehab for anorexics and bulimics and knew how to work the system and

            play along so that she could get out, and then she’d go right back to being

            anorexic again.



            I’ve never played a character like that before, so that was really interesting for

            me personally and the aftermath of that was what affected me personally. I had

            girls tweeting me saying that they—one girl, she taped a picture of me on her

            water bottle when she went jogging to inspire her to stay thin, and that made

            me feel really sad.
On one hand, I think it’s great that people are talking about it. I always try to

encourage everyone to be happy and healthy and fully accepting of who they

are, but it’s a very sensitive subject to talk about because it’s very easy for

someone like me who’s naturally thin to be like, “Oh, well just eat in

moderation, blah, blah, blah.” But a lot of people don’t look like me naturally,

and so they must assume that there’s something very wrong with me mentally

and physically, and that’s been difficult for me to deal with personally.



There are times that I feel very angered by a lot of the responses and questions,

and I think a lot of people project a lot of hateful jealousy in their comments.

I’ve definitely gotten some nasty ones, and I’ve gotten some very troublesome

ones (some disturbing ones) of girls who were trying, like, “Oh, I need to make

sure my ribs show like hers do, then I’ll know I’m skinny enough.” It’s not about

ribs showing or not. If they show, and you’re a naturally healthy person, you

just have really prominent bone structure or you’re just naturally healthy. Just

be healthy.



That has been a very troubling topic to me. I could go on at length about it. It’s

a very big deal, and I recognize that. I don’t take it lightly. I don’t take viewers’

comments lightly. It definitely does affect me, and there’s not much I can really

say except to just encourage loving of yourself, and there are bigger things to

worry about than whether or not your ribs are showing.
Moderator   How did you get into acting?



Alice       I never anticipated being an actor. When I was a kid, I competed in figure

            skating, and I thought I might go that route, and then by the time I was high-

            school aged—I got my GED when I was 16, and I was in college for nursing

            school—and I really wanted to be a nurse and travel the world and do that. But

            then I fell into acting through modeling—because I’ve done quite a bit of

            modeling as well—and a talent manager from L.A. was like, “Oh, you should be

            an actress. Come to L.A. for pilot season.” So I did. I did not plan to stay. I did

            not plan for anything really to happen, but I started booking work. So long story

            short, I just thought, “I guess I’ll just see where this goes and see what else I

            book,” and it’s been a very fruitful career.



            I’ve been very fortunate not to have to have a second job since I started, which

            was nine years ago. I’ve made my living from acting, and a little bit of modeling

            too every now and then for fun. Yeah, I think I’m pretty committed to it now.

            The longer I’m in it, the harder it would be to imagine doing something else as

            my primary career, even though I have a lot of other different interests.



Moderator   When you found out you booked the role of Mads, how did you research to play

            her? What preparation went into that, and is it different from the ways you’ve

            researched your other roles?
Alice       It is different. One thing I always do for all of my characters is I—I’m not sure if

            you’re familiar with the Myers-Briggs temperament test, but I’m kind of

            obsessed with psychology, and I love taking personality quizzes. The Myers-

            Briggs test, I take as each one of my characters, and it kind of tells me, in a

            nutshell, what type of personality they are, [what] they’re like in life and family

            and work and love, and I kind of start from there.



            So when we were filming the pilot, I kind of felt like, “Oh, I think Mads is an ISTP

            artisan. I know that’s a very clinical-sounding word, but basically I thought she

            was more of an introvert and a lot more observant. She’s a dancer, and so she’s

            very technical and very artistic and very disciplined. That kind of filled me in a

            little bit about her.



            In the beginning of the season, I had a crush on Eduardo (my dance teacher)

            who I probably grew up having a crush on, and as we all know that ended

            disastrously. So I think Mads is at a very fragile time in life right now where

            she’s still learning about herself, as many teenagers are, and I think these events

            are happening to her right now in this season—losing Eduardo, having

            suspicions about her dad, not being able to trust her best friend—I think all of

            these are very much going to shape the woman she is going to become. I think

            Mads is an internal processor and thinks about things very deeply, and things

            affect her very deeply even if she doesn’t necessarily let it show.



Moderator   Yes, it does. It tells us you put a lot of thought into it.
Alice       I do. I do. And of course, it changes too, because sometimes I think like, “Oh

            Mads wouldn’t handle a situation like this,” then I read the next script and it’s

            like, “What? Now she’s emotional?” I’m like, “Oh, wait a minute, now she’s

            strong?” It’s a little confusing sometimes because the writers—we have a lot of

            different writers—and I think episode to episode, Mads evolves, which people

            do.



            But sometimes it’s a little bit frustrating and I find inconsistencies with

            character, but fortunately we have a great team of writers who are very

            collaborative, and we can talk it out and work on it, and find a happy medium

            where the network is pleased or the director is pleased, the producers, and me

            as the actor. And I really value that about this particular TV show. It’s very rare

            to have that in TV.



Moderator   How is it that food became your passion? You can seem very passionate about

            it from a lot of different aspects.



Alice       I am. I was raised in a family where food was very central to our lives. I have a

            mother who’s a great cook, and she was always trying new recipes from all

            different worldly cuisines. We’d have Moroccan food one night, and then the

            next night she’d try a Vietnamese soup, and then the next night it would be a

            casserole.
My mother’s half-Asian, and she grew up with a lot of Asian food, and so

therefore I grew up with a lot of Asian food, mainly Korean dishes. We love

bulgogi, and there’s a Korean potsticker, and that was a family favorite. So I

think from a very young age, even though I grew up mainly in the Midwest, I

was exposed to a lot of different types of ethnic cuisine, and that sort of set the

bar for my palate as an adult. And then now as an adult, I try to take it even

further.



I love traveling. I think travel is probably how I found my own individual love for

food separate from my family because when—you don’t know what you’re

missing until you find it, you know? You don’t know what you don’t know

about. I didn’t know that I didn’t know about schnitzel or … until I was in

Austria, or blood pudding in Ireland, and I think food symbolizes culture to me

because food is the centerpiece of any social gathering. It would be very weird

to have a social gathering where there’s not food, and so I think food is just a

symbol.



Yes, I love food in and of itself. I love flavor. I love texture. I love fragrance. I

love playing with all of those. I think it’s a beautiful science. It’s a perfect

example of art and science merging in one, and it’s something that you can

share. So I think what it symbolizes to me is the facilitation of social gathering,

and then in that, I find it to be—I love observing people. I love learning new

things, and I think food is a great way to do that. It shares someone’s history. If

you ask anyone what’s on their family’s Thanksgiving menu, you learn a lot
            about their culture and where their family comes from, whether they’re

            Swedish or Turkish or anything. So I think that that’s why I love it. I love what it

            symbolizes, and I also just love it for its own sake.



Moderator   Do you have a favorite dish that you like to cook for yourself or friends, or

            anybody?



Alice       For friends, I love cooking—I guess my go-to recipe if I know I’m going to host

            people over for dinner, and it’s sort of like a last-minute thing, and I don’t have

            time to browse over new recipes, I love making a butternut squash ravioli with a

            sage and brown-butter sauce. I use the recipe from Todd English—that’s a chef

            and owner of Olives restaurant, which has the dish. My favorite Olives

            restaurant is in Vegas at the Bellagio. That dish, when I eat it, it was—stars

            were in my eyes. He was a generous chef enough to share the recipe online.

            Anyone can find it.



            It sounds really overwhelming, but it’s actually fairly simple to make, and it’s

            always a hit with vegetarians and carnivores alike. That’s a pretty easy recipe.

            Then I love baking. Baking is my favorite thing to do. I love making pies,

            cobblers, cookies, cakes, anything. I’ll try anything. I subscribe to a lot of food

            magazines, and so those always give me new inspirations and—so yeah. It’s

            fun.
            I love hosting. I rarely cook just for myself. I always have to have a group to

            cook for to really motivate me. If I’m just by myself, and I’m home at night, I

            usually order takeout Thai or Indian food or I’ll just have cereal or Ramen

            Noodles. I’m shameless about it. I love Ramen, loaded with chemicals, but I

            love that parmesan chicken Ramen. I love it.



Moderator   Perhaps maybe you should think about opening your own restaurant later.



Alice       Oh, I have plans one day. One of my big dreams is to have my own bakery/tea

            house. I’m equally obsessed with tea as much as I am with food. There’s not

            enough tea houses, and the ones that there are, they’re usually, like, stuffy and

            English-themed and just not that great, or they’re too Zen Buddha-themed. I’d

            like to have an international variety of tea and a beautiful setting, and I’d also

            like to have baked goods. So that’s one of the things on my list of things to do. I

            figure, maybe, when I’m in my 50s. I got to save something for me to do later

            on in life, can’t do it all now.



Moderator   You were talking about Mads’ suspicion of her father. Do you think she will ever

            figure out that Alec had anything to do with Eduardo’s accident, and how will

            she react?



Alice       I’m not sure. I think, maybe, she probably already has, but you would not see

            that on the show. I think the way the disaster with Eduardo ended, she did find

            out that her dad did pay Eduardo to leave town. Emma, as Sutton, confirmed
that. I’m not sure. I imagine it must have been a story line issue where they

couldn’t devote that much time to Mads’ story line because there were so many

other things going on with the other characters on the show as well.



I think we just have to assume that Mads does know her dad paid Eduardo to

leave town. I don’t think she thinks he deliberately ran him over with a car, but

I think Mad chose to move on, deal with it. Eduardo’s gone. I think she has a

very steely resolve, and I think family’s important to Mads, and she just

wanted—there was a scene with Thayer at the end of the first 10 episodes

where she was like, “Look, you know, let’s just be a family. Let’s just get along.

That’s all Dad wants. That’s all I want. Let’s just stop thinking these bad things

about Dad.”



I think Mads, she’s very aware her dad’s not a very savory character, but I think

she has just sort of accepted it and would rather focus on more positive things

and just not deal. I think it’s very difficult as a teenager, especially one who’s so

close to leaving the house—I know for myself, you just kind of go into just

dealing mode, and if you try to challenge and it doesn’t get you anywhere good,

you just stop, and you just deal with it internally. So I imagine that’s probably,

to an extent, what Mads is doing with the suspicions about her father and his

character.

				
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