AF – Was acting in the blood, were you the ‘dramatic’ one of your friends or did you come in to as you got older?
To be honest, I am a huge ham. I’m the first-born, I’m a Leo and I love entertaining more than anything in the world, so, yes it’s definitely in my blood. If I can grab your attention and make you laugh, I will try my hardest to do so – well, unless I’m grumpy and then I will sulk, pout and ignore you. I was quite involved in theatre when I was a kid so I always had an outlet for my dramatic outpourings and before I found the theatre audiences I forced my family to witness many of my performances. I feel especially sorry for my brother. He had to listen to 10 years of me practicing singing. Poor guy.
AF -How old were you when you did your first production? What was it?
I believe my first theatrical performance was playing Mary in my kindergarten Christmas Play. I accidentally dropped baby “Jesus” off of the stage onto his Cabbage Patch doll head. I was less concerned about Jesus than I was with finishing the correct choreography sans Baby. Rapping on the pilot of the L Word was my first ‘speaking’ role on a TV show – I think I was 21. My next role was on Dead Like Me. I remember being so nervous for those first few jobs. Set can be a pretty bizarre place when you are starting out. There are SO many people on set, it can really be overwhelming
AF – Were your parents on board from day 1 or were they hoping this was a ‘fad’ and you would study to become a Doctor or Lawyer?
My folks were always very supportive because they could see my desire and passion from such a young age. My Mom was such a trooper when I was in high school. She drove me to singing and acting lessons, dance rehearsals, plays, musicals and anything arts related I could get my hands on. She used to model and dance herself, so she had a great appreciation for creative expression. My Dad even took me over to Vancouver one year to compete in the PNE Youth Talent Search. I sang “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from Phantom of the Opera and he was so outraged I didn’t win. It was pretty adorable how much he believed in me.
AF- Have you come to the point now when you go to set you’ve stoped thinking “wow that’s a movie start” but “hey there’s my co-worker?” (follow up) Is their an Actor or Actress that no matter how famous you get you will always be in ‘awe’ of them?
I still have moments where I pinch myself and shake my head and think, “I can’t believe I get to do this for a living!” I have so much gratitude and I hope I never lose that feeling. Occasionally I feel comfortable when I walk onto set, as opposed to 9 years ago, but every new production is like showing up for the first day of school; new people, new places, new experiences. I like the excitement of not knowing what to expect, although I can never sleep before the first day of a new project! When you do a series, you get that familiar family feeling which is very lovely too. I am in awe of so many actors for different reasons. Famous peeps would include: Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, The Streep, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler and Betty White.
AF-The pressure for young women in Hollywood seems to be a lot more then young men, have you ever felt that you needed to be different or that if you looked or acted a different way you may get more work?
The Hollywood image of perfection is an impossible standard which I find not only boring but incredibly damaging to the esteems of young girls and women of all ages. This pressure to be perfect affects men too, I’m sure, and people not only in the film industry. There is this ticking time clock for actresses though, like, “better hurry up and make it before you’re old!”. But women like Kristen Wiig are blowing that rule out of the water. What a fucking inspiration she is. She isn’t your typical Hollywood beauty queen but she has taken over! She is a brilliant, hilarious, fiercely hard working hustler who has set an example for other women to follow their dreams and be ok with who they are. People are unique and as an audience member I want to watch real people in real moments of connection. When I go to LA, I sometimes feel like I don’t fit in. I don’t look like an LA girl – I look like an Island girl. But, I don’t feel bad about it – I like my curves and my Vancity style! I feel like my personality and comedic sensibility makes me stand out. I am pretty open about being from a small town and having my sassy little attitude going on. Some people find my energy to be a bit much but other people find me entertaining. Honestly, I try not to worry about what people think about me. When auditioning or performing a part, my number one goal is to be of service to the story and the character that I’m playing.
Sure, I’ve thought hey, if I was skinnier or prettier, I may have a ‘better career’, but then I realize I wouldn’t be me! God made me the way I am, to tell the stories I’m meant to tell. Kinda chessy, but true. Besides, I like playing the quirky girl. Character roles have already been more interesting to me than your basic ingénue. I get all the great jokes.
AF-Are their any juicy scoops of upcoming movies you can let our readers in on?
I am really looking forward to people seeing Afghan Luke. Mike Clattenburg (Trailer Park Boys) directed this feature and I think he is a genius.; auch a funny, down to earth dude. I’d work with him again in a heartbeat. I believe that will be premiering in Canada at TIFF in September, but we’ll see. I haven’t seen it yet myself, but I had a blast filming this in Cache Creek last year. Lots of amazing people in the cast: Nick Stahl, Nic Wright, Pascale Hutton, Lewis Black…and me, of course
AF-Is there one of your peers that you would love to work with more so then anyone else in Hollywood?(follow up) If so what type of movie would it be?
Kristen Wiig. Tiny Fey. Amy Poehler. Liza Minnelli. Comedy. Comedy. Comedy. Comedy.
AF-Anything your fans would be surprised to find out about you? (ie. you only wear velour, or eat chicken only on Thursdays)
I do a pretty mean Liza Minnelli impression. Also, two of my best friends and I recently formed a production company called Sociable Films. Liza and Sociable Films excite me deeply.
For more info you can check out my website! http://www.aliliebert.com/
Photography: Toranj Kayvon – Website
Hair and Make-up: Brianna Errelat – Website
Stylist: Claudia Da Ponte – Website