Known for fine her television work ranging from last season’s JUSTIFIED to FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, thespian Alicia Witt is not just a film and television actress, she is an accomplished singer/song writer too. She is an entertainer that can do it all, and she does it well. She is a joy to watch and a delight to hear as well. Her energy and vitality is just infectious.
During the Television Critic’s Association Summer Tour, Alicia was on hand to promote her upcoming Hallmark Channel holiday film, as well as to talk about her current work in a local play in Los Angeles and her live singing performances.
In an exclusive interview Alicia took a few moments to talk about her varied entertainment endeavors and her dreams for her next television project.
You are going to be in a new Hallmark Channel holiday original film. What’s it called?
ALICIA: It’s called “Holiday Help” and it’s about a mom with a young daughter and she needs a little extra money. So she takes a job at a local mall as a Santa and it sets in motion a series of events because they do not realize that she is a woman. So it’s kind of a gender-bender Santa story.
You have done a couple of these holiday themed movies (“A Very Merry Mix-Up” and “A Snow Globe Christmas”), haven’t you?
ALICIA: (Laughs) I have. They are so fun, and they always turn out so well. They are films that you can tell friends and family to watch, unlike films that make you cover your eyes. They are just something you can watch with your family over and over again and enjoy; and they are not only fun to watch, they are fun to make. I’m honestly looking forward to the day when I get to start shooting this movie.
You’re also starting a play soon too. What is it called?
ALICIA: It’s called “Reasons To Be Pretty.” It is the Los Angeles debut of it and it’s a Tony nominated play. Opening night is August 6th and we start previews soon [Geffenplayhouse.com]. I’m also doing a residency at Hotel Cafe as a singer/songwriter, where I’m doing four Sundays in a row in August. It’s really fun.
What do you like best all these projects?
ALICIA: Honestly, I just love playing great characters. Like for “Reasons To Be Pretty,” it is about two guys and two girls and everyone in it kind of switches roles. The girl in the beginning is having a huge fight with her boyfriend because he described her as “regular looking” and the guy is like, “I meant it as a compliment,” and she’s like, “Please. Spare me.” In more colorful language than that, obviously. Then the other girl is more stereotypically pretty, but as the play goes on, you see that her husband is kind of a jock is cheating on her and all he does is talk about how hot other women are. So the girl that is the stereotypically pretty one gets beaten down by how he treats her. I have a theory that this play would work really well if the actors did literally switch roles. It is not about physical differences really; it’s all about how you feel. If your confidence is up, you can look not so pretty and yet because you feel good about yourself, no matter what your body type or your facial features are, and people are attracted to that. That itself is “prettiness.” Every woman I know wakes up and does not feel they are at their prettiest. So it’s not about what you look like, but how you see yourself. Beauty comes from the inside — and surrounding yourself with people that reflect that.
So what’s next after your schedule frees up again. What’s on your wish list?
ALICIA: After the play and the Hallmark movie “Holiday Help,” I feel like I might be ready for a dark, cable-esque kind of drama, like what I did on JUSTIFIED.
I could see you on a show like Showtime’s MASTERS OF SEX.
ALICIA: (Laughs) I have been hearing that so much! I love that show. I would love to be on that show.
You have the right vibe for that kind of show. Not that you are all about sex, but you seem very exploratory in an intellectual way as you always seem to portray characters who are thinking a bit more. Plus, Teddy Sears is on MASTERS OF SEX, who you worked with so well on Hallmark’s “Backyard Wedding.” Seems like it would be a perfect match for you.
ALICIA: Thank you. Teddy was one of the people that said that, and MASTERS OF SEX producers are the same producers as on JUSTIFIED. So it may all happen. I would love it, if it does work out.
To see more of Alicia right now, be sure to check out her play “Reasons To Be Pretty” or her singing performances at Hotel Cafe through August and then be on the look out for her holiday film “Holiday Help” later this year on Hallmark Channel.
“Reasons To Be Pretty” tickets are on sale now at http://www.geffenplayhouse.com for the dates of July 29th through August 31st. Point of interest: “Reasons To Be Pretty” co-stars Shawn Hatosy, who currently stars in the CBS drama RECKLESS, which airs Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m.
Then Alicia’s singing performances are every Sunday night in August, with tickets available at http://www.aliciawittmusic.com for the dates of August 10th, 12th, 24th and 31st.