"The Lying Game" Comes to TV
After the success of “Pretty Little Liars”, author Sara Shepard continued her “lying streak” with “The Lying Game” book series about twin teen sisters Emma and Sutton, separated at birth. ABC Family picked up the books as a series which starts August 15th.
We are in Beverly Hills with pert, brunette series star Alexandra Chando who comes from the soap opera world and her role as teen Maddie Coleman on the long-running “As the World Turns”. Like Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays more adult twins in the new show “Ringer”, she is finding her dual role as twin sisters challenging but exciting.
TeenTV: Could you pull off this kind of charade in real life? A twin posing as her sister?
Alexandra: Probably not. I think that would be too challenging. Emma has done an incredible job so far of being able to pull it off if she doesn’t hit some road bumps along the way.
TeenTV: Can you talk about the challenges of playing twins, and which one do you feel most like?
Alexandra: I’m more like Emma. It's definitely a challenge, but a welcome challenge. The sisters are so different. Sutton was adopted into a very wealthy, privileged family and grew up very privileged. Emma was brought up in the foster care system. So their surroundings have really shaped who they are. And it's just such a fun thing to explore, playing the two girls. It's difficult because acting with myself can tend to be a little challenging. We do green screen, split screen stuff.
TeenTV: Had you read any of the novels before you got the part?
Alexandra: None of them were out yet so I wasn’t able to read the books. They are out now but when we shot the pilot back in December, they weren’t but I enjoyed kind of developing the characters some myself.
TeenTV: Did you talk at all to author Sara Shepard when you were researching the role and preparing for it?
Alexandra: I actually had the pleasure of having lunch with Sara before we started filming (the series) but I had already shot the pilot and had done my own research as far as the characters go, my own development. It was really enlightening to talk to Sara about it and get her take on it. Also just reading parts of the book and what she wrote really helped me to paint a picture of the life that Emma was living before she took over Sutton's life.
TeenTV: You've spent a lot of time in daytime TV (as “Maddie” on “As the World Turns”). Did that prepare you for carrying a series like this?
Alexandra: Daytime certainly primed me for a role like this. Daytime is very challenging and you are shooting 30 pages a day, but I played a teenager as well, and I was able to experience different trials and tribulations as that character. And it really helped me to get me ready for a character like Sutton or Emma. It was an incredible experience, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It was definitely a wonderful training ground.
TeenTV: Sutton wears some amazing clothes. Does the wardrobe help you put your head into the rich girl character?
Alexandra: Absolutely. Have you seen it? We have some really incredible wardrobe options. Our costume designer puts together some incredible outfits which are so fun to wear.
TeenTV: You have to stay in shape to wear some of those dresses. What do you do?
Alexandra: Working out right now is difficult because I’m on set fifteen hours a day every day but I do eat very healthily and on weekends I try my best to get my fitness in and sleep too.
TeenTV: When you can work out, what do you do?
Alexandra: There is a class in L.A. called “Cardio Bar”. I do that and I just bought the portable bar for my apartment. I try to do some Yoga.
TeenTV: How has shooting the show in Austin, Texas been for you?
Alexandra: It’s very hot but it has been really nice. I’m on set a lot so I have a really hard time getting free time but, on weekends, I do try and go out with the cast to dinners.
TeenTV: Have you checked out the Austin music scene yet?
Alexandra: No and I want to do that! I’ve been trying to get to Sixth Street because it’s supposed to be incredible for that.
TeenTV: Who are you into musically?
Alexandra: I’m still listening to Adele, Mumford and Sons.
TeenTV: What’s the most challenging thing about playing twins?
Alexandra: Doing a scene with myself and acting with an “X” on the wall (to represent the other twin) is probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to do.
TeenTV: What do you watch on TV when you have a chance?
Alexandra: I Tivo “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and HBO and Showtime shows and ABC Family shows.
TeenTV: What do you read for fun?
Alexandra: I’m a huge reader. Love to read. I really enjoy Bret Easton Ellis’s work; “American Psycho” being one of them. Right now I don’t have much time to read. Just scripts.
TeenTV: What are your online shopping favorites?
Alexandra: I do Urban Outfitters, J. Crew. I’m a jeans and t-shirt girl. Every now and then I’ll dress up and put an outfit together but, in my everyday life, I like to keep it simple.
TeenTV: Who is the movie hunk you would love to act opposite some day?
Alexandra: There’s a ton of them but right now I would love to be opposite Ryan Gosling. He’s brilliant, just incredible.
TeenTV: Had you met your co-star Blair Redford before or worked with him? He’s pretty cute.
Alexandra: I hadn’t. I met him for the first time when we shot the pilot episode.
TeenTV: Will be there cliffhangers at the end of each episode?
Alexandra: Yes, definitely. I can’t wait to read the next scripts when we get them. I get so excited. It’s a lot of mystery, lies, twists and turns. There are bombshells.
TeenTV: What’s the biggest lie you ever told?
Alexandra: (laughs) Probably about my age.
TeenTV: Did you go to a regular high school rather than being homeschooled?
Alexandra: Yes, a regular school.
TeenTV: Was there as much drama there as in this show?
Alexandra: Of course. You put a bunch of girls in a room together, there’s gonna be drama. It comes with the territory. I think that’s what’s interesting about it. We try to keep a feel that high schoolers can relate to.
TeenTV: Why else will kids and teens like the show?
Alexandra: Our characters are well-rounded. There is a character for everyone to relate to. It’s dark but it’s very intelligent and mature. There’s something for everybody. If someone is interested in fashion and style, it has that and good looking guys like Blair Redford, just good, solid characters and storylines.
TeenTV: If the show keeps going, what do you wish the showrunners would write for your twins to do?
Alexandra: I really would just like to explore the twins’ relationship if they can interact a bit more; a deeper exploration of them.
TeenTV: Did you have a plan for your life if acting hadn’t worked out?
Alexandra: Yes. I went to college, studying English and had some kind of back up plan but, for me, it was really the only option. It was all I wanted to do. I wasn’t gonna give up.