#83. A Conversation with Alessandra Torresani

Jason Anders: So I was just sitting here trying to think of Caprica questions that no one else has asked you yet, because I don't want you to have to repeat yourself- have you reached the point of being sick of getting the same questions over and over again?

Alessandra Torresani: No, not at all! If people ask me the same questions over and over again then I can get the interview done really fast. (laughs)

JA: Well you did get to go see Pee Wee Herman as a result of your George Lopez interview...

AT: Yeah, do you love that? I'm actually here in my car with my dog, Pee Wee Herman, on my lap right now. I went to the show and unfortunately I couldn't meet him because it was his last performance. It was a whole ordeal, but it was the best show I'd ever seen. It was amazing.

I'm not gonna lie, you know what was even more amazing? I met Liza Minnelli two nights ago- she is my 'live or die' idol. She's a big fan of my show, which is awesome.

JA: How did you end up meeting her?

AT: At Perez Hilton's birthday party. She wasn't taking pictures with anyone, and I ran up to her like a stalker. I never cry with people, I'm not that girl- I started hysterically crying and my best friend was like, "okay, you need to pull it together right now." I was saying, "Liza, you're my idol. I would die for you. You don't understand, you're the reason I'm in this world." She was so embarrassed. She kept saying, "Oh darling!"... she loved it.

JA: Okay, so since your first job was doing interviews on the WB at the age of eight, let's talk about what kind of questions you would ask celebrities... maybe it will inspire some original questions here.

AT: All sorts of things. I remember when I did this one interview over Christmas time with John Waters- I was asking him what his favorite movies to shoot were, and I also told him that my favorite movie at that time was Serial Mom with Kathleen Turner. I think that he thought it was really strange that an eight year old had watched that movie.

JA: Well here's a few random questions, just give me the first answer that pops into your mind. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you want to be?

AT: Disneyland.

JA: Do you have any special skills or talents that no one knows about?

AT: Well everyone knows that I am a black belt in taekwondo, everyone knows that I'm a dancer, everyone knows that I like to sing. I love making crazy You Tube dance videos. Some of my fans know about that- I have one online called Call On Me. It's really funny.

JA: What's your favorite restaurant?

AT: Well I'm Italian, but I'm not gonna lie... I live for Red Lobster. I don't eat fish, though. I'm telling you, those Cheddar Bay Biscuits are heaven.

JA: And the Caesar salad!

AT: I've never had the Caesar salad- I get the buttered linguine. My best friend, Shawn, works at the Red Lobster in Inglewood.

JA: If you could live in any decade, which would you choose?

AT: Between the 1930s and '40s. That's my era. I just feel that old-school music, all the great band music. People were so glamorous. Every day that you woke up, you went out looking glamorous. I love that old Hollywood flare.

JA: How do you think it compares to being in Hollywood now?

AT: It's not glamorous anymore. It is in its own way, but it's not what it used to be. Glamour now is going out to a club with celebrities. That's not what it was. There used to be speakeasys, and people would wear gowns when they went out. It was great.

JA: What's your favorite color?

AT: Red.

JA: Do you like musicals?

AT: Who's my favorite person? Liza with a Z! My favorite musical of all time is Cabaret. I'm also really into Jersey Boys right now.

JA: Do you play any instruments?

AT: I used to play the violin, and then I was really big into piano... but I don't know how to play either of those anymore.

JA: Which three adjectives do you feel best describe you?

AT: Awkward, amazing, and fabulous. I feel like those are so boring and unoriginal.

JA: I like them! Do you feel younger or older than your current age?

AT: I feel like I'm a fifty year old woman. I always have. I feel way too old. Like an old Hollywood actress stuck in a twenty-two year old body. I would rather listen to Liza Minnelli sing than go to some hip new concert. I'd rather have Billie Holiday in the background than something new.

JA: If you could be the star of any movie in history, which role would you take on?

AT: I would do anything to be in Cabaret. It would be hard to do, but that's such a great role to me.

JA: Do you have a top three favorite movie list?

AT: No. (laughs) I love horror films, and one of my favorites of all time is Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses. Cabaret would be my favorite musical. One of my favorite new comedies is Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I love Aladdin, keeping it old-school Disney.

JA: Name three actors whose work you love.

AT: I love Kathleen Turner. I feel like we sound the same. I love Claire Danes, Kate Winslet, and Zoe Saldana. I think that Rachel McAdams is one of the best actresses out there right now. I love women who can play any era because they just have that old-school charm.

JA: What is the most recent movie you've seen that you felt was truly great?

AT: The Hurt Locker was fantastic. I also recently saw Greenberg.

JA: Do you have any weird habits?

AT: I feel like I do, but I can't think of any.

JA: Do you prefer hot or cold?

AT: Hot.

JA: What is the best gift you've ever received?

AT: I got a puppy in a basket one time, that was really cute. It was my first puppy. Honestly, the best Christmas gift I got was when Caprica got picked up.

I booked the show two weeks before my birthday, which was the best birthday gift ever, and then we shot it. We knew it got picked up around Christmas time. Ironically enough, I went to Disneyland for the Christmas spectacular bullsh*t that they have, and I've got my Jack Skellington earmuffs on (my best friends and I go to Disneyland like once a month)- I got a phone call while we were eating at my favorite mexican restaurant around 9:00PM. Everyone was drunk on margaritas, but I don't drink so I was just chilling. That's when I booked it and it got picked up, and that was the coolest thing in the world to me- I went to Disneyland, got some dope mexican food with my best friends, and I got picked up for Christmas.

JA: Have you gotten into Battlestar Galactica since you've started Caprica?

AT: I'm into it, I love it. Not to toot my own horn, but I'm kinda obsessed with Caprica. Everyone's story line is so unreal to me, it's amazing. The whole Esai and Tamara situation is so heartbreaking, I cry every time I watch it.

JA: Do you have a fondest memory so far of being on the set of Caprica?

AT: We have a bunch of sing-a-longs. I have a You Tube channel that I am about to premiere about how to make it in the business, I will post those videos that I recorded on my flip cam. It focuses on how to make a resume and getting an agent. I have a lot of fans asking me every day "how did you do it?" They think that I just suddenly made it, but I have been doing it since I was eight years old.

JA: What was your first car?

AT: It was a little BMW Convertible.

JA: Do you have any phobias?

AT: I hate bugs. I'm even scared of ladybugs. I've felt haunted by ghosts many times, which is pretty scary. I'm afraid of the dark, too.

JA: What do you do when you can't sleep?

AT: Well I don't sleep. I'm an insomniac, so on average I will go to bed at like 5:00AM. I read something the other day that said the average person sleeps 1/3 of their life, but I don't think I sleep a tenth of my life.

JA: Do you play chess?

AT: No, I don't.

JA: Do you collect anything?

AT: I used to be the largest collector on the West Coast of Beanie Babies. I think I had about 2500- I sold them on Ebay for a hundred bucks, after all that.

JA: Are you left or right-handed?

AT: Right-handed.

JA: We've talked about some of the music you love, what other records might you throw on to put you in a good mood?

AT: Frank Sinatra will always put me in a good mood. Any old-school musical will put me in a good mood. Hello Dolly is such a great musical, right? Or maybe 'Whole New World' from the Aladdin soundtrack.

JA: You really love Aladdin, don't you?

AT: Yes! That and The Little Mermaid.

JA: Have you ever stolen anything?

AT: No. I was always too scared. Anything I would ask for from my parents I would get, so there was never any reason to steal anything. I was a spoiled brat and got whatever I wanted.

JA: To wrap this up and return to the subject of Caprica, what is an average work day on the set filming like for you?

AT: Well I've got to pick up my Doubleshot Espresso over ice at Starbucks because I live for coffee. I get my large iced tea and go to the set. I would drive in and all the gate people knew me, so I would say hello to them. I would have my dog, Pee Wee Herman. It would usually be raining, so Pee Wee would be a wet dog. I would drop Pee Wee off at the trailer and go to hair & makeup, and hang out with my four gal pals in there. The longest I would be in there is about two hours. I'm not the most attractive without my makeup (laughs).

We would then rehearse a few times and then shoot all day long. Every time I would take a break, I would say, "oh I'm sorry- I've gotta go use the restroom", and then I would go and eat a donut. So I used the restroom a lot, which they thought was weird, but I actually just ate a lot of donuts. And then we would have a huge lunch where I would go back to my trailer and watch Mad Men or The Comeback with Lisa Kudrow- the best show that was ever on television... besides Caprica.

Then we would finish up the day, and I would go home and just relax. Hopefully catch some Degrassi: The Next Generation, read a book, video chat with friends, and call it a night. That would be at about 4:00AM, and then I would start again at 8:00AM.

JA: If you had to sum up your personality with just one word, which would you choose?

AT: Old soul.

Visit Alessandra's website here.