Ali Liebert talks “Lost Girl,” “Bomb Girls,” being Canada’s Favorite Lesbian (on TV)

 
 

AE: Speaking of action and explosions, I know that—correct me if I’m wrong—but I think you’re in the season premiere of Lost Girl, this season. (Note: I was wrong.  She is in episode two.)

AL: It’s a true fact.

AE: That is really exciting, I have got to catch up on that show. I know that they’re really tight-lidded on that show, but what can you tell us about that?

AL: Um, I have permission to say basically nothing, but I play a girl named Crystal.  Actually, I don’t even think I’m allowed to say that.

AE: That’s out already. I read that, so you don’t have to worry. But that’s it, that’s all that I know.

AL: It’s like, “Are you fae? Are you this, are you that?” And—what can I say? I can say that my character does spend a lot of time with women on the show, but I guess I can’t really say…

AE: In what capacity?  Well, it is Lost Girl.

AL: Yeah, I like how they don’t really define people’s sexuality in a way that’s cut and dry.  And I think people are going to be very excited about it.  You can do things on Lost Girl that you can’t do on Bomb Girls, let’s just say that.

AE: Well, and that’s another show where there are these very strong, frequently gay or at least sexually ambiguous storylines, and it seems like a lot of your projects have that common theme.  Is that, like, the business plan you and your agent made years ago, or is that just the marketplace now?

AL: You know, I have no idea.  They offered me this role on Lost Girl, which was really nice.  They had been trying to get me on for a few years, and then it just worked out perfectly with my schedule.  So it was nothing planned at all.  And I think we’ve talked about this before; I’ve played other lesbians before Betty, but I think Betty has really put it in people’s minds that I make a real believable lesbian. And I’m very happy to be typecast.  If people want to cast me as gay for the rest of my life, I would be thrilled. Like, my thing before lesbians was I would play secretaries and waitresses. I’ve probably played like 20 secretaries and waitresses. I think that I do working class very well; I do blue collar very well.

But yeah, one of my friends calls me “Canada’s Favorite Lesbian” and I would love to wear that crown.

AE: I’m pretty sure you’ve got that in the bag. So now, what is nearest and dearest to my heart, which is the Bomb Girls movie.

AL: Yes!

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AE: And like, I want to be spoiled but I don’t want to be spoiled. So can you give me just a disembodied line from a scene you just shot?

AL: OK, what did I do yesterday? Oh yeah, that’s what I did.  OK, I say, “Save your breath, not interested.”

AE: Awwww. That’s perfect. So we were all really sad to hear about (original showrunner) Michael MacLennan’s departure, and I don’t want to go into showbiz gossip mode, but I do want to ask: do you feel like the movie stays true to the tone and the spirit of the series.

AL: I mean, we’re hoping it does. I really trust the director, Jerry Ciccoritti. He directed two of my favorite episodes, and he’s an actor’s dream. He loves these characters, he loves the show, so I think the integrity of the show he’s really passionate about. But it’s definitely a huge loss, to not have Michael. But Adrienne and Janis, the other creators, are there, and everybody is wanting it to be the best it can be. And now—I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this but I’m gonna say it anyways—they want to do two more movies.

AE: (Gasp) SHUT UP!

AL: Yeah.  So, whether that ever happens, that is the rumor on set.

AE: Well that is incredibly exciting.

AL: Yeah.  I mean, lord, I wanted to play Betty McRae for a thousand more seasons. So if we get to do two more movies, I would be so excited. It’s just so fun.

AE: Well I know as a fan, I was really trying not to get my hopes up that this movie was going to happen at all, because I didn’t want to be disappointed. So when it did, it was this amazing surprise. I don’t know if it was a lot of work or a lot of stress to get back into that character that you thought you’d left behind.

AL: No, I mean, it wasn’t confirmed until pretty late in the game that everyone was available. Because we’re all off doing different projects and we’re all scattered all over North America. So the fact that it all worked out and everyone is available is a little bit of a miracle. So I think that just shows how much everybody loves this show. Because nobody is on a contract anymore, so if someone didn’t want to do it, they didn’t have to. And everyone did. But there was a time when I didn’t know if the movie was going to happen either. I’d been living in Vancouver for the summer mostly, where I created Betty walking around the sea wall and wearing these boots and listening to my Betty playlist. So I kind of touched base with her every few weeks, like I would go on Betty walks, so I wouldn’t be feeling nervous to get back in her skin again. So I checked in with Betty all summer, so I felt pretty natural. And I like that kind of shit; it’s just the kind of geeky actor I am.

AE: You know, they say—and I tend to agree with “they” in this instance—that hearing actors talk about acting is like watching paint dry. It’s really boring, but I really do enjoy hearing you talk about crafting your characters.

AL: [Laughs] I know, we’re so pretentious. But I teach actors, and I always tell them about the character walk. And I bust them, I bust their chops if they haven’t spent any time seeing the world as that character. Because the character doesn’t just live in the scenes given; they’re alive 24 hours a day, just like we are.  So I try to take any character—whether it’s my Lost Girl character, Crystal, or whatever—I’ll take them out into the world and see how people treat them, and how people look at them. It’s hilarious; nobody makes eye contact with me when I’m Betty. I think I just walk with such purpose, like I’m gonna kick their ass or something.

AE: I think we all know how to turn on our inner Betties when we’re walking through a neighborhood where it’s not quite safe.

AL: Yeah, like that neighborhood where you couldn’t take your iPad out.

AE: Oh, yep. I was actually telling a friend about that the other day, about taking you through there, and I was like “I just pretended like everything was fine.” [We are referring to that one time when I showed Ali around New Orleans and it got sketchy for a second.]

So there you have it. If Ali Liebert is not your favorite person, then you are incorrect.

The Bomb Girls movie will be coming this winter, and it will be the greatest thing that has ever happened.

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