Canadian national treasure Ali Liebert has been an AfterEllen favorite since she first swaggered up to our hearts in Bomb Girls. The other day, she talked to us about her upcoming projects—which include the Bomb Girls movie and a guest appearance on Lost Girl—and all things “fucking magical.”
AfterEllen.com: I know you have a bunch of movie projects coming up soon that you’re really excited about, including one that’s premiering at Whistler. Do you want to tell people about that?
Ali Liebert: Well, Downriver just had its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and it won Most Popular Canadian Film, which is really cool. And I play a lesbian in that, and it’s pretty sexy. I worked with this girl, Collen Rennison, who’s amazing, and she’s got this band called No Sinner and she’s an amazing vocalist and she sings this song to me in the movie that was one of my most favorite scenes to ever shoot. It was like, I don’t know, just the way it was shot, it looked so beautiful, it could have been a music video all in itself. Because she’s onstage singing, and I work my way through the crowd up to the front, and the song is called “Molly,” and my character’s name is Molly, so she’s singing to me. And actually, the night of the premiere, it was so funny: Colleen did a set with her band at this party, and she didn’t know if I was there or not, and she started singing it, so it was like a repeat of the movie. It was cool. It’s also one of my favorite, most beautiful songs, ever. So that was a highlight. And I’m not sure where it’s going next; I guess it’s going to be on the festival circuit for a while.
AE: Well, if it’s got a gay storyline, I hope they shop it to the gay festivals, but I watched the trailer and it seems like a really female-centric film overall.
AL: It is—all the leads in the film are female. It’s a really beautiful film, so I hope a lot of people get to see it. And it’s written and directed by a good friend, Ben Ratner, and he loves women. You can just tell in the way he writes them. So I’m really proud to be a part of that.
And my movie, Afterparty—that’s very exciting. We’re having our world premiere at the Whistler Film Festival, so basically as soon as we wrap this Bomb Girls movie I’m gonna be, like, full-on in the press/media frenzy, because we’ll only have about 10 days before the festival starts so we’re going to be doing lots of interviews and TV shows in Vancouver. And then the festival! And it’s really exciting. Jodi (Balfour) is in it as well and I’m hoping she can come up for the premiere from LA. And the lead charcacter, Charlie, is gay, and it’s largely based on the actor, Graham Coffeng’s, experiences. And it’s kind of a unique film because it was completely improvised.
AL: [Laughing] Everyone is very shocked that we were able to pull it off. But we have some of the best improvisers in the country. It’s a very Vancouver who’s who, but they all just happened to be our best friends.
AE: That sounds like a hard role to improvise.
AL: Yeah, luckily I have lots of friends who are writers, and we all did our own research on our characters. And we did some extended improvisations in character, which was awesome. Like, we basically threw a rehearsal dinner. The whole story takes place after Charlie’s brother’s wedding—who my character was in love with in high school—and so we threw a rehearsal dinner. Like, we went to the back room of a restaurant, and we all showed up in character. Some people brought their suitcases, like they’d just arrived from a plane. It was so fucking magical. We literally stayed in character for four or five hours and left the restaurant in character. And as an actor, that’s the shit that I just love.
And yeah, it’s a little indie movie with a lot of heart, and I think that everyone who’s seen it really loves it. I’m sure it’s not for everybody—it’s a very simple story, there’s no explosions and no gunfights.
AE: Aw shucks.
AL: I know. I know that’s your favorite.
Ali Liebert talks “Lost Girl,” “Bomb Girls,” being Canada’s Favorite Lesbian (on TV)