Interviewing Alexis Bledel
Alexis Bledel made her way into the entertainment business as an actress in the Texan theatre scene before becoming a model in her teen years. Modeling proved promising for Alexis who found herself modeling at fashion shows in New York, Tokyo, Milan, and Los Angeles while still in high school. Upon graduation, she enrolled in film studies at NYU only to move to Hollywood a year later. There she quickly won the role of Rory Gilmore in The WB's Gilmore Girls.
In this interview Alexis talks about her experiences leading up to the premiere of the Gilmore Girls and her new life as a TV actress.
So, the Gilmore Girls is premiering this fall?
I suppose you've started filming already?
Alexis: Yes. We are on the 4th or 5th episode now.
How's it going?
Alexis: Going well, thank you.
Are you getting into your character?
Alexis: Little by little.
Little by little? What are the difficulties you've come across so far?
Alexis: This is my first acting job.
That's what I've read.
Alexis: Every day I learn something. Sometimes it's difficult. Especially when I have to do something that I don't normally do. Of course that's just acting. It's a challenge but it's a lot of fun.
How did you end up on a show with The WB?
Alexis: I was modeling with an agency in New York and a manager with the agency introduced himself to me one day and he said he had auditions for someone my age. He asked if I would be interested in doing some and I said, "Sure." I went on a couple and they kept calling me back for this one and I got it.
You started acting to overcome your shyness?
Alexis: Yeah, my mother put me in theatre when I was a kid. She thought it would help.
Do you find it has helped?
Alexis: I think so. The theatre and traveling through my modeling jobs, all of those experiences have helped a lot actually.
Do you think a lot of actors are shy people?
Alexis: That's what I've been told.
Most actors that I've come across seem to be very extroverted people.
Alexis: Me too! I think that it is a myth. I've been told that there are a lot of other actors who are shy too. I'm sure it's true.
Through modeling, you've been to a lot of places. What's your favorite city that you've been to?
Alexis: Probably Tokyo. I found it the most interesting because it was such a different culture from us.
How much time did you spend there?
Alexis: I went twice, each time for about a month-and-a-half.
You are working with a lot of experienced TV actors and I was wondering if any have taken you under their wing to help you learn the trade?
Alexis: Not so much to teach me directly. They've all be really sweet and supportive. It is a pleasure working with all of them. I had a lot of scenes with Ed Herman. In one episode we went golfing together and I hung out with him and his daughter. He showed me around LA, not teaching me about acting but just showing me around the city.
So what characteristics of yourself do you see in your character, Rory?
Alexis: Just the fact that she is independent of a lot of things that are going on around her. She reminds me more of myself in high school than right now. I think that is the most familiar thing.
What did you do to celebrate after winning the part of Rory? I'm sure it was a big moment in your life.
Alexis: When I got the part I was in LA and I went to get a piece of pizza with a friend of mine because he was the only person I knew in LA before I went home.
You celebrated with a piece of pizza?
Alexis: Yeah, but when I found out the show was picked up it was Mother's Day. I was at home so I got to celebrate with my family. That was kind of the big celebration because it was definite that it was airing. That was great because we got to celebrate Mother's Day and the show being picked up.
I guess that was even more of a celebration because often a show doesn't get picked up. There are just so many pilots.
Alexis: Right! I didn't really celebrate until everything was definite. I didn't want to get my hopes up.
Before you started the Gilmore Girls you finished a year of film school at the University. What are your future aspirations in the entertainment industry? Do you want to get into directing or producing or anything like that?
Alexis: I would love to get into all of it if I can. I write a lot too so I would like to write or direct in the future if I can.
Do you write screenplays?
What type of stories do you usually write?
Alexis: I don't know. They seem to be all over the map. I don't really have a certain genre that I stick to. I'm kind of just playing around with all kinds of different things.
Where did you grow up, Alexis?
Alexis: In Houston.
What do your friends back home think of you being a TV star?
Alexis: I don't think it has affected anybody just yet because it hasn't started airing. I think in October it will affect people more than it does right now. It's weird because the commercials for the show started airing and they see that. They call me saying that it's weird.
Here you are with a nationally televised show on the WB. There is potential for you to become somewhat of a celebrity in the next few months. How are you feeling about that?
Alexis: I haven't really thought about that at all. A couple of people have said that. There is no way that you can prepare yourself for that kind of thing. I have no idea what's going to happen so I am taking it a day at a time.
In general, do you feel you are a lucky person?
Alexis: Yeah I would say so. I'm really happy with my life.
Can you give us any insight on what the Gilmore Girls is going to be about?
Alexis: It's about a mother-daughter relationship. A single mother and her 16-year-old daughter. The mother had her daughter Rory when she was 16. It is kind of about how they had to grow up together and experience the same things at the same time. Her mother is a great friend. They're like best friends. But her mother sometimes doesn't know how to be a mom but she knows how to be a friend. So Rory has to deal with that situation and her mother has to figure out how to take responsibility and raise this girl who is becoming a woman. It's complicated.
As an aspiring screenwriter, do you hope to someday help write for the show?
Alexis: I can't really say at this point because we just started. So I have no idea what the future holds.
If you could only choose one what would you rather do, act or model?
Alexis: You become more involved in what you are doing. You put a lot more into it and it is a lot more rewarding. It's not just about how you look, it's how you can portray and what emotions you present to other people. I think it's a more powerful medium in a lot of ways.
How do you memorize your lines?
Alexis: I don't actually. I kind of just read it before we start shooting and hope for the best. I kind of just go over it before I go to sleep at night and in the morning I read it over several times and jump into it.
You've just started acting and I'm sure just being interviewed is a new experience for you. How do you feel about the self-analyzation you have to go through when people ask you questions about yourself all the time?
Alexis: It's weird because I was never asked to define myself so much before. You never asked to put yourself in categories and all of a sudden you are. I don't want to categorize myself a lot of the time. I just want to live each moment, but it's kind of hard to do that when you are asked to analyze yourself constantly. But it's also good in that you are forced to think about things that you don't ordinarily think about. I think it's strange.
Check out the Gilmore Girls web site at www.thewb.com/gilmoregirls/.