Tell us about the character you play, and how can you relate to her. Is there any part of STEEL MAGNOLIAS that resonates with you as an actor, or personally?
I play Annelle. She is the new-kid-in-town that brings with her some baggage with secrets that she ultimately reveals at the end of the first scene. I really dig the arch she goes through. From being this timid, unsure but very talented girl, to emulating her boss’ style and gaining in confidence, then from becoming this born again Christian to developing a balance between her spirituality and her life. It’s a pretty rad journey. It’s amazing what a difference a community can make in one person’s life. These five women show Annelle so much love that there is nothing for her to do but thrive and pulsate. The family-life she has lacked has been created. She has guts, even at the beginning, even though she is nervous. It takes a lot of gumption to do what she has done. To uproot herself at such a young age with no one to fall back on until Truvy opens up her shop/home and heart to her.
What distinguishes this production or role you have compared to other characters you’ve played in the past?
No one would EVER cast me in this role. Honestly. I believe only four people weren’t surprised that I got cast as Annelle: my Maid of Honor, my best friend, another close friend, and my fiancé!
During the week-end performance, there was a man that came in to help our wardrobe mistress out with hair (she is also assisting with some of the actresses hair because we are short-handed on Saturdays). He turned to me while I was applying make-up, looked in my mirror and said, “So, you must be Julia Roberts.” I told him, “No. I’m Daryl Hannah.” And he said, “Oh!!”
I typically wouldn’t be seen in this role. I never thought when I was just beginning that I would play in comedies. I was always so easy to tears that I naturally just wanted to do drama and never considered comedy. Pretty lame to close the door on that. I did have a Shakespeare teacher in college that told me I was a comedienne after I did a workshop scene of AS YOU LIKE IT. I didn’t believe her, though. I didn’t take her seriously because I don’t seek out to be funny. I actually think I’m quite introverted and serious.
Why do you think theater is important?
It brings people together. When an ensemble truly has a beating heart, that beat will vibrate out to the audience creating a golden thread that will weave and connect each person together. And if a show truly touches, that vibration will continue on even after the bows. It’s a magical place. A playground for kings. A loving, accepting, bright, inspired family can be created through the theatre.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to pursue acting?
Sometimes, you have to say, No. As an artist, you must realize what you are worth and that you are in constant need of challenges and improvement, and wanting to dig deeper beyond the surface. At the beginning of the year, I had to turn down a role because I didn’t think it would challenge me in the way I wanted and needed to be challenged. It was heartbreak for me. It wasn’t a matter of being offered a small role, it was about me wanting to be pushed so that I could better myself in my work. I cried for about the first six months of the year. Moral of the story, had I not said, No, I would have never been able to play in STEEL MAGNOLIAS.
It’s ok to be discouraged. I feel that you can use that as fuel for your work. I often don’t take my own advice but I find this one to be of value. Just as long as you don’t stay discouraged and continue to accept every struggle as being part of your journey. Every struggle will get you closer to something (who knows what that something is). I’ll be honest, it’s hard for me to follow this piece of advice but I still offer it.
The following applies to anything from auditions, to the last day of rehearsal, to the closing performance, and so on: Always be prepared, because when you are, anything can be thrown at you and you will be able to take it in and go with it. Come in with choices. Be open and listen. Always be full-hearted than half-assed. Lead with your heart, and have an awareness and be thoughtful of mind. Be curious. Take big risks and play. Steal from anyone and anything that inspires you. Don’t lose your love and joy for what you say is your passion. Never be afraid to fail or look like a fool.
Lastly, don’t ever EVER take yourself out of the game. I was still pretty down from what had happened earlier in the year (pretty pitiful, I know), and strongly considered letting my acting dream die because I needed to move forward with my life the older I’m getting. I debated with submitting and almost didn’t audition for STEEL MAGNOLIAS. But, I was being offered a gift (that would not be denied) and had to go for it, no matter what.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I am looking for representation! Both theatrical and commercial.
How can fans stay updated about your projects?
My fiancé made a website for me: lovelleliquigan.com
Also, we started our own YouTube Channel – http://youtube.com/LovelyerCreations