Le Temple d'Alyson

La Crypte

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Willow talk

article extrait de TV Week November 18-24, 2000.

It sounds odd to say of a girl who's 26 years old and a teen pin-up, but Alyson Hannigan is an old pro. She's fighting jet lag, a punishing head cold and burgeonning sone throat, but the Buffy Star still knows how to turn it on. One click of the camera shutter and Alyson is all smiles and twinkles.

Of course Alyson - better known as the sweet, bookish Willow on the Seven Network's Buffy, The Vampire Slayer - is no "riding the crest of a wave" newcorner. The tough Hollywood wannabe has been in front of the camera since the age of four and can't remember a time when acting wasn't her only goal in life. "I just wanted to do it, I never questioned it," she explains. "I can't put it into words - mean, why do you like the colour blue? It's just part of me."

It was Alyson's photographer parents who first introduced their child to the glory of performing in front of a lens. "They put me in from of the camera whenever they needed a baby," Alyson says. "I just loved it." Her parent split up when she was two, but already the bug has bitten and by the age of four Alyson was cutting her baby teeth on TV commercials in hometown Atlanta.

As she got older the work increased and included big names like McDonald's and Oreo Cookies. "Going to auditions was just like an after school hobby for me - that, and playing soccer."

By the age of 11 it was time to get serious and move to where the real action was... Los Angeles. There were other reasons for upping stickc - like Alyson's dad living in nearby Santa Barbara and her mum tiring of living in Atlanta - but essentially this was a career move. In California, Alyson was one of the whole bunch of kids treading the same rocky road to stardom, but the stiff competition never fazed her and the knock-backs only made her stronger. "It's part of the business and you learn that," she sais coolly.

Alyson's hard work paid off and at just 13 she landed the role of Dan Aykroyd's misunderstood daughter in the movie My Stepmother Is An Alien. TV appearances in shows like Picket Fences, Roseanne and Touched By An Angel followed, and Alyson was on her way.

Despite all those years trolling to auditions together, Alyson says she and her mum - who currently lives back in Atlanta - are not that close. "I move out when I was was 17," she recalls. There are also no major mentors in Alyson world, although she admire the work of Jodie Foster and Meryl Streep.

"It's my drive that has kept me going all these years," she reflects. And, with the help of Buffy, that drive is now coming on its own. Alyson has been with the show for four years now and it's changed her life. She has a huge pile of fan mail to answer and is constantly stopped while shopping. "Yeah, I get recognized in the street and I don't mind that at all," she laughs. "We are her because of our fans, so the least I can do is to take five minutes to sign some autographs."
Most of all, though, Buffy has lifted Alyson onto a new level on her work. "Buffy has given me the luxury of not having to work just for the sake of working and paying the bills," she smiles. "Now I can wait until a good movie comes along."

Such a movie was the hit comedy American Pie, in which Alyson shone as the flute-playing band geek. Next on the agenda are movies Beyond City Limits and Boys and Girls, with Freddie Prinze Jr, and of course more Buffy. "Buffy takes up a lot of my time - five days a week, nine months a year. But I love the show. This is my dream."

Article écrit par Juliet Rieden