Check out our interview with Award Winning Actress Alysia Reiner who can be seen as the #DODC Agent Sadie Deever in the critically acclaimed Disney+/Marvel TV series, Ms. Marvel.
Alysia is best known as “FIG” on all 7 seasons of Orange Is the New Black, for which she won a SAG AWARD, Additionally, she just finished her 5th season as Sunny on Peabody Award-winning Better Things on F/X x HULU, and is about to start her second season playing Katharyn in STARZ’s Shining Vale with Courteney Cox and Greg Kinnear, after finishing 2 seasons as KIKI on HBO’s THE DUECE.
As a producer, Alysia produced and stars in the motherhood dark comedy EGG with Christina Hendricks and Anna Camp. It premiered at Tribeca film festival, is 100% FRESH on Rotten tomatoes and available on iTunes, Amazon & VOD Now. Additionally, Alysia conceived of, developed, produced and starred in the feature film EQUITY, bought/distributed by Sony Pictures Classics at Sundance 2016.
Alysia loves working as a change maker for women and an advocate for women’s rights & climate change initiatives. Along with being on the board and an ambassador for Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, on the board of EARTH DAY INITIATIVE, on the advisory board for AIR PROTEIN, Alysia is the face and zero waste eco-emissary for IZZY BEAUTY and started eco-fashion zero waste initiative, Livari. As a champion of all things eco-friendly, she and her husband used their home as a way to share information about building green.
Follow Alysia @alysiareiner
Describe yourself in 4 words?
LOVE, CREATIVITY, SERVICE, EVOLUTION
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
BEST: Telling stories that help evolve culture and move people – be it laughter or tears
WORST: waiting, there is a lot of waiting – on set, backstage, and between jobs!
How do you prepare for a role?
Each role is so unique and different. Each character speaks to me in a different way and asks for different preparation, and it’s my job to listen. Listening is such a huge part of acting, and life. You learn so much if you just breathe and listen. It may sound kinda woo woo – but really its just intuitive, asking the character I am creating what it needs from me to serve the story. Each character speaks to me in a unique way – some start with a gesture, some will writing – I will start a journal for them, some are about research – interviewing or following/ spending days with people in real life who have the same career or characteristics of the character. For some, its a a vocal quality, specific clothing/costume piece , or makeup, a prop, a physical tick etc.
What was it like winning a SAG Award?
SURREAL AND AWESOME! It was so magic sharing it with the whole cast. Every show, every role, is a team effort and to be appreciated as that is THE BEST. Same with the Critic’s Choice for Ms. Marvel!
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I love roles that challenge me and make me grow and evolve. Roles I have never played before are THE BEST! I would love to do more fantasy – like The Witcher, I have never done that, shows that have Shakespearean or Greek level of STAKES. I have done a lot of historical pieces on stage – playing Virginia Woolf in an award winning one woman show at The Edinburgh Festival, and Tina Modotti in Modotti Off-Broadway, and would love to do more historical dramas on screen – like THE GREAT ( MY FAVORITE!) Or GAME OF THRONES, THE GILDED AGE or DOWTON ABBEY – which my daughter LOOOOVES, etc. I having said that, I LOVE LOVE LOVE a good modern dramedy – like BAD SISTERS which is hilarious and brilliant and heartbreaking.
If you weren’t a famous actress, what would you be doing?
I would be a neuroscientist. I love studying the brain and human behavior, how we can change and evolve. I was a biopsych major in college and still follow the research and its AwESOME how much has changed in what we know about the brain and its fluidity/flexibility which we formerly thought IMPOSSIBLE.
Can you name 3 actors/actresses you would love to work with?
Viola Davis (I did an arc on How to Get Away with Murder) & would loooove to work with her again
Meryl Streep – natch
Adam Driver – I love him in absolutely everything
What’s your advice for the newer actors?
Don’t wait, create. Make things with your friends, don’t wait for someone to give you a job.
How would your best friend describe you?
Warm, loving, optimistic, loyal, compassionate, wacky, determined, persevering
If you were a book, what would the title be and why?
Dumpsterfire Diary – The eternally optimistic Fire fighter. If the world is a dumpster fire, I am a fire fighter.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
YOU ARE FRICKING AWESOME. Your brain will lie to you and tell you mean things, and that you suck. Don’t believe it!
What is your favorite healthy food?
What is your favorite cheat food?
Nicks Swedish Ice cream – its not a cheat but it tastes like it!!
Favorite song? Why?
Toooo many to mention – its a mood thing! Sometimes you need a little Ani DiFranco “F you & your Touchable face” Sometimes you need to “shake it off” Swift style. Sometimes you need an ANTHEM – like only Queen Bey provides, sometimes its meditative soothing like Snatam Kaur, you get the idea…
Book: I just read TOMORROW AND TOMORROW AND TOMORROW and loved it!
Quote: I love 1000000s of quotes – I am quote queen and quote DAILY – so I will say this is the NEWEST I just read and love because it reminds me to keep asking, listening, and wondering:
“Never stop trying to solve the puzzle of your life. Engage until the very end.” – Dr. Louann Brizendine
Movie: I think EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE just beat out my all time favorite of THE PRINCESS BRIDE! And 2 points for anyone who can find the link between the 2 films…(Christopher Guest is married to Jamie Lee Curtis and they are both so talented I have no words for their genius)
Tv Series: Obsessed with INDUSTRY right now!
Favorite Food: Oysters and a dry Vodka Martini – stirred not shaken
Travel Destination: I am dreaming of Bali & headed to Barcelona for Spring Break.
Photo: Anthony Rhoades
MAKEUP: Brian Dean
Hair: DAMIAN MONZILLO