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All the Girls Love Alice and Leisha Hailey Too!

All the Girls Love Alice and Leisha Hailey Too!

It’s six years into playing sexy, quirky Alice Pieszecki on The L Word and Leisha Hailey, a bona fide double threat of an actress and rock star with Uh Huh Her, who's graced with cracker jack comic timing and on-screen pathos, is an unstoppable rising star with a spin-off in the works.

TracyEGilchrist

It’s six years into playing sexy, quirky Alice Pieszecki on The L Word and Leisha Hailey, a bona fide double threat of an actress and rock star graced with cracker jack comic timing and on-screen pathos, is an unstoppable rising star.

While Showtime’s breakout little lesbian-themed show that could is gearing up for it’s sixth and final season Hailey’s just getting started with the announcement this summer that Alice, one of the show’s most beloved characters, is slated to headline a yet-to-be-named spin-off. But it’s really no surprise that Hailey -- who wowed the girls early on in her acting career playing the adorable, pink-haired musician in the indie flick All Over Me -- and Alice, who’s character already spawned the site OurChart.com, would get land the spin-off.

This year has been a busy one for Hailey, who along with her Uh Huh Her band mate Camila Grey, released their first full-length album Common Reaction in late August, while Hailey was already in Vancouver shooting The L Word. Before TheL Word had finished shooting the upcoming season -- they’re just wrapping up -- Hailey was home in Los Angeles for a quick visit and then off on a whirlwind tour with Uh Huh Her beginning in San Diego Oct. 17.

Following a few weeks reprieve around the Thanksgiving holiday after a month on the road -- and this might be a spoiler of sorts -- Hailey’s heading off to London to shoot the spin-off pilot.

Plucked from The L Word’s Vancouver set, Hailey took some time out this September to talk to SheWired.com for its premier interview. The thoroughly gracious and charming Hailey chatted about Alice’s spin-off, playing with Grey in Uh Huh Her, touring, her fear of truck stops, 10,000 Maniacs and just what that unicorn represents in the “Not a Love Song” video. Decades ago, Elton John penned the lyric “All the girls love Alice.” It’s fair to say that with Hailey’s continued success, that everyone loves Alice -- and Hailey!

SheWired: Hi Leisha, Thank you so much for chatting with me. I know we’re here to talk primarily about Uh Huh Her but you recently got some incredible news regarding Alice’ spin-off. First off, congratulations.

Leisha Hailey: Thank you.

SW: How do you feel about the spin-off? This is a big deal!

LH: I’m very excited about it and honored.

SW: Were you taken off guard or did you have an inkling that Alice might just be the subject of the spin-off?

LH: I was surprised. I didn’t know.

SW: So far there’s no name attached to the spin-off but the blogs have been buzzing with possible names. My personal suggestion is Alice Doesn’t Live in Weho Anymore.

LH: (laughs) That’s really good.

SW: It’s like the L Word meets Scorsese. As I was prepping for this interview, I realized you were back and forth between releasing Common Reaction, shooting the L Word, press for Uh Huh Her and touring with Uh Huh Her. How do you keep focused?

LH: When I’m in whatever situation I’m very much concentrated there. I just throw myself into it.

SW: Do feel like it’s a lot to juggle?

LH: It’s not something I feel have to juggle. I’m just in that one situation when I’m in it.

SW: I’d really like to talk about Uh Huh Her some. First, congrats on Common Reaction. I think it’s a blast. It made for a great end of summer play list.

LH: Thank you so much.

SW: This may seem silly, but I always ask musicians who came of age before say, iTunes downloads, what do you prefer to call a release? Once upon a time it was easy… it was a record or an album. What do you call Common Reaction?

LH: I call it an album.

SW: Since Camila isn’t here to speak for herself, can you tell me what it was that drew you to her musically?

 LH: What drew me to her was, well first of all I had heard about her. She had gone to music school and was playing with a band called Mellowdrone. I really liked her stage presence.

SW: How was it once the band came to fruition? Were there some growing pains?

LH: We started writing together, it really happened. It came together perfectly.

SW: You’re heading out on tour soon. I imagine that at this point in your life, touring with Uh Huh Her is a whole different animal then when you were just getting started with The Murmurs.

LH: This was a very planned out band. The Murmurs came out of friendship. We were trying to survive in New York at the time. I remember that place. It was three years before getting signed. This is very, very different.

SW: I’m sure. This is a typical question but I always like to know. Do you write music or lyrics first?

LH: It sort of depends on which. I feel I like to write on the acoustic guitar.

SW: An acoustic guitar is quite different from Camila’s more electro background. How does that work for her?

LH: (laughs) I have an old four-track I use. Cam, she didn’t know what to do with that.

SW: The name Uh Huh Her is derived from P.J. Harvey’s album. Was that a slam dunk name or were there others?

LH: We had a giant list of names. We dwindled it down to about three names from that list and Uh Huh Her was it. And at the time, there were three girls in the band.

SW: So that fit really well. You released an EP with songs that eventually landed on Common Reaction in the summer of 2007, which was great by the way. I had it on repeat in my car.

LH: Thank you.

SW: And then you had a delay on releasing Common Reaction from the spring of 2008 until it’s release date in August. How was it when you finally released it?

LH: It felt like a relief. It was like having a present before Christmas and holding on to it for five months too long. Finally we were beyond it.

SW: I love that analogy. But you were on tour recently, so you must have played those songs.

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LH: We toured the record but this time people will know it. It will feel really different.

SW: I tried to figure out your schedule in my head and between the L Word, touring, shooting the pilot for the spin-off and then promoting the L Word’s final season. I deduced that you won’t get a break until sometime in late January. Thinking about your schedule made me tired. I can’t imagine how you’re doing it.

LH: I’m making myself tired. It’s not the work. It’s the not being home. The big priority in my life is to eventually put all the situations in my life in LA somehow. I have responsibilities and a personal and a home life.

SW: Despite your being away from your home life and missing that, do you like touring… being on the road?

LH: I always have. It has a certain quality to it. You feel like a gypsy or a nomad constantly in flux. It’s kind of a neat feeling.

SW: I imagine touring now is much different than with The Murmurs. That was probably really shotgun. Do you have a rock and roll bus?

LH: This time we have a bus. It will be much better! We can sleep…

SW: Do you enjoy that great American roadside destination known as the truck stop?

LH: Nooo! They scare me although there’s usually a Dairy Queen or a Subway. Sometimes you find good truckers’ hats.

SW: And they sell Long Haul jeans, which I always wanted to try. Do you have a favorite venue or city you continually look forward to playing?

LH: You can’t pick a fave. It can have so much to do with a crowd’s mood. I was in Kansas once and there was a tornado across the street. Everyone went to a college bar to gather together.

SW:  Wow... yeah that's a way to get to know your audience. You’ve been working on scripted television for six seasons now. How was it making the video for “Not a Love Song?” Videos are such a different medium from television.

LH: Weird. It’s weird to be two people. Me and not me. It was strange. I haven’t done that in a long time.

SW: So what’s the significance of the unicorn in the video?

LH: We really wanted a fantasy-like video. It was a matter of mixing it. A blend of fantasy and reality. And we wanted it to be like eye candy.

SW: Well you and Camila look really dreamy in it. You’re a few years younger than I am but I’m wondering if you remember when unicorns were ubiquitous in junior high?

LH: I remember it being big. I wasn’t into it but my sister had horses all over the place.

SW: This is purely self-indulgent. I was a 10,000 Maniacs nut back in the day. I read somewhere that you were a pretty big fan yourself.

LH: Oh Wow! I loved it. That’s all I listened to.

SW: Really? Did you even have their first, more obscure, album The Wishing Chair?

LH: I knew it all!

SW: I love it. So you are going to be the premiere interview for our brand new site SheWired.com. We grew out of LesbiaNation.com but we wanted to be more fluid in our identity, so it’s nowSheWired. Do you have a word by which you prefer to identify your sexuality?

LH: I don’t. It’s the last thing I think about. I don’t care what anyone calls me. I say lesbian though.

SW: Alright, so they pulled you off set of the L Word to talk to me. Can you divulge any tiny plot points? I'll keep it strictly off the record.

LH: (laughs) It’s Top Secret.

For more on Uh Huh Her and upcoming tour dates, visit www.uhhuhher.com.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

<p>Cinephile, cyclist, proud cat lady and unabashed Pretty Little Liars guru.</p>

<p>Cinephile, cyclist, proud cat lady and unabashed Pretty Little Liars guru.</p>