Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hollywood Days - Alyson Hannigan

Pin It Now! If you are new to my blog, on Wednesdays I post about my experience in Hollywood as a former child/teen actress. If you want to start at the beginning of these posts go here.
I first met Alyson Hannigan on the final callback for The New Lassie. After audtioning hundreds of girls for the part, they had narrowed it down to five girls. Alyson and I briefly met before the audition in the waiting room at Al Burton's office at Universal Studios in Hollywood. I was the inexperienced one (had done over 15 commercials, but no movies or TV shows) and she had starred in My Stepmother is an Alien with Kim Basinger. Obviously, I ended up getting the part. I am sure it wasn't because my acting skills were superior, but simply because I looked more like the Lassie family who had already been cast. Maybe they knew she was less of the Lassie-girl type and more of the vampire-slaying type?

I don't remember where first I re-encountered Alyson again, but it may have been at this photo shoot for 16 magazine.
We went to a lot of the same charity events.
(I think this photo was taken at a charity event of some sort: Alyson, Brian Austin Green, Carol-Ann Plante, me, Jodi Peterson)

At some point we became friends. Good friends. In fact, during the time I was in Hollywood she was one of my best friends in the business. We were an unlikely pair. We had pretty different upbringings, personalities, and styles. She was an only child from Atlanta. I was a Californian who grew up with two older brothers. And yet was a bit more of a tomboy. I was usually working every day on Lassie so we didn't have much time to hang out during the day and she ended up on a show called Free Spirit, but we hung out when we could on the weekends.

(Here we are at an Athletes and Entertainers for Kids' Halloween event for underprivileged children: Alyson, Jodi Peterson, me, Tracy Wells from Mr. Belvedere, and Jay Underwood from The Boy Who Could Fly)

I believe it was on hiatus from Lassie that Alyson and I were in a commercial together. I think it was for Hallmark, but I can't even remember that part. I just know it was a big deal to be in a commercial with one of your best friends - considering there are a million people in L.A. all auditioning for the same commercials. We had fun. Here we are messing around on the props truck. I in my mom jeans and Alyson in her Valentine's shirt.

Unfortunately, our friendship dissolved after a fallout over a guy. Pathetic, I know. It was the night of my surprise 16th birthday party. Here is a pic of Alyson and I before the drama.
Still not sure exactly what happened, but she ended up crying on the shoulder of this guy, Rich Landes. Or something like that.
I met Rich when his brother Michael guest starred on an episode of Lassie. (Random fact: Paul Walker tried out for this part as well . . . as per my request. I think it was sometime after our short-lived romance. But they went with the dark-haired look instead.)
Rich was a surfer guy from Laguna. Rich was my best guy friend, who I really liked. And he gave me some indicators that he liked me too. Before my surprise party he took me out to dinner, which he did a lot. We hung out a ton and talked on the phone (a real life, land line phone!) every day. Alyson knew how much I liked him. Long story short, I was heart broken when they got together at my birthday party. Or so I thought. There was some miscommunication with all of it. But shortly thereafter Alyson and Rich became boyfriend and girlfriend.

To their credit, Alyson and Rich called me so many times after that night and apologized. There were many messages from them on my answering machine. It was just a messy situation. He obviously liked her and not me. I couldn't be mad about that. It was just the way it all happened that was so crushing. My 16 year-old self forgave them (at some point), but I did not want to resume friendships with either one of them. Alyson and Rich ended up dating for a while after that.

I am happy to report that Alyson and I finally reconciled years later because I finally reached out to her. (As I mentioned, she had already reached out to me numerous times, but I didn't respond.) I don't even know how we reconnected (it was before the internet), but we met for lunch in Westwood when I was at UCLA. We kept in touch a bit after that and then lost contact. If you happen to know her or anyone who knows her I would love to get back in touch with her so send her my way. UPDATE: Thanks Rach for referring me to her twitter handle. We are now reconnected! Gotta love modern day technology.

I have not seen her show How I Met Your Mother, but I know a lot of people who love that show and I've been meaning to watch it. I am very happy for Alyson and all of her successes - especially her recent journey into the motherhood!
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Alisha said...

I'm glad you guys worked it out. Too many crappy things happen over guys. LOL I never realized she was the daughter in My Stepmother is an Alien! Hahaha. Funny. My mom loves that show.

Casey said...

I don't know which I'm crying over more, your heartbreak or the clothes/hair-do's. lol

SurferWife said...

Ok, yes. The clothes are beyond fantastic.

Remind me who Jodi Petersen was again? The name and face are very familiar.

Derek Walker said...

You really made my week with this post, Hagen...could not be more happy today.

Emily said...

I love reading your "Hollywood Days"!! Oh and if you go to my blog, I did a post just for you - showing off my "stylin' outfit" from yesterday. lol :) It's Wordless Wednesday #1.

Much More Than Mommy said...

I have a friend who 20 years later reminds me that I 'dated' her husband when I was a freshman and then 'cheated' on him when I was at youth camp -- so bravo that you two worked things out! ;-)

Heather @ Two Little Monkeys Plus Hubby said...

Coming by from SurferWife. I am glad you two was able to work things out. I can't wait to read more of your Hollywood days.

Cathy said...

Wow! This story is awesome. A real life Hollywood friendship. To a small town MN girl this is pretty cool. I love that it was a pretty normal friendship, complete with boy drama! Hopefully you can reconnect again(and yes HIMYM is hilarious!)

MiMi said...

Wow, that seems like a typical drama filled sweet 16, right? But it's still sucky. :(
He was cute!
I'm glad you worked it out, though!

hotpants™ said...

I'm here because the SurferWife sent me. I'm a new follower.

Vodka Logic said...

Its great you worked it out with her.. you should see her show it is very funny

Cara Smith said...

What a great story. I hope you are able to re-connect with her. She sounds likes she was really grounded and down to earth.

Rach said...

Alyson tweets @alydenisof so you could get in touch with her that way!

TDM Wendy said...

Rach - Thanks! I just followed her and sent her a message. Looks like she might be off the grid for a while, but I will try her again later too.
Vodka Logic- This year. Gotta watch it. I've been told to start with the 1st season.
Cara- Yes totally down to earth.

Christina said...

I, too, want to get back in touch with her since we were tight back in the day...please let me know if you hear from her and give her my email address.

And yes, HIMYM is an awesome show! :)

mel @ the larson lingo said...

Loved this post! We LOVE How I Met your Mother! I have seasons 1, 2 & 3 on DVD if you want to borrow them!

Lucy said...

Glad you worked it out. Girls should not stop being friends over a guy unless they were married to him. She is one of my husands favorite actresses as he loves How I Met Your Mother.