Thursday, February 02, 2012

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.
This was originally posted in June of 2010, but I updated it a bit so pretend it's new. . .

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 fromThe 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! UPDATE: She is now expecting #2! Woohoo!
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Amy - while wearing heels said...

Ok, so I never watched The New Lassie BUT now I want to see if I can netflix them or something :).