ABC Family, over the past few years, has produced a number of strong, edgy programs that have really struck a chord with viewers – specifically young women. Whether it’s Pretty Little Liars, Make It or Break It, or Jane by Design, the network seems to speak to this audience in a way that really resonates with them.
The Lying Game, in that respect, seems to fit this mold perfectly. It has won over audiences with plots filled with drama and intrigue – with, of course, a dash of romance sprinkled in. The show, which wraps up its first season tonight at 9pm, stars Alexandra Chando as identical twins Sutton Mercer and Emma Becker. Buddy TV caught up with Alexandra on the eve of the season finale, to talk about what fans can look forward to tonight, and about what it’s been like to play twins.
BuddyTV: Tell us about tonight’s season finale. Can fans look forward to some resolution, or are we looking at a cliffhanger-type of ending?
Alexandra Chando: It’s a little of both. You’re going to get some resolution with some of the characters and some of the storylines. The Ted-Kristen situation kind of comes to a head. [You’ll find out] what was going on with Ted and Rebecca – that sort of thing. You’re not going to have too much resolution with Ethan and Emma. Based on what happened in the last episode, it’s kind of a tough road for the two of them right now. And there’s going to be a major cliffhanger. It’s really insane. When I read it, I was like “No way!” That’s probably the most exciting part.
BTV: You recently posed the question to your fans on Facebook, “Who do you prefer: Sutton or Emma?” So, turning the question around on you, who’s more fun to play: Sutton or Emma?
AC: Sutton’s definitely more fun to play, at least recently. She’s been a lot of fun. In the beginning, she was a bit of a challenge because I felt like I didn’t know her that well. But now, she’s definitely been a blast to play. She’s been a real trip. I really enjoy her.
BTV: Let’s talk about the logistical difficulties of playing twins. How easy, or difficult, has it been for you?
AC: Because we’ve been doing it for so long now, we’ve kind of made it a well-oiled machine, as far as the technicality of it. I have a great double. Her name is Nikki. She plays Emma when I play Sutton and vice-versa. And we’ve been working together for [a while] now. So we kind of got in the groove of it. And we got to know each other well. So it was a lot easier.
And there’s a split-screen. And there’s a certain [physical boundary] you can’t cross. I’ll do one side of the scene, and then we’ll change over and I’ll do the other side of the scene. It’s tough, but we’ve managed to make it work, which is great. And the editors do a fantastic job with it.
BTV: Do you think this unusual situation has helped you grow as an actress?
AC: I think so. I’ve definitely learned a lot.
BTV: When you got the pilot script for The Lying Game, did you realize immediately that you were sitting on a winner, or has the fan, critical, and network response surprised you?
AC: With television, it’s just so hit-or-miss. You never know. Based on reading the script, and the people involved, and the network and the studio attached – we all thought it was going to be a success. After we saw the pilot, we were all very proud of our work. So, I think the answer would be yes, I thought it would be successful. I mean, you always hope for it. But like I said, it’s hit-or-miss. It could’ve very well failed just as easily it’s been successful.
So we’re all very grateful for the fans, and the viewership, and the response that we’ve gotten so far. And hopefully we can carry it over and gain even more fans in the future.
BTV: You mention the network, ABC Family. It really seems like they’ve carved out a niche, of late, with shows like The Lying Game. Talk about what kind of partner they’ve been, and why they’re such a good fit for your show.
AC: I think that they put out quality shows that a lot of people can relate to. I mean, look at our demographic. We have teens [watching]. But we also have adult women – which is rare for a network that kind of caters to teens. That’s fantastic. And I think it means that they’re doing something right, and we’re doing something right. I think they, as a network, bring a lot to the table. They produce quality programming.
BTV: You played Maddie Coleman on As The World Turns, in what was your first major role. How have you evolved in the years since? And how did that experience help prepare you for this one – your first starring role in a prime-time show?
AC: Well, I’m definitely more mature as a person, now. But working on the soap helped me in more ways than one with these roles. It was such a great school, and such a great learning experience, that I think it’s really helped me. And I think it shaped me as a person as well. So I’m very grateful for that time of my life.
But [this show] is different. I mean, I’m playing two characters, obviously. And it’s just a little bit different of a set-up. But it’s great. Technique-wise, I’ve definitely learned and grown from this.
BTV: You were pretty candid at the outset of this interview about what’s going down in the season finale. But we can’t let you go without pressing you for a few more hints.
AC: (Laughs) Well, obviously, there’s a wedding. And there’s a lot of drama at the wedding – as in every television wedding, it seems. But you’re going to find out who killed Derek. That situation is going to come to a head.
Get an exclusive sneak peek of tonight’s The Lying Game finale. Sutton and Thayer try explaining why Alec and Rebecca’s upcoming wedding is not a good idea.
Don’t miss tonight’s exciting episode of The Lying Game tonight at 9pm on ABC Family, and check out the official site for more info!
(Image courtesy of ABC Family)