We had the chance to chat with Allie Gonino from The Lying Game about her role as Laurel! We’ve got the answers to the fans questions in our interview below!
What initially drew you to The Lying Game?
The first thing that drew me to The Lying Game was definitely Laurel’s character. I hadn’t even read the entire script before I went in to audition the first time, but her wit and sarcasm was something that hit home for me, and I instantly had a connection with her. Her character had material I was eager to get to play. After I read the pilot, I realized that the entire show was written really well, and I knew this was a project I was right for.
Does the cast get along with each other? Any fun stories from set?
The cast gets along really well, we’re each very different in our own way, but everyone seems to be very world conscious and we all like to have fun. We’ll go out every once in a while to 6th Street here in Austin and dance, or to eat dinner. One of my favorite nights was when we had game night at Kirsten Prout’s house. We played Apples to Apples, Charades, and Catch Phrase. To witness everyone in their competitive mode was hilarious, it was very loud and intense!
Can you explain your audition process? How did you go about snagging the role of Laurel Mercer?
My agent sent me the script for the pilot, and like I said for the first audition, I didn’t even read the whole pilot, just the scenes I had to learn. I knew early on, especially after that first read, that Laurel and I were a match made in TV heaven. I had a lot of the work cut out for me in terms of knowing how to play her sense of humor, because the writing was so on the money. For the little nuances, like the way she walks, or rolls her eyes, I just reverted back to my 16 year-old self.
Talking about audition processes, was Laurel your first character choice? And what are the top things you do to get into character?
For this show, Laurel was definitely my one and only choice. The only part I could probably fit would be Char, but Kirsten is just so perfect for it, I’d never be able to pull it off as well as she is. I don’t really have any tricks to “get into character”. I have a pretty good feel for the way my 16 year-old self used to act, and the writing lends itself to my natural instincts to be able to play Laurel.
Do you share any characteristics with Laurel?
I’d say our sense of humor is very similar, in that we’re both sarcastic. But Laurel’s much smarter and wittier. With a dad like Ted, it’s hard not to have to be! Laurel’s also an observer. And I’d say the thing we have most in common with each other is the sisterly love. Being in The Stunners really taught me how to be a good sister, and if I wasn’t already sort of a feminist before, I’m heaven sent to be a good sister to all women. I think it’s such a positive thing to look out for one another, as opposed to what you see in a lot of reality shows, where women build drama with other women. I like that even though Sutton’s a pain in the ass sometimes, Laurel still has her best interest at heart.
In one of the latest episodes, we got to see a hidden talent of Laurel’s. How long have you been playing the violin?
I have been playing the violin since I was seven, so a little over 14 years. I started playing classical music, then eventually branched out into fiddle, jazz, hip hop, blues, and alternative.
Not only can you play the violin, but you can also sing! Can you tell us a bit about your time with ‘The Stunners’?
I was in The Stunners for about three and a half years. It was a great experience, I got to write and record music with a lot of great people. I also got a taste for how the pop music industry works. Can’t say it’s for me, but I’m so glad I know about it now. Last year we toured with Justin Bieber, which was an insane experience. I can’t wait to go on tour with my new band.
We noticed that your character always ends up being second best to Sutton, how will this influence some of her decisions?
Laurel always has to look out for Sutton, because if she doesn’t, no one else will. Sutton’s friends tend to follow her lead, so Laurel acts as sort of protector in a cute way. In the first episode, her wit and sarcasm is very heightened, which I see as a defense mechanism against her crazy sister. But as the show goes on, you see the layers be pulled back to reveal a more vulnerable side to Laurel. When Emma enters the picture, Laurel calms down a bit, and starts to focus more energy on her own life.
In the show, Laurel is starting to notice a difference in Sutton. If she finds out, how do you think she’ll handle it?
I think if Laurel were to find out about Emma, she’s be heartbroken for a couple reasons. Though right now Emma is providing an escape from the real Sutton, and acting the way a good sister should, I feel like Laurel would be hurt to find that both of them have been lying to her this entire time. Even though Emma has been nice, it’s all a lie, and once again, it’s all because of Sutton. If it comes to that, I think Laurel would feel more alone than ever.
We were just introduced to a new character, Justin (Randy Wayne). Can you give us some deets on the relationship? Anything we can look forward to?
Well, as you just saw in episode four, Laurel and Justin are starting to date. This is Laurel’s first official boyfriend, and he’s actually hot and popular; totally her dream guy. The relationship continues to heat up, but in episode five, you can tell there is something Justin is hiding…
Can you spill a small spoiler involving tonight’s episode?
Episode five is the homecoming dance! Emma has to decide whether or not to run as Sutton, and if she does, she’ll be going head to head against Nisha. I can’t give away much more, but a particular twosome have their first lip lock!
Laurel Mercer seems to have a little bit of attitude, and it could be that she’s always shadowed under her ever so popular sister Sutton. How do you keep the attitude of Laurel like-able, when she can easily be a over pretentious?
It is a hard balance. I think it’s very important for Laurel to always show a tinge of vulnerability in her delivery, to let the audience know there’s more going on than just being a bratty younger sister. Also, if you can deliver the brattiness with a hint of a smile, people can relate better.
Many of the recent shows have been highlighting some pretty strong sense of fashion, and The Lying Game is now included among as very savvy and fashionable TV. Do you and your character have the same sense of fashion? And are there a few wardrobes so far for Laurel’s character you’d like to have in your closet?
I wouldn’t say our fashion sense is the exact same, but certainly we share some similarities. Our costume designer lets me say what I like and don’t like for Laurel. When it comes to dressing for a part, it’s important to me to feel good in my own skin, as well as feeling right as the character in whatever I’m wearing. A lot of people say the fashion on the show is a bit “fantasized” but to be honest, I was 16 when I was walking around in heels, and I definitely loved to dress fashionably and set trends in school. Though there are a lot of cute things in Laurel’s wardrobe, my style is a bit more unique. I like to spend a little extra and get something that not a lot of other people will have. That being said, I think Laurel’s wardrobe is a great example of how to dress fashionably without costing a fortune.
We find ourselves quite fixated on Justin’s boyish charm, so we are excited to find out if we see a future love interest there. What your take is on a possible blooming romance?
I won’t say much more, but they’re definitely falling for each other. Once you see episode five, you’ll want to follow Justin’s story-line. There’s something he’s not telling anyone!
Make sure to catch The Lying Game tonight on ABC Family!
Interview Credits: TVD_Dhalyn, Emma, Romancia, and the fans!