I had a chance to chat with actress Chyler Leigh of Grey’s Anatomy this week. Chyler stars as “Queenie Alton” in the Lifetime Original Movie The 19th Wife. Chyrel Leigh told she was asked to star in the movie, and it was a big decision for her to leave her family for a month to film the movie in Canada. She was very laid back during our chat, and you could tell she loves talking about her family and her children, and her priorities are straight. Read what she said about the movie, polygamy and get the scoop on the season 7 Grey’s Anatomy too!
The movie The 19th Wife is set in Utah in a polygamist community and based on David Ebershoff’s New York Times best-selling novel of secret world of polygamy. The movie is an interesting peak into polygamy, and also so much more. In fact it is more of a murder mystery and a story of a woman finding herself and having the strength to fight for what she believes in. You can read more about the movie at MyLifetime.com and watch it on Monday. The 19th Wife premieres on Monday, September 13, 2010, at 9:00 pm (ET/PT) on Lifetime Television. The season 7 of Grey’s Anatomy premieres on September 23, 2010, at 9/8c on ABC.
What Chyler Leigh said about The 19th Wife
What did you first think when you heard about the movie?
Chyler Leigh: The character – she is incredibly strong woman who has her strong faith and values, and I found a lot of similarities to me, especially when it comes to her child – I like to protect my children too. The movie was so different what I had ever done before, it was great to step into it.
What’s so interesting in polygamy?
Chyler Leigh: It’s interesting to see how far people carry it out; their faith. It’s really interesting and a sad in a way just how they are supposed to stay mellow and keep producing. It’s incredible compelling – the strengh of these women.
How did you prepare for the role?
Chyler Leigh: It was exciting, and different what I had done before. It was an interesting parallel with my chartecter and me learning more about polygamy at the same time. It was very interesting to me, and upsetting too to hear about these stories. I did’t know a lot about it before going into that, and had to reach it, and I read the book during our filming.
What do you hope that are some of the takeaways that people get from The 19th Wife-movie?
Chyler Leigh: Everyone takes something different. No matter what you were told to believe in, it always is a matter of following your heart. I hope the movie tells, whatever you are passionate about, don’t be afraid to listen to your heart.
What was the most fun part to play Queenie in The 19th Wife?
Chyler Leigh: It was all so fantastic, the people were great to work with, including the crew and the actors. It was unique to be in this movie. My family stayed in L.A. and it was very unique because it was the first time I was able to 100% focus on the project.
What was it like to wear the costumes? And how was it with that long hair?
Chyler Leigh: The weather changed so fast, and the first week it was raining, it was nice to stay warm with the dress. But it was challenging on the hot days. The dress helped to step into the character. I had 24” hair extensions, and the hair and makeup took a lot of tim, and the hair was quite heavy and I can’t even tell how much hairspray we used for it. Not very eco-friendly.
What Chyler Leigh said about her life
Speaking of eco-friendly, what do you do to be more eco-friendly in your life?
Chyler Leigh: My son is very eco-conscious, telling us that we don’t want to look like in the movie Wall-E, he is very aware and conscious of earth. We live close to beach in Orange County and try to go to the beach on the beach clean-up days. When my husband or I need to go to L.A. we carpool often.
How do you live life to the fullest and what are you passionate about?
Chyler Leigh: I feel we are obligated to do good. I’m passionate about helping – I Iove Generosity Water organization, I’ve now started working with them, they want to end the water crisis in Africa, create wells, and create rain harvesting systems for towns. I’m also involved with The A21 – campaign against human trafficking and promoting women’s well being. Human trafficking – it’s sickening and I love children and want to help. And I feel obligated to help, like we all should.
What is your secret to successful marriage?
Chyler Leigh: Time! We don’t have much in quantity, so we focus on quality time – just to get out of the house, even if it is just to look at each others. We take a lot of time to build our marriage, we are a team, and we both come from situations like divorce, and you want to make these changes to become a better person. We work really hard to make our family our priority.
What Chyler Leigh said about Grey’s Anatomy and season 7
So Grey’s Anatomy had a horrible incident last season. How is it to deal with that drama in this season?
Chyler Leigh: Drama manifests differently in every character, my characters has a complete breakdown, and has to go to psych ward, and she can’t sleep, she can’t shut off her brain and can’t sleep. She feels guilty. Everyone handles it differently in the show. Everyone will have to start doing one-on-one sessions. Everyne will start seeing my character differently, and everyone will start tiptoeing around her.
How do you think your Grey’s Anatomy fans think of you after seeing you as Queenie in The 19th Wife?
Chyler Leigh: I hope they see that I’m not a one note person.
Do you trade any parenting advice with the other Grey’s Anatomy cast members like Ellen Pompeo?
Chyler Leigh: Yes, we have like 20 kids among all of us, and we definitely talk about it, in fact it is quite a hot topic on the set.
Do you have any favorite TV shows?
Chyler Leigh: Yes, Top Chef!
Photos: Lifetime, ABC