LeadingShiri Appleby

Article on Shiri from “What” magazine

Thanks to Katherine for this :)

Found this in a Canadian magazine called “What.” December 2001 issue, pages12-13 Volume 16, Issue 6

Star Crossed Lover

by Sharon Schatz Rosenthal

Perhaps it was a savage flame from long ago that left Shiri Appleby rather indifferent to alien kisses. At best, she finds extraterrestrial romance funny. Sorry Jason.

Once upon a time, Shiri Appleby had a huge crush on Fred Savage.

“He was the best!” gushes Appleby of the former Wonder Years star. “I was in love with him. I had posters and everything!”

Her enthusiasm fades when she describes actually meeting the object of her desire though. “It was the most embarassing moment of my life,” she says. “I went to a party when I was in fifth grade and I was convinced that he was going to think I was cute because I looked like Winnie Cooper (Savage’s TV love interest, Danica McKellar). I had the long hair and everything.

“Then my dad went over to him and asked him to take a picture with me. I was just so embarassed. I went into the bathroom and ended up crying.”

Long since recovered from the Savage incident, Appleby, who plays Liz Parker, the soft-spoken heroine on TV drama Roswell, is hoping for a bit of romance for her upcoming 23rd birthday. “Hopefully, I’ll be in some romantic location with someone fantastic, but I don’t know about that!” she says. And truth be told, it may be tough to top her last birthday.

“I really like Rosie O’Donnell a lot,” she begins. “So, for my birthday last year, a guy gave me a dozen Rosie O’Donnell dolls, instead of a dozen roses.”

Although she doesn’t have a special guy in her life at the moment, Appleby admits to having been in love “less than a handful” of times. But she insists the despite the chemistry you see on screen, she and Jason Behr, who plays her love interest, Max, on Roswell, are truly just friends.

“It’s kind of weird because we’ve been making out for three years now,” she laughs. “It’s like kissing someone you’ve been married to for a really long time. It becomes second nature.

“You’ve got, like, 40 crew members standing around and microphones over your head,” she continues. “People are telling you not to move because your jackets are rustling. It’s funny, but not really romantic.”

The Opposite of Shy

Of all of her co-stars, Appleby says she’s closest to Majandra Delfino, who plays her human friend, Maria, on the show. And, in fact, the entire cast spends quite a bit of time together off the set. But you won’t ever catch them having a private screening of the show.

“If we’re going to hang out, you kind of just want to talk with everyone and be normal. We’re not like, ‘Let’s watch us on TV together!’” She laughs at the notion, admitting that, in fact, she a bit uncomfortable watching herself on TV to begin with. “It’s kind of funny when I sit back and watch myself. I’m like ‘What am I doing?’ Sometimes I can become a bit critical, so that’s when I stop.”

Self-critical maybe, but fans seem to find her acting quite convincing. In fact, Appleby believes the public has a misconception about her personality. “People think I’m a shy, really sensitive, quiet girl,” she says, clearly describing her TV persona, “but I’m a lot more outgoing than that.” In fact, Appleby was vote “most spirited” back in high school because she was involved in so many activities, including cheerleading, yearbook, and leadership.

On the other hand, the extroverted actress says she can be introspective at times. Her biggest pet peeve is when someone tells her to smile when she’s deep in thought. “Sometimes I’m thinking about something and someone thinks I’m really sad. It’s like, ‘No! I’m thinking right now!’”

Modest, On the Other Hand

Appleby began her acting career at age four. After appearing in a slew of commercials, she was cast in two TV movies and the feature film I Love You to Death, starring Kevin Kline and the late River Phoenix. She also guest-starred on shows like Doogie Howser, MD and Xena: Warrior Princess. She landed the role of Liz on Roswell at the end of her second year at the University of Southern California.

During the grueling audition process, Appleby was sure she wouldn’t get the part – even when she was called back for a fifth audition. “I thought that I was coming in just to make the network want to choose somebody else. That’s what I was told. I had my schoolbooks with me because I had a final the next day. I was studying in the waiting room and I didn’t think I was going to be a part of the show at all.” She auditioned for the parts of Maria and Isabel before being cast as Liz, the first human to know the secret of her three teenage alien friends.

Appleby admits she finds herself in awe of famous people (although she arguably shoulders the label herself). “Anytime I meet a celebrity, I’m star-struck. There’s just this whole aura about them,” she muses. But oddly, she doesn’t put herself in the same category. “I don’t consider myself famous,” she insists. “Not, like really famous. It’s so weird to think of yourself like that!”

Whatever. Clearly, the refreshingly modest actress and her castmates have a certain cult following – so much so that two years ago, when [I]Roswell[/I] was in danger of being canceled, die-hard fans sent in bottles of Tabasco sauce (the [I]Roswell[/I] aliens’ favourite food on Earth) to the network to show their support and loyalty. Whether it was something in the sauce or something in the stars, [I]Roswell[/I] was picked up for a third season.

Though modest about her own fame, occasionally, Appleby is reminded of the impact [I]Roswell[/I] has on the rest of the world. “Once, I was in a pool in Las Vegas and some guy told me that he’d sent in Tabasco bottles. I was being, like, a crazy kid in Vegas, with a Speedo bathing suit on and I was just making a scene with all my friends. And the guy said that to me and I was like, ‘Whoa, there are people that are actually watching the show!’ It totally blows me out of my reality.”

Love in the Stars

Next for Appleby is an eerie big-screen thriller called [I]Swimfan85[/I], in which she plays a girl whose cheating boyfriend has a fling with the dangerous new girl in school (played by [I]Traffic[/I]’s Erika Christensen). Appleby says her own character, an art student, is “very free and the only thing that keeps her stable is her relationship with her boyfriend.” The movie is scheduled for release sometime in 2002.

For the future, Appleby dreams of starring in a love story. “I would love to make a film watching two people really fall in love and chronicling how it really happens. Not like a big commercial movie,” she insists, “but something very realistic. The real struggles and the weight that’s carried inside people when they actually fall in love.

“I like watching two people ‘dissect’ each other,” she adds.

What We Couldn’t Fit Into the Article

Shiri Appleby is a bit skeptical about the existence of real aliens.

“If I met one, I’d believe in them, but I’ve never met one.”

Her guilty pleasure is TV.

A self-proclaimed TV junkie, Appleby actually banned herself from the tube for a few months last year. The ban is apparently over though… “I live with a friend who’s still in college,” she says. “We split everything 50-5- and cable just wasn’t in the budget. Now it is. I was like, ‘Can we get HBO?!’”

Fido’s not her best friend.

“I got bit by a Chow [at about age nine] because I was petting her puppies. I have a scar on the left side of my face right over my eyebrow. So, I’ve always been really scared of dogs and of any kind of animal. Then, I got a cat, which is kind of taking away my fear.”

The article includes four pictures as well: two Season 2 promo shots (orange halter top and fusica halter), a Season 3 cast photo, and a picture of Max and Liz from Busted.