October 28th, 2010 by thetvchick
The CW could put just about anything on its network and I would give it a chance. Hellcats attracted me from the moment I heard cheerleading and college drama. I love Ashley Tisdale and the rest of the cast was strong as well. I think it has only gotten stronger from the pilot and I am so glad it will be coming back for a second season. One of my favorite storylines has been the development of Alice — the co-captain and the squad mean girl, if you will. I recently had the chance to chat with Heather Hemmens, who plays Alice, about why she wanted to play the bitch, how she relates to Alice and what sets Hellcats apart from other dramas.
I have really been loving Hellcats so far this season. What has it been like playing the thorn in Ashley Tisdale’s side?
Well, Alice is a complicated creature. She’s green but she’s vulnerable, and she’s nasty but she’s got a soft side, so it’s always this fine line to walk on. I’m having a lot of fun exploring that each episode.
What originally drew you to the role?
The fact that she wasn’t a one dimensional mean girl. I love that she’s got these different sides to her and it’s so much fun to be able to bring that third dimension to what is a stereotypical bitch.
Yeah (laughs). And I would assume you are not really like her, so how do you relate to Alice?
Well, I think we’ve all got a little Alice in us. I do. Even myself. And I just think that sometimes we should bring it out more. She’s the one who says exactly what she means when she thinks it. Most of us go home and we’re like “Oh I shoulda woulda coulda.” But she’s on top of how she feels, and what she wants, and she’s not afraid to go after it.
Which character would you say you are most like on the show?
Hmm. I would say I’m most like Marti in my real life. I’m very serious and a hard worker. My heart is conflicted, but I usually end up making the right decision and doing what’s best for everyone else except for myself. So I’d say I’m most like Marti.
You touched upon it a little bit saying Alice is not your typical mean girl, and in fact she reminds me a lot of characters from the movie “Mean Girls.” Do you think we’ll get to see her softer side come out?
Absolutely. As the episodes go on, and they haven’t aired yet, but we’ve shot a few where you get to see a little bit more of the inside world and where she’s coming from. And we are going to eventually meet her father that she keeps referring to that she has so much difficulty with.
Interesting. I was going to ask if we might see her home life at all.
And how is her relationship with Savannah and Marti going to continue to develop as the season goes on?
Well, it’s interesting because we’re on a squad where we have to coexist. No matter what’s going on in our personal lives, we have this structure that has to be maintained through the squad. So there will always be conflict, but at the same time, there’s that undying support for each other, where we always have each other’s back no matter what, against anyone else outside the squad, like we saw in episode six, with the flag football game against the volleyball girls. We really united as a squad and put our differences aside to achieve this bigger goal.
And do you think she might come around to Marty eventually. In the pilot, Alice was very against her joining the team but now they are slowly coming around to being friends.
I think she is tolerant (laughs) of Marti for when she has to be. But I think that Alice will hold a grudge and whenever she sees an opportunity for vengeance, she’s going to go for it.
And Alice has been sort of on and off again with Lewis and now her new love interest, Jake. Who do you think Alice should choose? Or should she not choose any of them?
Well I’m a big fan of the Lewis and Alice storyline. I just think that the love story, and we didn’t see a whole lot of it yet. I think there’s more to it. I think they have more of the history to explore. But she’s having a lot of fun with Jake, so it’s a toss up.
Not a bad choice to have! And I already love Hellcats, but what do you think sets it apart from other teen or college dramas out there?
I think we have so much to offer in the world of entertainment. When you turn on the show, you’re going to get more than just an hour long drama. You’re going to get some in your face dancing, you’re going to get some great acting, some musical numbers, and you’re going to get some laughter. There’s really so much there for everyone. It’s a family show but it’s a little bit racy, and it’s suspenseful. Our storylines are (laughs) especially some of the stuff we have coming up, it’s jaw-dropping. You’re like “Oh my Gosh, I can’t believe this.” It’s a fun show.
Did the cast study and watch any college cheerleading to prepare for the show?
We did. When we were out here in Vancouver shooting the pilot, we went to the Canadian National Competition. We went as a cast and watched the competitions. And we’ve got some of the people that compete at Nationals that dance as our Hellcats backup dancers. But cheerleading is something that we explore every day and study it and YouTube it and all of that.
Did you have any experience as a cheerleader at all before you started the show?
I didn’t. It’s a new world to me, and I just try very hard to keep up and be detail conscious so that I can stay true to the sport.
Have you learned a lot of cheers in the process of filming?
Yeah, we’ve learned a lot of dances. It’s kind of like a dance squad and we stick little cheers in there. I think for the sake of television, dancing is a whole lot more fun than just straight cheering. But I’ve learned a lot of dance numbers.
And what would you say has been the biggest challenge for you so far?
Oh gosh, keeping up with the physicality that show demands. Staying away from the catering table (laughs) when I’ve already made a trip. And the commitment that it takes to be in the world of cheerleading.
That makes sense. And do you have a favorite moment or favorite scene from filming the show so far?
My favorite is the dance number that we just did yesterday with Debbie Allen. We’re in the middle of episode 10 right now, that she’s directing, and it’s by far my favorite episode. And it was a dream come true to work with my idol. So I think that’s definitely a highlight for me thus far.
Wow, that’s great. And obviously I know you can’t spoil too much. But can you give us a little teaser of what’s coming up in the next few episode, especially for Alice?
We’re going to see her kind of challenged in having to choose between her selfishness and her squad. And she makes some interesting choices. She comes out of her shell a little bit more. We definitely get to know more about her. We’ve got this episode eight that is just going to blow your mind with the dance numbers. It’s awesome. It’s colorful, it’s fun. We’ve got more singing. You’ll hear more of the cast sing. So we’ve got a lot of really fun stuff coming up.
Are you going to be singing at all?
I don’t know yet. It hasn’t yet been in my storyline, so we’ll see.
You connect with a lot of fans via Twitter. What sort of reaction have you gotten so far to your character and the show?
It’s been so amazing and so unexpected — the positive reaction that I’ve gotten (laughs), the support that I’ve gotten for Alice. People seem to love her and cheer her on and see the logic in her evil ways. It’s so much more support than I could ever ask for. I was fully expecting to be hated for playing the bitch, and I was okay with that. But it’s been great.
I feel like there’s a part of everyone that’s always going to root for the bitch. I don’t know.
I think it’s an interesting psychological slip in the American mind, so I can’t explain why they root for the bitch, but you’re absolutely right, they do.
Maybe there’s just a tiny part of them that wants to be that person, that wants to have the courage to say everything that’s on their mind. That’s just my theory. And I always like to ask this question because my site is all about TV. What are you watching on TV? What shows do you love?
I love me some Hellcats. I’m also watching Dexter and Undercovers.
Hellcats airs Wednesday nights at 9 pm on the CW.Tweet