Alicia Witt has never been busier. She’s the co-lead in difficult but sensitive drama Away From Here (notable for the on-screen reappearance of troubled actor Nick Stahl), which hit the US iTunes store earlier this week, just as her Thanksgiving black comedy Cold Turkey (also available on iTunes) winds up its theatrical run. She’s also the lead in two festive offerings for Network television, Hallmark’s A Very Merry Mix-Up and Lifetime’s A Snow Globe Christmas, and having spent the last few years concentrating on a burgeoning pop career, the classically trained pianist has even found time to release Christmas single ‘I’m Not Ready For Christmas.’ Always remembered for playing headstrong teenage daughter Zoey on Cybil, the TV veteran of Friday Night Lights and Ally McBeal is currently shooting the fifth season of Justified which will premiere on FX in the States next month.
Never an actress to be pigeonholed, one only need look at the way Witt pitches her two most recent film roles at polar ends of the spectrum to see how serious she is about crafting distinctive, compelling characters. An emotionally numb wreck in the former, a live wire wrecking ball in the latter, Away From Here sees Witt as a downtrodden, aching-heart waitress, who discovers her new boyfriend is a registered sex offender, while in Cold Turkey she plays Nina, estranged daughter and black sheep of the eccentric Turner clan, whose surprise visit home for the first time in fifteen years ruins Thanksgiving for everyone. Playing Nina with the same kind of wacked-out gusto that made Cherish, the pornstar-turned-cinema terrorist in John Waters’ Cecil B. DeMented so memorable, it’s a role that might well have garnered an Independent Spirit Award nomination had more people seen it.
Increasingly popular, more people are guaranteed to see her as Wendy Crowe on Justified, as a redneck sister with aspirations in the legal world. Her own aspirations spanning film, TV, theatre and music, Alicia Witt has worked with some of the biggest names in the business and is known to many for many different things. With that in mind, there’s a definite sense of this multi-talented performer unexpectedly breaking out in a big way in the very near future.
This in-depth, almost hour-long conversation covers much of Alicia Witt’s career, including:
Cold Turkey (00:38 – 15:40)
Christmas Movies & TV vs. Indie Films (15.41 – 20.23)
Songwriting (20.23 -26.38)
Away From Here (27.39 – 34.38)
Citizen Ruth & Alexander Payne (34.05 – 35.49)
Cecil B. Demented & John Waters (36.40 – 39.01)
Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things and stage plays (39.02 – 47. 52)
Justified (47.53 – end)
First published by Vérité Film Magazine on December 12, 2013