Award-Winning Actress/Producer Lacey Chabert by Jamie O'Quinn
Well-grounded and down-to-earth best describes 25-year old producer and award-winning actress Lacey Chabert. A native of Purvis, Mississippi in Lamar County, Chabert’s acting career began at the age of 7 and has taken her from commercials to Broadway, television series, daytime soaps and both television and big screen movies.
Chabert is probably most recognized for her portrayal of Claudia Salinger in the series “Party of Five,” which ran for six seasons, and for which she won the MTV Young Star Award and also as Gretchen Wieners in the movie “Mean Girls,” where she, along with Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried won the MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Team.
With more than 17 movies under her belt, Chabert has also lent her vocal talents to animated movies such as “Babes in Toyland,“ and “Lion King II,“ and well-known animated series such as “The Wild Thornberrys,” as Eliza Thornberry, “Family Guy,” as Meg Griffin, and “The Spectacular Spider-Man,” as Gwen Stacy.
Continually racking up frequent flyer miles from her home in California to visit family in Mississippi and Texas, I spoke with Chabert as she was hanging pictures in the new Stone House Restaurant her sister, Crissy Taylor, is opening in Purvis on Oct. 1.
Q: You seem pretty excited about the new restaurant. Tell me about it.
A: The inside of Stone House looks like the inside of Crissy’s home. They will be serving homemade specialty salads, paninis, burgers and Cajun specialties. It’s something she’s always wanted to do and I‘m so excited to be able to participate. I‘ll be coming back to help out for the opening.
Q: Speaking of projects, didn’t you recently complete several movies?
A: I recently finished the film “The Ghost of Girlfriends Past,” with Matthew McConaughy and Jennifer Garner. I just saw it and am very pleased. It’s really funny and has a lot of heart. It’s due for release in February 2009.
I also completed an independent movie drama titled “Reach for Me,” with Seymour Cassel and Alfre Woodard.
“Thirst,” is the other movie and I also produced it. It’s a true independent where we got our hands dirty by doing everything ourselves. I’m venturing out into other parts of the business besides acting. I want to focus on trying to create my own material as well.
Q: You’ve acted in such a wide venue from Broadway to animation to big screen movies. Which do you like best?
A: I can’t really say which I like best. I love being in front of people in theatre. It’s nerve-wracking but also so instantly gratifying. I love doing TV as well and am looking to do another television show in the future. Films are great, too. It gives me the opportunity to have a lot of time off and see my family.
Q: Is there any part of your upbringing in Mississippi that maybe stands out in Hollywood?
A: Little things such as how much I say “thank you,” and “yes, sir,” sometimes sticks out. That’s good Southern manners that people are sometimes surprised by.
Spending time with my family is important to me, too, and helps maintain those values. As I grow, so does my faith in God. Keeping both as a main focus especially in this business is important to me and helps keep me grounded.
Hollywood South is a syndicated column.
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