Charisma Carpenter teases THE LYING GAME Season 2

CHARISMA CARPENTERTHE LYING GAME returns to ABC Family Tuesday nights on January 8 at 9/8c and fresh off a season full of questions, twist, turns, weddings, and surprises, Season 2 jumps right into more of the mysteries, questions, and answers that create more questions that we’ve come to love.  New series regular Charisma Carpenter spent some time chatting about what’s to come in Season 2, and why she thinks THE LYING GAME is worth watching!

I am excited to see where the show goes this season!  When you get a script, are you also saying “I can’t wait to see where we are going with this?”
Yes! I felt exactly that way.  The next thing is who is the dad, and was she behind Alec getting arrested, and is she going to die?  Is my character going to die? [laughs]  I’m really hoping I don’t get that script.

When you first started talking about being on THE LYING GAME, what was it that drew you in initially?
It’s always gotta start on the paper, right?  And I think the recurring is a fun thing to do, but ultimately, the appeal, honestly, it was the cast.  It was the approachability of the executives in charge, and their genuine, I mean, welcoming of me: Making me feel a part of it, and just embracing me as an actress, being around as long as I have; wanting to write for her; giving me good stuff, and perpetually showing up with good stuff.  I think that was the sort of feel of the appeal of making me want to be a full fledged member.

ALEXANDRA CHANDO, CHARISMA CARPENTERTalking about going into Season 2 – what can you tease about where we start storyline and where we ended?
I’m not good with the teasing! I think, just the plan, the layout of this season, you hear through the dialog between Sutton and Rebecca how things will unfold throughout the entire season.  You find out her motives for not telling Emma, and telling Sutton. You find out how Sutton and Rebecca came to be.  At what point was she told, when did Sutton find her mom?  Who the dad really is, and I think that’s pretty good so far.

For a character like Rebecca – is it a script by script basis that you understand how her plan is unfolding, or has there been conversations with the writers about where it’s going to go?
I don’t know a lot.  I don’t really need to know a lot, and I kind of tell Chuck don’t tell me, because I don’t want to know.  If they start to tell me things, I’m like, no, don’t tell me!  Because, A) it could change, and B) I don’t even want to know on a subconscious level because I don’t’ want it to inform my performance; I don’t want to ruin it.  There isn’t a lot to understand as an actress portraying Rebecca.  All I really need to know is what does she want?  What is her goal?  When I’m put in situations, it’s a matter of going “How do I make this seem grounded and believable when I have this scene, and I have to say this line?”  Do I do it in a mischievous way; do I do it in a way that says to the audience that I am lying through my teeth right now?  Or is this truly sincere and a moment of vulnerability. I really try and work hard with Fred Gerber, who is on the set most of the time, one of our executives, in going, Fred, help me here, do I need to be grounded or is this one of those twisting of the moustache moments? And we work together with that.  Less about the long-term, and more about what I know about the long-term, how does that affect this particular scene? How do I make it believable? How do I make it compelling?  I really worry about, for Rebecca, I really want those moments of vulnerability.  I really want those moments of sincerity and groundedness.  That’s what makes her so compelling to watch.  You can see her be so devilish and scheming and heartless one minute, and then you can see her so completely vulnerable.  I think that’s what makes a good drama, when you can play both of those things!

CHARISMA CARPENTERExactly – you find herself rooting for her when she does have the vulnerable moments!
It allows the audience to root for her and not feel guilty about it.

What is it about THE LYING GAME that has spoken so loudly with audiences and why should people continue tuning in this season?
I think people should tune into it for a lot of reasons.  I think it’s something you can watch it with the kids. Someone asked me once if the things going on with some of the kids are even good for kids to watch and do I think that the kids are worse on the TV show or worse in real life? [laughs]  The fact of the matter is, our show is pretty tame, in my opinion.  I have a 9 year old; he attends a school with older kids. I read the news; I see what’s going on.  Kids can be really brutal, and fortunately, I don’t think we’re spending a lot of time exploiting that.  I think it’s pretty tame compared to the things that do happen in real life, fortunately, or unfortunately.  So maybe, we’re mentioning a little bit in a positive light.  I think, too, it does mirror what happens, and I think it opens dialog or the potential opportunity for dialog.  They can watch it together.  Obviously, I’m not watching THE LYING GAME with my 9 year old, but if you do have a teenager, you could watch it.  I think there is something for the parents, too.  Unlike 90120 when I was growing up, there wasn’t a lot of storylines for the adults, the adults were just peripheral.  If you are going to watch a show with your kid, this is the show to watch, and then, oh my gosh, here’s an opportunity to discuss premarital sex, and here’s an opportunity to talk about how do I deal with bullying, and how do I deal with secrets; how do I deal with this personality that obviously Sutton can be pretty unforgiving in the way she talks to people.  Do you have anybody in your life like that?  Do you find yourself being bossed around or dictated to?  I mean, of course, every kid growing up experiences that one Alpha person who runs things, and how do you deal with that?

THE LYING GAME premieres Tuesday, January 8, at 9/8c and will air on Tuesdays this Winter.  For all things THE LYING GAME, head to ABCFamily’s website!