Lacey Chabert, Hello Sister, Goodbye Life!
Oh, how Party of Five
's sweet Claudia has grown up. In the nearly six years since the sibling sudser aired its swan song, Lacey Chabert
has gotten wild with the Thornberrys
, at one point found herself Lost in Space
, and then fell in with some Mean Girls
. This Sunday at 7 pm/ET, Chabert stars in ABC Family's Hello Sister, Goodbye Life!
, a TV-movie about a snarky coed forced to watch over her 7-year-old half sister — with barely an assist from mom Wendie Malick
— when tragedy strikes.
TVGuide.com: I have to think that having Just Shoot Me's Wendie Malick play your mom was a big incentive to do this movie.
Lacey Chabert: Oh, absolutely. We had worked together doing voice-overs on Bratz, and I just think she's incredible. Doing a live-action movie with her was really exciting. We had a really great time.
TVGuide.com: Did you have any sister experiences of your own to draw from?
Chabert: I have two older sisters, both of whom now have kids who are basically the same age [Hello Sister costar] Sammi [Hanratty] was, so it was a comfortable situation for me.
TVGuide.com: Your character, Olivia, is wonderfully sarcastic. How sarcastic are you in real-life?
Chabert: I'm pretty sarcastic, though not as cynical as Olivia. But we wanted her to be real and we wanted to hold to the way she was in the book [Claire Scovell LaZebnik's Same As It Never Was].
TVGuide.com: I'm only about a third of the way through the movie. Can we expect big sniffles at the end? Warm fuzzies?
Chabert: Some warm fuzzies, but nothing over the top. There have got to be warm fuzzies, you know.
TVGuide.com: The last ABC Family movie I saw — If Only, starring your buddy, Jennifer Love Hewitt — destroyed me.
Chabert: It did? [Laughs] I didn't see that one. I've got to find it.
TVGuide.com: What has been your post-Party of Five game plan? More and more edge, less violin playing?
Chabert: You know what, I take it as it comes. I have a strategy and a plan in my head, but you can't always plan these things. Jobs that I plan on working out don't sometimes, and other ones then pop up the next day. Right now, I'm focusing on possibly doing television again, so we'll see what happens with that in the next month or so. I also did some independent films to get away from playing the same kind of character I've played before, and that meant a lot for me to be able to stretch.
TVGuide.com: You must be pleased with the steady work you've had since Party of Five wrapped.
Chabert: I've been very blessed. I've gotten to work with a lot of people whom I've learned so much from. Every experience I've had has led me to another experience for a reason.
TVGuide.com: Was entering the whole voice-over niche basically "found money"?
Chabert: Yeah! I started with The Wild Thornberrys [voicing Eliza], and I enjoyed doing it so much I started doing other things. It's a totally different art. And it's nice to be able to go into work in a baseball cap and sweats.
TVGuide.com: Haven't the Bratz dolls come under fire for sending the wrong image to young girls?
Chabert: I guess they have...? [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: But you had nothing to do with that.
Chabert: I had nothing to do with that. I don't think my character even has a doll yet.
TVGuide.com: Your Mean Girls costar, Lindsay Lohan, has made all kinds of headlines in recent years. Is that something you yourself could handle? Is it something you'd even want?
Chabert: No, that's not something I want. Lindsay's a great girl and I wish her the best in every way, but I appreciate my privacy. I feel very lucky that I have a very private life.
TVGuide.com: Yeah, I never read about you in gossip columns or even know what hunky actor you're dating.
Chabert: Yeah, I kind of stay out of it. And I'm not dating an actor. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: In Not Another Teen Movie, you spoofed Love's Can't Hardly Wait character. Did she see it coming?
Chabert: That was really fun and she was fine with it. I thought it was nice to pay a little homage to her!
TVGuide.com: That last line you have is one of the best in the movie.
Chabert: Yeah, let's just say my parents weren't too thrilled with that. "What did you just say?!"
TVGuide.com: All in all, the Party cast has done pretty well for themselves. I understand Matthew Fox has some show on ABC....
Chabert: I think it's called Lost, and I might be its No. 1 fan, I don't know. I've seen every episode at least three times. I TiVo it and I watch it again. It's such a good show.
TVGuide.com: What's your theory on that wacky island?
Chabert: I don't know, but it's driving me to insanity. Honestly, they need to just write a book [explaining it all] or something. It's going to take so long for them to tell all of those [back]stories about the passengers and how they're all interconnected.
TVGuide.com: As if big bro Matthew isn't sneaking you all the secrets.
Chabert: No, I'm not getting any secrets.
TVGuide.com: All My Children's Bianca Montgomery came out as a lesbian in 2000. Back when you played the role as an 8-year-old, were you prescient enough to layer in some homosexual undertones?
Chabert: [Laughs] I tried to foreshadow that. No, I had no idea.
TVGuide.com: Did AMC ever invite you back as Bianca?
Chabert: No, I never heard from them again, but my good friend Eden Riegel played her during that [coming out] story line. I adore Eden, she's a wonderful girl.
TVGuide.com: What can you tell me about the Black Christmas remake you're in?
Chabert: It's about "sorority girls in peril," and it will be out at Christmastime. I just got back from finishing that and the way that it was filmed, it's not about blood and guts but more the horror of the things you don't see. I'm excited to see how it turns out. Glen Morgan (Willard), who directed it, is really talented and he focused on making it new and innovative. It feels like an updated sequel-throwback to the  original. Andrea Martin is even in it.
TVGuide.com: Last year you were no. 56 on Maxim's Hot 100 list. What's your plan to break the top 20 in 2006?
Chabert: I haven't really gotten my team together for "the big plan," but we'll see!