Party of Five
's plucky violinist keeps plugging along. In Lifetime's What If God Were the Sun?
(premiering tonight at 9 pm/ET), Lacey Chabert stars opposite no less than Oscar nominee/Emmy winner Gena Rowlands
, playing a nurse whose world unravels upon the sudden death of her father. Transferred to a long-term-care facility, she meets Rowlands' character, a real
character who teaches her to embrace life anew. Balancing out this emotional fare for Chabert is her sitcom pilot at Fox (whose fate will be decided this week). TVGuide.com asked her about both projects, her latest thoughts on "big brother" Matthew Fox
, and her current "heat" factor.
TVGuide.com: I caught you on the way to work, I understand?
Lacey Chabert: Yeah, I've got to go do a voice-over.... It's just for a DVD of Bratz.
TVGuide.com: Hey, Bratz pays for the shoes, right?
Chabert: That's right! [Laughs] But I just saw the pilot that I did, and it was really good!
TVGuide.com: Right, it's you, Molly Stanton and Dorian Brown....
Chabert: And Sarayu Rao, who is hilarious. The three of us are sorority sisters, and Sarayu's character works at the office. It's post-college, but we're acting like we still live in a sorority. The way it's written, it's very Sex and the City, but with a younger edge.
TVGuide.com: And what's the bullet on your character? Is she the smart one, the sexy one...?
Chabert: I am the wide-eyed one who [only thinks] about getting married and having babies. I'm that girl.
TVGuide.com: Well, good luck. Fox could use a good comedy.
Chabert: I really think they could, and I love doing single-camera comedy so much. It's really well written, by Liz Meriwether, and I think it's something different. I don't think there are a lot of smart comedies for my demographic, so I really hope that it gets picked up.
TVGuide.com: Turning to the Lifetime movie at hand... Lacey Chabert and Gena Rowlands. Nervous much?
Chabert: Oh, my god... I can't even tell you how nervous I was. When I signed on to the film, I didn't know that she would be in it. We were already into filming and it was the last day of our first week when the director came over and said, "I want you to know that Gena Rowlands is going to play this part." I was just speechless. Speechless. If there is anyone I wanted to work with in my lifetime, she was definitely one of those people. I felt so blessed to have had that experience, and then to find out that not only is she remarkably talented, but she's also the most humble and incredibly kind woman I have ever met. So sweet.
TVGuide.com: Is there any older person in your own life who exhibits the same vitality and joie de vivre as Gena's character?Chabert: Yeah, I would say my grandmother. She's a very strong and spirited woman. She has been through breast cancer twice and survived and is doing well. Nothing can get her down, and that's always inspired me.
TVGuide.com: Is this your first Lifetime movie? And if so, what took you so long?
Chabert: What took me so long! [Laughs] I did an A&E one, I did an ABC Family one.... When I look at a project, I consider [whether it's] something I want to spend a month of my life doing, and if it's a message I care about. And this one really was.
TVGuide.com: Are you known to curl up on the sofa with a pint of Haagen-Dazs and watch a Lifetime movie?
Chabert: What woman hasn't? [Laughs] I think the story of my character going through grief and guilt and acceptance, having lost her father so suddenly.... In these times we live in, where everything is so unpredictable, it's important that you always find hope and inspiration. That's what this film is about.
TVGuide.com: I was glad to see you survived that whole Black Christmas kerfuffle last December....
Chabert: [Laughs] I know! I wasn't too in love with the fact that they released it on Christmas Day myself, but... that was a fun experience, my first horror film.
TVGuide.com: How was it reuniting with Party of Five's Jennifer Love Hewitt on Ghost Whisperer last fall?
Chabert: It was great , it was great to see her! I hadn't seen her in a long time. It was like old times.
TVGuide.com: Last time we talked, you were already bogged down by the assorted theories regarding Matthew Fox's Lost. What are you thinking these days?
Chabert: I'm more confused than ever. I don't understand what's going on with Jack: Is he crossing over? What's his deal? What's his and Juliet's secret?! But that's why I watch the show, because it keeps me guessing.
TVGuide.com: What else is on your TiVo?
Chabert: I'm obsessed with Scrubs, The Office and Little People, Big World. Have you ever watched that?! You have to watch it. I rolled my eyes at first, too, but they are the most endearing family. It's funny and interesting....
TVGuide.com: It's as if the Salingers were all under 4 feet tall.
Chabert: They're a really, really strong family. Oh, and I love Brothers & Sisters; the acting is great and the stories are great.
TVGuide.com: Also when we talked, we touched on your "plan" to break into the top 20 of Maxim's Hot 100 this year. Did you do it?
Chabert: I know I'm on the list, but I don't know where I am.... [The announcement party is this Wednesday evening.] I was on the cover, though. Doesn't that count for something? [Laughs] I was just in a camisole thing, it was very "sweet." That's definitely not my "comfort zone." [Laughs] I have some issues!
Send your comments on this Q&A to firstname.lastname@example.org.