Interview date: 07/27/2009
Run date: 08/11/2009
Virtually the moment that Raquel Alessi graduated from college, her life changed forever. That’s when she found herself aboard a plane to Australia for the shooting of “Ghost Rider,” playing the role of a young Eva Mendes in a film starring Nicolas Cage. From there, Alessi was ranked No. 88 on the “Maxim” Hot 100 list of 2007, and most recently she starred in the comedy “Miss March,” playing a Playboy Playmate and love interest for one of the main characters. Sorry fellas, she didn’t shed her clothes for the role. But when we recently got the chance to sit down with her, Raquel filled us in on whether or not she would ever pose for Playboy, as well as what it was like working on the set of “Miss March.” Raquel also drops the two names in Hollywood she’s dying to work alongside, and professes her love for the Lakers.
Bullz-Eye.com: Hi, this is Anthony.
Raquel Alessi: Hi this is Raquel!
BE: Hey Raquel! Thanks for chatting with us today.
RA: No problem!
BE: I just wanted to first start off by congratulating you on your movie, “Miss March”!
RA: Aw, thank you so much.
BE: How did you decide to eventually get into acting, and then, more specifically, how did you stumble upon that role?
RA: Well, I grew up in L.A., so um …
BE: (interrupting) Oh no! Are you a Dodgers fan then?
RA: I love the Dodgers!
BE: Oh no! I’m a Giants fan.
RA: Well, I mean, I’m from L.A. – I love the Lakers and I love the Dodgers. You know, hometown teams.
BE: Well, then I guess that’s all the questions I have for you today, Raquel – I’m going to go ahead and wrap this thing up.
RA: The Giants are great too! You know what? Maybe I do love the Giants more than I love the Dodgers.
RA: How have they been doing? I haven’t even been following.
BE: The Dodgers? They have the best record in baseball.
RA: No, what about the Giants?
BE: They’re doing pretty well, too. Not as good as the Dodgers, but they’re in the chase for the NL Wild Card.
RA: Oh, cool! Yeah so, I grew up in L.A. and I think I was like 6, saw a Barbie commercial and thought, “Oh, I want to do that.” I don’t know if I wanted to play with Barbie’s or if I wanted to be on TV – I don’t really know what (seeing the Barbie commercial) meant.
RA: But my mom got me an agent, took me around after school and did that all through my youth, then stopped for a while so I could have a normal childhood. Then in high school, you know, I was a rebellious teenager but (acting) was the only thing I actually stuck with. I kind of thought that was the only thing I was meant to do. (laughs)
RA: So after college I started -- oh, I did “Ghost Rider” with Nicolas Cage. So I graduated, then I was on a plane to Australia to do that movie. So, it was amazing.
BE: What was working with Nicolas Cage like?
RA: Like, the figure you never thought you would meet and someone that I respect so much and he was very sweet, and he’s super tall, and you know, just a really nice guy.
BE: That must have been wild for you coming right out of college. How did you land a gig like that?
RA: I got an audition and I -- actually I got my agent from (doing that movie) too. The casting director was like, “Wow – she looks a lot like Eva Mendes,” because I play the younger version of her in that movie. So, (the casting director) called my agent and said, “You should really meet this girl.” And after like six months of auditioning and sending tapes to Australia, I got (the part). After that, my life was changed.
BE: I bet! And let’s talk about “Miss March” a little. I have to imagine you had a lot of fun doing a movie like that.
RA: It was just wacky! My (role) was mostly straight stuff, but when we had to do the scene at the school where we gave the abstinence speech, even reading it at a table in the studio I was so excited to that scene. It’s so hilarious.
BE: I love the scene where the two characters are going at it with the fire fighters in their car.
RA: Yeah, Zach (Cregger) and Trevor (Moore) just took a couple of things in the movie, like the fire fighters part and the abstinence speech, and went after certain subjects and just totally made of fun them, which I thought was really funny. All of the silly lines in the movie, like the ones from “Horsedick MPEG” the rapper, I thought were funny how they did that.
BE: How did you enjoy working with the cast and directors?
RA: Well, it was really cool because Zach and Trevor, who play Eugene and Tucker in the movie, wrote and directed the film. So you know, they kind of just let things fly because they were there every day to monitor it. So they let us do different takes or try different things, or take things out and they were just cool to work with. There was lots of laughing.
BE: Considering that Zach and Trevor are young guys, it must have been cool for you to see them not only act, but also direct in a film that they wrote. Is directing something that you would like to pursue?
RA: You know what, I just love acting and I think it’s such a responsibility to direct a film and to act in and write it. I think I would just prefer to act, or direct – not both at the same time. I can’t imagine doing both – that is craziness!
RA: They are amazing. But I think it was good because they were also working on “The Whitest Kids U Know,” so they were used to writing, and starring, and performing and doing it very fast. So it helped them do everything in a good pace.
BE: Now you play a Playmate in the movie, but there’s no nudity in your role. Is modeling for “Playboy” in your future? I think our readers would have my head if I didn’t ask.
RA: (laughs) Um, I don’t think so. I think it’s great for whoever wants to do it, but I don’t think I have the nerve to do it to be honest. I would be nuts during the day I had to take all my clothes off and stuff. I couldn’t imagine having that set of nerves! (laughs)
RA: But you watch the behind the scenes of the movie and the people there doing the lights or whatever could care less. They’re like, “Oh, another naked chick.”
BE: Yeah, I would have to imagine that if you work in that profession and are around that kind of atmosphere every day that after a while you’re just used to it and it doesn’t faze you.
RA: Yeah, “Maxim” was plenty for me – that was nerve wracking enough.
BE: (laughs) So you’re from L.A. – what is it like? Do you like living out there and that kind of lifestyle?
RA: Yeah, I love it. I live in Venice right now and it reminds me of New York because I lived there for a while too. You can ride your bike everywhere and all of your friends kind of live around the same area so you can walk to stores and summer markets together -- I kind of do the mellow L.A. thing. I don’t really go to clubs anymore.
BE: You’re all grown up now, huh?
RA: Um, yeah.
RA: I didn’t like how stressful it was to go out, you know? And the driving; that’s the only thing about L.A. that’s a bummer – the driving. But other than that, it’s pretty much the greatest place – I love living here.
BE: Now do you have run-ins with paparazzi and all that?
RA: When I went to clubs and stuff I did. I was on “Standoff” for a year, so I had these guys that I would always see out and they became my friends and you know, they try to chat you up and are nice to you. So, it’s kind of a weird thing that you get used to – you know, people taking your picture and video of you and stuff. But Venice is pretty low key.
BE: Our writers and readers are big fans of the show “Entourage.” Is that how the lifestyle is for actors and actresses in L.A.?
RA: Uh, yeah. It kind of is. I watch (“Entourage”) each week because I kind of want to see what they show. Living in L.A. I know some of the restaurants that they show, so I like watching it for that. I think (the show) is really good for businesses, too.
BE: All right – I’m going to need two names. Who is the one actor and the one actress that you’re dying to work with?
RA: Okay. You know when names pop in your head and you say to yourself, “When I get these types of questions this is whom I’m going to say?”
BE: (laughs) Yeah!
RA: But now I’m stumped. Okay, um -- an actor I would love to work with (to herself) who do I love?
BE: This is tough because I’m only allowing you one actor and one actress.
RA: Okay, for actress I would say Sarah Jessica Parker because I adore her. I don’t think there could be anyone cuter.
BE: So you two on “Sex in the City” then huh?
RA: Oh yeah! I love her. And I guess for a guy -- why not just go with Brad Pitt?
BE: (laughs) Yeah, I hear he’s a pretty big name in Hollywood.
RA: (laughs) Yeah, I mean, I don’t think you can go wrong with that choice. I think he’s a really good actor.
BE: I do too. I actually think he doesn’t get enough credit for his acting.
RA: I do too. I just think he’s kooky and I think he’s pretty rad, you know? I think he’s a guy’s guy.
BE: Right. Now, do you have anything that you’re working on right now?
RA: I just did a spread in “Maxim UK,” which came out in June. What’s funny is that I was actually up for Kevin Connolly’s girlfriend in “Entourage” but lost out to another girl. I’ve got some other things that I’m crossing my fingers on, but I don’t think I can comment on those yet.
BE: Sure, no problem. And not that you ever want to be typecast as an actor or actress, but what role do you think best fits your personality? What roles do you look forward to playing?
RA: Romantic comedy – for sure. In real life, I’m outgoing and funny and whenever someone looks like a certain way sometimes you think, oh, they never get bitchy or bad girl parts. I kind of think that I have this sweetness in me that when I act, it comes out. So when I do those romantic comedy types of roles, I think people really like it. I think that’s kind of my niche.
BE: What’s one role that would be so far outside of your personality, but one that you wouldn’t mind doing because it would challenge you as an actress?
RA: Uh, a murderer probably! (laughs)
BE: (laughs) Like a horror flick where you’re the killer?
RA: Yeah, or like Glenn Close, or you know, just some psycho chick.
BE: Do you think you can pull it off?
RA: Yeah, of course! It would be interesting but yeah, that’s the cool thing about acting. You’re tapping into your imagination or the weirdest parts of your personality.
BE: Sure, definitely. Well, we really appreciate your sitting down with us today and I wish you nothing but the best in the future, Raquel.
RA: Thank you so much and, go Giants!
BE: Yes! There you go! This is great, because all the Dodgers fans reading this are going to be so upset that a girl from L.A. just said, “go Giants!”
BE: Well, I’m putting it in writing, so there’s no going back.
RA: That’s fine! But you know what? I would never do that for the Lakers because the Lakers are in my heart. I love the Lakers!
BE: So you must have loved this past summer then, huh?
RA: Oh my God! They are the most dramatic team – of course because they’re from L.A. – but they’re the most dramatic team to watch. Everything always comes down to the final seconds – always, always, always!
BE: I think I know the answer to this, but who is your favorite Laker?
BE: (laughs) They’ve got to get Lamar Odom back now.
RA: Yeah, they should. I liked (Trevor) Ariza, but I don’t know how the politics work, so they should just try to keep as much of the team together. And Fish (Derek Fisher) is clutch! He should always stay with the Lakers – he’s amazing!
BE: Well thanks again, Raquel, I really appreciate your time.RA: No problem, see you later.