Alicia Leigh Willis talks working on General Hospital and other soaps, Lifetime movies, upcoming projects and more. Read the full interview here--->>
Alicia Leigh Willis started appearing in commercials when she was little. But she didn't start acting theatrically until the age of 16. Some would call her a "late bloomer", especially for an actor. But we would say she was right on time. It was as if the "heavens" opened up just for her. Alicia's first role was on the popular series, 7th Heaven. And the sky has been the limit ever since.
Alicia's real-life parents, David and Leigh Willis, played Alicia's parents on the show. It wasn't planned and sort of just happened like the best things in life often do. "My parents would always bring me up to set when I was working on the show. Everybody got to know them. They knew my dad was an actor and my mom was always around. They asked them to step in and play Corey Conway's parents. We had the best time."
Alicia was in "heaven" working on set. It was then that she knew exactly what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. However, life rarely ever works on our timetable. One of the keys is to wait out the waiting. Alicia believed in herself and was willing to patiently wait for her next break. After 7th Heaven, she moved to L.A. and worked three jobs. She delivered flowers, was a waitress and a hostess. Alicia insisted she was horrible at all three. " I delivered to the studio lots. I was horrible at it. It was the same thing with waitressing. I was a little better with hostessing." Horrible? Hmmm. But Alicia did see her non-success as a confirmation that "I was meant to be an actress." There is no doubt about that.
Her patience was rewarded with Alicia's first contract role in a soap, as Alli Fowler, on Another World ." What was to be at least a three-year gig was abruptly cut short when Another World was canceled six months in. That time Alicia didn't have to return to odd jobs. Her guest starring roles kept her busy until Courtney Matthews on General Hospital. Next, there was American Heiress and The L Word until Alicia took a self-imposed break from acting to have her daughter. "I decided to take a little break and start my family which is the best thing I have ever done." Motherhood always is!
When Alicia was ready to return to work, work was ready for her. "When I decided it was time to go back to work, I was lucky to have friends in the industry that were working with Lifetime. Lifetime started hiring me. It's been amazing. For instance, in, Your Baby is Mine, I played the villain. I never get to play the villain. I worked with Linsey Godfrey (Sarah, Days). She's so talented. I have so much respect for her. She's a working mom and a top-notch actress. I adore her. She's so much fun to work with."
Did someone mention fun? Alicia is also having a blast working on the Who is Who in soaps, hit Emmy Award winning, The Bay Series. Alicia previously worked with The Bay's, Executive Producer, Gregory Martin. "Gregory Martin and I met on Another World years ago. He called me when the role for Avery Garrett came up. I told him absolutely. I would love to work with you."
Alicia spoke more about this fulfilling and incredible experience. "Gregory Martin started The Bay Series years ago. It was one of the first web series that took off. It's comprised of all soap actors. They have people that I worked with 10 years ago, 20 years ago. It's a big reunion. It's just been such a fun journey to see how far it's come since it began. Gregory has done a wonderful job. I'm so happy I get to play Avery with those guys."
Who is Avery Garrett? "Avery is one of the "good" ones in the Garrett family. She's the one who tries to keep everyone on the straight and narrow which is not always the easiest thing to do because everyone is always getting into trouble." Laughter. "Her love interest, Damian Blackwell, is played by Erik Fellows. I adore working with him. I adore working with everyone. We have a lot of fun on set." If you haven't checked out The Bay Series, you must. It's available on Amazon Prime. Alicia said it best. "They bring the drama. It's good stuff, definitely check it out." Yes, readers please do. And also check out The Student starring Alicia on Amazon.
Her most current Lifetime Movie is being aired, Mommy's Little Princess. "Julianna Mathis my character's, adopted daughter, Lizzy comes from a very troubled past. At one point we do a genealogy test and discover she's a German noble. Coming from the place that she comes from; it's her chance to prove to everyone she's something. It gets dark along the way and crazy stuff happens. My job as her mother is to help her get through it."
Alicia promises. "There are crazy twists and turns. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. There is no shortage of drama. The family embarks on a journey together while figuring out all the crazy ups and downs. It's exciting."
Working with the next generation of actors was one of the things Alicia enjoyed most about the project. "I look at all these performances especially, these young ladies. They just knocked it out of the park. I was proud to see them shine in their roles. Sarah Abbott (Lizzie) and Kelly Whyte (Allie) both were incredible."
Good news people. Alicia is open, very open, to returning to daytime. "I recently screened for a soap. It came down to two people and my friend got it. I was happy for her. I'm looking forward to the next opportunity. I would love to go back to soaps."
We would love it too. Until then, we will still have ample opportunity to enjoy Alicia's work. She has another movie, Chameleon, coming out this year. She's also starting a project this summer. "The details are being worked out. Stay tuned."
Alicia has also partnered with her adorable daughter, Simone. They are doing their own YouTube show, My Kind of Kitchen. "We are spreading kindness through cooking and each episode we dedicate to someone we want to show an act of kindness to. My daughter and I cook together and she's having so much fun. We have done one episode and are planning the next one." Watch it. It's adorable.
Thanks so much, Alicia!