Her Life as Liz – An Interview with Liz Lee

As if last season wasn’t epic enough, get ready for season two of MTV’s hit show ‘My Life as Liz’ with the coolest geek you’ll ever meet— Liz Lee. Now that she’s left the nest and traveled clear to the other side of the country (Texas to NYC) to pursue her dream of going to art school, her world has completely turned upside-down.  From juggling boys (if only we could choose between guys are cute as Bryson and Louis) to trying to survive in the Big Apple, I was lucky enough to get the inside scoop on it all.  And now, so can you.

How did you first get involved with the show?
Well, they were shooting for this other show, which was a spin off of a show called The Paper about a high school newspaper and their journalism program, and I was in a broadcast journalism program that they were interested in shooting. They interviewed me and we did some shoots and it just kind of morphed into My Life as Liz.
I was wondering how that came about, that’s really cool. What made you want to share your life and all of the experiences that you had with pretty much everyone in the world?
I guess I thought it’d be fun.  I kind of wanted to show the alternative-nerd point of view that I hadn’t seen on MTV in a long time so I was really excited that they even wanted to do that.
Well it’s definitely an awesome show and totally unlike pretty much everything that’s on there.  It’s really nice to see something different!
Yeah, this season has the old cast but it’s in an entirely new location and the dynamic is slowly changing. We’re all going through monumental life changes.

How close is the show to how your real life is? I mean, are the characters the same personality-wise and are your experiences on the show almost identical to how it really was?
Well me, Sully, Miles, and Troy are best friends.  We’ve been best friends forever.  I mean, they are the same way they act on the show.  That is exactly how they are. And Cori Cooper— she’s exactly that way, and we really have been enemies since sophomore or freshman year.  It’s just really cool to be able to play ourselves on TV. All the relationships are real.

What advice would you give to people that are going through the same thing you went through in high school? What can they do to survive and stay true to themselves?
Yeah, ya know, it’s really tough and it pays off in the end.  Like, the meek shall inherit the earth, and they do. Like, whatever everybody says, no matter how cliché it sounds, it’s true.  I know if I was younger and if I would have seen that somebody else was going through the same thing on TV that I would have known that I wasn’t alone and I’d probably feel a lot better about what was going on. So I’m glad that we do that.

So what can we expect, and I’m sure this is a question that you get asked a lot, with Bryson?  …Because it kind of got left off in a horrible spot at the end of season one, leaving us all hanging there.
Umm, well there’s a lot of that whole story line embedded in the second season and there’s a lot of interesting stuff that hops in with that. It’s kind of a roller coaster between us.  We’re trying, for the first time, to have a long-distance relationship and that’s just tough in itself.

Yeah, very true.  And how does Louis play into this?
Louis, Louis… He is a friend of mine that was actually one of the first people I was friends with in New York, and he’s just a really, really great guy.  He’s Southern gentleman, he’s from Florida, and he’s a musician in this band called Augustine and it’s SO good. He’s so good. He’s talented…such a talented musician.  But yeah, we’re friends, and who knows what happens between us towards the end… you’ll just have to watch and see!

I’m definitely excited about that.  We’ll be sitting here watching it every week for sure! So tell me, what’s a day in the life like for you, especially now that you have all of this new-found fame?
I mean, I’m pretty much kind of a hermit I guess?  A day in the life of me is probably, well, I go to school at Pratt in Brooklyn and it’s an art school and the curriculum is really, really demanding and it’s actually probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life to keep up with this curriculum and the schedule that Pratt dishes out at you. So it’s mainly just I do school work, and homework, and play video games, and watch Netflix and occasionally I go out to comic book shops on Wednesdays, and it’s pretty much just turned into a routine. There’s not really a difference.  I mean there’s occasionally someone that will just say “hi.”

Have you had any creepy stalker fans?
Well I had someone approach me while I was at Chinatown and this one kid asked me if I was Hayley from Paramore.

Oh my gosh, that’s funny!  What did you even say to that?
Well first off, everyone at the table starts laughing so I just went, “She’s great, but I’m not her…sorry!”

I’ve always wondered what it’d be like being in school after you have an awesome TV show.  Are people in your classes kind of awkward…like, do they sit there and stare at you?  I mean, what’s that like? Is it really that different?
Umm, it’s not that different; they’ve all been really good about it.  A lot of them don’t even have TVs or anything.  It’s a bunch of art kids and a lot of them don’t even know who I am or what I do so it doesn’t really affect our relationship or our encounters.

That’s nice, one thing to not have to worry about, I guess!
Yeah it’s really awesome, I’m really happy about it.  I mean there’s a really small percentage of people that act differently and it’s really just nothing more then them asking if I’m “that girl.”

So out of everything that’s happened with you being able to do this show, what’s your favorite thing that’s come out of it?
I got to go to a Star Wars celebration and co-host a panel.  It was such a spectacle, even if you don’t like Star Wars you can just appreciate it.  These people make these giant ships, like TIE fighters that were in Star Wars that are huge, and all of these realistic suits and R2-D2’s that are just rolling around.  It’s, like, amazing.  The dedication that these people have, it was awesome…just so cool.  I got to be a Star Wars Insider and got to cover some New York Comic-Con for MTV Geek and that was really cool because I got to interview some of my heroes. That was probably the coolest thing.

Wow. That’s awesome. I come from a super small town that randomly has a lot of comic book shops. You’d love it. What was your town like? Was it super, super small?
It’s like a highway town.  It’s growing so, so quickly… I mean it’s changed so much since I’ve been there. I live where there’s a main city area with like a Wal-Mart and a grocery store and a bunch of fast food places and they have a Best Buy and stuff like that. Then it’s surrounded by a bunch of houses with a lot of land and that’s kind of in the boonies so it’s kind of a mix— it’s growing but it still has an old town feel.

It’s probably nice to go back to then.
It’s SO nice! I hated it… I thought it was like redneck and just in the middle of suburbia and then I went to New York and just had the opposite affect just thrown at me so much that it was really cool to go home. It was a really, really jarring change because it’s so opposite… almost 2,000 miles away and I didn’t have any family or really any friends up here and I never really lived in a dorm or anything like that.

Well now that you’re in New York, do you have any new places that you’ve really taken up and fallen in love with?
Yes! Oh my gosh, yes. When I was in Texas I was obsessed with Mexican food, like that was my favorite thing. Like I would eat Taco Bell and actual Mexican food at Mexican restaurants almost every day. It was the best. Then I came here and I was like ‘What, you call this Mexican food?’… This is a really tiny portion and it looks really fancy and it’s all gourmet Mexican food that I found. So I ventured outside of the Mexican food realm and discovered soup dumplings. And they’re the best at this place called Joe’s Shanghai in the middle of Chinatown and a few blocks away there’s this arcade and it’s so cool. And the food is really, really good. I love that place and there’s this place called 5 Napkin Burger and they call it 5 Napkin Burger because the burgers are so juicy and greasy that you need five napkins and it’s, like, the best I’ve ever had. It’s so good.

Mmmm. Grease. Uh, yeah, so what are your plans?  I mean you’re going to art school and you’re doing the show at the same time, but what do you want to come out of all of this for the future?
The TV thing is fun. I was an Art History major last year and now I want to focus more on writing, so ya know, just like writing for maybe TV? I’m obsessed with Tina Fey. She’s so perfect. And I want to be her. I would love to be a comedy writer, maybe write screenplays and there’s lots of stuff I want to do. I also want to do a cartoon and write a comic book, and being at Pratt, I have a lot of friends who are drawing majors and painting majors and I have friends that are animators, so it’s really cool to be in that little community where those people are open for you.

Yeah, that would be amazing! And if you’re not too busy in the future, you should think about writing a book so I don’t have to keep looking at Snooki’s book on the shelves! It’d be awesome if we could see somebody like you with a book out there that actually has some content that people want to read!
Yeah, I mean if I write a book I think I’d like to try fiction. I think that’d be really fun!

Well that is really all that I have for you unless you have anything else that you’d like to add.
No! Just, I’m really excited about the second season. It’s crazy and there’s just so many twists and turns and plot twists and every episode there’s something that’s totally and completely unexpected. It’s just a really interesting and fun season and it sort of chronicles the struggles of that first year of college.  And it’s not everybody’s college experiences and we’re trying to show that side of the college experience where you come to college and you have these expectations and you’re so excited to be independent and on your own, and all of a sudden you’re trying to learn how to cook and putting together a place and trying to do everything on your own and it’s so much responsibility being thrown in your face. It’s not the easiest thing to handle and we just follow the struggle that you don’t see represented as often.

Are you all gonna get together to watch the premiere tonight?
Well the boys are in Texas but otherwise I would love to get to sit down and watch it with them. But I have another friend up here that I might watch it with.

My Life as Liz season 2 premieres tonight on MTV at 11 p.m/1o p.m. central. Who will you be watching with?

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