For the second time in the history of Sappleby.com we had the chance to conduct a question and answer (Q&A) session with the lovely and talented Shiri Appleby.
We asked you – our loyal visitors – to submit your questions and as a result, we received more than 110 questions from fans all over the world via our comment section, Facebook, Twitter or e-mail! Thank you to everyone who participated. We were absolutely and gratefully overwhelmed by all your interest in our Q&A and we had such a great time going through your submissions. It was not easy for us to select the top ten questions for Shiri Appleby.
We hope that you will enjoy Shiri’s answers to your most burning questions.
Helena: Hi, Shiri! I’ve been a fan of your work since Roswell – still my favorite show! What do you look for when you’re reading a script? Do you look for a character that is psychologically similar to you or a character that differs completely from your own personality, one that presents a challenge?
Shiri Appleby: The most important thing for me when looking for material is the ability to connect with the character. There has to be something about her journey that I can relate to or sympathize with otherwise I don’t know why or how I would honestly bring the character to life. I love a challenge so playing someone similar to myself would probably present the biggest challenge of them all. On television you end up playing a version of yourself but we change a lot faster than our characters are ever permitted to.
Heather: What is your favorite role or performance to date and if it’s from a TV series what is your favorite episode?
Shiri Appleby: That’s a really hard to answer because so many of the roles have been important. Roswell was my first huge get and the one that gave me a future in this business. Six Degrees gave me an opportunity to mature into a woman on screen at the same time that I was doing it in my personal life. Having Mike Nichols cast me in Charlie Wilson’s War was a huge sense of accomplishment and validation of my craft. Girls has given me the benefit of reinvention and has created a lot of good will within the industry and I am tremendously grateful for that.
The good thing about having a long career is that you learn that each job comes to you for a reason, to teach you something about your craft and about yourself.
Ingrid: What TV show would you like to guest star on?
Shiri Appleby: I would LOVE to be a guest judge on Project Runway. That is my favorite show on TV.
And for acting, I would love to guest star on Boardwalk Empire or Game of Thrones – something that enters you into a new world. I would love to do a period piece and use an accent, things I have not done yet.
Tina: How do you get yourself into character before taping an episode or shooting a film? Do you have a specific routine?
Shiri Appleby: As long as I have an emotional connection to the character I am able to lose myself in the scene and go on the journey presented. I like to read the script a handful of times, taking notes, writing things that trigger feelings in me that relate, experiences that I’ve had that may have been similar. I need to be completely off book before I get on set to shoot and I’ve found that it really helps to run the lines, with the other actor or anyone who is willing, to help me loosen up and play around with things. The better I know the words the less I am thinking about them and the more I can be that person and go on her journey.
Judy: I really enjoyed Dating Rules! Are there any plans for a third season or perhaps a new web series?
Shiri Appleby: There aren’t any more plans for Dating Rules unfortunately. I loved that job and experience so much. It was my first time producing and it became a bit of a film school experience for me as I was involved in all of prep and post. Liz Allen, the director, and I worked together on Life Unexpected and collaborated so well on Dating Rules. I am so proud of how it turned out and the message it puts out there so I’m grateful that so many people have found the show and positively responded to it.
Eric: What is the one piece of advice given to you by your parents that you still benefit from today?
Shiri Appleby: Be nice.
Kelly: What is your favorite thing to do at home?
Shiri Appleby: I love to watch Jon cook. I love taking baths, with Natalie and by myself. I love entertaining. We swim a lot and have a flourishing garden right near the pool. Our home is very peaceful and friends are stopping by all day long.
Sherryn: Hey Shiri! I read that you recently obtained a college degree? How was that experience? Since your degree was in psychology, how has that shaped your career?
Shiri Appleby: I finished my degree online through the University of Phoenix during my second season of Life Unexpected. It was incredible for me since I had this nagging feeling inside myself that I didn’t accomplish something I had set out to do. I learned a lot about psychology but the greatest thing I learned was that I could be more than an actress. Not that I’m bashing acting but having been a child actor, I’ve never done anything else and have always wondered if I would be able. Because I had to take math classes I am now doing my own accounting, which brings me so much peace about my finances – an actor’s constant worry. And knowing that I could finish my education gave me the courage to branch out to producing and directing.
Tomas: I really, really enjoy your book recommendations. What is your all-time-favorite book?
Shiri Appleby: What a great question!! I can’t say my favorite because I wouldn’t even know how to decide but I can tell you books that have meant a lot to me when I read them.
Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchet
Kate Remembered by A. Scott Berg
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch
Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke
Matt: If Twitter existed back in 1999 when “Roswell” premiered, what would have been your first tweet from the set?
Shiri Appleby: “Holy shit!!”