TV: Sorority Wars, the Definitive Lucy Hale Interview

Gabrielle Pantera interviews the star of Privileged about life and her new Lifetime TV movie
Sorority Wars premieres Oct. 17th at 9pm *** three stars

Lucy Hale, a sister in Sorority Wars

Lucy Hale, a sister in Sorority Wars

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Gosh!TV) 10/17/2009 – “We were shooting in May in Vancouver Island,” says Sorority Wars star Lucy Hale. “It was pretty cold. We had this bikini scene. We’re all in bikinis. It’s 3 o’clock in the morning. They’d yell cut and wardrobe would wrap us in blankets and put us by the heaters. We were all pretty miserable. It was freezing. It wasn’t funny at the time, but looking back it was ridiculous.”

Sorority Wars stars Lucy Hale as a college freshman pressured to join the popular Delta house, her mother’s sorority. Her mother, played by Courtney Thomas-Smith of According to Jim, can’t believe her daughter would even consider joining a rival house. Doesn’t she realize her mother has lifelong friends from her sorority days? When the Deltas cross the line, the rival sororities make it war. Only one side will win. Which will it be and which sorority will she join?

In researching her role, Lucy Hale visited a real sorority at USC. “The girls get these friends for life, which is amazing,” says Hale. “These girls are really passionate about it. They build strong relationships.”

Amanda Schull

Amanda Schull

Hale was the first person cast for Sorority Wars. “They approached me and asked me to read the script,” says Hale. “They’d seen me on Privileged. I hadn’t worked with any of them before. Then they found Amanda Schull who plays the mean girl in Sorority Wars. The movie Center Stage was my favorite movie, and Amanda was the lead in that movie.”

“Our first day of shooting was a really early morning,” says Hale. “We started with a pretty difficult scene. We shot something towards the end of the movie first. It’s always weird jumping into something not in chronological order. The director James Hayman made me feel comfortable. We had a week beforehand to hang out with the cast, with cast dinners and rehearsals.”

“We were in Vancouver Island, a 30-minute plane ride from Vancouver,” says Hale. “We were there for five weeks. We all worked 16-hour days every day. At the end, the cast and crew came out with a huge bouquet of flowers and cards they’d signed. It was really sweet. I’ve shot twice before in Canada. I shot Bionic Woman there and a movie called Deep Cove. I was the little sister on Bionic Woman.”

“The first thing I got that opened up doors for me was Bionic Woman,” says Hale. “My manager called to say I would be going in [to audition] for Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. That was exciting because I’d been such a huge fan of the first one and had read the books. I went in like any audition. Then they called me to say I had the part. I didn’t really believe it. It was surreal, then I went on to Privileged.”

Hale didn’t set out to be an actress at all. “I started out singing and didn’t have any interest in acting. I had this manager who suggested I put some auditions on tape. I didn’t want to do it at first. I wanted to sing. Somehow, she talked me into it. I came out to L.A., then overnight fell in love with it. Thinking back to when I was 14, I never would have thought I’d like to be an actor, and now I love it even more than singing. It’s really crazy how it worked out.”

Lucy Hale singing in Sorority Wars

Lucy Hale singing in Sorority Wars

“The first time I came out to L.A. it was for a spin-off of American Idol called American Juniors,” says Hale. “I was 13. We formed a group and made an album. It didn’t really go anywhere so I went home for a bit. Originally I’m from Memphis, Tennessee. Then I decided to move back here with my mom.”

“My mom is amazing,” says Hale. “She quit her job and got a nursing job out here. We just moved out here. We didn’t think twice about it. We were really naïve about the situation. We didn’t know what we were getting into. I’m really lucky to have a mom who supported me from the beginning. My dad is back home with my sister. I see him all the time. He comes out and visits.”

“I’m pretty involved with my church,” says Hale. “There’s a cause there called Generosity Water. If you buy their bottled water all the proceeds go to build wells in Africa. I’m involved in that and St. Jude hospital in Memphis.”

“I just did an episode of a cute show on ABC Family called Ruby and the Rockets,” says Hale. “And, I just did a guest star on Private Practice. I’m taking meetings and auditions. I can’t really say anything more yet.”

Currently, Hale spends most of her time working on her music. “I’m in the studio recording and songwriting. I sing. The music side of the business is a lot harder to break into.” Hale is working with Ty Stevens, who co-wrote “Rock This World” for Hilary Duff’s debut album. Hale wants to sing her songs live. “ I’d love to perform them and see what people think of them.”

In watching Sorority Wars, it offers more wars than sorority. The heart of story, the bond between a college age daughter and her active alumni mother, is barely pursued. This isn’t Gilmore Girls. It would be more heartwarming if Sorority Wars stressed the friendships made in the sororities over the drama of college rivalry.

Sorority Wars premieres Oct. 17 at 9 pm et/pt on Lifetime. Encores Oct. 18 and Oct. 19 at 9 pm et/pt.

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