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01/30/2013

Alana De La Garza talks her new show, Law & Order, & the fear of long hair

Alana-De-La-Garza-alana-de-la-garza-25422586-405-562Of the many actresses who played the part of the assistant district attorney on the TV show Law & Order, Alana De La Garza was the best. Period. End of discussion. She was also the last one.

A former resident of El Paso, Texas and a one-time student at the University of Texas, De La Garza bagged her former professional aspirations to be a school teacher and eventual physical therapist for the Hollywood scene. She apparently has the chops to make it.

Anybody who describes herself as a "professional faker" as she does on her Twitter account - @Alana_DeLaGarza - is a winner.

De La Garza returns to NBC in the mid-season startup drama, Do No Harm (click here) where she plays a neurosurgeon who has her heart set on a man who leads a split life. The show premieres on Thursday night at 9 p.m. CT.

She was nice enough to stop by and take a few questions: 

The Big Mac Blog: As midseason startup shows do you sweat whether these will get renewed?
Alana De La Garza:
I enjoy the journey. I take the ride. It’s a project that I chose, and thank God they chose me. It’s a project I believe in. I read a lot of pilots, dozens and dozens. When I read this I thought, ‘I love this. I want to be a part of it.’ If people watch it they will really enjoy it because it gets better and better.

The Big Mac Blog: Networks are quick to pull the plug on shows; how long do you think a show needs to establish characters and story lines?
Alana De La Garza: It all depends on so many things. What is your lead-in? What night are you on? What are people doing that evening? It’s a guessing game and unfortunately a lot get the plug pulled before they find their audience.

The Big Mac Blog: When you began in this profession what were the roles you wanted and how have those goals changed?
Alana De La Garza: At first I just wanted to work. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do for a living and get a paycheck. I would audition and thought, ‘Maybe I’ll get this.’ And occasionally I would get it. Now I’m a little more sure of who I am. I really do love and respect smart women and it makes me feel good to represent women who are intelligent, and Latin as well, which is cool. It’s a different perspective.

The Big Mac Blog: Do you consider your character on Law & Order as the ideal role for you?
Alana De La Garza: Being a part of that force, Law and Order, and the Dick Wolf family was such a gift for me. That role was something I strived for. Strong, intelligent and a take no (stuff) kinda girl. For years, I had played the damsel in distress, the high priced hooker, or something like that. It was fun not to be the seedy person who gets to lock the bad guys away. It was really fun. 

Alana+De+La+Garza+2013+Winter+TCA+Tour+Day+B0R8Xz_jK6olThe Big Mac Blog: Do you fight landing roles because the first thing a director sees is “The pretty girl” and that's all you can be?
Alana De La Garza: How do I answer this? Here is how it is – when I auditioning for Wilder, that pilot season I had screen tested five times to be an attorney. Twice I was told you are at the top of the list and wasn’t given the role. I am watching TV and CSI: Miami is on and I’m on the phone with my husband, and I’m looking at myself and I wouldn’t hire her as a lawyer. I don’t believe her. She has this long, flowing hair. My boobs were up to my neck. I went home the next day I chopped 13 inches off of my hair. Two weeks later I booked Law & Order.

The Big Mac Blog: Why are people spooked by the long hair? 
Alana De La Garza: It’s all about perception and if people don’t believe you, no matter how talented your acting is. She doesn’t look like a lawyer. You have to look the part, and sometimes that means you chop your hair off.

The Big Mac Blog: Why are people spooked by the long hair? 
Alana De La Garza: I remember I was holding my breath. I came home and said, ‘Honey I’m home.’ And he came around the corner and said you look smokin’ hot. All that matters is what he thinks. I was very happy he was cool with it.

The Big Mac Blog: Having grown up in Texas I am guessing you were a football fan? 
Alana De La Garza: Yes, growing up I was a football fan.

 

Alana_de_la_garza_28397The Big Mac Blog: But what happened? 
Alana De La Garza: You know, I got busy. My husband is a football fan. So when it’s on TV I think, ‘Oh, yeah. I remember this.’

The Big Mac Blog: You have a young son – What is the worst smell: Diaper or stale milk?
Alana De La Garza: Oh, milk for sure. That’s awful.

 

The Big Mac Blog: Why do women insist on making men dance even though we all universally hate to do it? 
Alana De La Garza: Really? My husband loves to dance. That completely ruins your theory. You know why? Because we love to dance. The once you do it you will enjoy it.

The Big Mac Blog: Thanks so much for your time and best of luck with the new show. 
Alana De La Garza: Thanks so much. Any time.

 

 

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