TO AND BACK
Alicia Leigh Willis (ex-Courtney) ventures into new territory.
GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Alicia Leigh Willis (ex-Courtney) has boldly gone where she’s never gone before… and the journey was a blast! She’s stepped outside of her comfort zone and gone au naturel, as as they say, for a recurring role on the Showtime hit THE L WORD. “I can do anything,” she says proudly.
A Creative Stretch
Beginning Sunday, January 27, Willis stars as Cindi, a lesbian who arrives in town with her partner, Dawn, and stirs up trouble by opening a club that competes with a hot spot favored by the sudsy drama’s regulars. “When I went out on the [audition]. I was excited because I’m a fan of the show.” she says. “I think it’s important to have shows like this to open people’s minds. I left GH to try to break into the primetime world. I figured that I needed to do something that was so different that people would look at me differently. This is just the project to do that. It’s a lot racier and so unlike what I’ve done before.”
Shedding Her Skin
At first, Willis was nervous about sharing her new role with daytime fans. After all, there wasn’t just nudity involved, there were also same-sex love scenes. Then she realized how very proud she was of her work. “This show is just so special,” she says. “I feel like, in this business, if you really want to make it, you can’t worry all the time about what people will think or you’ll never go outside the box. You’ll stay someplace where you’re always comfortable and you’ll never take chances. This project was good for me. I realized that I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was, as far as not always playing it safe.” Back on GH. Willis was terrified when Courtney took a job as an exotic dancer. But fast-forward five years, and THE L WORD has her stripping down to her birthday suit. Luckily, “I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin now,” she admits. “I’ll look back years from now and go, ‘Yeah! All right! I did that!’ I’m proud of my curves. It’s been freeing in a way.”
A Return Engagement
Saying that THE L WORD is like a soap opera, Willis suspects GH fans will quickly get hooked. “There’s a lot of drama, there are love triangles and it’s funny. Really funny. There’s some oil-wrestling involved,” she laughs. “It was probably the funnest scene I’ve ever shot.” Then, of course, there was the spray-on tan, which drew a yuck from her. “It’s a major, major, major tan. I looked in the mirror and though I looked like George Hamilton.”
All in all, Willis is one very happy camper. “I’m proud of being on the show. I’m in seven episodes this season, including the last one. They’re waiting to hear if they’re going to get picked up for another season. I loved working on the show, and I would be honored to be asked back.”
© ABC Soaps In Depth – Rosemary A. Rossi