Interview With Actress Lilah Fitzgerald

By Ruth on February 27, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
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Being the massive Jesse Hutch fan that I am, I first noticed Lilah Fitzgerald on the Hallmark film Harvest Moon. This past summer, Lilah happened to join twitter, and that gave me the opportunity to contact her for an interview. Upon researching her career, I realized that I had seen her during the first season of When Calls the Heart as well, but I hadn’t made the connection at that time. This past summer, Lilah and her mom were gracious enough to sit and discuss Lilah’s career so far in the acting business, and I am so excited to finally share it with my readers!

RH: Why did you decide to become an actress?

LF: When I was four, I told my mom I wanted to become an actress. My mom said I had to wait and do a year of musical theater before I did anything like that. In fact, she said I had to wait till I was six. Musical theater was great. We actually did more than one musical. We did a Christmas one, and I got all dressed up for it. And then we did The Sound of Music. I was the smallest in my class, so I was the little marionette that pops out from behind the two adult marionettes.

After a year, I asked my mom  if I could now become an actor. She said I needed an agent. I asked if she could help get me an agent, and so we did. I think that if my mom and I knew what we were really getting into, we may not have decided to pursue it.  There was a lot more work involved in becoming an actor than we realized. I remember that we had to drive over the mountains in the winter, and sometimes it took six hours. We finally moved to Vancouver. I think we were ready for the big city. My sister was older and ready for a change too. Now we are able to go back and forth between LA and Vancouver. We have a place to live in both places. My mom likes to call it “feet-in-both-worlds.” We are able to relocate to Vancouver when I’m filming up there, and then we can come back to LA when my job brings us here. It’s kind of nice to have that flexibility.

I actually remember you from Harvest Moon

That was such an awesome experience. Did you know that during the filming of Harvest Moon, there was an actual harvest moon? Pretty cool, huh? I also got to work with director Peter DeLuise. He’s a big director, but not a scary one. He would work with me on my lines. In fact, he would read the other lines while we were practicing, and it helped me so much. And Jesse Hutch and I used to be neighbors. We lived in the same complex, so when we got to set, it was like, “Hey, I know you.” It’s always nice to already have a connection when you arrive on a set rather than having to create one.

Hearties will remember you from When Calls the Heart. How did you get to be on that show?

Jolene, the part they cast me in, was originally supposed to be a boy. I did the audition, and they weren’t sure if they wanted a boy or a girl in the role. I actually got the audition the night before. I had to quickly learn the lines, and then we did a self-tape that next morning. I was exhausted from my two auditions from the day before. I really hoped I’d get it because it seemed like so much fun. Luckily, it was really good writing, and they were willing to change the character to a girl. During the audition, I was doing the baseball stuff. In fact, my name in the audition was Joe, I think. And then I got the role, and I was so surprised. Since the writing was for a guy, I was pretty sure they weren’t going to give it to me. I had auditioned for the show before in person for another character, but I didn’t get that role of course. It was amazing that I got on, and everyone was so nice that was on it. I learned so much from Mountie Jack {Daniel Lissing} especially. I remember that he helped me learned my lines. He told me that when I have a hard time learning my lines, his advice was, “Just be there with the other person. Don’t focus on yourself. Focus on the other person, and it will come more naturally.” He found that it helped him to get into character more and learn the lines better. His advice was so perfect, and it was a great life lesson for me to learn from someone like him.

Erin Krakow was so nice! Sometimes on other sets, people will be nice and some will only be kinda nice. On this set, everyone was so nice! I wasn’t a lead series or regular on the show, but I was still treated like I was important on the set. It’s great when that happens because you feel like it’s a good experience.

And there were so many kids on set. Mitchell {Kummen} and I met on the set and we became friends. Our moms became friends too. Mitchell has done so much now… it’s amazing!

When I looked through your credits, I noticed you also had a credit from Supernatural

Yes, that was awhile ago. I was really little! I had an accent when I was that young–almost sounded like I was from Boston. Supernatural was fun to be on because…well, I didn’t know it was such a huge show then. It wasn’t a huge part, but everyone was so nice. The woman who played my mom actually looked a lot like me. You often find that, but sometimes it stands out more than others, and this was a “wow” moment. She could believably play my mom. I don’t remember much else about it because it was so long ago.

You were also on The 100.

Yes, that was a couple of years ago. That one was fun because it was dystopian. And one of my favorite parts of that was that I got to have hair extensions. So my hair went down to my waist. That was so much fun for me because I love long hair, and I was growing my hair out at the time, but it wasn’t quite that long. It was all filmed indoors in a warehouse. I was in this chair getting my eyes checked, and if you move a little bit, you can see the chairs and the warehouse. I thought it would have been outside…I don’t know why I thought that, but I did. It was so cool to walk in and see all the different sets. Some of the sets were indoors, but they also had outdoor sets like a cave or something. And the same thing on that set; everyone was so nice even though I wasn’t a series regular. And the actor who played my dad–Mac Brandt–he was really nice too. We made a connection. It’s always nice to get to know the people who play your dad or your mom, and it doesn’t always happen like that. But this time, I made a friend in Mac. So that was fun.

I think it is amazing that you at your age, you have gotten to be on both of those shows that have such a huge fan following. And you’ve also been on A Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce

Yes, that one I’ve done pretty well on. It was so cool. It was the same with the indoor sets. They made an entire house…like all the houses were inside of this one big house. Then it’s great because I got to be the kid who wears all the cool clothes. I absolutely adore all the costumes–I could talk about them for awhile and describe them in great detail. But the people on it were so nice. It always comes back to the writing and just being believable with the actors that are in it. It was so amazing to get to talk with Beau Garrett, who played my mom. She’s so nice! Actually, she lives in LA too. During the pilot season, before I was doing that show, my family and I had gone to the area where Beau is from, Topanga Canyon. So we talked about that. And I was able to make a bunch of friends on the set.

And that is the goal, right? You always want to make those connections. That’s why I am always looking for Hallmark connections, because so many Hallmark fans regularly read my interviews.

Oh, those Hallmark productions are some of my favorite ones I’ve been on.

I hear that a lot. Even though I know the other shows are wonderful, there’s always something about these Hallmark shows. {pause} So how does school work for you with all this work and moving around so much?

I do not go to a regular school. I am homeschooled. I’ve been homeschooled my entire life. It’s perfect for when you’re on set. The other kids will have to go do their school hours, but I actually don’t. I can take off a total of nine weeks of holidays throughout the year. In regular school, you take the holidays when the school is taking them. I am enrolled with a school, but I am homeschooled. We can put those nine weeks wherever we need them. So when I do something like a film, rather than have to take those on-set school hours–which can be quite challenging… I think it’s hard because we are expected to know our lines, but in between scenes, they rush the kids off to school. The adult actors–while I know they usually have more lines and scenes–they get to sit and learn their lines while the kids are doing math and science. My mom has seen the other kids, and it seems to be very stressful for them, so we avoid it whenever we can. My mom just moves my holidays around whenever needed. Then I don’t have to do any school while on set. I can just be there and focus on the role. Sometimes you only have five minutes in between the scenes to learn your lines, and you’re supposed to be ready. Because I’ve had to learn my lines sometimes in five minutes, it’s helped me grow and develop as an actor. With every role, I learn something new, and I just love that.

I think homeschool is a great option for young actors. I am always amazed by the young actors who continue to go to regular school.

I don’t know how they do it. They must be good actors because I couldn’t do it. If I had been doing school during my When Calls the Heart days, I probably wouldn’t have learned as much from Mountie Jack or Erin Krakow. When it’s time for the kids to go to school, they go off to a room by themselves. Sometimes, when I was on set back then, there were days that there weren’t many other kids, if any, and I would have been sitting in a room alone with the tutor. Instead, I got to connect with other adult actors and learn from them.

Do you have any other upcoming/recent works that you can mention?

A while back, I filmed a movie called I’ll Be There For You with Katharine Isabelle and Shawn Roberts. It was such a beautiful film to work on. It will air on Pixl TV at some point (if it hasn’t already), or that’s the plan. Again, everyone was so nice to work with. I actually was a soccer player in that. I won’t tell too much ’cause I don’t want to give the story away. I actually had to learn to play soccer. I can hardly wait to see it. There was such a camaraderie between everyone, so I think it’s going to turn out really well. During the filming, it rained a lot, and I was so scared that wardrobe was going to be mad at me ’cause I slipped and fell. They had these wooden boards across the lawn, and I slipped on one of them. What happened is, I said, “Mom, we have to get out of this shot!” They were filming something in the yard, so they wanted everyone clear. So we were running away, and that is how I slipped and fell. And I was afraid that make-up and wardrobe and hair were going to be mad at me because I had mud on me. But everyone was so nice. They got out their wet wipes and dried me off. It was fine. They were actually more concerned about me being all right rather than about my clothes.

My mom has had to turn down roles for me at various times. Some of the roles for my age are too scary or just not appropriate. But Pixl has great, family-friendly movies. I just don’t do auditions for ghost stuff and all that. A lot of the roles they offer for my age are too mature and too scary. But then there are the rare gems you come across like this one. You audition for a movie like this, and if you get it you’re lucky. You’re blessed. I’m sometimes still shocked that I’m an actor because it’s been my dream ever since I knew that people acted for a living.

The hardest thing is saying goodbye to everyone when I’ve finished filming something. That’s why I like TV shows like A Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce because it’s not over, and I might get to be on it again.

I recently got a series regular role on the new UP comedy Date My Dad. It stars Barry Watson {Samantha Who?, 7th Heaven} and Raquel Welch. and it’s scheduled to premiere in June on UP. It also stars Zenia Marie Marshall {Summer of Dreams} and Audrey Smallman {Family for Christmas}. It’s got such great stories, a fun cast, and lots of laughs. I just love getting to do this one and can hardly wait to share it with all of you!

Here’s a fan question for you. Do you have any teen actresses that inspire you?

I would say, Julia Sarah Stone.  She was on The Pastor’s Wife with me. She is doing all this amazing stuff now, and she has gotten all sorts of awards. I can’t believe I got to work with her. So I would say I look up to her. She’s really amazing.

A final fan question. What are some of your favorite books and movies?

I love reading, so that’s hard. I would say probably my favorite book is The Little Prince  by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I’ve read it at least ten times. And we left all our copies in Vancouver in storage! I have the French version, and two or three English versions. But when we went to a special performance by the San Francisco ballet, I got another copy of the book while I was there.

My favorite movie to watch….I have several favorites, but when somebody asks me, I can’t remember any. I would say the new Annie movie. I loved that one. I love musicals. Mamma Mia is another one of my favorites. And I got to see Wicked on stage, so even though it’s not a movie, I love it. If they make it into a movie, it will become one of my favorites. One of my favorite songs to sing is from that show–Popular.

One of the things that is notably prominent about Lilah is the boisterous enthusiasm which permeates her voice whenever she talks about her passion of acting. There is no doubt that even at her age, she is willing to invest the time and resources necessary to pursue her dreams of being an actress. Furthermore, she has the unwavering support of her family, and there is no doubt that her mom will keep her on the straight and narrow path should she accidentally veer off course. My schedule has prevented me from sharing her delightful interview until now, but she and her mother were quite content to wait for her feature, and in some ways, I’m glad I waited because of her new series coming up this summer. Lilah is intrinsically astute and articulate for her age, and she can be nothing but grateful for the remarkable opportunities with which she has been blessed in this bustling and ever-changing business. I invite everyone to check out all of Lilah’s links below and follow her where you can so that you don’t miss one step in her amazing journey. Additionally, keep an eye out for Date My Dad this summer as there is no doubt this is going to be a new family-friendly favorite!

FOLLOW LILAH

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
42-year-old single mother of an active 13-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

6 Comments

  1. Sally Gearhart February 27, 2017 Reply

    I’m really impressed with this young lady, she’s so sweet! She has a bright future ahead of her. I loved how involved her family is and that she doesn’t do some roles. Thanks for sharing your interview!

    • Author
      Ruth February 27, 2017 Reply

      Sally I’m so very glad! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Amber Ludwig February 27, 2017 Reply

    How awesome!! She seems so grounded and down to earth for her age and experience!! I see great things from her in the future!!!

    • Author
      Ruth February 27, 2017 Reply

      Amber thanks for stopping by! I so agree!

  3. Elaine Andrews March 28, 2017 Reply

    I have just watched My New Best Friend while getting over an infection. I was so mesmerised by Lilah Fitzgerald, her naturalness and depth I just had to look her up. I think this young lady has a great future and a very grounded family to steer her along. She is also beautiful in every way. Good luck to her and God bless, I shall make a point of keeping up with her career !

    • Author
      Ruth March 28, 2017 Reply

      Elaine! You are absolutely awesome for stopping by!! I just passed on your lovely comment to Lilah in case she doesn’t get a chance to see it. I can hardly wait to see her in Date My Dad this summer on UP!

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