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'411mania' interviews Alison Sweeney
Topic Started: Jan 6 2009, 01:13 AM (2,821 Views)
Ellie


http://www.411mania.com/movies/columns/93786/411Mania-Interviews:-Alison-Sweeney.htm

411Mania Interviews: Alison Sweeney
Posted by Al Norton on 01.06.2009

411mania's Al Norton sits down for an exclusive interview with Alison Sweeney, host of The Biggest Loser and star of Days of our Lives.

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Alison Sweeney has literally grown on up your television screen, debuting on Days of Our Lives in 1993 at age 16 after guest spots on shows like Simon and Simon, Webster, and St. Elsewhere. She has played Sami Brady on the daytime drama ever since, winning four Soap Opera Digest Awards as well as a fan-voted Emmy in the process. Along with author and Mother on her resume she has most recently added reality show host; tonight begins her fourth season as host of NBC's hit series, The Biggest Loser. Recently she sat down to talk with us about her career.

Al Norton: You've handled being a Mom, a wife, a lead actress on a daytime show, and the host of a reality show at the same time before, but what's it like juggling all of that while being pregnant?

Alison Sweeney: I try not to add it all up like that. I mean, if I think about all the stuff I have to do – the responsibilities, and time commitments, all at once, it would drive me crazy. So I just try to take it one day at a time, figure out how to get through that day and then move on to the next. I have had a very smooth pregnancy in that my symptoms didn't keep me from working or getting through the tough, long days.

Al Norton: Obviously people's individual stores make the drama fresh each season on the human side of things, but do you think they should ever tinker with the format of The Biggest Loser at all, and if so, are there any changes you would make if you were in charge?

Alison Sweeney: We do change things up every season to keep it fresh, and keep the audience, the contestants and the trainers on their toes. But the truth is, I wouldn't want to deviate too far from the format because our show isn't really about that. What I think keeps the audience coming back for more, and hundreds of thousands of people lining up to become contestants every season, is the core of what the Biggest Loser is about. It's a show that helps people get their lives and their health back and the audience at home goes on that emotional journey with our contestants each season. That's what it's all about and we'd never want to lose sight of that.

Al Norton: Do you think the show has made a difference in terms of the way viewers look at the choices they make every day in regards to their health?

Alison Sweeney: Biggest Loser strives to inform the audience as well as the contestants. We're not trying to hide anything or keep secrets of how to succeed. Bob and Jillian do an incredible job educating each new group of contestants on how to get healthy by guiding them through their nutrition and their exercise. We try to put all that information into the show so that all our viewers can take that knowledge for themselves and it works! I get fans approaching me every day to share their story of how Biggest Loser inspires them to hit the gym more, or to eat a healthier dinner. Some people even pull out old photos of themselves, 100lbs heavier, just because they want me to know what an impact we've had in their lives. It means so much to me to hear those stories.

Al Norton: Clearly we are much more knowledgeable about diet and exercise than we were 15-20 years ago but just as clearly weight is an even bigger issue in our country than it was then. What do you think needs to happen in order to make sure more and more kids aren't growing up overweight?

Alison Sweeney: It is shocking to see that even as we learn more and more about health and nutrition, or country and the world becomes more and more obese. I feel so personally tied to the struggle our country faces with childhood obesity. It is truly horrifying to see the statistics. And obviously, a lot of this problem stems from a lack of awareness with parents not understanding how destructive fast food is to their children's growing, developing metabolisms. Also, especially at difficult times like this, it is extremely difficult for people to afford healthier alternatives. There are so many things making it difficult for parents to help their kids get the nutrition and exercise they need. So I wish I had an easy answer. Obviously raising awareness is a big part of it.

Al Norton: Do you think there could ever be a Biggest Loser: Teens or would that be too big a stage for a young person to deal with?

Alison Sweeney: If we were to do a BL:Teens I think it would be a different show. We do have an 18 and a 19 year old in this coming season, but kids younger than that… well, there are all sorts of other issues to be concerned about.

Al Norton: Can you give us a preview on what we'll see on the new season of The Biggest Loser?

Alison Sweeney: I'm telling you, this new season of Biggest Loser is FANTASTIC. I am so excited for the fans to see the first episode because I know the new contestants will blow them away. It aims right at the heart of why the Biggest Loser is so important and how it is literally saving lives.

Al Norton: We spoke about a year ago and I asked you if you thought a Days of our Lives storyline that had Sami falling in love with EJ, who had sexually assaulted her in the past, was something you would have issues with. Now that we are on the other side of that story, at least for the time being, how do you think it played out on the screen? What kind of feedback did you get from fans?

Alison Sweeney: I have read all sorts of opposing view points on that story. In 16 years on a soap, I've never been part of a more controversial, divisive storyline. And for someone who is always interested in the fans perspective and feedback, it was incredibly difficult for me to try to digest both sides of the argument. In the end, I had a job to do, and I did it the best I could.

Working with Galen is so much fun. I love the newness of it, and that there is no history of any variety with this character. After 16 years in Salem, Sami has baggage with everyone. Lol. So, the Sami/Rafe dynamic is a fun new twist for me. He is a talented actor, who certainly isn't hard to look at, is he??!!


Al Norton: The big story about Days of our Lives right now is the budget cuts, with your longtime co-stars Drake Hogestyn and Deidre Hall being let go. What is the mood on the set?

Alison Sweeney: Drake and Dee are truly remarkable people. It has been such an honor to know them and work with them. My first storyline on the show was with Dee, Drake and Wayne. Even though we've known for a while, I still can't imagine what it will be like not seeing them on set all the time. They will be missed for far more than could ever explain.

Al Norton: You've starred on a daytime soap, hosted a primetime reality show, written a book...what's left on your career to-do list?

Alison Sweeney: Ha!!! A lot! I have several projects I'm working on and very excited about. More to come…

Don't miss The Biggest Loser tonight at 8 pm on NBC
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ginababe
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Deleted User
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Thanks for posting this.. I Love it

I like her so much better then the first host on TBL, Ali shows she really cares about the contestants, I never felt that with the other lady(Cant remember her name).
:cheer:
I also love her comments about the direction of her and Galen, and I couldnt agree more, I think they are great together and adding a freshness thats been lacking. *And he is easy to look at* :wub2:


I was surprised at her directness about her feelings on the Ejami situation, I found it interesting and... telling.
Thanks again for Posting it
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cjknick
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Thanks for posting ....
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Alligato
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WOW! Very very interesting and telling! I loved the not-so-subtle subject change...oh brother!

Thanks for sharing with us!
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Ponz
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Quote:
 
Alison Sweeney: I have read all sorts of opposing view points on that story. In 16 years on a soap, I've never been part of a more controversial, divisive storyline. And for someone who is always interested in the fans perspective and feedback, it was incredibly difficult for me to try to digest both sides of the argument. In the end, I had a job to do, and I did it the best I could.


She sounds relieved to be speaking in the past tense.

Thanks for posting, Ellie!

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cjknick
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Ali always gives this vague kind of interviews - she did change the subject and I guess the word fresh is a pretty bland word for her current s/l she couldn't use the word exciting and interesting or intriguing I guess fresh will do .... it is however getting pretty stale and redundant IMO
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mbdimera
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Thanks for posting.

I think at times Ali cares a little too much about what fans think, but that's JMO. :shrug:

And GG is a talented actor? Could have fooled me. :drunk:
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Paxton
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Dreaming of a Melanie-free Days

Thanks for posting, Ellie. I don't care for Sweeney, but I really like that top she's wearing in the picture and she looks very nice.
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aimees76
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Alligato
Jan 6 2009, 09:02 AM
WOW! Very very interesting and telling! I loved the not-so-subtle subject change...oh brother!

Thanks for sharing with us!
LOL, thats what I was thinking ...


Thanks for posting!
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Nicole Walker


LMFAO! She certainly changed the subject!! She must be relieved to be in another storyline with a new character. Although, she has said once before that she likes her storyline with Galen so this is no surprise and he is HOT.
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MericP
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Though the Rafe/Sami thing isn't fresh for me, it must be for Ali! Can you imagine going through what she did with opposing viewpoints on the whole storyline with EJ? I would be drained.

She's probably happy it's over for now, and she can focus on something completely different.
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ilovemydays


Alison looks lovely in that picture!

Thanks for posting Ellie.

I would probably like Rafe and Sami more if Rafe didn't strike me as 'Lucas2 the taller version'.
Edited by ilovemydays, Jan 6 2009, 12:32 PM.
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DolceDiMera
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I can't get into Sami/Rafe but at least the actors are enjoying it. I'm sure it's refreshing to be out of the triangle from hell, even if only temporarily.
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cjknick
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MericP
Jan 6 2009, 12:18 PM
Though the Rafe/Sami thing isn't fresh for me, it must be for Ali! Can you imagine going through what she did with opposing viewpoints on the whole storyline with EJ? I would be drained.

She's probably happy it's over for now, and she can focus on something completely different.
I think that you are projecting a wee bit! I think Ali is happy that she is employed and over-employed at that. Days is a job and like she says she is doing her job. The big contraversy for Ali was not the Dec 29th that has been water under the bridge for awhile now .... she is probably glad that the "Diva" and Ed Scott contraversy has died down that is the latest!
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Alligato
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^ I don't know. There are many fans of AS who are constantly still bringing up the "being paired with your rapist" arguement, and can't wait for Lumi or Safe. Not to mention that Lumi and EJami must be extremely frustrating and tiring for AS and JS, as it is hard to be in the middle of your angry/passionate fans...without much control over the story. You can't take sides, unless you are JS and I love him for it.

AS has always tried to maintain neutrality, and she usually gets shit for it from both sides.
No kidding that she is happy to be paired with someone new without baggage (on his part at least, she still has 3 kids with two guys!!)
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desertgal


I couldn't agree more with Ali, I am loving the storyline of Rafe and Sami. I am looking forward to Ali having her baby because I believe after that is when this storyline will really develop. She is so right! Galen is a terrific actor and is also very HOTT!!!!
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Ellie


Alligato
Jan 6 2009, 03:18 PM
AS has always tried to maintain neutrality, and she usually gets shit for it from both sides.
Where you see "neutrality", I see her having tried to have it both ways. I know that both Lumi and Ejami fans have been very upset about past interviews with Ali, where she's heavily promoted one pairing at the expense of the other. I've seen Lumi fans say that Ali has thrown their fanbase under the bus, and I know that especially recently, some Ejami fans have felt the same.

If I were in either of those fanbases, what might make me feel better would be to hear something from her like, "I know some people aren't enjoying this story right now, and that's difficult for me, but we'd ask that you give it a try, and you can always write in to the show to make your feelings known." But instead, she seems to throw all her support behind the current couple, leaving the other fans (and perhaps even the other actors?) a little bit alienated.
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Paxton
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Dreaming of a Melanie-free Days

I really don't remember AS propping EJami. I would say she in the past has tried not to commit one way or the other, but she was quite vocal about Bryan Datillo leaving for a few months and that she thought that was a mistake. I wouuld say if anything in the past she seemed to be propping Lumi, possibly because she and BD are good friends and she thought it would help ensure his job security. I can't stand AS, BD, Lumi or EJami, so I personally would be relieved if I never saw another moment of either Lumi or EJami. I can see why AS would be tired of getting stuck in the middle of warring fanbases.
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Ellie


Paxton
Jan 6 2009, 03:46 PM
I really don't remember AS propping EJami.
Really? I'm going to have to see if I can dig up the interviews. (Or maybe others here remember.) I do remember her comments about BD that you're mentioning.

(And I'm personally also not a fan of either couple other than that I liked Lucas and Sami's little 'partners in crime' dynamic in the 90's.)
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