'Revenge' Star Christa B. Allen Talks Turning 21 and Jen Garner's Great Advice
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By Stacie Anthony
With the second season of "Revenge" in full swing, Wonderwall caught up with Christa B. Allen, who plays privileged high school student Charlotte Grayson. Charlotte yearns to break free from her mother's firm grasp, but is Christa anything like her on-screen character? You'll have to scroll through to find out …
WW: Let's talk about "Revenge." I'm a huge fan and so are a few other Wonderwall editors!
Christa B. Allen: Well, thank you so much. You and a bunch of other people I hear. That's great. We hopefully get to keep our jobs. Yay! And keep making TV.
WW: Your "Revenge" character, Charlotte Grayson, appears to be evolving this season. Can you tell us what to expect?
CA: The first season you saw her family sort of whip her around and she just kind of takes it. And goes along with it. And the second season, we've started it off already with the first episode and somebody is trying to mess with her. But it seems like this season she has a bit more fight in her. And retaliates.
WW: What is it like working with Madeleine Stowe, who plays your mother, Victoria Grayson, on "Revenge?
CA: One of my favorite things is to do a scene with Madeleine in which her character has to betray me in some way. Because there have been many over the months. That woman is such a powerhouse and when she acts, it's from the very core of her being. It's from her soul. She's not just making the words on the page sound pretty. She just has so much fire in her belly. So after we've done one of these scenes in which she hurts my character in some way, she will immediately switch it off and says, "I'm sorry, Christa. I'm so sorry I have to be so mean to you." I say, "No, it's fantastic, Madeleine. You did a beautiful job." Just watching this woman work, you literally see magic created before your eyes. She's fantastic.
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WW: Which "Revenge" co-star are you closest with?
CA: I adore Miss [Ashley] Madekwe.
WW: What do you two do for fun?
CA: From hanging out in her [Ashley Madekwe's] living room, talking for hours or planning a Halloween party together as well as my birthday this year ... we go on little holidays together. She's my closest. She's my girl.
WW: You're turning 21 on Nov. 11. Do you have any special plans for the big day?
CA: I think we may do a party, I'm not quite sure yet. We're still working on it. But Ashley calls me every other day and she goes, "What are we doing for your birthday? If you don't plan it, I'm going to plan it for you."
WW: Now that "Revenge" has really put you on the map, have you made any big splurges?
CA: Oh my God! It's funny that you ask that because I was just at Burberry this morning. And I got myself one of the classic trench coats. And it's the most beautiful thing. It's actually a bit of a twist on the classic. It's purple velvet. It's gorgeous.
WW: How does your personal style compare to Charlotte's?
CA: Charlotte tends to be more all sweet, all the time. If she's not in a cute little dress with flats with bows on them, she's in a cardigan. And I tend to mix it up a bit. In the daytime, I dress a bit sweeter and more polite. But when the sun goes down, I get down. I'm a bit edgier than Charlotte.
WW: Who is your favorite fashion designer?
CA: Oh, oh, so many. Dior, Lanvin, Burberry, Dolce [& Gabbana], Miu Miu …
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WW: You played the younger version of Jen Garner in "13 Going On 30" and again in "Ghosts of Boyfriends Past." What was it like working with her?
CA: The first time I worked with her was about a decade ago. So I'm pleased to say that I've met lots of people in between, and she remains one of the sweetest. I remember being in her living room when I was 12 years old, and saying, "Jennifer, do you have any advice?" Because I was just starting out. "Any advice for a young actress?" She said, "Make sure that you maintain a life outside of Hollywood because if you're just wrapped up in your career all of the time, you're not a real person having real experiences. And then how can you play a real person in a movie? That's true. And she clearly lives by it as well. She's got kids now and is married. And has her whole life outside of what she does.
WW: Is there one place in the world that you've never been to that you would love to see?
CA: I'm dying to go to India ... because the culture seems so vastly different from what I'm used to in the States. I would love to do some yoga there. And be amongst people who are so different than myself. There's so much you can learn from people who grew up in a different environment. So that's on the agenda during the next hiatus.
WW: You recently revealed that you spent a summer in the circus. How'd that happen?
CA: [Laughs] Yeah, you know I'm a lover of life. And I feel like any experience you can have which adds to your repertoire of things you've done and can add to your character -- I'm willing to try. So that opportunity presented itself and I found myself on some trapeze and trying to juggle. That's so difficult and I still can't get the juggling down. [Laughs] Or the unicycle. That takes a lot of coordination.
WW: What was your favorite part of the circus?
CA: Definitely the lyra, which is kind of like the trapeze. It's like a Hula-Hoop hanging in the air and you can sort of just do really crazy tricks, which it's meant more for the girls. You just stretch out and flip on it and it looks really beautiful.
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