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vanessa lengies

She plays Meg's feisty best friend on American Dreams. Get to know the real girl behind the bad girl...

Lindzi.com: How difficult of a decision was it to leave behind your high school years to do the show?

Vanessa Lengies: To me, this was the next step. Where I lived in Montreal, high school was from grade 7 to grade 11. Then, you graduate and go to junior college for two years. Then, you go to University. I had my school life planned out and I got American Dreams in my graduating year. In my career as an actress, I realized this was the next step. I had to change my educations plans a little bit, but it was worth it. I still did school out here while I was filming the show. Next year, I'm going to college. I'm doing some courses. Because of American Dreams, I can't do all my courses so I'm doing independent studies.

Lindzi.com: I understand you and your co-star Brittany Snow have become quite close.

Vanessa Lengies: We get along so well. We're constantly laughing and being goof balls. We have a handshake that we started when we started filming the show. It's since evolved into this three minute handshake. It's all of our inside jokes combined. Nobody else understands it because it's in code. It's funny gestures and sayings. It's really weird.

Lindzi.com: What are some of your inside jokes?

Vanessa Lengies: We're constantly quoting lines from movies... from Austin Powers. It's one of our favorite comedies. That and Zoolander and Dude, Where's My Car.

Lindzi.com: What was your favorite course in school?

Vanessa Lengies: In eighth grade, they had a Home EC course. It basically taught us how to take care of stuff in the home. There's a cooking part of the course and sewing part. Then, there was this interior design part of the course. Nobody took any of it seriously. I fell in love with interior design in that course. At the end, we had to make a model of our favorite room. Everybody brought in their little shoeboxes. My model was this hand-painted model made out of cardboard and foam. I loved it. Architecture is something I always loved.

Lindzi.com: How difficult is balancing classes and memorizing lines?

Vanessa Lengies: If you work at a cash register, you'll become good at it -- you become good at adding numbers together mentally. It's the same thing. Learning lines is intimidating at first. After a while, you become good at it. Practice makes perfect. You work your brain to start remembering things. Some people are good at memorizing numbers or orders, I'm good at memorizing lines.

Lindzi.com: How are you like your character Roxanne?

Vanessa Lengies: She's outgoing like me. She's focused. I like going out and meeting people.

Lindzi.com: How are you different?

Vanessa Lengies: There are a lot more ways that she's not like me. She's got this flirtatious side that I, almost, wish I had. I'm more shy. If I wanted to be like that, I'd have to act. She's the bad girl. I'm the opposite of bad girl. She talks back to people. I'd think about it for a couple weeks and probably cry about it. I'd have nightmares about it. I hate getting in trouble. Roxanne doesn't care what people think. She puts people in their place. It's so funny because we're polar opposite. She's not a boring character to play. I wouldn't want to be like her, but I love everything about her. She's a bad girl, but she's got a big heart.

Lindzi.com: Do you have any friends like Roxanne?

Vanessa Lengies: I'm in the goody-two shoe group. I don't have any friends like that.

Lindzi.com: You were in the goody-two shoe group?

Vanessa Lengies: I didn't have time to be part of a group. High school was different steps. It depends on what year. Seventh and eighth grade, I was a science geek. Ninth, tenth, and eleventh, I was all over the place. I guess I was the underdog advocate. I would talk back to the bully's if they were picking on anybody. I prided myself on that. They're not the cool group.

Lindzi.com: Do you miss being in school and seeing friends?

Vanessa Lengies: I went to high school for all the years. I'd miss sometimes, but I had a tutor to make up for it. Because I was away from school so much, I loved being there. I was one of those dorks who loved school. One of the highlights of my week was being able to go to school for a couple days. I was involved in every activity that I could. I was editor of my yearbook and on the council for student life. I was always trying to make our school better and raise money for organizations. If acting doesn't work out, I want to be a planner.

Lindzi.com: How do you think growing up in the 60's differs from teens growing up today?

Vanessa Lengies: I think there's a lot more pressure to grow up today. In the sixties, whatever age you were you were expected to be that age. It's more accelerated. I think it's the events in the media. Most households today have TV's. Back then, you had to have a good amount of money to get a TV. People are exposed to a lot more at younger ages now than they were in the sixties. They had teen magazines back then, but now there are like ten teen magazines. There's satellite TV. Radio. Media is a bigger part of society than it was in the nineteen-sixties. Sometimes it works for the better and sometimes it doesn't. Teens should sit back and say, "I'm a teen. I'm a kid. I'm not supposed to be like an adult." That's the way the world works though and you can't fight it. That's a hard question. I could write a thesis about that.

Lindzi.com: {laughs} That's your assignment for next week. What's something fans would be surprised to learn about your co-star Brittany Snow?

Vanessa Vengies: I think people would be surprised to know that Brittany boxes. She takes boxing classes.

Lindzi.com: What's your favorite episode?

The Christmas episode because you got to see behind Roxanne. You always see her being flirtatious and energetic, but this showed you a different side of her. The beach episode was fun too. We're always in the studio so it was like a field trip being able to go to the beach. It's the episode where Meg and Roxanne get into a fight about the other popular girls who wind up being mean.

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