‘The Lying Game’ Interview: Alexandra Chando Looks Back On Her Audition, Dishes On Love Triangle

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Alexandra Chando has worked hard to be where she is, and where that is just so happens to be playing both of the lead characters in a fan-crazed teen drama. Taking on the roles of Sutton Mercer and Emma Becker on the ABC Family hit The Lying Game, Chando and the cast is well into their second season and continuing to reveal some huge twists and secrets. During a recent chat with the 26-year-old actress, Chando let us in on what the audition process was like, the story line that shocked her the most, and her favorite moment with the cast. Plus, whom does she really want Emma to end up with? (Of course we are rooting for Ethan!)

Who knew that such success would follow her after simply being intrigued by a production of Annie with her mom? The series has yet been picked up for a third season, but that’s nothing to worry about. “I’m looking into film now for hiatuses. It’s tough because of the timing, but I absolutely want to do film for sure,” she tells me. “If another show opportunity came up, absolutely. It just sort of depends on the character and the project.” After impressively playing two characters each week, there’s no worry that Chando will be sticking around for a long time.

What was the audition like trying out for both Emma and Sutton?
ALEXANDRA CHANDO: The first audition I had was with Chuck [Pratt Jr.], who is the executive producer, and the casting. I had to do a couple of scenes. I’m trying to remember if I had to do an Emma and Sutton scene. I believe I did, and then when I tested for the network and the studio I had to do the big locker room scene from the pilot where Sutton and Emma switch places. That was so challenging because first of all your nerves are going crazy and then to not really know the characters yet and have a set and just kind of be in it, it was challenging. But yeah, we did those scenes.

What are some similarities and differences that you have with Emma and Sutton?
I would say I find myself more similar to Emma just because I like to think of myself as a genuine, caring person who doesn’t manipulate people, which is what Sutton is. And obviously that’s the main differences, but I think there are obviously parts of Sutton in me as well. It’s been fun to development her and the way Sutton handles situations sometimes. Not emotional, but very strong and she kind of finds ways—she’s a survivor. And I like to consider myself or think of myself as that. Just certain ways I handle things and just her strength. I hope I contribute to that.

Do you prefer playing one over the other?
Recently I’ve loved playing Sutton. It’s just so fun to play the bad girl.

There have been so many more layers added to each story line since the first season. What was the biggest shocker for you at a table read?
I definitely was shocked about the fact that Sutton was working with Rebecca and she had known for a while. I was definitely shocked, but there is some other stuff coming up that unfortunately I can’t reveal, but I’ve been saying for the past couple of weeks that one of my favorite story lines is the relationship with Dan and Ethan. I’m excited because the fans will really kind of get to see the struggle between these two guys and really look into who they are and their background, which I think is really interesting.

A big shock is how Laurel is finally finding out about the twins secret too.
Yes, definitely! I’m so glad because they always kind of paint Laurel as the smart sister and she’s so studious. I love Laurel. I think she’s one of my favorite characters. [Laughs] But just the way she was developed and especially in the pilot even they had her kind of the studious one. And so it kind of always bothered me that she—it took her so long to figure it out. But now she’s catching on, which is great. It certainly raises the stakes a little bit for the story.

The series wouldn’t be complete without a love triangle. Even more than a triangle! Is there hope for Ethan and Emma?
I mean I like the pairings for different reasons. I like both of them for different reasons, but I think deep down I think Emma and Ethan should be together just because they’re so connected in a way. But I would love for Sutton to just find somebody else completely and not interfere with Emma and Ethan. But the Thayer and Emma relationship is very interesting and just how it came about. I think it is particularly enjoyable to watch because there is—and you will see this later on—there is this struggle that Emma has because she does still love Ethan and she’s trying to convince herself that she’s not.

It must be great to film away in Texas. Has there been a favorite cast moment off set?
We have tons of fun together and we are like family because we’re all what each other has. I remember one of our first weeks back in Austin for the second season we went tubing, which was about 45 minutes away. We went tubing down the river. You tie all the tubes together and you just kind of float down the river for two hours. It was so much fun. We went to a concert at night. We try to plan cast outings and trips with each other, and especially in Austin. We really want to take advantage of the weather and the outdoor activities that it has to offer.

Lastly, there are so many twists being revealed and there’s a few episodes left of the season! What can fans expect next?
So much will happen! I love the last couple of episodes. I think that a lot unravels and there’s so much drama and definitely some favorite episodes as well. There are some story lines that really come to a head.

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