Best known and beloved for her role as Cordelia Chase, I am among the millions of fans who first loved Charisma Carpenter for this role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel the series.

Charisma Carpenter Interview / Q & A for The Lying Game

Joining a group of writers for a conference call, Charisma Carpenter talked about her new role on ABC Family’s The Lying Game.

All About Annie

For Carpenter’s character of Annie, she shared that this is a woman who was not treated well before. “Some very bad things happened to her.” And she will not be received with open arms by everyone in town. That is, if they recognize her. She’s arriving as someone who looks completely different in her appearance, and is much better off financially.

Her Lying Game character is, “a more grown-up, sophisticated version of Cordelia. You’ll see similarities between the two but they’re not by any mean the same character.”

As for the mystery surrounding the character, Carpenter is currently in the dark almost as much as fans.”It doesn’t assist you” she said, to know too much. Why? Because then you have to “play against information that you know.” So what does she do? She “play(s) it very earnestly and straight forwardly with the info (she has) at hand, unless told otherwise”

Is she the twin’s real mom? “It would seem that I am. But I don’t know if i am a red herring.” She also said, “It would be nice to be around a while.” The real question would still be, who’s the father? Of Annie, Carpenter reveals that she was a “get around girl.” Ahem.

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We know that Annie was running a music company in Los Angeles, but has divorced from her husband and wants a fresh start. The character doesn’t intend to cause trouble, although she will. She’s back and she’s  optimistic and wants to re-open some old chapters. “She’s open to befriending those people who weren’t nice to her when she was young,” Carpenter said. “She’s coming from a place of confidence and success. “She’s smarter, wiser, sophisticated, … a little moneyed up. She’s lived and survived a lot…”

The Lying Game Spoilers

How long will the character of Annie be on the show? That’s up in the air as far as Carpenter knows. “If more comes from it, it would be a welcome surprise,” she said. She also said she’s “definietly interested in finding a home” on a TV set.

Who will be the most threatened by Annie returning? Kristen Mercer! Carpenter repeated one line that her character says to Kristen: “Between you and me, it is really fun to be back and to be turning heads.” But whose heads is she turning?

Carpenter hasn’t seen all of The Lying Game episodes. She’s still missing the last five episodes of the first ten. She said she’s seen the first five, then episodes 10-16. Meaning she’s involved (if only off screen) in at least six episodes.

Loving those Cast Members

I’ve pointed out to Small Screen Scoop readers that Carpenter and Alexandra Chando (The Lying Game) resemble each other quite a bit. Had they talked about this? It’s definitely come up! Aside from thinking that her character might be the twins mother (although she has no idea if that is true) Carpenter has seen pictures of Chando for continuity pictures for makeup, and she’s gone “that’s me!” only to realize it was the 20-year-younger version of herself.

“Yes, we’ve noticed it. And this is actually not even with her around—they take continuity pictures of your makeup so they know what you look for a particular outfit and day, like it’s labeled like day 1 or night 2 and this is what you were wearing, this is your makeup and this is your costume. So the costume department has one, the makeup department has one, the hair department has a continuity photo.

So, I was literally going through, running through the wardrobe and they have these pictures cut out and I literally thought it was me. I had to remember, okay, that’s a 20-year-old version of me; but it was like me. I really did think that it was me. Dang, I look good. Oh wait a minute, that’s Alex.”

And of Alexandra Chando, Carpenter openly praised her. Certainly impressed, Carpenter said that Chando was “bright and strong and capable” She also said:

“Well, I think she’s so beautiful, so I will take that as an absolute compliment and she’s so bright, so bright, and strong. She’s just a strong girl. You can just—I just love people from the Midwest. They’re just awesome. I just love them.

Grounded and bright and down to earth and get the job done and there’s no whimpering or whining. It’s just handled. She’s very capable and I admire her very much. She has a lot of responsibility at a very young age. So I will definitely be grateful for any comparisons to that young lady.”

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Aside from Alexandra Chando, Adrian Pasdar also got a special shout out from Charisma Carpenter. “He’s crackling. He’s on fire. He’s gonna ignite at any moment – one lil bit of accelerant and he’s gonna blow up. He’s so alive. And his energy is impossible to ignore.” She said fans will see this on screen on The Lying Game when it returns.

“I was drawn to the complexity of a character that’s not all that she seems. ” Drawing a parallel to Cordelia Chase (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), Carpenter revealed that Cordelia was more blunt and up front. “She(d) give you advice when you didn’t even wanna hear it.” The character of Annie says less than what she’s thinking because her filter is on alert.

Buffy, Angel and … Veronica Mars!

One of the specific questions I asked her was to imagine she could have had twitter technology for just one year during her experiences on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. What year would she pick? It was such a perfect answer for a BTVS fan that I had to ask he to repeat her answer. (Click here to read more on this!)

Veronica Mars also got a shout-out. For her time on The Lying Game she said, “It’s one of the best sets I’ve been on. It’s probably on par with my experience on Veronica Mars.” She said the younger kids “get it” and that they’re appreciative and there’s no diva on set. Everyone has a good attitude. “Everybody – I mean everybody – has a fantastic outlook.”

Future Charisma Carpenter Projects

New projects? Yes. Something will be announced very soon, but not by her (she said she’s gotten in trouble for going to Twitter to prematurely announce things.) She called social media a “double-edged sword.””I will be doing more film. I can’t tell you anything more than that. But my heart is in television.”

In random trivia, I learned that Carpenter is a big fan of Sons of Anarchy on FX. (We always provide extensive Sons of Anarchy Recaps for you guys.)

New Years Resolutions including “less cussing”, putting in more effort to train and work-out in Austin, travel more (Montana was mentioned), have more time for family, and to “re-appropriate spending.” As an example,s he said that in her 20’s she would have loved to buy several Chloe and Fendi bags. But now she knows it’d be better to take a mini Ski vacation with her family.

Something very interesting is that she said she wants to “brand out.” She’s interested in a perfume line. She has thoughts on beauty regimens. “I’ve got plans!” she exclaimed, explaining that “I have a book that I think should be written. I’ve got some stuff on my mind.”

“I want to go to Montana. I want to spend time in Montana. I got plans. I want to brand out; brand out like sell out. Who says that? So bad. But I want to sell out. I want my own perfume line. I have some ideas about beauty regimen and care and that sort of thing. Those are the things that I think a book should be written about. I have some stuff to say. I got some stuff on my mind. I would like to get started on those things.”

Lively, confident and as someone who comes across like the wise older sister whose opinions you want and advice you trust – Carpenter will have a legion of fans (new and loyal) following her to her next adventures.

Twitter picture of Alexandra Chando and Charisma Carpenter via Carpenter’s Twitter.