Exclusive! Alyssa Milano: “I Stress About Work And Responsibility”
The “Charmed” actress dishes on childhood stardom, imaginary friends and gardening.
BY BROOKE SAGER
She was every girl’s first idol and every man’s first crush. Yup, we’re talking about Alyssa Milano. It’s been 26 years since she began her stint on Who’s The Boss? where she grew up on TV screens in living rooms across America. “I was such a part of people’s families,” Alyssa says. “I’m everyone’s eternal cousin.”
And for Alyssa, the end is nowhere in sight. She’s hit the small screen once again with her lead role in the film Sundays at Tiffany’s that aired on Lifetime earlier this month. The romantic flick based on James Patterson’s novel, portrays Alyssa as the successful and engaged-to-be-married, Jane Claremont. When Jane’s childhood imaginary friend reappears to warn her about the path her life is taking, she reevaluates and ultimately falls in love with him.
Below Utopia, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, Wisegal and now Sundays at Tiffany’s—yes, these are all movies that Alyssa has starred in. But did you know that she also took part in producing each one? As a result, she became more emotionally invested in each project. “When you’re just hired to act, it can sometimes be difficult to completely grasp the vision that everyone has,” Alyssa explains. “But when you’re also producing, you know that vision like the back of your hand because you’ve had so many discussions about it.”
As a producer, Alyssa took part in developing her own character, Jane. She claims that was the most challenging part of her role. “I wanted to see a distinct change [in Jane] between the beginning and the end,” she said. “But I didn’t want her to come off as bitchy and icy at the beginning. She had to be likeable.”
Jane’s character may partly be Alyssa’s brainchild. But that doesn’t mean they’re anything alike in reality. In fact, Alyssa was initially attracted to their differences. “Jane was hurt in her past, and as a way to protect herelf, she became a suppressed romantic. I was never not a romantic in real life,” she says.
Another difference between Alyssa and her character: Alyssa has never had an imaginary friend. But that certainly doesn’t mean that she lacked imagination as a kid. As an only child until age ten, she had to find creative ways to keep busy solo. Puppet shows and interpretive dances were her go-tos.
Clearly, Alyssa has come a long way from performances in her living room. Besides acting and producing, she also works as a UNICEF ambassador and has her own women’s sports apparel line, Touch. We couldn’t fathom how she also makes time for herself. But Alyssa believes that life is all about balance. “I don’t feel fulfilled unless I’m doing the things I love,” she says. “I stress and stress about work and responsibility, but somehow, it always gets done.” On her days off, she enjoys spending time with her husband, David Bugliari, horseback riding and toiling away in the organic vegetable garden that David built her. (Aw!) “I’m so obsessed [with my garden] it’s ridiculous,” she laughs.
As Alyssa clocks in at almost three decades in the industry, we were dying to find out what’s kept her there for so long. “I don’t know if I can do anything else!” she admits. People who work in the fickle unstable environment that is Hollywood never know what their next job is going to be. And that’s why Alyssa loves the stability of television. “At least for that season, you know you’ll have a job,” she says. “It let’s you enjoy your life a little bit more.”