INTERVIEW

ICYMI Alyvia Alyn Lind Interview

Alyvia Alyn Lind was just 3 years old when she started playing Nick and Sharon’s daughter, Faith, on Y&R and her first day was, well, quite restful. “I was on set and I was supposed to pretend that I was sleeping,” she recalls. “I was laying in Sharon’s [Case, Sharon] arms and she’s the most comforting human being ever. When the scene was done, they were like, ‘Okay, cut. That’s a wrap on Aly,’ and that’s when they realized I really was fast asleep.”

That tranquility set the tone for Lind’s almost-lifelong association with the No. 1 soap, and her TV parents, Joshua Morrow (Nick) and Case, have set the tone for her experience. “They really have the most genuine hearts of anybody I’ve worked with, and they are the best role models,” Lind attests. “From day one, Sharon and I have always had our little girl talks on the set about daughter/mother things, and Josh and I are always joking with each other and quoting movies. He’s like a comedic god and always has the best jokes. They are really the best. I love them so much.”

Faith’s precociousness — and that of her portrayer — was evident from the start. “I remember this scene where I was in a stroller,” Lind shares. “My set teacher, Leslie, who I love and I’m still in touch with today, said, ‘Why is she in a stroller? She’s 3 years old, she can walk.’ I went up to her and said, ‘Oh, don’t worry, I’m playing 2.’ ”

Not surprisingly, Lind soon landed jobs in prime-time, cable TV and film. Taking on so many varied projects might be daunting to most kids, but not this one. “My favorite part about acting is getting to be somebody else and going outside of my comfort zone, even if it’s only for a day,” Lind explains. “I get to do things that I would never do in real life. It’s just fun for me.”

As her career heated up, Lind’s appearances in Genoa City became more infrequent, but she was always game to come back when she could. “I’ve always felt an emotional connection to everyone at Y&R,” she says. “There was one point when I was going off for some movie and by the time I was finished with that, we weren’t positive I would come back to Y&R and it was seriously the hardest thing for me to take. I just couldn’t imagine leaving this family. I’m traveling a lot and doing all these different things but Y&R has always been the most stable thing I’ve had in my life. It’s been so amazing to have that. Everybody there is close to my heart.”

Lind’s future in the entertainment business was practically preordained after her mother, actress Barbara Alyn Woods, met Jon Lind while they were both working on the series HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS: THE TV SHOW (“My dad was the first assistant director”). The couple married and their first two daughters, Natalie and Emily, became child actors, but there were other plans when Alyvia came along. “My parents decided, ‘There’s no way we can get another kid into acting because we’re already too busy driving the other girls to auditions, so it’s not happening for Aly. She’s going to be normal,’ ” Lind laughs. “So, they basically hid me and didn’t tell their agents I even existed. One day, an agent friend was at our neighbor’s and she said, ‘I’m going next door to say hi to the Linds.’ She rang our doorbell and 1-year-old little me came running to the door. She asked my mom, ‘Who is this? Are you babysitting?’ The truth came out and my now-agent said, ‘Let’s sign her to a contract.’ ”

It didn’t take long for Mr. and Mrs. Lind to become aware of Alyvia’s potential. “When I was 2, I’d be in the background listening to my sisters running their lines for auditions and when they would finish, I’d say, ‘It’s my turn,’ and recite every one of their lines,” Lind remembers. “That’s when my parents were like, ‘Okay, yeah, we’re getting a third into the business.’ ”

The fact that the tyke couldn’t read yet wasn’t an obstacle because she’d commit everyone else’s lines to memory. “Sometimes, my mom would sit next to me and turn the page so it looked like I was following along,” Lind reveals. “When I knew it was my turn to talk, I would look at that person and say my line directly to them. I remember when I was 4 and I was at the table read for Blended and I couldn’t read yet, so I memorized the entire script. But the night before the table read, they changed the script and I had to learn all these different lines as fast as I could. After the table read, Adam Sandler said to me, ‘Did you learn all of that?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I can’t read so I kind of have to,’ and he said, ‘Well, that’ll come in handy.’ ”

Through the years, Lind has worked with such Hollywood elite as Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Josh Hutcherson, Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Keri Russell, Anna Faris and Dolly Parton (see sidebar) but she’s rarely starstruck. “When you meet all these amazing people, you realize they’re just normal folks,” she reasons. “I’ve never had a bad experience with meeting a huge name. They’re almost always really sweet and genuine. But when I was 7 or 8, I do remember freaking out over Will Ferrell because he was Elf! But I always, always love coming back to Y&R. It will forever be my home base.”

For now, Lind is thoroughly enjoying bringing a rebellious Faith to life. “That’s been super-fun,” she enthuses. “Faith has always been a kind of goody two-shoes, so it’s great to play her dealing with becoming a teenager. She’s been going through a lot of stuff, although that doesn’t give her a pass to act out like she’s doing, but it’s really reflecting her pain. Faith is turning into quite the delinquent, but as my mom reminds, ‘Do it on the show and not in real life.’ ”

DOLLY WOULD

After auditioning for the chance to play Dolly Parton as a young girl in the autobiographical TV movie, COAT OF MANY COLORS, Lind was stunned when the singing legend personally delivered the news that the part was hers. “I was sitting in the room with all of the executives and I thought I was going in for a final audition; I even learned the sides they gave me and was dressed up in my Dolly wear,” Lind chuckles. “As I was going in, they told my mom, ‘Come and watch,’ and she’s like, ‘No, no. She’ll be fine.’ They finally said, ‘You need to see this!’ We went in and saw all of these cameras, then Dolly came in and gave me the news. I can’t remember anything after that because I was in complete shock. It was the best surprise ever and it was so awesome to get to play her and figure out all the little Dolly-isms.”

The movie was such a hit that a sequel, CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS: CIRCLE OF LOVE, was ordered with Lind reprising the role. “After that, they wanted to do another movie when Dolly actually hit it [big] with her music career at 13,” Lind shares. “I was 9 at the time and obviously too young to play her, so they were planning to search for someone else. When Dolly found out, she said, ‘Nope. We’ll wait for Aly to get older. She’ll get there eventually and then we’ll do it.’ That Dolly Parton didn’t want anyone else to play her was absolutely insane! She’s such a sweetheart!” Lind is still in touch with the icon and smiles, “Dolly doesn’t like technology and she doesn’t do social media at all, so I will get handwritten letters from her in the mail or even faxed to me.”

Just The Facts

Birthdate: July 27, 2007

Birthplace: Wrightsville Beach, NC. “I was born there because my mom [Barbara Alyn Woods] was filming the series ONE TREE HILL in North Carolina. Then we moved to Los Angeles when I was 2 and I’ve been here ever since.”

Letter Imperfect: “My original name was going to be Olyvia and my aunt already sewed together a blanket for me with Olyvia on it. But my grandpa came into the hospital to see me and he said, ‘Hi, little Oly,’ and my mom said, ‘Oly? Uh, no. That’s not gonna be her nickname.’ She decided right there to change it to Alyvia so I would be called Aly. It’s been interesting my entire life to hear people pronounce it in different ways, especially at auditions. I love my name, even though it can be a mouthful.”

All In The Family: Aside from her mom, Lind’s older sisters, Natalie Alyn Lind and Emily Alyn Lind, are successful actresses, as well.

Reality Check: How about a reality show featuring the Lind gals? “I’m not going to lie to you and say that it’s never come up before. The biggest perk for us would be getting our hair and makeup done every day. It would be fun to film, even if we’re all rarely in the same place. Right now, one sister is working in New York and my other sister is in Vancouver. There can be camera crews following us in different states.”

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