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Quick Take With Allison Lanier

How do you like that your character is caught up in all of this powerful family drama? “It’s so fun! I have the most fun when I’m getting to play scenes where there is genuine conflict within relationships that are important to me, like Summer with Kyle or Phyllis. The push and pull of what I want to say versus what I feel like I should say in those relationships has been interesting to explore as well.”

What do you like about Summer and playing Summer? “I love how strong Summer is. It has been fun to play her in the beginning of this new phase of her life. She’s still figuring things out. Like, what kind of marriage does she want? How does she want to handle conflict, especially when the stakes are high and there’s a child involved? There’s a lot of discovery, and room for her to try and fail and try again in that space.”

How would describe the state of Summer’s relationship with Phyllis in the wake of her firing her mother? “Their relationship is definitely strained. Summer feels like her mom is completely blinded by her hatred for Diane, and isn’t thinking about Summer at all when she’s making all of these crazy decisions, like summoning Stark. I think there is genuine hurt there. Even though Summer is an adult, there is a feeling of neglect or abandonment when a parent is putting their own motives ahead of the wellbeing of their child.”

What kind of effect has this family dissension had on her marriage? “Summer and Kyle’s foundation is still very strong, even if their day-to-day is getting more difficult. Like any married couple, they are going to face adversities, it’s the way that they navigate through those conflicts that will define their relationship. I’m curious to see where the writers take it!”

You and Michael Mealor (Kyle) have so much on-screen chemistry. What’s the best thing about working with him? “Michael is so great! I feel really lucky that he has been my partner in this crazy world I was dropped into. There are so many wonderful things I could say here, but I think the best part about working with him is how much we laugh. We have similar senses of humor and crack up all of the time.”

How do you like working with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis)? “I still learn from Michelle every time I work with her, or watch her. I just saw the scene where Jeremy Stark sneaks up on her in the Jabot office and she has a jump scare. I loved it. She brought so many levels to the fear Phyllis must be feeling, while also knowing that she is the reason he’s in town to begin with. Michelle and I have built a friendship off-screen, especially since getting to play this mother/daughter conflict out a bit and having some tension in our scenes together. She’s much more cool and laid back than her character is! “

And how do you like your big brother Michael Graziadei (Daniel) so far? “I think we had good sibling banter right off the bat! He’s such a warm and funny guy. You can tell he is really into the craft of acting, he definitely brings the words to life in a very natural and often surprising way.”