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Aimee Teegarden talks new role on the CW's 'Star-Crossed'

Aimee Teegarden starred on NBC's "Friday Night Lights" for six seasons.
Photo by Jason Merritt

We saw her grow up as ‘Julie Taylor’ on the critically-acclaimed NBC drama “Friday Night Lights”. Now Aimee TeeGarden can be seen taking on a whole different set of high school issues with her leading role on the new CW series “Star-Crossed” where she plays plays 'Emery Whitehill', a teenager who had an alien spacecraft crash-land in her town when she was six-years-old, and who ten years later finds herself reunited with the Atrian boy (played by Matt Lanter) she gave refuge to as a child. Soon Emery finds herself drawn to him again and supporting the human-alien integration, while at the same time trying to adjust to ‘normal’ high school life after being away for four years. Set a decade in the future, "Star-Crossed" explores the topic of integration in society.
During our interview, Teegarden discussed what she’s most enjoying about playing Emery, the love triangle ahead for her, what she thinks the world will be like in the future and much more!

Congrats on "Star-Crossed"! What are you most enjoying about playing Emery?

Aimee- She's just a very different character. I think that she's very strong-willed. She's very straight-forward. She doesn't play games. She's a very strong female, but also on the flip side of that very naïve.

Do you think that's because she was sick for four years and away from “the real world” in a sense, and is just now getting back into the young, high school social world.

Aimee- Completely. I think that most of her life she's had to live as an adult being in real adult situations. Not just being in the hospital, but dealing with disease and dying and the harsh realities of life. So being isolated and being in that world you just don't understand what normal is. So I think with her, she’s smart and she's very much an old soul, but sometimes simple things like we saw in the first episode with her trying to figure out how to use a locker with her thumb print; it's just something she hasn't encountered in her life.

She also carries some guilt with her it seems from not being able to protect the young Atrian boy from being taken from the shed she was protecting him in. Are we going to see that impact some of her choices?

Aimee- I think there definitely is a bit of remorse that she has carried from that moment. And I think that's also probably why she is the way she is as far as always trying to be the caretaker, trying to make everyone else feel good, especially with the underdog. I think it's her way of sort of bringing peace with that

The show looks like it’s going to be focusing on the integration of society between humans and aliens.

Aimee- I think there's a lot of human rights issues that we dive into throughout the season. With the first episode and the theme that strings throughout all of the season is really about integration and two races sort of figuring out how to make it work; trusting each other and building a better world, and with people who don't want to let that happen. And there is an ignorant part of society and there are forward thinkers. The show is about relationships and humanity and how everything sort of comes together.

What can you say about the love triangle that looks like is about to bloom for Emery?

Aimee- Yes, there is a love triangle that goes on between Emery and Roman and Grayson. And with Roman, Emery has this connection that is just undeniable and keeps pulling her back towards him and the two of them together. And with Grayson he's one of the first people that has really been nice to her in her new environment- in high school. And that’s always such a hard time in someone's life. Being in high school and trying to figure it out. And he's this sweet boy who offers to kind of help her. And it's about deciding the two different sides of which she really, really wants but can't have. This taboo and sort of the chemistry of sexuality there. And then with Grayson, this sweet boy next door who you want to see your daughter with.

What is your favorite storyline that you have had with Emery?

Aimee- There is a kind of dream sequence where Emery gets to embody an Atrian, and that was really fun as an actor getting to really put on tactile things that actually create your character, like the tattoos and the clothing. That was probably one of my favorite things that I got to shoot this season.

We know that “Star-Crossed” takes place a decade in the future, and there are a lot of technological advances that we see on the show. What do you think will be one major change in our world ten years from now?

Aimee- I think the biggest change that will happen has to do with the internet. The thing right now that makes the internet great and kind of horrible is the ambiguity. You can be anybody and you're completely anonymous on the internet. I think that in ten years in order to be on the internet you will be like your own avatar searching through the internet. You won't be able to leave anonymous content or comments on people. Things like that. And I also think some things will be so much more connected. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook; I think it will almost be like going through them to get to the internet as opposed to being on the internet to get to your Facebook.

Let’s head a little bit back to the past to your “Friday Night Lights” days. You were on it throughout its entire run, for six years. We really saw you grow up on that show. What did you take away from that experience that you take with now as an actress on new projects? What was the most valuable lesson you learned?

Aimee- Yes, I really did sort of grow up on “Friday Night Lights” and in Austin. It was such a beautiful, wonderful time in my life. I think one of the biggest things I learned or took away from “Friday Night Lights” would be probably just being able to see how beautiful work can really be. How creative you can really get as an actor. And how to be a leader on the set and be a leader for your cast- take them under your wing and create a real community.

If you could travel back in time and spend a day in the life of anyone from history, who would you choose and why?

Aimee- Albert Einstein would be so interesting sort of to see behind the curtain of just how his mind worked. I think that would be fascinating. Because border brilliance and genius he has been insane and psychotic, so that would be a trip!

"Star-Crossed" airs Monday nights at 8pm est on the CW network. Keep up with Aimee Teegarden on Twitter- @AimeeTeegarden

@Meriamb