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Greer Grammer talks MTV's "Awkward"

Grammer stars as 'Lissa' on the hit MTV comedy 'Awkward'
Angelo Kritikos

Greer Grammer is a girl who is not only doing it all, but shining at it all! In addition to being one of the star’s of the award-winning MTV comedy “Awkward”, the 22-year-old is also a full-time student at the University of Southern California (USC) and a member of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. No doubt this Malibu native is on the right trach! And Grammer, who is no stranger to the entertainment industry as the daughter of distinguished actor Kelsey Grammer, credits both her famous father and mother for instilling in her strong values to take with her on her path to professional acting.
In a recent interview, I had the pleasure of speaking with the charismatic Grammer about what she’s most enjoying about “Awkward”, what viewers can expect from the new season, how she juggles TV and school, and much more!

Congrats on “Awkward”! It’s in its fourth season now on MTV. What do you most enjoy about being a part of the show?

Greer- Honestly, I most enjoy our cast and our crew. We're so tight-knit. It's really fun to be able to enjoy going to work and be with everyone and have a fun time at work. It's nice!

As an actress, what appeals to you most about your character of Lissa?

Greer- Most people would just see her as a dumb girl or the ditsy character, but I always saw her as just more naïve and simple-minded. Even when she's mean, she's not like mean mean; she's just thinks that what she is doing is right because she is just very simple. It's not just like dumb and ditsy, there's a naivety there. That is what I love about her. She's not your average dumb character and I loved that.

I read that you two have a similar character because you both grew up in beach towns. Did you find you could relate to her?

Greer- The characters live in the Palisades and I'm from Malibu, so it's not a totally out of this world representation of my high school experience. Because I know that a lot of people who grew up in different places sometimes have a little bit of trouble connecting with the school experience, and I grew up in beach town. They are living in a beach community. It wasn't out of this world to see kids driving nice cars and whatever else from where I was from.

The new season is premiering; do you have a favorite storyline from it that you can kind of give fans a sneak peek to?

Greer- Yes, some stuff goes on with Sadie, which is awesome. Anytime I get to have scenes with Molly, which is a lot of the time we always love it because we're really good together. They go back into some stuff from the previous first two seasons when Lissa had to fight for her own power. She stands up to Sadie. We're kind of going back into that where there is something that happens between them and they have to really work on their friendship, which is awesome because so much of the time Lissa just kind of gets treated horribly by Sadie- so it's kind of nice to have these moments where Sadie wants their friendship back and is trying to really hard to be nice to Lissa.

Yes, I'm sure it's going to be nice to see for viewers who have been watching the show from the start to see.

Greer- Yes. Especially because there was so much that happened in season one and season two with going to church camp. They had to work on their relationship a lot in season two. And then in season three it kind of got blown over because there was so much going on in season three. But it just kind of came back to Sadie treating Lissa like crap, and we get to go back to that and explore what happened. So it's really nice.

I know that you started acting at a very young age; what sparked your interest in acting?

Greer- I did theater my whole life. I did my first play at five-years-old; it was the pre-school play, “The Wizard of Oz”. And I was so mad that I wasn't Dorothy or Glenda. (Laughs) But at a young age I loved watching MY FAIR LADY or BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS; old movies and would dress up as a different Disney princess every day and walked around. I just kind of always loved acting. And my mom is a make-up artist; my dad is an actor so it was something that I kind of grew up around.

Speaking of your dad, Kelsey Grammer, since he has been such a successful and accomplished actor, is there a piece of advice he shared with you that always stood out to you?

Greer- He just kind of always told me to make sure that I was doing it for the right reasons because if I'm not going to do it for the right reasons then it's not going to work out. It was mainly like you can't try to be an actress to be famous because then it's never going to happen. And my mom also instilled that in me too: knowing the difference between being a celebrity and being an actor. In today's world especially, that line is kind of blurred between what the actual difference is. So that's something they always told me. The other thing my dad always said was he tried to warn me about how hard Hollywood is on women, and how just to be careful. And always stand up for myself. He's very conscious about that.

What would be your dream role to play?

Greer- I wish I was Elle Woods. (Laughs) Because who doesn't love LEGALLY BLONDE?! I would love to be in the live action Disney movies that they have been doing more of because I am obsessed with Disney. Like Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND was amazing- similar roles. I would love to do something like that. And then of course, I would love to go to the stage. Go do Broadway. I love theater. There's nothing like in it: being in the moment and having to be on stage in front of hundreds of people. It's a different kind of acting and a different kind of world. I would really love to go back at some point.

You are a student at USC, you’re a part of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, and you’re on a television show! How do you balance it all? I’m so impressed!

Greer- Thank you! It's very difficult. I have to be really good at time management, which I still struggle with but it's been really important. I have to communicate really well with my teachers and with my sorority. I'm a senior now so I'm not as busy with it. But sophomore year I dealt with rush and the whole recruitment process, I had my school classes, and I had work- it was crazy. And every single time I'm doing it I'm like I'm not doing this next year. I'm either going to take the semester off or not work, then I just always end up doing it again! (Laughs)

I like to ask this question to everyone I interview: if you could travel back in time and spend a day in the life of anyone from history, who would it be and why?

Greer- It's a tie between Grace Kelly or Marilyn Monroe, because I'm in love with that era. They're both so different from each other. Marilyn Monroe fascinates me as I think she does everybody. She kind of had a lot going on in her mind and she had all of her issues from growing up, and all her different roles. So I feel like her brain would just be interesting to be in. And then Grace Kelly, of course, I want to be Grace Kelly. She was an amazing Hollywood actress turned Princess. That's the dream! I love watching her in all of her films. I just think she's magnetic and beautiful. So those are the two that I'd like to be.

The new season of "Awkward" premieres Tuesday, April 15 at 10pm EST on MTV.

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