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Press Archive

AOL A.J. Langer Chat

AOL Online
January 20, 1995

Chat with A.J. Langer

OnlineHost : We are thrilled that A.J. Langer is able to join us in Los Angeles tonight, where it's raining cats and dogs. Joining us on stage tonight are your host ABC Press and A.J. Langer's publicist...

OnlineHost : SCOTTMSCL.

ABC Press : Welcome A.J. and thanks for coming out in the storm to be with us tonight!

AJLanger1 : HI! Glad to be here!!

ABC Press : We'll get started with the questions. Our first inquiry comes from KoriG...

Question : I've often heard that you are "nothing like Rayanne", but I cannot imagine you being able to play that role so well without it being somewhat natural to you. None of "Rayanne" can be found in A.J.?

AJLanger1 : I have a positive energy like "Rayanne"'s... I just don't have it all the time. There aren't many other similarities...

ABC Press : JanH9140 wants to know...

Question : A.J. I love the character you play on MSCL. How do you feel about this tremendous effort being done to save the show?

AJLanger1 : I'm so happy that so many people are joining in, it's nice to know that this show has effected other people as much as it's effect us. We really appreciate everyone joining in in efforts to save the show.

ABC Press : We all agree A.J.! And now something from KJacq...

Question : Hi, A.J. I love the show. What's it like to work with such a great cast, especially

Question : Claire Dannes?

AJLanger1 : Working on the show with this cast is pretty much what everyone dreams of when getting in to this business... Its about as good as it gets!

Question : What type of music do you like AJ?

AJLanger1 : Should I admit this? :/

ABC Press : Yes!

AJLanger1 : I like country music : D... And, then anywhere from the Eagles, Tom Petty, Marc Cohn, and my favorite country music star is, Wynonna!

ABC Press : I'm sure you're not the only one with us tonight who goes for Country :) And now a question from DaJaybird...

Question : From what sources did you draw your building of the character of Rayanne?

AJLanger1 : The original script, pilot episode. Winnie Holzman (creator, writer, co-exec producer) had such a well-rounded character that effected me the first time I skimmed through the script. Everything that I needed was in the words... and, it just clicked with me. It may not have been that clear with everyone else, but she (Rayanne) was very clear to me.

ABC Press : Kermit456 needs to know something I'm sure a lot of your fans wonder about....

Question : Do you ever wear your hair in real life like you do on the show?

AJLanger1 : LOL! No, but sometimes when I dress up now, I'll put a braid or a twist here and there... And, I'm rebelling against dying my streak back to its normal color! It stays 'til we return.... : )

ABC Press : Thanks for satisfying our curiosity! Now another question about the show from Pebo23...

Question : What specific scenes in MSCL episodes have been the most difficult, challenging for you to act in? What scenes have been the most pleasant?

AJLanger1 : Its hard to say because there are so many things that can make a scene difficult for you. ie. Scheduling, hours, being under the gun, technical problems... In general, the most challenging part of "Rayanne" -- there are many -- but the one I face everyday is keeping that funky energy level all the time.

ABC Press : And now a question from NowNothin about your movie career...

Question : Hello AJ Langer, i am a big fan of yours. i loved you in people under the stairs and my so called life is great. Have you worked on any other movies others than People under the stairs?

AJLanger1 : : D None that I would be too anxious to tell you about!

AJLanger1 : LOL!

ABC Press : And now a question about your own tv habits...

Question : I watch the show religiously. (Hey, college students gotta have an obsession.) What shows, if any, are you a diehard fan of?

AJLanger1 : This is the only show that I'm a "diehard" fan of... But, I like "Coach", "Ellen", "PIcket Fences" and of course, "NYPD Blue"...

ABC Press : Angela51 has a question that I know a lot of young women are wondering about...

Question : What is it like working with Jared Leto?

AJLanger1 : I knew it was just a matter of time... : )

AJLanger1 : He's great... He definitly adds to the funkiness of our cast. He's a neat guy... verrrrry interesting... And, he's a grrrrrrrreaaaaaaaaaaaatttttt kisser!

AJLanger1 : (Just kidding honey!)

ABC Press : I think everyone hopes that you're not kidding! Now, HomeSwap wants to know...

Question : How long have you been acting, where have you studied, and how would you describe your "method" of acting?

AJLanger1 : In one sentence?

AJLanger1 : I started an acting class at 14/15, studied there for a few months, Ernie Lively is my acting coach. And, now my mentor. I auditioned for a year without working, slowly started getting good feedback, more callbacks, and eventually an actual job. It was a slow steady process. My "method" would be closest to the Misner idea... In that I believe in making the moments in a scene my complete reality. As opposed to, sense memory or relating past experiences...

ABC Press : Thanks for keeping it brief :) Krismith has another question about Rayanne...

Question : Your character is one of the most interesting and complex on MSCL -- you are at once a completely confident, fun-loving teenager and a fragile little girl. I think we are really only just learning what really makes Rayanne tick. Is it hard to play this character, with her many ups and downs, especially since you are older than Rayanne?

AJLanger1 : Its the most demanding, challenging, and fufilling experience. The age has nothing to do with it because my maturity level is probably younger than "Rayanne" : ) And, I can't say that I *look* much older either.

ABC Press : Another serious question...

Question : Have they given you any further word (that you are allowed to pass on, I guess) about the future of MSCL?

AJLanger1 : BTW, thanks Krismith for the compliment in that last question...

AJLanger1 : Yes, I have gotten further word, and its that now is the time to rally the troops! We, on our side, are vowing to return all fan mail, do as many interviews as possible, and in general, put in as much energy as we can in support of the show. And, we would absolutely appreciate all of your letters, not just to us, but to your local newspapers, and Ted Harbert (President, ABC Entertainment)... We have to keep spreading the word, and get more people to open themselves up to our show. And, also Steve Joyner, if you're out there, Hi! It was great to meet you... All of your efforts will not go to waste!!! Keep on truckin'

ABC Press : Let's hunt down some Nielsen families now!! Now Mrinrman wants to know about a recent project of yours for ANOTHER :( network...

Question : A.J., I saw you on "Circus of the Stars" not long ago, and you were great!!!!! How did you get into that kind of stuff???

AJLanger1 : Yes, I have this tendency to be attracted to atheletically challenging hobbies...

AJLanger1 : The "Circus" was an absolute blast! And, a lot of hard work...

ABC Press : And now a question from Martin L74 about your relationship with Claire Danes....

Question : If memory serves me correct, you are 20, while Claire is only 15. How does the age difference effect your on & off screen relationship?

ABC Press : Mactor needs to ask just one more question about your personal life....

AJLanger1 : Oh mi gawd! She's younger than I am!!??

Question : DO YOU HAVE A BOYFRIEND?

ABC Press : Sorry A.J....go ahead and finish the question about Claire...

AJLanger1 : Yes, and he made his television debut on "Resolutions"...

AJLanger1 : : )

ABC Press : We have time for just a few more questions...

Question : How much control do you have over the character of Rayanne? Do the writers ever ask you to do a scene that you think is really out of character?

AJLanger1 : No, I have no control... I wouldn't dare to try to come up with any of "Rayanne" stuff : on my own.

AJLanger1 : I can barely keep up with her as it is!

ABC Press : ViolntFern wants to know...

Question : aj, are, in what ways are, mscl fans different from other fans?

AJLanger1 : I feel this interesting, like, bond with all of you. Its because we have something very special in common.

ABC Press : And now a question about your most prominent story arc on MSCL...

Question : Are we going to see more of the "on the wagon" storyline? Do you ever feel like some of the things Rayanne isinto are unrealistic for teenagers today? I think you bring a valuable message to a lot of high school students out there about depression and self-respect.

AJLanger1 : Its definitly *not* unrealistic. The only people who could feel that way are probably just ignorant to the problem of teenage alcoholism. Note, Rayanne may not be the best role model in the world, but she's definitly someone to learn alot from. I'm unclear about the rest of the question... depression and self-respect?

ABC Press : The final question for tonight will be one that's come through at least 20 times, and that is simply, what does "AJ" stand for?

AJLanger1 : Apple Juice.

ABC Press : Get real!

AJLanger1 : Just kidding... Allison Joy.

AJLanger1 : LOL!

ABC Press : Sweet name :)

ABC Press : Thanks to everyone for joining us tonight, and a special thank you to you AJ for coming out in this terrible weather to be with us!!

AJLanger1 : Thanks to all you "So-Called" fans! You mean alot to us... : ) Talk to you again soon...

AJLanger1 : See you NEXT SEASON! : )

ABC Press : Be sure to join us on January 25,

AJLanger1 : Positive thinking, positive thinking...

ABC Press : when the co-executive producers of MSCL will join us on-line... Winnie Holtzman and Scott Winant will be in the ABC auditorium at 9:00 p.m. ET on Wed. 1/25 to take all your questions about the creation of this wonderful series. See you all then!


“I cannot bring myself to eat a well-balanced meal in front of my mother.”

Angela Chase, Episode 1: "My So-Called Life (Pilot)"