Interview With Hayley Marie Norman, Deal or No Deal Briefcase Model

Hayley Held Case 25, But There's a Lot More to Her Than Her Lovely Looks!

Hayley Marie Norman Deal or No Deal
Hayley Marie Norman. courtesy NBC

January 13th, 2008

Hayley Marie Norman is one of the most recognizable briefcase models on Deal or No Deal, holding case # 25 on every episode. Don't make the mistake of stereotyping Hayley, though. She's a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and has studied at such schools as Cal Arts, University of the Arts (Philadelphia), and the National Theatre Education Space in London.

In addition to her Deal or No Deal gig, Hayley plays the recurring role of Kaylee on The Young and the Restless.

She's also an up-and-coming big-screen actress, with a role in the Will Smith movie Hancock, and a starring role in the feature film Trailer Park of Terror. She's also been a guest star on TV shows such as Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Shark.

Question: Hi Hayley! I'm sure the general public thinks that being a briefcase model on Deal or No Deal is easy work. Can you walk us through what really happens during a day of taping?

Hayley Marie Norman: It's so not as easy as looks! But that's part of the job, making it all look good and painless! First of all, the show itself is about one hour. That one hour of television takes several hours to produce. And remember, we are doing it all in heels! We arrive on set anywhere from 5 to 7am for hair and makeup. This process takes hours because every girl has a very specific look that needs to be correctly duplicated for every episode. I won't even go into what that all involves, because I want you to believe we wake up every morning looking that good!

Anyway, after hair and makeup (which includes the covering of any tattoos), we go into wardrobe. This is probably the most meticulous part of the day. It is very important that each and every one of us looks stunning in the dresses. Before every tape cycle, we have several fittings for each dress to ensure that it is just right.

By the time wardrobe is done, we are a good three to four hours into the tape day. We then get miked and get ready for the look-see, where once again the producers and the heads of the hair, makeup, and wardrobe department make sure that everything on all the girls is just right.

We then get our cases and do the "Model March," which is the part where the models make their appearance after Howie says his famous, "Ladies, Please." We usually tape the march at least two times. The march is much more difficult than one would think, as it involves precise placement, timing, and prayers that none of us fall! Then the fun begins! We start the game! Every girl hopes to get called first so that they can take their shoes off and relax for a bit. Although, there's usually media or something else exciting happening backstage, so not too much relaxing or sitting happens.

Q: Do you get to keep any of the gowns or outfits you wear on the show? What's been your favorite dress or outfit so far?

Hayley: Most of the dresses are auctioned off for charity which of course is wonderful. It always makes me proud to hear when someone bought one of my dresses in an auction. The ones that aren't auctioned off, are cataloged in a huge storage room for various reasons.

My favorite dress was this royal purple one we wore in the beginning of the second season. It was a halter top with gold around the bodice, and had a full skirt. It was a very fun dress. There's a couple that I would have really loved to keep, and that's one of them!

Q: If you were a contestant on Deal or No Deal, what would your strategy be?

Hayley: I would just go with what my gut was telling me at that moment. One's instincts are very rarely wrong!

Q: You've had both starring and supporting roles in movies, cameo appearances in some big-name TV shows, a recurring role on Y&R, and of course Deal or No Deal - how do you manage to juggle all of these jobs and still keep your sanity?

Hayley: Well, I'm an actress, so I act like I'm a little more sane than I really am. However, I recently took up boxing for fitness and soon realized that hitting things also seems to help make everything better.

(laughs)

Q: Tell us about Trailer Park of Terror, and your role in the movie. Was it a fun movie to work on? It looks campy and fun!

Hayley: Trailer Park of Terror was amazing! It was recently accepted into the Slamdance film festival, and I'm looking forward to going to Utah this month to support it. I think it'll get some great distribution because it's very different from anything out there. Also, it already has a built in fan base since it is based on a popular comic of the same name.

My character has some very frightening and gory scenes, which as an actress was an amazing experience because internally I had to go to some dark and scary places. We filmed in an abandoned trailer park in the middle of the night where there was literally nothing - no cell phone reception, no paved roads, no electricity, no light. It was really scary which made it more fun because you really had no idea what could happen at any moment. There was only one working phone, and it was very far from where we were actually shooting. Actually, I never saw one phone the whole time I was there!

I play Amber, the high school queen bee who's not as tough as she'd like others to believe. It was really interesting to explore her various layers and facades and find those insecurities within myself.

Q: What other projects do you have coming up?

Hayley: I just finished working with the exceptionally talented Will Smith and Peter Berg in Sony's new film, Hancock.

All of my scenes were with Will, so that was an experience I will always cherish! I was a nervous wreck waiting for the phone call from my agent that I got the part. I was like out of my mind - I wanted it so bad!

Q: I'll be in trouble if I don't at least mention your hair, which is fabulous! How do you keep it looking so great? Do you have a favorite product you use?

Hayley: Thank you!

My entire life growing up I was teased like crazy for my hair. I would cry every night because my mom wouldn't let me straighten it! Now I thank her that she didn't let me touch it! I would tell you my favorite product, but I'm still waiting for that hair campaign to come through! (hint, hint!)

Q: There have been some really memorable contestants on Deal or No Deal. Do you have any favorites?

Hayley: I love our season 2 contestant Anteia Greer because, "Its all about the fro!" and a recent contestant we had, Larren Colum. They are both great people who I really wish the best for. Anteia and I stay in touch to this very day!

Q: If you could hand-pick a special guest for the show, who would it be and why?

Hayley: I would love to have Pam Grier as a special guest on our show. If you've seen Coffy or Foxy Brown, you know why!

Q: What's the very best part about being a briefcase model on Deal or No Deal?

Hayley: I know it sounds corny but I'm a bit of a dork, so here ya go - I love playing the game. Right in front of my eyes, people's dreams are coming true! I know what it feels like to have a dream, and to stop at nothing to accomplish it, and it really touches me to see people just going for it!

I wouldn't trade the experience of being on this show for anything. We also have a great fan base which is just so awesome! I love reading their letters and communicating in various ways.

Hayley, thanks so much for speaking with us. Best of luck with all of your projects!