An Interview with Stacey Oristano (Mindy, 'Friday Night Lights')

Stacey Oristano
Photo Credit: Mark Oristano Photography
Imagine growing up with athletes the likes of Troy Aikman, Emmett Smith and Michael Irvin. Such is the life for star Stacey Oristano. Growing up in Dallas, Stacey knew early on that acting was the path she wanted to follow and once she hit that stage, she just kept going and hasn't stopped since.

I had the opportunity to chat with this incredibly sweet actress about her role on Friday Night Lights, upcoming projects and her favorite TV shows....


Q: You've been acting since you were very young, is there any other career you might have pursued if the acting had not worked out?

Stacey:
"I really wanted to join the coast guard for a long time, but I sprained my ankle and couldn't get into the Coast Guard Academy. Photojournalism was the thing I had planned on majoring in when I was in college. I went to a conservatory, so the only thing I could study was theater."

Q: Who was the first celebrity you met?

Stacey:
"My dad is a sports announcer for the Dallas Cowboys, so I grew up with a bunch of football players like Troy Aikman, Dion Sanders and Michael Irvin, so when I meet other celebrities now, I just know they're real people."

Q: What was the best acting advice you've been given?

Stacey:
"The thing that stuck with me the most is to keep showing up. Things can get really tough, but you have to keep showing up to auditions and to classes.
You have to keep doing those things that you need to do if it's what you're passionate about."

Q: How did the role of Mindy on come to you?

Stacey:
"I was in New York at the time and I had heard about the show because Derek Phillips, who plays my fiancée Billy Riggins, and I were friends for a long time before he was cast on the show.
He told me about the role, and my agent had called to tell me about a role they were casting [on the show]. I read the breakdown and it was to play Adrianne Palicki's sister, who is a stripper and I was like whatever, this is so not me. I was in town, so I went to read for it. They called me a week later and told me I got the part and I was like really, you know this is Stacey, right? It was very surreal."

Q: Did you do anything special to prepare for the role?

Stacey:
"No, I got the call so quickly, I had to be on set 3 or 4 days after I got the call. I had some guy friends who were trying to be fake helpful and offered to take me to a strip club."

Q: Do you think the show will focus on your family a little more next season?

Stacey:
"I have no idea. I don't even know if Derek and I are coming back, we haven't gotten any word yet. I can't imagine not being down there, it's my second home."

Q: Was it difficult to fit in with an already established cast?

Stacey:
"I went in on episode 7 of the first season, so my fifth day of work was when the pilot was going to be seen on NBC. We had a big watching party with the entire cast and I think because I was a part of that experience, it included me in the effect of it all."

Q: Do you hang out with any of the cast members off set?

Stacey:
"All the time!
We're like a gigantic family. I was out with Scott Porter last night and we were singing karaoke. Adrianne Palicki was there too, she's one of my closest friends in the world."

Q: What are your favorite TV shows?

Stacey:
"I call it work study, but the fact of the matter is -- I watch so much TV, it's not even funny. I have to tell myself that I'm studying because otherwise, I'm a sad, sad girl. I'm still addicted to The West Wing and they show reruns on Bravo, so I have them all saved on my Tivo. I'm addicted to , , anything that is on HBO or Showtime and I think is great."

Q: Do you have any projects in the works?

Stacey:
"I filmed an episode of , which I think airs on April 30 and I play a killer. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun I had, I was so sad to leave that set."

Q: Anything to say to the fans?

Stacey:
"To the die hard fans of , I cannot thank you enough, you're the reason we've stayed on as long as we have and the reason we just got two more seasons."