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TAYLOR SPREITLER BRINGS COMEDY BACK TO ABC FAMILY IN "MELISSA & JOEY"!

TAYLOR SPREITLER BRINGS COMEDY TO ABC FAMILY WITH THE NETWORK'S FIRST ORIGINAL SITCOM "MELISSA & JOEY"!

Born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Taylor Spreitler got her first taste of the entertainment industry at the ripe age of six when she won a statewide talent and beauty contest. Shortly thereafter, Taylor relocated to New York City where she began booking many print ad campaigns for companies like Saks 5th Avenue Macy’s, Lands End and Avon. 

After a few summers worth of modeling, Taylor expressed a desire to give acting a try and booked her first commercial for Motrin.  In 2009, Taylor began her journey portraying Mia McCormick, a troubled teen mom seeking the right home for her precious baby, on the long-running daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives.  After nearly two years on the popular soap opera, Taylor parted ways with Mia and began searching for her next venture in Hollywood. 

Joining a network that is known for producing some of our favorite teen dramas, Taylor is happy to bring a little laughter to ABC Family with her hit sitcom Melissa & Joey, starring opposite Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence.   The series made it's television debut in August 2010 and has become the #1 comedy series on the network drawing in an average of 20 million viewers during the first half of it's first season.

We recently sat down with Taylor Spreitler to discuss the success of the series, working with the cast and making people laugh! 

TAYLOR SPREITLER BRINGS COMEDY BACK TO ABC FAMILY IN "MELISSA & JOEY"!
PHOTO CREDIT: ABC FAMILY

First, I wanted to congratulate you on the success that the series has receivedreceived thus far.

Thank you!

What was your immediate reaction when you found out that Melissa & Joey was picked up for a second season?

I was relieved and very excited.

Did you celebrate with the cast?

No, none of us were actually in L.A - Melissa was in Connecticut, I am was in Mississippi, Joey was in Hawaii and Nick was in Washington - so we actually haven't seen each other since we got picked up.

Your character Lennox has changed since we were first introduced to her in the pilot episode.  Do you feel that being around her Aunt Mel has brought out Lennox's confidence?

I think so. I think she has become more comfortable where she is and her Aunt has kind of helped her get through everything she has had to go through.  Now she has friends at her school and I think that definitely helps.  We have episodes where she is going to school dances, she has love interests and all of that, which she never had last year.  I definitely think she has grown up a lot. 

TAYLOR SPREITLER BRINGS COMEDY BACK TO ABC FAMILY IN "MELISSA & JOEY"!
PHOTO CREDIT: ABC FAMILY

What is your favorite quality in Lennox?

I really like how different she is.  She stands up for herself and she doesn't really let people tell her what to do with her life. And that's cool because most kids, when they move into a new town or something like that, they can be persuaded into doing things.  She was never like that.  Even in the episode we saw last night, she didn't like the fact that they were trying to make her wear real fur and she got out of it.  That was pretty cool.  I like that about her.

In last night's episode, there was a really funny scene where Mel was throwing candy at the models.  How do you keep your composure through such comedic scenes like that one, especially when you are filming in front of a live audience?

It was really hard for me at first to get used to doing things like that.  But a lot of the time, if I have trouble with something I'll talk to Melissa about it or our producers.  Everybody is really great on our set and it's very open, you can ask questions and stuff like that.  When we were throwing candy at the models I was just following Melissa's lead.  That was a really fun episode for us to film.

TAYLOR SPREITLER BRINGS COMEDY BACK TO ABC FAMILY IN "MELISSA & JOEY"!
PHOTO CREDIT: ABC FAMILY

What was it like working with Vivica A. Fox?

It was cool.  You know, I always heard stories about Vivica A. Fox and I was kind of afraid to meet her.  I thought she was going to be very intimidating, you know, she's done a lot.  Honestly, I thought she was going to be kind of a diva, but she wasn't at all - she was really down to earth.  I was in school on set and I was going to have to wait on her to finish a fitting one day so I could go to a fitting and go back to school, and it was going to be another three hours before I got off work.  She was like "Oh, no I don't care.  We can do our fitting at the same time."  So we went and did our fitting together and talked the whole time.  She was really, really cool.

How does the family dynamic on Melissa & Joey compare to your own family in real life?

Melissa is kind of like my sister on set and I have my sister in real life.  They get along with each other, it's really cool.  It's kind of a lot a like, but my family is not as weird - I don't have a nanny. [Laughs]  I guess it's kind of the same, with the closeness anyway.

TAYLOR SPREITLER BRINGS COMEDY BACK TO ABC FAMILY IN "MELISSA & JOEY"!
PHOTO CREDIT: ABC FAMILY

ABC Family is known for their dramatic series like Pretty Little Liars, Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Vampire Diaries, etc.   How does it feel to be leading the new Comedy Wednesday on the network with Melissa & Joey?

I love doing comedy.  I love doing drama too, that's what I've done.  It's cool to be the different part of the network now - we were the first original comedy series that they ever had.  That was pretty cool because usually the only comedies that play on ABC Family are reruns of My Wife And Kids or 8 Simple Rules and stuff like that.  I think we kind of got away with a little bit because we were the first.  But then at the same time there is a lot of pressure because we are not Pretty Little Liars and we're not Secret Life of the American Teenager.  You know, we're not anything like these shows that ABC Family is known for, so it was a little scary at first.  But I think everybody has liked it so far and we've had great success with it so I am excited.

Melissa & Joey has a lot of the same qualities that remind me of several popular 90's sitcoms, which seems to be resurfacing again circa 2011.

They definitely are, which is great.  My dream as a little kid was that I wanted to be on Full House.  I always wanted to be on a 90's sitcom and then sitcoms kind of changed for a while.  Now I am working with two of the biggest stars of the 90's on a sitcom that is kind of bringing back that whole T.G.I.F. thing.   It's been great.

TAYLOR SPREITLER BRINGS COMEDY BACK TO ABC FAMILY IN "MELISSA & JOEY"!
PHOTO CREDIT: ABC FAMILY

Lennox is your average teenager, she makes mistakes and when she tries to overcome them it usually blows up forcing her to get help or seek guidance from those around her.  Can you relate to some of the situations Lennox has been in and how do you overcome the mistakes that happen in everyday life?

I have actually went through a lot of the same things that Lennox went through, even with the modeling stuff and a lot of the things we have coming up.  There's pressure from kids in school - I never really went to (public) school but I did have to move to a new town and it was kind of rough for me at first.  And I think that is one of the things that makes it easier for me to play Lennox because I can relate to her. 

I have such an amazing family and such an amazing team that work around me that I never really have to go through things by myself.  I get advice from everyone - I talk to my mom about things, or my dad or my sister, and I go to work and I talk to Melissa about it or Joey or Nick.  Everybody has a different view on things so I think that is definitely how I get through things.  And I have people who understand that even though I am in an industry where I have to be an adult, the people around me realize that I am still a kid and I am still going to make mistakes. And much like Lennox, people are going to make mistakes. I think it helps with the people that I surround myself with.

You are turning eighteen in a couple of months, are you excited or nervous about officially becoming an adult?

You know, I wanted to be sixteen or the rest of my life because that was my year.  I was nervous to turn seventeen, and now with eighteen I'm like, "Oh, wow!  Eighteen?"  [Laughs]  I'm nervous and excited at the same time.  I don't have my license yet, and I always said that I was going get it when I am eighteen because it was so far away.  Now it's like a couple months away and I am so not ready to get behind the wheel of a car yet.  That's a little scary. 

TAYLOR SPREITLER BRINGS COMEDY BACK TO ABC FAMILY IN "MELISSA & JOEY"!

Joey Lawrence is making a comeback with his music career.  Have you heard his new music and his new single "Give It To Ya"?

Yes, I have heard it.  I've heard most of his album actually, because when we were on set he would go record stuff and come back.  When he pulled up every morning - his parking spot was right outside my dressing room - I could hear him listening to his songs in the car before he went on set.  And then he would play some of his songs for me and stuff, so I've heard it.  I like it, you know it's fun.  It's not exactly the type of music that I listen to, it's a little more pop/dance for my taste.  But Joey knows what he's doing.  He's a performer, so when you listen to it you just want to watch him do his thin.  It's very him.

The show has gained a tremendous amount of success over the year!  Have you had any memorable fan encounters with Melissa & Joey fans?

What's funny is I don't get recognized from Melissa & Joey that much.  On the show I have brown hair and when we're not filming I go back to blonde, so a lot of people don't recognize me.  I get recognized from Days of Our Lives still, especially when I am back home.  I think the coolest thing for us is that after our show we get to meet people - some of our audience will come down and take pictures with us and stuff like that.  It's kind of cool when you go from the first episode where we did our first live audience and nobody really knew who we were, except for Melissa and Joey, and then to see how it progresses and you have fans.  It's been cool to see it change and see us have more fans, and a younger audience.  

TAYLOR SPREITLER BRINGS COMEDY BACK TO ABC FAMILY IN "MELISSA & JOEY"!
PHOTO CREDIT: ABC FAKMILY

In the episode "Joey vs The Reunion," Melissa and Joey left the kids at home alone and they decided to throw a party but Lennox texted the wrong time and nobody showed up.  Have you ever had any embarrassing incidents where you texted the wrong person or tweeted something you didn't mean to?

I do that all the time.  [Laughs]  I am really bad at my phone correcting things.  I type whatever, send it and then I look up and I'm like, "Oh, wow that totally made no sense!"  I leave out words all the time.  With text messages you can be like, "Oh, sorry I sent the wrong thing."  But when you Tweet something you're like, "Oh, wow that just went out to all these people and now I have to delete it or something."  I have an iPhone so autocorrect really screws me over most of the time. [Laughs] 

It seems the iPhone will change just about anything!

Yes, it does.  I was texting one of my friends and her phone kept sending some arrow thing instead of a word and I was like, "Why does your phone keep doing that?" And now my phone started doing that every time I try to text on it.

Melissa & Joey released the first half of the first season on DVD earlier this year.  What was it like picking up the DVD set and actually holding it in your hand for the first time?

It was cool going to Walmart and seeing it.  I actually haven't watched it yet because they gave us a copy and I didn't want to open that copy, then I bought my dad a copy.  We also got the gag real right after that - the one that's not featured on the DVD, the one that has things that people probably shouldn't see [Laughs] - and we've watched that a lot in my house.   It's pretty funny.   It feels good to be a part of something that is recognized more, because I'm not used to that, you know?  I was on a soap opera for two years, so I'm not used to being on a DVD or having posters everywhere - there were thirty of us and we filmed every day.  It was totally different.

 Tune into ABC Family every Wednesday to catch new episodes of Melissa & Joey!


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Comment by breyjb1 on 2011-08-27 14:23:15
hi

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JUNE 6-9, 2013


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