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Interview: Stacey Oristano of ‘Friday Night Lights’

posted by Nell Minow

Stacy Oristano provides comic relief as the warm-hearted but slightly trashy Mindy on “Friday Night Lights,” one of the best shows on television. She was nice enough to take the time to answer some questions about the show and the character and about her influences.
How does your experience in Texas and football help you understand the subject of “Friday Night Lights?”
I think it helps me understand the mentality of this town and these people. Football has been such a huge part of my whole life… I’m just keeping the tradition going!FNL_poster.jpg
Why is high school football so important in Texas?
I wish I knew. We don’t question it… we just do it!
How do you bring comedy to a show that is essentially dramatic?
I think that’s the great thing about Mindy! She can find the fun in any situation.
She is inanely funny and I think on a show that tends toward the dramatic it’s a relief sometimes to laugh….
Can you create a comic character who is also believable and sympathetic?
Oh gosh…. I hope I am with Mindy! You tell me….. :)
What were some of the performances you saw when you were growing up that inspired you?
Billy Crudup in “The Pillowman” and Rufus Sewell in “Rock and Roll” changed my life! The most brilliant and inspirational performances I have ever seen.
What’s the best advice you ever got about acting?
Just keep showing up!
What do you do to help you create the character of Mindy? How does the costume help you create the character?
I just go to a tougher, darker side of myself. Ohhhhh the costume….. it helps!!! I could never get away with wearing what Mindy does. It helps to differentiate between me and her.
What inspires you?
Talent!

What makes you laugh?

Everything!!!
What’s on your iPod?
Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Patty Griffin, loads of musicals…..

Who was the best teacher you ever had?

Dr. Alan Nielsen. He was a professor of mine in college that helped me get where I am today!

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