Welcome to Lifetime Online's Real Time Chats! Lifetime Online is pleased to welcome Michele Lee, actress/writer/producer/director of our Lifetime original movie, "Color Me Perfect." moderator: Now let's welcomeour guest this evening, Ms. Michele Lee. Good evening Ms. Lee, thanks for joining us! michele: It's great to be here! moderator: Could you please tell me what inspired the movie "Color Me Perfect" michele: The thing that most inspired the movie was the need for a feel-good movie in a time that sees a lot of prejudice, stereotyping, and all types of discrimination moderator: How did you get started in your career? michele: I started as a singer, singing professionally from the time I was 16, and found myself on Broadway, in a musical when I was 18 years old. moderator: Do you miss singing and dancing? michele: yes. Music is I think at my core. I love all kinds of music, and one day, hopefully, I will be back on the Broadway stage again. I sang with Columbia Records for years, and did nightclubs, as well as the musicals I did on stage. And I love singing in the shower!
moderator: which do you like best - singing, acting, writing, directing,
producing, ....? michele: I'm laughing hard! Let's see: I think, again,
at my core, is a three-year-old Michele Lee Dusick who sang in her parents living room to any relatives who would listen. So I guess performing is still my number one love. moderator: do you feel your movie is more for people with mental incapabilities or those who strive for perfection? I haven't seen it since it's on tomorrow.. can't wait michele: No. I think my movie is simply a statement about accepting all people for who and what they are. michele: That we all are special, each and every one of us. It almost has nothing to do with any one disability at all. Why do we have to change people to make them what we think is acceptable? My character, Dina Blake, was perfectly happy when we first meet her in the beginning of the story. She is perhaps healthier emotionally than any of the other characters as we examine them throughout the film. I think everyone will fall in love with Dina. There is something very special about the way she looks at the world, and an innocence about her that many of us would like
to get back to. This movie, by the way, is a beautiful love story, also.
We see Dina as she "matures" dealing with the complications of
her newfound feminine nature. michele: One more thing: For those who haven't read the synopsis, Dina is transformed by genetic therapy into a woman with a very high IQ living in the complexities of our world. moderator: Next question: Do you feel this movie will give new insight on the issues it presents? michele: I hate to say no! New insight? I'm not sure it's intended to do that. It's merely to illuminate the question of acceptance. moderator: How much are you like your character, Karen, on Knots Landing? michele: We are very much alike. And we have great legs! We are shooting"Knot's Landing: the Miniseries" right now. We started on Saturday.
We are working weekends because Kevin Dobson is doing a series in Toronto so he is flying in to shoot "Knot's" on weekends. moderator:
Is enough being done in hollywood to bring good roles for women? michele: I think they're in a rut. One of the reasons I wanted to do this movie is because it is different than the sameness that we seem to be producing for television today. michele: The movies and the titles of the movies sometimes feel interchangeable. Lifetime has done a wonderful job in attracting different kinds of material. Dina Blake was a joy for me to play as an actress, because I was able to take this character and watch her change physically, from the way she walks, the way she dresses, to even her hairstyle.
I had three wigs and several different makeup designs. The wardrobe was altered my appearance in the initial stages of the movie. I wanted Dina to look more childlike, more round, so that we could almost see her go through puberty. But more important than the physical, I think, is the message I tried to convey with this material. It has to do with dealing with the higher part of ourselves, while at the same time always entertaining. Unfortunately, movies very often these days remind me of the 11:00 news, which can be pretty depressing, if that's the only option you have. I don't mean to sound negative; I don't like to bite the hand that feeds me. moderator: do you think it is similar to the movie Phenomenon with John Travolta?
(minus the physical changes of the character) michele: There are remarkable things being done in Hollywood with extraordinarily talented people. Well, the thing that is perhaps alike is that the character is transformed during the course of the movie. Both start out with an IQ of fill-in-the-blank, and both become a genius. I think that the fun of watching both these movies
is imagining what it would be like to go through the same thing. moderator: where are you from, michele? and where did you train for acting? michele: I was born in Los Angeles, California, although my family came from New York. Actually I was conceived in New York, so I guess that's why I've always bi-coastal! I haven't had much traditional training. I did study, a little, in L.A., and because of my innate musical talent, found myself on a Broadway stage, where I proceeded to learn my craft, watching brilliant
performances from backstage. Unbelievable! Then, of course, as one keeps one's eyes open to all the arts, you become trained through a kind of osmosis, if you will. moderator: We have time for a few more questions. moderator:
michele, you look great - how do you keep in shape, girl? michele: I walk on a treadmill every day if I can. I've been working out with weights a little. And I have to watch my diet. But, and I know it sounds corny, a smile can take years off you. moderator: last question: what hobbies do you do? do you surf the internet? michele: Oh gosh! I'm just getting into the Internet. Although everyone around me has been surfing for a while. The one other issue about the movie is suspense. It is a very suspenseful movie- What will happen to Dina? michele: I'll remind everybody that they should vote tomorrow. It doesn't matter who you're voting for. Just get
out there and do your stuff. Then come home, sit back, turn on Lifetime at 8 pm, and spend a little time with me. I'd love that! moderator: Thanks again Michele, and thanks to our wonderful audience! Just a reminder, a
transcript of this chat will be available within the next day or two in
the Lifetime Chats area of Lifetime Online (http://www.lifetimetv.com
Enjoy the rest of your evening and thanks for joining us! ©1996 Lifetime