In the Mix: Vanessa Lengies and Craig Frank Talk MIXOLOGY, GLEE and THE LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES

mixologyBy: Victoria Nelli

One night, ten single strangers at a bar. A lot can happen! A couple of weeks ago ABC premiered its spring breakout hit, MIXOLOGY. I spoke with two of its stars, Vanessa Lengies who plays the not so lucky in love bartender, Kacey and Craig Frank who plays the lovable good guy, Cal. I spoke with them about their characters chemistry, what we can expect in tonight’s episode, and some fan questions about GLEE and THE LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES.

The setup of the show is very different than most shows, focusing on specific characters in each episode, can you tell us a little bit about that?
Vanessa: Each episode goes into the back-story of two people at the bar and it shows the audience what happened to them, where they are from.
Craig: How they got to this point.
Vanessa: And it kind of let’s some people off the hook for their bad behavior. Which I think is an endearing quality about the show.

How do both of your characters, Cal and Kacey interact in this week’s episode?
Vanessa: My character and Craig’s character are the naïve optimists. They are hopeless romantics, usually they say opposites attract but in this case you have two extremely positive, extremely healthy fit people. It makes for a really great love story.

Do you think Kacey’s somewhat of a relationship with Dominic (Adam Canto) will interfere with that?
Vanessa: Kacey’s relationship with Dominic was actually quite one-sided, it was like a romantic comedy, that foreign love and passion and Dominic didn’t even know her name. So that’s quite sad, I think what Kacey sees in Cal is what she’s been hoping for this whole time, which is to find someone that is nice, sweet, and loveable. It’s kind of cute and annoying when they meet. It is very different from her relationship with Dominic; I can’t tell you if it interferes but wink wink!
Craig: Stop trying to get these spoilers! (Laughs)

Unfortunately, I have another question about a spoiler! Craig, we’ve seen your character be the perfect wingman so far this season, will he let himself fall for Kacey or will he just worry about his friends finding happiness?
Craig: Oh my goodness! You know I can’t answer these questions! (Laughs)
Vanessa: You have to!
Craig: I will say this; Cal will always do what he feels right for himself, his friends, and anyone he interacts with.
Vanessa: He’s a nice guy. And sometimes it is bro’s before hoes.
Craig: Within reason!

What drew you both to the show was there anything about the script that stood out to you or the cast or anything like that?
Craig: One thing that really stood out to me was the idea that we had ten actors, ten leads, and we all got along. Which to me is a complete anomaly because you just can’t get ten office employees and expect them all to get along, and we continue to text each other and email each other and we hang out all the time. We love each other; it’s the weirdest thing, especially actors being the most vain people on the planet. (Laughs) That always stood out to me as the most exiting thing about working on the show.
Vanessa: Absolutely! I remember reading this particular episode (tonight’s episode) and when I saw the flame starting between my character and Craig’s character my heart skipped a beat because I love Craig so much. We are hosting a screening party with the cast and we’ll all be there together, and Craig and I have a lot in common we’re actually really good friends. So I was really happy when I read that our characters were starting to have feelings for one another.

I know you can’t tell us too much about what happens to your characters tomorrow but what can you tell us?
Vanessa: I can tell you that everybody’s been asking me who plays Kacey young for my flashback and I have to embarrassingly admit that I play Kacey young. I’m probably most excited to see my flashback cause I’m in braces and pigtails and super fake tanned up and I’m cheerleading. I’m really looking forward to it!
Craig: I can tell you that in tomorrow’s episode there will be a change of pace. And it’s good; it’s a good change of pace.

So I actually have two fan questions, one for each of you. Vanessa are you still keeping up with GLEE? What do you think of the recent episodes and new cast members?
Vanessa: I’m going tonight to the GLEE 100th episode party, so I’m always in support of GLEE. I love that show and what it’s done for not only everyone that’s watched it but also for me. And how it’s made me believe in myself more and I think that’s what the show does for everyone. I’m always going to support that show and of course I’m excited to see my friends tonight for the 100th episode.

And for Craig, how was the whole LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES experience for you?
Craig: The whole LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES experience for me was super weird. One of the co creators, Bernie Su, I lived with him my first four months that moved to L.A. eight years ago. I slept behind his couch on an air mattress in the living room, and he brought me in. He and I had done a bunch of projects together; little short film festivals and we won awards and stuff. So for the character Fitz he called me one day and asked me to read for it, which of course I did and I booked the role. But I had no idea how successful the show had been up to that point and after having had done it I ran into him and he goes “they love you.” And I’m thinking a few fans but then he opened up the computer and showed me a Tumblr page and it was just pages and pages of postings and they had found these very old photos of me and videos and they had me these GIFs. I was actually in Orlando one year and someone came up to me and said “sorry, this is weird but are you Fitz from Lizzie Bennet Diaries?” and that to me just kind of blew my mind because that was the thing I was most famous for and I’ve done a million national commercials and I’ve been on TV shows and stuff, but it was just so funny that, that was the thing that everyone recognized me for. To this day I’ll have girls run up to me and go “OH MY GOD ARE YOU FITZ?” and I’ll scream “AHHH YES I AM!” (Laughs)

You can watch MIXOLOGY tonight at 9:30 on ABC. And you follow Vanessa on twitter at @littlelengies and Craig at @SirCraigFrank For more information on MIXOLOGY you can visit ABC.com

Victoria Nelli loves TV so much that she is paying $30,000 a year to learn about it in College. When she’s not learning about TV she enjoys writing about her favorite shows, interviewing anyone in the industry that will let her, and ranting about how underrated Parks and Recreation is. She is very much aware of her Netflix addiction, and no she will not be seeking help anytime soon. You can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaNelli