It’s dream-come-true time for Alicia Lagano. As we speak, the wide-eyed beauty with the long thick waves of unruly brown hair is juggling preparations for her June wedding, shooting a guest spot on “Major Crimes” and promoting “The Client List.” She’s just concluded work on Season 2 of the latter show – Lifetime’s top-rated series – a season in which her part has been expanded.
Fans of “The Client List,” know Alicia as the very material girl Selena — the spike heels and Corvette-loving, attitude-spewing masseuse who, like Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Riley, makes a bundle specializing in “happy endings.” She’s also been Riley’s chief antagonist. But that’s starting to change, as the show team and viewers have cottoned to Selena.
“What I like about her now is, she more human-like. Last season was great. It was fun to play, don’t get me wrong. But in varying degrees, she was kind of a one-note character,” Alicia reflects. “This season, I think they’re really showing why Selena is the way she is. And I think people understand her maybe a little bit more now, they’re maybe with her a little bit more. My character and Riley, we’re a little more — I wouldn’t say ‘friends,’ but in the same boat. I think she’s less judgmental toward me and I’m less judgmental toward her because, hey, we’re doing the same thing here. I’m surviving. She’s surviving.”
In fact, viewers can expect both their characters to show some heretofore unseen vulnerability in coming episodes. Eventually, a time will come when Riley will realize “Selena is the only one she can trust to a point, which we never thought would happen. It’s a really interesting dynamic.”
Their new-found camaraderie has led to a warmer relationship between her and Hewitt off-camera as well. According to Alicia, while they’ve always had a good professional rapport, “I think it makes a difference when characters are becoming friendlier as opposed to me always yelling at her and being mean to her like last season.”
Alicia makes her high esteem for Hewitt clear. “She’s a professional. She’s a great director,” says the actress. “I think some of our better episodes have been when she’s directing. She really knows what she wants, and she’s an actor’s director because she knows both sides. She really gives us our freedom, with guidelines.” On top of that, she points out that Hewitt “keeps her people working” – hiring her group of crew members and actors from one series to the next. Her own first turn with Hewitt was on a “Ghost Whisperer” episode.
Now, Alicia is getting ready to marry her boyfriend of 10 years and former boss, Hector Rendon, the manager at the restaurant where Lagano used to work. They’re having around 100 of their loved ones for a wedding in Agoura, outside Los Angeles, and will follow up with a honeymoon in the Dominican Republic.
Doing the series, “has changed my life. This whole experience has changed my life,” Alicia says. . “You go from cleaning houses and waitressing to being on a series and getting different opportunities. I’ve been doing this for almost 15 years now. I’ve had some good years, but I’ve had some really struggling years, working two or three other jobs to keep going. Sometimes my fiancé and I sit there and stare at each other, and I think we’re still in shock, you know?”