Fans of the ABC Family series Melissa & Joey know Taylor Spreitler as the hipster teen Lennox in the lighthearted sitcom. But in her new Lifetime movie Stalked At 17, the actress takes on a darker, more serious role – that of a young mother trapped in an abusive relationship.
Taylor talked exclusively with Celebrity Teen Scoop about her role in the movie – what it was like getting into the character of the vulnerable yet brave teen Angela, and the lesson she hopes other young girls will take away from the story.
Celebrity Teen Scoop: In your upcoming film, Stalked at 17, you play the role of an abused young mother. What drew you to this role?
Taylor: I love a good challenge so playing such a brave young girl was very appealing.
CTS: What was the most challenging part of playing this character?
Taylor: Physically it was wearing the fake belly and then carrying a baby all day. Babies are heavy! Emotionally it was just getting into the mindset of Angela feeling so betrayed and terrified of someone she once trusted.
CTS: What was it like working with Chuck Hittinger (Pretty Little Liars), Brian Krause (Charmed), Jamie Lunar (All My Children), and Linda Purl (Matlock)?
Taylor: They are all such amazing and talented people! It was an honor to be able to work with all of them.
CTS: What would you like your fans to walk away reflecting on after watching Stalked at 17?
Taylor: Hopefully it will help anyone watching who is in a manipulative or controlling relationship to recognize the signs and end it before it becomes abusive.
CTS: What have you walked away reflecting on after making this movie?
Taylor: I walked away with a lot of compassion and admiration for young girls like Angela who is caught in a horrible situation and is trying to protect her baby. What impact did it have on you? This is my second time playing a young unwed mother in a bad relationship and I have a special place in my heart for them. I can only imagine how overwhelming it must be in real life.
CTS: You’ve worked across the board in modeling, singing, and acting. What excites you the most about each avenue?
Taylor: Modeling is fun because you get to dress up in cool clothes but I just love performing. I love the way a song can make you feel a certain way or how a character can have an impact on you.
CTS: What’s the difference between working on a soap opera like Days of Our Lives vs. working on a sitcom like Melissa & Joey?
Taylor: Soaps are very fast paced, sometimes taping 3 episodes a day! On Melissa & Joey we rehearse one episode all week with taping in front of live audience on Friday night.
CTS: You play niece ‘Lennox’ on this show; what do you love about her personality?
Taylor: I love her passion for causes she believes in. I also like her style.
CTS: Is she anything like you?
Taylor: Lennox is so much like me it’s scary!
CTS: What do you feel your greatest growing experience as an actress has been, so far?
Taylor: It was a challenge transitioning from the drama of a soap to the comedy of a sitcom.
CTS: What keeps you grounded?
Taylor: The people I’m surrounded by, family, friends, my dog. I also have my work family, Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence are two of the most down to earth people I know.
CTS: What are some upcoming projects that you are working on now that we should keep an eye out for?
Taylor: I have a new movie coming out in November called 3 Day Test which is a family friendly comedy about a dad who cuts his family off from the outside world for 3 days. I also just filmed another episode of Law and Order SVU called “Friending Emily”. It’s a very intense episode and should be airing sometime in December.