netTVnow: How did you get involved with the series?
Diana Spieller: Kate (Johnson) posted an audition online, so I put myself on tape and sent it to her. It was my first taped audition, actually. So that was fun and weird.
netTVnow: What drew you to the role of Alex?
DS: I was drawn to how empathetic she was. I also had never played a member of the bisexual community before, so I thought that would be interesting. I always like playing characters very different from myself.
netTVnow: Fans quickly fell in love with Alex and Leslex, what was that like for you seeing that kind of reaction?
DS: Super unexpected. People have been so sweet. I still can’t believe what a warm reaction we’ve gotten. Kate and I often talk about how lucky we are to have such good chemistry.
netTVnow: What’s your favorite Leslex moment?
DS: Definitely our scene in “Fish Tacos”. That’s the first time Leslie and Alex have a true moment alone together that doesn’t occur in the hallway.
netTVnow: What was it like to be part of a web series that has such a strong queer focus and portrays such strong allies?
DS: It was wonderful, especially once we started hearing how much people connected to it. I think what’s so great about The Leslie is that it’s not a coming out story, but a story about what happens after you’ve come out. It’s kind of like, “Now what?”
netTVnow: Sometimes Alex came across a bit strong, why do you think that is?
DS: Alex is a flirt! She’s also confident and knows what she wants. I don’t think she expected a rejection in “Violets” at all. I think Alex is usually pretty good at reading people and situations.
netTVnow: Any fun moments to share from set?
DS: There was this one scene in “Of Cats and Women” where Kate and I were once again having a conversation in the hallway. Sometimes we joke that Alex does nothing but pace back and forth around the apartment complex they live in, creepily waiting for Leslie to come out. Anyway, we were having a tough time with it because we wanted it to be awkward, but not too awkward. We decided we’d improv the scene and see what we got. Since Kate and I are good friends, you can imagine how hard it was to keep a straight face during that scene. It’s actually one of the only episodes that has outtakes after it. For me, that was one of my favorite days on set.
netTVnow: Is this your first web series, if so what did you find most surprising about it?
DS: I actually did another web series in college called Phenomelogic. Web series are a lot of fun because they’re often very collaborative and you get to know the cast and crew you’re working with well. The writer is often also the director, so they tend to really know their characters inside and out. Kate is so much fun to work with because she is so on top of it and organized, but she’s also open to discussing the future of our characters.
netTVnow: Where do you hope Alex will be in season two?
DS: I would love to see some of Alex’s gritty flaws. We kind of only get to see the literal girl next door thing from her, and I’d love to see her get a little nasty. Hillary Clinton style.
netTVnow: Any upcoming projects we can share?
DS: I’m actually doing a bit of writing of my own. It’s definitely not finished, but I’m very excited about it. There’s a very feminist undertone to it, which always excites me about a project. Once it’s a little further along, I’ll fill you guys in!