Arriane gained numerous fans with her appearance on ABC’s hit-drama series, “Grey’s Anatomy,” and her acclaimed one-woman show “Big, Blonde & Beautiful.” Now, the 6-foot tall, blonde bombshell, will give audiences a chance to see her in a role completely opposite of her natural persona beginning with the season premiere tonight.
We recently caught up with Arriane to chat about her new role on “Justified” and her transformation for it.
Can you tell us a bit about your role in the new season of “Justified”?
ARRIANE: My character is Officer Susan Crane–she is a guard in the Harlan County Jail where Ava is living now after last season. Officer Crane is no-nonsense, tough and takes care of business. She is an important part of life in prison for Ava, but I can’t give too much away
Your character has been described as “burly” but in real life that’s not exactly how you would be described. So, what did it take for you to find your “burly” side?
ARRIANE: It’s so funny, because anyone who knows me would describe me as the opposite of “burly.” I am way more “girly” than “burly”. For the audition, I just de-glammed myself…I wore a sleek ponytail, no makeup and a denim shirt and pants. And I have actually done volunteer work in a maximum security women’s prison, so I understand the somberness and seriousness of the circumstances. I just remembered what it is really like in prison and was able to bring that toughness into the character.
My wardrobe was a typical jail guard outfit with polyester black pants, button down shirt, police belt and thick, rugged boots, so once I was in my wardrobe for the scenes, it was easy to feel super rough and burly.
In one of the episodes, I have a really intense scene that I can’t say much about, but I had to be really physical and mean. For that, I thought of someone I was really mad at, and that worked to get me all riled up!
What’s it like working with Walton Goggins and Joelle Carter? They have such amazing chemistry — is that hard to work opposite of or does that make it easier?
ARRIANE: Walton and Joelle are so cool- they made it so easy to work with them. They both say so much with their eyes and looks, it made it so easy to respond to them in our scenes. They are very sexy together, which made it even more fun for my character to interact with them. Let’s just say my character is not BFF with either of them, and in one scene I have to give Joelle an evil look. She kept telling me how intense and scary I was looking at her!
Any fun or crazy stories from the set you can share with us?
ARRIANE: It was very fun to be dressed like an actual jail guard–I had a super thick belt with all the police accessories, including an authentic baton which was so heavy. They had to show me how to use the baton and it wasn’t easy! Good thing I’m not a real officer.
They modeled the Harlan County Jail after a real jail, so it felt authentic when filming the different episodes. It was so gray, bleak, and somber. We shot one of the episodes at Disneyland Ranch for a outdoor night shoot, and were wearing short sleeve shirts while it was freezing outside! They would yell “CUT” and we would throw on our down jackets!
The show has a serious cult-like fan following. Does that play a factor in your performance while you’re working or is that not something you even consider?
ARRIANE: When we are filming, there are lights, cameras and about 40 crew members around, and I am only focusing on the other actors and circumstances in the scene. It all happens so fast once filming begins that I have to just stay present to the moment. I am a big fan of the show and love the characters. You will see me in episodes with some other really awesome Guest Stars as well that are great additions to the show. The cult-like following doesn’t affect me on set but is amazing to see how excited people are when they find out I am on the show!!
And finally, how can fans keep up with your career?
ARRIANE: My fans can find me on Facebook.com/ArrianeAlexander
Thanks, Arriane…we’ll be watching!