Fans of Alexandra Chando from As the World Turns will have the opportunity to watch her play not just one role, but twins — Emma Becker and Sutton Mercer — who were separated at birth, in the new ABC Family series premiering tonight, The Lying Game.
The Lying Game follows Emma as she learns she has an identical twin sister, Sutton. Sutton, unlike Emma, was adopted by wealthy parents and is seemingly living an ideal life. After their initial meeting, Sutton talks Emma into stepping into her life for a few days while she pursues a lead on the mysterious identity of their birth mother. But then she fails to return.
“The sisters are so different,” Chando explains. “Sutton was adopted into a very wealthy, privileged family. She grew up very privileged. And Emma was brought up in the foster care system. So their surroundings have really kind of shaped who they are. It’s just such a fun thing to explore, the two girls. It’s difficult because, you know, acting with myself [on green screen] can tend to be a little challenging.”
Daytime dramas are full of evil twins, but that wasn’t the case for Chando. On As the World Turns she played Maddie Coleman, who moved to Oakdale in 2005 and quickly got caught up in the love lives of several of its residents, including her brother Henry and his ex-wife Katie.
“Daytime certainly primed me for a role like this,” the 25-year-old actress says.”Daytime is very challenging in that you are doing 30 pages a day, but as far as my character goes, you know, I played a teenager, and I was able to experience different trials and tribulations as that character. It really helped me to get me ready for characters like Sutton and Emma.”
Like ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars –one of my guilty pleasures, The Lying Game is based on a series of young adult novels written by Sara Shephard. Chando hadn’t read the novels prior to landing the role, but she has since had the opportunity of lunching with the author to get her take on the characters.
“I had done my own research as far as the characters go, my own development, but it was really enlightening to talk to Sara about it and get her take on it,” Chando says. “Also just reading parts of the book and what she wrote really helped me. It really helped to paint a picture of the life that Emma was living before she took over Sutton’s life.”
The Lying Game, also starring Andy Buckley as Ted, Helen Slater as Kristin, Blair Redford as Ethan, Sharon Pierre-Louis as Nisha, Kirsten Prout as Char, Alice Greczyn as Mads, and Allie Gonino as Laurel, premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on ABC Family.