Philadelphia (CW Philly) — Shiri Appleby portrayed Liz Parker, the lead in the original Roswell, which aired from 1999 until 2002. And now, nearly 20 years since the WB series ended, she is directing an episode of the Roswell reboot. Entertainment Tonight was on set for Appleby’s directorial debut, where she reminisced on her days as Liz and shared her thoughts on the remake.
“It [Roswell] was my first experience. It was like falling in love for the first time, so I really learned everything through the show,” Appleby revealed.
Appleby recalled her initial reaction when she heard a reboot was in the works and admitted the news was a “little shocking.”
“When you first hear they’re doing it, it’s almost a little shocking… then it’s sort of flattering,” she said. “This makes sense, they’re definitely modernizing it,” she added.
Actress Jeanine Mason is the remake’s leading lady, Liz Ortecho, and her character has certainly been modernized from the original Liz.
“Her version of Liz is 10 years older than my version of Liz. So my Liz was very naive and very vulnerable and she’s very much a strong woman that knows what she wants, who happens to be in a similar situation. She’s really created her own character and her own Liz,” Appleby explained.
“She [Liz Ortecho] is Mexican- American. She is a provider and a caretaker for her family and her dad is undocumented… Life is much more complicated, life has been hard on them,” Mason added.
Though Appleby enjoyed the chapter of her life playing Liz Parker, she explained how being in the director’s chair for Roswell, New Mexico has been a “full circle” experience.
“I’m giving Jeanine direction and saying like, ‘My Liz would do this, but how would your Liz ask Max to dance?’ So it’s pretty wonderful to come back and sort of be like, ‘Wow!’ Twenty years later, I’m directing. I’ve really grown a lot in this business and thankfully I am in a time where women are getting a lot of opportunity and I’m able to still be standing here and use all of my experience to grow,” she said.
Mason is grateful for the original castmates’ immense support of the reboot.
“She [Appleby] just emailed me and was just lovely and supportive and was just saying, ‘If there was anything in any way I can be helpful, please let me know.’ And [actor] Jason Behr, who was the OG Max [Evans on Roswell], he as well has just been really lovely and has said, ‘I am so excited for you guys!’” Mason said. “It’s just like a special brand of delicious when alien-loving people [come together,]. It’s kind of kitschy – the romance, the murder mystery, the sci-fi world. It’s a kind of fandom that feels like a tiny club and the two of them have just been, like, shepherding us in. It’s been wonderful,” she continued.
In addition to a new Liz, the reboot’s storyline has been updated to reflect present-day issues.
“We’re trying to honor the living situation and the life circumstances of people in this part of the world. There are political undertones in the show… Our show is about otherness. It’s about feeling alien – and there are so many versions of that,” Mason said.
Roswell, New Mexico airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on The CW Philly.
Click here to watch the interview.