Miami Living Magazine

Alicia Silverstone

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Page 84 of 147

MIAMI LIVING 83 PEOPLE For my interview with the exceptionally entertaining Missi Pyle, we met at a small Italian bistro that she frequents near her home in Hollywood. "Do you drink wine? Will you have some wine?" Missi asks as she takes a seat. "I figure, we might as well…," she continues. I completely agree. "But we can talk. Whatever you want, however you want this to go…" her words take on a comedic undertone. This isn't my first time meeting Missi, I met her a week ago when her band Smith & Pyle performed at Los Angeles' hot music venue, The Mint. Shawnee Smith (from the Saw horror flicks and TV series Becker) and Missi rocked out on vocals/guitars, along with a back-up drummer and group of guitar-strummin' guys. Entertaining a packed house with their lively beats, in-your-face lyrics, killer rock star personas, and fabulous side of comic relief, by the show's end I was certainly impressed and definitely a fan. You're probably more familiar with Missi "the actress" playing off-the- wall characters in movies such as: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Bringing Down the House, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory… "I'd audition for a lot of normal characters. I just didn't get them. They'd be like, 'She's good, she's good,' she impersonates a casting director's skepticism. "But if I were to play somebody who is a little strange, immediately they go, 'Oh!' Once you've done it a few times, you're the go-to- person for crazy." Her latest role, playing a real-life rock star, is a dream come true. Missi recalls an incident at a Patty Griffin concert with her friend, Adam. "I just had this break-up and I burst into tears (ahhh— she mimics sobbing) watching Patty and Adam goes, 'What's your dream more than anything in the world?' I was like, 'I want to be a rock star (still sobbing)...' So to actually be up there, and to have people kind of like it, is the most fulfilling thing I've ever done as a performer. It's pretty cool," says Missi thoughtfully. SMITH & PYLE Missi credits band mate, Shawnee, for making her dream a reality. The two met a couple of years ago while filming a pilot. "Shawnee connected with me very quickly on the stage… She kind of got me... I told her I always wanted to be in a band and she's like, 'I've been in three bands. It's not all it's cracked up to be.' I'm like, 'Are you kidding? Just to stand there at the mic would be really fun!'" During a trip to Coachella, Shawnee asked Missi if she would like to record music together in the desert with her friend/music producer, Chris Goss. While there, they created these outrageous characters, which they play on stage, and their own genre of "desert country rock." They wrote some songs, recruited "a band of wandering musicians" and Smith & Pyle was born. Missi has been having a blast, but the life of a rock star is taxing. "I tend to drink a lot while I play, which is fine for one night because you can recover for a couple of days. We were on tour in W. Virginia for a week; I literally thought I was going to die… My bit on tour was, 'I'm drinking for two' (since Shawnee was pregnant while on tour). And Shawnee was like, 'you mean three,' because I drank for the baby. It is a rock show," Missi playfully points out. What can we expect to see from Smith & Pyle? "We'll definitely make another record at some point this year, go on a lil' album release tour… I think it'd be great fun to sell out the Staples Center. Shawnee is always like, 'It's going to be huge! I see it all!' THE ACTRESS It's not that Missi prefers the music biz over acting, to Missi it feels like an acting job. "I spend so much time playing these characters that are kinda funny-looking, creepy or racist. If I could be anybody, this is who I'd be – a drunk who plays music, who's always doing the crotch shot. I come from a southern Baptist family, so I think there's some rebellion. I am in my 30's rebelling as a "So you Wanna be a Rock star…" – Cypress Hill ML interviews actress/singer Missi Pyle Words by Vanessa Pascale

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