Liza Weil On Her Unexpected Journey From Stars Hollow To Shondaland

"I'm relieved when I feel like the stuff that I'm doing is important"

Photographed by Ricky Michiels

Liza Weil is nervous when she arrives at The VYNL in Manhattan's East Village. The actress admits that she hasn’t done a photoshoot in a while, but you wouldn’t be able to tell when she’s in modeling mode on set. It would also be surprising for fans of her role on How To Get Away with Murder that Weil's been recovering from a foot injury which has made it almost impossible for her to move from the waist down while filming the show. (For a scene where she needed to get through a doorway, the crew made a dolly to roll her through the door.)

That Weil has such a calm demeanor and is the type of person who handles crises extremely well stands in stark contrast to the characters she's known for playing on television. Perhaps best known for her portrayal of Paris Geller, the fiery nemesis turned BFF of Rory on Gilmore Girls, Weil, in real life, is easy to talk to and in-between soft-spoken sentences, she giggles like a schoolgirl.

“I always wonder if me being on that show is going to diminish it for [my daughter],” she says with a laugh. “I certainly hope not.”

Weil grew up in a creative household with parents who dabbled in regional theaters and went on to join a comedy troupe. Their involvement with the Madhouse Company of London moved Weil overseas and away from the countryside of Landsdale, Pennsylvania, where she spent her early childhood. Weil describes her upbringing as a bohemian lifestyle full of constant traveling and performing. Being surrounded by so many artistic and eccentric people certainly made an impression on her at a young age.

“It immediately made me want to have that life,” she says. “So I knew very, very early on that that was something that I wanted to pursue. I was very lucky to be born into a family that supported that and gave me a very strong work ethic surrounding it. I'm very grateful to them.”

Photographed by Ricky Michiels

Styled by Carrie Weider

Hair by Sirsa Ponciano

Makeup by Akiko Owada

Nails by Yuko Wada