Leah Lail caught the acting bug as a teenager when her father took her to see "A Chorus Line" on Broadway. But when she excelled in German at boarding school, she set her ambitions aside to accept a scholarship in Germany to pursue her other great interest, political science. Her background is a far cry from the world of "V.I.P." A one-hour series blending action and humor amidst the glamour and fast-paced life of Hollywood, Beverly Hills and trendy Los Angeles, "V.I.P." is produced and distributed by Columbia TriStar Television Distribution.
In the series, Pamela Anderson Lee plays Vallery Irons, the unlikely head of an elite professional bodyguard agency. Lail plays Kay Simmons, the communications and systems expert who controls everything from headquarters while the V.I.P. team goes out to protect the rich and famous. "I stay at the hub of things," Lail says. "Kay is very smart but awkward. The others tend to bully her and so she was very happy when Vallery showed up. She sees Vallery as a powerful woman and admires her ability to speak her mind and get results." Kay is a computer expert but Lail is not. "I just got my first computer, a used Mac," she says. "I feel an obligation to try to learn everything Kay already knows."
Born and raised on a horse farm just outside Lexington, Kentucky, the younger of two sisters, Lail grew up as an animal lover and an avid reader. Her father is in construction, repairing roads and bridges, while her mother raises horses. "It was fantastic, the perfect way to grow up," Lail says. "Of course, I couldn't wait to leave."
Despite her passion for theatre, she started college as a political science major and landed a scholarship to study and work for the Social Democratic Party in Bonn, the former West German capital. "I was living there at 18," she says. "I traveled to the former Soviet Union on my spring break. I was fortunate to do a lot of things while young--and realized that I would hate to live my life regretting that I didn't go after the thing I really wanted."
Lail transferred to the University of Southern California where she graduated summa cum laude with degrees in German and theater, with a minor in political science. As she took more acting classes, including a stint at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York, she began to win roles on stage and television. Among her most memorable parts were as Hank Kingsley's wife on HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show," and as a methamphetamine addict who abandoned her children in a burning building on NBC's "ER."