Leisha Hailey

Leisha Hailey


7/11/1971, Okinawa, Japan

Birth Name

Leisha Gardner Hailey


  • Leisha Hailey appears in the final seaso...
  • Leisha Hailey as Alice
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Leisha Hailey (born July 11, 1971) is a musician and actress. She was born in Okinawa, Japan and grew up in Bellevue, Nebraska. She came out as a lesbian as a teenager and moved to New York City where she graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Leisha Hailey: I figure I'll soak up the city life for as long as I can take it, and then one day disappear into the forest.

    • Leisha Hailey: (on who'd be her dinner guest at the Ritz) Beth Ditto. I have a feeling we'd have a lot to talk about.

    • Leisha Hailey: (on the best thing she ever bought) 1971 Honda 100 motorcycle. It was the first bike I ever bought myself. It's sparkly candy red with a white stripe. It's the perfect tiny size for me. I love driving around L.A. on a Sunday. Mulholland Drive, friend hopping, going to see a movie. It's dreamy.

    • Leisha Hailey: I like to run outdoors. It's the only thing that actually clears my head and allows me to create.

    • Leisha Hailey: [Being openly gay] has been nothing but a positive effect on my life. I've never hidden and have been rewarded for that, both personally and professionally. Nothing bad has come my way, only positive opportunities and friends and the good things that go along with that.

    • Leisha Hailey: It was definitely my goal to study and get good at acting. Music has been a part of my whole life but nothing I intended on making a career. It was shocking to miss it during the five-year break [between Gush and Uh Huh Her]. I never planned on going back - or anticipated the emptiness I would feel when it wasn't around.

    • Leisha Hailey: [Uh Huh Her] is definitely something I'm ready to see take off and commit to full-time. But I'm not putting pressure on myself to decide on what I have to be in life. Everyone wants me categorized. People should be allowed to do it all.

    • Leisha Hailey: I'm making myself tired. It's not the work. It's the not being home. The big priority in my life is to eventually put all the situations in my life in L.A. somehow. I have responsibilities and a personal and a home life.

    • Leisha Hailey: I really look at my old band [The Murmurs] with love, because it came from a true place. I was with my best friend and we were really young, and sure, we were naïve. It was that journey of growing up and not being scared at all about what you did or said, and I miss that about myself because I think everything I do now is so thought-out. I just miss that waiting to sort of trip and fall. Yeah sure, it's embarrassing, but at the same time it's what life is all about.

    • Leisha Hailey: I used to personally dread writing lyrics. Because I never really understood how to do it. And for some reason, in this band [Uh Huh Her] I'm enjoying it and actually looking forward to that part of it. And [...] it's kind of fun to write something that you know people will think one thing about, that you have a whole different meaning behind.

    • Leisha: I just lived my life and our band slowly became successful. I never would have wanted to go back in the closet, but it was funny to get put into this 'out lesbian' role. I never thought 'I'm going to go out there and out myself'. I just was who I was and people got to know me.

    • Leisha: The more people are out the easier it is for everyone else. I was never in the closet and once I told my parents about it, and they were amazing, I never had anyone to keep it from.

    • Leisha: (on The L Word) It has never been done before so I was actually surprised at how mainstream it's become.

    • Leisha: (on the universal appeal of The L Word) I guess it's because the characters are good and I think if you have good characters on a show the whole sexuality thing is kind of nonexistent. The audience just gets interested in the people. But there's moments, for sure, where you're like, okay, this is a lesbian show, obviously.

    • Leisha: (on the similarities between her and her character on The L Word) I'm not so quick-witted. I wish I was. We're pretty different and I kind of live through her in a way, always having a witty thing to say.

    • Leisha: (on the pressure put on The L Word) I don't think it's fair to have the weight and this huge responsibility on the show's back. It's the first time it's ever happened, there's only eight characters, and there's just no way we could represent every kind of lesbian. It's impossible. And I do think there's been too much pressure put on the show to do that.

    • Leisha: (on her relationships being picked apart by the media) It's weird, but it doesn't really happen any more.

    • Leisha: There's a couple of lesbian things in the States that when you go to them you can't believe they exist. The Michigan Women's Festival is like that. It's so much fun, it's like 10,000 women taking over the woods. You pitch your tent, and it's a little town. You have coffee shops, meetings about whatever thing you're interested in; there's a baby dyke camp, an S and M camp, I saw it!

    • Leisha: It's pretty awesome for me. I'm on a steady series that's doing really well, and it's about something that's really personal as well. It's probably one of the most important things I've ever done.

    • Leisha: (on playing a bisexual character on The L Word) I actually had to get used to doing it [on the show] with boys, which is interesting for me. I've learned a lot about [being bisexual]. It's not something that happens to you on the way from being straight to gay, or anything you dabble in. There are very real bisexuals in the world, and that's fun to explore and portray. I hope I'm doing it correctly.

    • Leisha: It's important for the writers to catch themselves and say 'are we crossing the line here?' But then I think 'it's a TV show, it's for entertainment and if people are a little overboard then that's what TV is all about'. We're supposed to yell at the TV, that's what makes it fun. If I were a viewer, I'd be yelling sometimes as well.

    • Leisha Hailey: (on what lesbians tell her about The L Word) They say that they really like what we're doing on the show and really enjoying it and loving it.

    • Leisha: (on her appearance on "The Puppy Episode")Yeah, I was an extra in the coffee shop! [Laughs.] There was room on this seat, so I just sat there. It was funny.

    • Leisha: I'm a serial monogamist.

    • Leisha: There's a bar called "The Revolver" in L.A. and they show ["The L Word"] on the big screen, and sometimes we all [fellow cast members] meet up and watch it there. One of my favorite things is to see other people watch it. It's so much fun getting to watch their reactions to it - it's almost like watching theater. And sometimes, one of us will host a house party and we'll all head over there to watch it.

    • Leisha: I was in New York, and straight women kept stopping me and saying, "God, I really love your show," which is great. I think that if any girl ever thought about crossing over at one point in her life, then she's watching the show.

    • Leisha: It was just amazing to finally see yourself represented. That's why I carry so much pride about being on this show. I'm excited to be a part of it because I know how big it was for me.

    • Leisha: (on gay bands) I think it's just ... amazing. I remember meeting the Butchies when they were just starting at the Michigan Women's Festival, and it was so great to see them. They said that they looked up to us, which was really nice. And now, I see them on the covers of gay magazines, and I love it. That's something that really makes me happy.

    • Leisha: (on other gay actors appearing on The L Word) I think it's good for the show. It makes it fun. And it's not like before I ever felt like an outcast or anything like that.

    • Leisha: (on filming Season 3 of "The L Word")I really feel like we got back to the first year feeling this year. Last year there was so much pressure. Because we had done so well the first year, we came back full of anxiety. Everyone was trying to top it somehow, or worried about topping it. It was odd. But this year we came back and were ourselves again and the energy was great. It feels like a really tightly run ship.

    • Leisha: (on her favourite film) "Desert Hearts" is so great, just because I think it's the one we all [most lesbians] saw. I remember watching it with my friend Heather, and we were both like screaming because we couldn't believe it. It was so exciting to see two women do that!

    • Leisha: My fear - and what I've read and heard - is that lesbians feel like [The L Word cast] all have long hair and everyone is too pretty. There's so much pressure on this one show, the first of its kind, to represent every dyke or lesbian in the world. But [lesbian viewers] are not going to be disappointed, because by the end of the first season [there are] a lot of diverse characters.

    • Leisha: (on Season 3 of The L Word) It's a great year. I feel really lucky because there's so much to play with. I go from one end of the spectrum to the other, which is really fun for me. It's rare that you see people getting dumped and turning psychotic. And as much as it looks crazy, I've seen people react in those ways.

    • Leisha: (on how the relationships portrayed in The L Word mirror those in real life) I think they touch on a lot of things. I guess for some reason I really relate to Bette and Tina. Maybe because they're a domestic couple…

    • Leisha: (on her character on The L Word) I think when characters are perfect it's hard to believe because none of us in life are really like that. Alice is not hiding anything, she comes clean about who she is. She's a good friend to the other characters, sort of a hub, who the other characters come to. And I think people can see their friends in her.

    • Leisha Hailey: (on why The L Word has achieved crossover status by focusing less on 'lesbian issues' per se) People have this perception of a gay lifestyle - that it's so different, when really it's exactly the same. Problems at work. Problems at home. Jealousy. It runs the gamut. But I think maybe that's why this show is a hit: people identify with it regardless.

    • Leisha: (on how she's grown closer to her character on The L Word) Not the crazy stuff, but maybe the longer you play a character you sink into it, or the more of yourself comes in. I'm not sure. It definitely feels like I relate a lot more now.

    • Leisha: (on who she enjoyed filming with most) Erin [Daniels]! For sure. The vampire was great, but because Erin and I are so close it made it fun to go into work every day.

    • Leisha: I wanted to do something important, and I feel like being on the first lesbian series on TV is big. I would have been kicking myself if I wasn't a part of it.

    • Leisha: (on her favourite bar in Vancouver) We go to this place all the time called Rodney's. It's like a clam shack. We love it.

    • Leisha: (on what The L Word cast thinks of the rumours that spread about the show) It depends. It's not like we all sit around reading the message boards but you hear things. It's just funny because you have no idea how things start. It's strange what people come up with. But it's pretty entertaining.

    • Leisha Hailey: (on 'Raising Teens') I co-produced it with Lara Spotts and Sam Counter. The 'gayby boom' [gays having children] is fairly new. So it was about finding teenagers who were products of gay marriages that had been there from the very beginning. We wanted to talk to the teens and find out what their experience has been like. We found three fabulous kids and went through their journeys and talked about what it's been like and what it's like today.

    • Leisha: (on how she would react to being dumped) I've never stalked anyone, but I've felt that angry. It makes you feel like you're losing control, after severe heartbreak. Not that I've ever acted on it, but I can understand where that came from.

    • Leisha: (on how she shifted from music to acting)) I think it was hard for me at first to figure out what was happening because I had spent so many years doing music. But acting is what I always wanted to do. It's hard to let something go you've concentrated on and put so much energy into, but I think now I finally made peace with the fact that this is what I'm going to try and do.

    • Leisha: (on working with Alan Cumming) I love him, he couldn't be nicer. He's funny, witty, and makes the whole room laugh. Especially at the table script read-throughs every week, which aren't always the liveliest things to do. A lot of times you have to play characters that aren't in the room. Alan is great with those.

    • Leisha Hailey: (on whether she's ever considered becoming a gay parent) No. I don't think so. Not for me. I don't see myself with kids and never really have. But never say never. I guess what scares me is the thought of getting older and not having any family around. That's creepy.

  • Ever since I first saw Leisha Hailey on TV, I have considered her somewhat of a revolutionary.

    Ever since I first saw Leisha Hailey on TV, I have considered her somewhat of a revolutionary. There's definitely something about her that so many 'normal' actresses are lacking today. Leisha is funny, but she's not Cameron Diaz funny. She doesn't seem to be funny in a way that would be expected of a woman. She's not 'the ugly girl' but she's not 'the beauty queen' either, which is a dichotomy that seems to be so popular for actresses, and even women in general. I think Leisha is the kind of actress who has had the courage to break rules. She isn't afraid to be funny in a corky, unconventional, androgynic way. TV shows are full of stick-skinny women with great looks but zero personality. Leisha is a successful actress who stands out from the mass. For me, her breakthrough into mainstream TV has been a tremendous source of encouragement. What is very unfortunate, however, is that Leisha is so underrated as an actress. She is definitely much more talented than many of the top-earning actresses today. Perhaps it is because of her sexual orientation that Leisha has not been given roles that she would've deserved, and only in a TV show about lesbians she has been given a starring spot.moreless
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