"'A Million Little Things' is about how we love one another," says actress Allison Miller
Miller spills the beans on playing Maggie, the on-set bonds she was able to create, and most importantly, doing four plays a year since the age of 14.
ABC's new show 'A Million Little Things' works on the classic old mantra - 'Everything happens for a reason.' Premiering this Wednesday, the show revolves around a group of friends and a sudden death that sparks a new vigor in them to live their lives to the fullest and do things right. Pretty neat, right? But this quest in doing things right happens to be all about looking for the reason behind the death that shakes them to the core - thus allowing the drama to unfold.
It's almost like your modern age dramatic spin on 'One Tree Hill' or 'FRIENDS', if you will. But Allison Miller, who plays the role of Maggie on the show, would beg to differ. It's so much more than just a group of friends coming together to offer love and support. Speaking to us, Allison - who has previously starred in the Netflix sensation, '13 Reasons Why' - shares everything from her character on 'A Million Little Things', the on-set bonds she was able to create, and most importantly, doing four plays a year since the age of 14.
Here are some excerpts of her conversation with MEAWW.
Your upcoming show - A Million Little Things - is about to release soon; tell us a little bit about the show.
A Million Little Things is a beautiful dramedy about a group of friends who are all dealing with the loss of one of their core group. The show explores the way they support each other and how different people face catastrophe. Is it a catalyst for change? Is it a wake-up call? Is it swept under the rug? Does it teach us or does it break us? At its core, 'A Million Little Things' is about how we love one another.
It's been quite a long time since the topic of adult friendships has been explored on TV shows; what was your experience like working on one? Did you have a chance at making tight bonds behind the scenes too?
I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people on this show who I genuinely love and respect. We all seem to ride on the same wavelength and I hope to call the people I work with friends for a long time. The nature of our show has opened us all up to talking about very personal aspects of our lives, and I value the bonds we’ve created so much.
Tell us a little bit about your character, Maggie.
Maggie is a woman who is making the most of every moment she has because she’s not sure how much time she has left to live. She’s compassionate and kind while also being wry and acerbic. She can be loving, petty, gentle, immature, profound and silly - she’s a flawed and wonderful human being. She also may or may not be great on a basketball court.
How similar, or different are you from Maggie in real life?
I feel a lot of kinship with Maggie. She’s much more outgoing and impulsive than I am, but other than that we are pretty simpatico.
The trailer made me nostalgic. It reminded me of 'One Tree Hill'. How do you feel about the possibility of a comparison with shows like those? What do you think sets 'A Million Little Things' apart?
I haven’t seen One Tree Hill but I love any comparison that links us with a successful, long-running show!
Was acting always on the cards for you? How did you land in this profession?
I’ve been acting since middle school and participated in an after-school theater program in high school, so I was doing four plays a year since age 14. I still wasn’t convinced I would end up acting professionally. I originally went to college for painting, but I found something was always missing for me when I wasn’t a part of the theater.
You also appeared in the latest season of '13 Reasons Why'; What was your experience working on such a controversial drama like?
I was incredibly fortunate to be a part of '13 Reasons Why'. Playing a lawyer on that show gave me the chance to work one on one with almost every cast member, which means I had the opportunity to watch beautiful actors rise to meet very challenging material daily. I had to step off of set to cry often. It was powerful. I am such a fan of every person on that set and I miss my power suits very much.
From one such heavy drama to another - would you say this genre is your calling? What genre would you like to explore the most?
I wouldn’t call 'A Million Little Things' strictly a heavy drama. The tone sits somewhere in between drama and comedy, and I hope audiences will find levity in the tears! I’ve honestly always leaned towards dark comedy, so I’m getting to play both sides of the coin right now and that makes me happy. I would be very interested in exploring a period piece sometime soon.
If you weren't an actor, what alternate profession would you be in, and why?
I’ve considered going back to school for psychology a lot in the last few years. The irony that I’m playing a therapist on this show has not escaped me. I spend so much time exploring the human condition as an actor that it has crossed over into a clinical interest more often than not.
If you had to describe 'A Million Little Things' in three words, what words would you choose?
Love. Friendship. Truth.
Is 'A Million Little Things' going to be filled with plot twists? What is one aspect viewers should look out the most for?
We certainly have a few plot twists coming up. I obviously can’t reveal anything related to those, but I can say that viewers should look out for surprising laughs in the midst of great sadness. Just like in life, we’re always looking for some joy to ease the pain.
Do you have any upcoming projects you're thrilled about? Tell us a little bit about them.
I shot an untitled independent feature in Rome last year that I’m excited to see, and other than that I’m really thrilled for everyone to see 'A Million Little Things!'