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Stephanie Romanov

Stephanie Romanov - About "Angel" Tv Series - About.com Interview Part 1

Monday 12 December 2005, by Webmaster

September 08th, 2002

Angel’s Evil Lawyer

With all the vampires, demons and monsters Angel (David Boreanaz) fights every week, no villain has been more formidable than Lilah Morgan. Played by Stephanie Romanov, Morgan is Senior VP of Special Projects at Wolfram and Hart, the law firm that has some ambiguous prophecy for Angel to fulfill. This usually leads to devious manipulation of Angel or his friends.

Being evil makes her character inherently sexy, or maybe it’s all those short business skirts. Either way, being a formidable human villain on a supernatural action show is quite a task and Romanov fills those high heels well. In real life, of course, she’s kind and generous, donating her time to speak with us about her work on Angel.

Why hasn’t Angel killed Lilah already? I know, isn’t that a good question? You’d have to ask the writers. Maybe because I need a job? I wonder that too, why he doesn’t just off her, but I have no real answer for it other than he needs a good enemy.

He’s even protected her sometimes. I know, it is a funny thing, the dynamic between the two of them. I think they must have, underneath, some kind of love for each other. There’s a fine line between love and hate because they also seem to hate each other a lot, but then she never succeeds in killing him and he never really tries to kill her.

This might be outdated, given how things have gone at the end of last season, but do you think there’s some sexual tension between Angel and Lilah? I’ve always felt there was a lot. I think it’s an interesting aspect to play. It gives you an interesting obstacle and also something to feed your engine with.

Do you ever worry about job security on a show where people can die suddenly? I’ve been doing it since the first season, and people kept getting killed so every time I get a new script, my first question would be, "Am I getting killed?" So, there’s a lot of fear for a while as to when they were going to off Lilah. It just seemed like it would be a natural turn of events since everyone else was getting offed, but they say they’re going to keep me around.

Did you really handle a tarantula? Yes, that was me, all of it. I’d worked with tarantulas before, believe it or not, so I was okay with it this time. The first time I had to touch a tarantula on another show, I got a bit sweaty. This time, the trainer was very impressed with how well I handled the tarantula. They’re really kind of furry and soft and cuddly.

What advice does a tarantula trainer give you? Be gentle. You know, Lilah with the soft touch.

What’s the worst thing they’ve ever asked you to do on Angel? Other than really short skirts and high heels? I’ve had to run in them. There really hasn’t been anything bad other than the hours, which are all night hours and the Friday nights that turn into the Saturday mornings.

You’re not a fan of the costumes? No, actually, I do like them. I love business suits. I always have, so the show gives me a good reason to wear them. In life, if you wear them, people kind of make fun of you, but as an actress... I tend to be a conservative dresser by nature so the show suits me just fine.

Do you keep your wardrobe? Nope. Sometimes they give you a piece here and there. They’re sweet.

What’s your favorite part about Lilah?My favorite part about Lilah is I get to say things as Lilah that I would never say as Stephanie.

Is there an evil side to you that she speaks to? [Laughs] No. I don’t think there’s an evil side to me, but there’s certainly a more fiery side to me that isn’t shown much in life because I tend to be the nice girl. So, what’s fun as Lilah is I get to be the bad girl.

Is there something inherently sexy about evil? Well, yeah. Look at the girls who are drawn to the bad boys and the good boys that are drawn to the bad girls. I think that the light is always drawn to darkness and darkness is always drawn to the light.

How are you comfortable showing as much skin as you do on the show? Oh my goodness, are you talking about the one scene with Wesley?

A little bit. Whooh, I know when I saw that on the TV, I was like, "Oh my goodness, I look like I’m totally naked." I had a slip on and it was just put on the place where a hip hugger would be and then in the front I had big pasties on, so I was totally covered. But just the angle that they got, I looked really not covered.

Do you ever notice the camera lingering on your legs? Well, they have specific shots for that. It’s like, "Okay, you’re going to walk into frame, we’re going to start on your feet and pan up your legs." The producers like my legs.

How do you respond to that? I’m glad I have good legs.

Is it fetishistic? Well, in your twisted mind I guess it is. [Laughs] I never thought of that. I’ve been a dancer most my life and a model for a long time before I acted, so I never thought of it in that way. I’m also a sculptor and a painter, so I’m used to painting and sculpting bodies. I look at it from a more artistic point of view, but fetish is okay if that keeps them going.

Yeah, I had feminist film theory in college, so I’m pretentious. I’m sure that’s psychologically a part of it, I just hadn’t thought of it that way.