Don’t hate Monica Raymund because she’s beautiful, talented and employed. The 22-year-old Julliard-trained actress from St. Petersburg, FL, landed her first major job in ‘Lie To Me‘, the Fox hit starring Tim Roth as an expert in exposing lies in criminal investigations. On the drama, which moves to a new time period before American Idol, starting tonight, at 8 pm, Raymund plays a “natural” in the field of deception detection. After promising she wouldn’t tell any lies, Raymund sat down and answered a few questions about herself.
On the show, you play an expert in non-verbal communication. Yes, she is somebody who doesn’t have the clients or the training, but is able to tell when somebody is lying based on her intuition and experience.
Are you good at reading people in real life? I’m incredibly gullible. So I’m going to say no. I tend to believe most everything that is said to me.
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Give me an example of your gullibility. In college, my friends would call me and say, “Hey, casting is up.” And I would run over to the hallway and see the casting. Nothing would be there.
You’re on a show about uncovering lies. What’s the worst lie you’ve ever told? Unfortunately, as much as I am gullible, I also hate lying. I tend to tell the truth a lot…lying just isn’t worth it. But I think I’m guilty of telling people that I’m 5 minutes away when really I’m about 45 or an hour away.
You never lied as a kid? I think maybe when I was like 12 I snuck out once. I told my mother like a year ago.
What was your favorite TV show as a kid? Oh man, The Cosby Show. I still watch The Cosby Show. I met Felicia Rashad when I was at school. She came to talk to us and I cried. I said thank you so much for being Claire Huxtable. You made me want to be a mother some day.
What show do you try not to miss now? I love Top Chef.
What was the highlight of your high school years? My teachers. Going to school every day was a treat for me. I went to an incredible school [Shorecrest Prep in St. Petersburg.]
Are you one of those kids who had a really good high school experience? Yeah. I’m afraid I am. [laughing]. We would have class on the grass outside in the afternoons and studying was cool. Doing well in school was a cool thing to do when I was in high school, so I had a blast.
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When did you decide that you were going to apply to Julliard? I applied to a number of regular colleges, including three conservatories, one of them being Julliard just for the heck of it, just to see if I would be lucky to get in.
Did you have safety schools? I did – three or four of them. To be honest, I really wanted to go to Columbia University for science – bio chemistry to be specific. But then I tried for Julliard, and when I got in I just withdrew all of my applications and I went.
What was the process like to get into Julliard? Pretty rigorous. Now it’s much more rigorous then when I applied. But when I went there we had a regular audition, call back audition, an interview and then we heard if we got accepted or not.
Where were you when you heard that you got in? I literally was in my bathrobe in my bedroom. My hair was wet. I had just come out of the shower and my dad like called me from downstairs. He goes Monica. He goes Julliard is on line one. So I picked it u p and I was in my bedroom and I like screamed.
How did your audition for ‘Lie To Me’ happen? I auditioned for ‘Lie to Me’ when I was in New York. I don’t think I had graduated yet from Julliard. I think I went in like in early May or something like that. And I just went in like every other audition – I was doing a lot then. They called me back, and then they flew me out to LA to test me and eventually I got the role, so I had to move up to LA for this.
What was your reaction when you heard you got the job? I was in the hotel lobby in LA and I got the phone call and I just started crying. I sat down in a chair and I started crying, because it just felt so good to book it. I did it. I booked a job. [laughing]. It was so great.
It was only about four or five months ago that you moved to L.A. What did you bring? I literally got rid of two suitcases full of clothes that I gave to Goodwill, and then I completely downsized and simplified. All I brought was like another two suitcases that are still in my car, and that was it.
Have you met anyone famous here who has impressed you? Meeting Tim Roth was a pretty ecstatic event, I have to say. I shook a little bit when I met him the first time. So that was pretty cool.
Since you’re still so young, I wonder if you still sleep with a stuffed animal or anything from your childhood? Yes, I do. I have a Cabbage Patch Kid. Her name is Harper.
Do you think you’re the only person on a prime time series who still sleeps with a Cabbage Patch doll? I don’t know. But I bet I’m the only one who’s gone public with that.
Remember: Lie To Me moves time periods tonight. Watch tonight on Fox at 8 pm.