Catching up with 'Chasing Life' star Italia Ricci

Catching up with 'Chasing Life' star Italia Ricci
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By RACHEL OSMAN

Actress Italia Ricci captivated audiences this summer with her performance as cancer patient April Carver on ABC Family's "Chasing Life." The role was the first of its kind for the the 27-year-old Canadian, who has previously appeared on shows such as "How I Met Your Mother," "House," "Secret Girlfriend" and "Unnatural History."

Aside from her recent career success, Ricci's personal life is also at an all-time high. She recently got engaged to fellow actor Robbie Amell ("The Flash"), her boyfriend of six years.

We caught up with Ricci at the JCP Salon To Support "Cuts For Hope" to discuss the overwhelming fan reaction to her "Chasing Life" character, the second season of the hit show and her upcoming wedding.

How have fans reacted to your "Chasing Life" character?

Ricci: I can't believe how supportive the fans have been. A lot of them have been very honest, especially the ones that are dealing with the issues that April is dealing with, saying they were skeptical if a show could tell the story properly or if a performer could adequately embody the feeling that they had while they were going through this. Some people disagree with the way my character handles certain situations, but other people say that that's exactly what they're going through, so I feel like we're doing some people justice.

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What can you reveal about the special "Chasing Life" Christmas episode?

Ricci: It's very festive. It's got its highs and lows, but it's one of our funnier episodes so far because there's sort of a feud. April's dad's parents come into town and there's a feud between the grandma who lives with us and the other grandma. Its hilarious to see them just go at it. They're just so sharp and brilliant. It was extremely fun to film and the soundtrack is phenomenal. You'll also find out what happened to Leo.

What can fans expect for Season 2?

Ricci: Season 2 is a lot more fun than Season 1. April decides to start living her life a little bit more than trying to handle life. She decides to try and act her age and explore different things. She makes some huge mistakes, and she's discovered some great things about herself.

Congratulations on your engagement! How is the wedding planning going?

Ricci: The wedding planning is going very slowly. We aren't going to get married for a couple of years because I just love the idea of being engaged, and we're not in a hurry. I have a little binder where I have my girlfriends over and we'll rip through the pages and pull out what we like. We're slowly, but surely working on it. Mark my words -- I'll plan it for two years and then we'll just end up at city hall with a witness.

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Does being in a relationship with another actor ever feel competitive?

Ricci: It never feels competitive. We're extremely supportive of one another and that's the greatest thing. We're each others' biggest fans. I'm so excited for him to be on "The Flash." We only ever get hard on each other when we know the other person is doing something that they don't really want to be doing because that happens occasionally, even if it's just an audition or a scene. You sort of have to pull each other back down to Earth and make sure that we're doing things that we're proud of.

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You've starred in both TV shows and films. Do you like one more than the other?

Ricci: I think I prefer film, but I like TV because of the consistency. You can take your time telling these stories, but with film, you know how its going to end and you have the whole story. Film is a little bit easier to create a solid and consistent performance, but TV is more exciting because you're doing it for a year-and-a-half or for how ever many years your show is going. There are pros and cons to both. I'm just happy to work and tell a story that I'm proud of telling.

You participated in the "Cuts for Hope" program with JCPenney in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and supporting The City Of Hope's Breast Cancer Program. What made you want to take part in the event?

Ricci: I'm sort of becoming more and more of an advocate for as many parts of cancer and awareness and any sort of battle. I want to be able to use my resources now that I have them because of the show to help bring awareness to causes that need it and do as much as I can with it that is positive.


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