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When Shiri Appleby first played Liz Parker on the original Roswell in 1999, she was 21 years old. Since then, she's starred in numerous roles and even began her career as a director, directing episodes of Lifetime's UnREAL, on which she was also the star. Now, 20 years later, a new, reimagined Roswell, New Mexico has just premiered on The CW and Appleby will direct an episode in Season 1.
We visited the set of Roswell, New Mexico last year and spoke to Appleby as she wrapped up directing Episode 9 (we'll have more on that later), to find out her thoughts on the new show and why fans of the original Roswell should watch it.
When did you first hear that Roswell was getting rebooted?
Shiri Appleby: Well, people had started telling me that The CW was interested in it and that writers were coming in to hear pitches and stuff. So I kind of heard about it as soon as the talks started, trickling out into town. And it made a lot of sense. It feels like a very current story in so many ways. And then when I heard the tape that they went with, Carina [Adly Mackenzie]'s pitch, it's actually much more in line with the actual book. And it felt very updated, and when I started to actually see the scripts and see the show, I feel like there's a lot of nods to the original. But then, very quickly, it becomes its own show.
What do you think about all of the modern updates to it?
Well, it's so interesting. I mean there's this storyline in the original books of Liz having a sister that passed away. And our show, we never really even addressed that storyline and they brought it back. And I feel like it really, quickly takes the show off in its own direction, and to be honest with you, it feels very flattering. I mean it feels like there's a legacy in the show. Our version of the show really hit a chord to the point that there is enough of an interest [to] bring it back and reboot it, and I really take it as a compliment, quite honestly, when I heard they were doing [it]. I was very flattered.
What's your biggest hope for when the show premieres?
I hope that people watch it. I mean, I know they will, but I feel like all the dreamers out there, those were sort of like the fans of the original Roswell. It's like we should give them a chance. We should be supportive. I think it only builds our own legacy and shows the fact that there was a good reason people wanted to reboot this. That we have people that support these storylines, and let them make it their own, and let's throw our support behind it. Nothing would be greater than this show and this story being a hit again.
Where would your Max and Liz be today?
Oh my God. Could you imagine? They'd probably have lots of kids. Something crazy's going on. Valenti's still after them. I have no idea. I think it would be a great story, but, yes.
Roswell, New Mexico premiered January 15 on The CW.