Most of you might recognise her from television stints, but for theatre buffs, you might have caught her most recently in Michael Chiang’s High Class. No stranger to the local entertainment scene, Elizabeth Lazan is back on stage with Pangdemonium, playing Jeannie, the on-off girlfriend of Tom (Gavin Yap), in Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig.
To Jeannie’s dismay, however, Tom falls in love with another girl, one of ample proportions named Helen (Frances Lee). While Jeannie isn’t too keen on the idea of corpulence, Lazan has a whole new definition of beauty. Additionally, she spills the beans about her quirky connection with Iron Maiden—trust me, you’ll laugh.
What drew you to Fat Pig?
Neil LaBute is one of the few writers who manage to capture the spirit of humanity in a very authentic and real way with no apologies. No differently, Fat Pig opens up honest conversations about self-image and insecurities in relationships. When I read the script, I laughed, got angry, shocked, and teared. Great ingredients for a good piece of work.
Could you tell us more about your character, Jeannie?
Jeannie is having an on-off relationship with Tom, her co-worker, and trying to figure out what is going in their relationship. She just goes about it in a rather erratic way. Sometimes misunderstood as the obsessive “ex-girlfriend”, she’s genuinely just looking for love.
Do you think it’s possible that people subconsciously judge over-weight people, without even realising it?
I think we all have prejudices to people regardless of weight, culture or background. It’s so easy to judge someone with a quick superficial impression. And most of the time I think it’s conscious, which also means we can recognise this, reverse the judgment, and get to know someone for who they are.
Have you ever been mocked and bullied before?
Definitely! One thing that comes to mind—my nickname when I wore braces at 13 years old was “Metallica” or “Iron Maiden”. Yes, you can laugh now.
How would you define beauty, personally?
Being in this industry, I’ve come across many beautiful people, as defined by conventions of society. However, I’ve also come to realise that it doesn’t matter how good you look or the numbers you own—height, weight, age, status—it’s really the energy and confidence you exude that leave a beautiful, lasting impression.
TV or theatre?
Both are magical, both give me an adrenaline, and both have the power to move and inspire. It’s hard to choose when no matter what medium you prefer, it’s still a character you’re creating at the end of the day.
Any plans for the future?
I’m in development for a new show with my production company that I co-founded in NYC with another actress from there. Personal bucket list, I’d love to skydive in 2014, or travel to South Africa or South America!
Finally, in all shamelessness, what’s your favourite underused insult?
“Give me a break, and not a Kit Kat, you dumb wit!” And it is a little corny.
Venue: DBS Arts Centre
Date: 13 Feb – 2 Mar 2014
Admission: S$40 – S$55
Get tickets: Click here
Advisory: 16 years and above (Due to coarse language)
Photo credit: Pangdemonium Theatre Company