Lizzie's Best Buddy
“I say I have Spanish in me but I'm not just Spanish. I'm proud of my ethnicities and I will always be proud of being a Filipino.” Lalaine
American actress and singer/songwriter of Filipino, Chinese and Spanish extraction who began on the stage Lalaine is probably best known to TV audience for portraying best friend Miranda on the popular TV series “Lizzie McGuire” (2001-2004), from which she picked up three Young Artist nominations, including a nomination for Best Best Supporting Young Actress, and an Imagen nomination. She reprised the role for the pilot of a spin-off series “What's Stevie Thinking?,” which was finally aired in 2007. She also has acted in the TV films “Annie” (1999) and “You Wish!” (2003) and in the motion pictures “Promised Land” (2004), “Her Best Movie” (2007) and “Royal Kill” (2008).
As an accomplished singer/song writer, Lalaine has had two albums, “Inside Story” (2003) and “Haunted” (unreleased). She also has performed for soundtracks, including “I Wish” and “Pixel Perfect.” Lalaine wrote some songs in her albums.
“My fashion statement depends on my mood. I am more of a “tomboy” when dressing up and I have never worn pink in my entire life. I'm a jeans person, I love Abercrombie. My shoe collection is composed mostly of Chucks and a few pairs of girly ones.” Lalaine
Lalaine's funky style and fashion sense have also led to her talent as clothing designer. She has been featured in numerous magazines, including People, Teen People, Seventeen, Popstars, Bop and Ignite. Lalaine has been appointed the official spokesperson for Power Play, a California Campaign motivating children to eat five fruits and vegetables a day. She also has been involved in charity events, including the AIDS benefit concert and NSYNC's challenge for the youth.
Childhood and Family:
Lalaine Vergara-Paras, simply known as Lalaine, was born on June 3, 1987, in Burbank, California, to Filipino parents. Her father is from Pampanga and her mother, Lilia Paras, is from Batangas. She has three older siblings, Marian, Francisco and Cristina. Lala, as her family and close friends called her, spent five years in Philippines from 1990 to 1995, but now she is a resident of Los Angeles, California.
A native of Burbank, California, Lalaine began her professional acting career at age 10, when she was cast as Little Cosette/Eponine in the Broadway production of “Les Miserables,” and toured nationally for almost a year. Upon returning to California, she booked a number of TV commercials, including some for Burger King and Microsoft, and a starring role in the Tom Petty music video “Waals.” She continued to act on the stage, starring as Annette in Opera Pacific's musical production of “Brundibar.” Her vocal was also used in such films as “Mrs. Santa Claus” and “Lolita.”
Lalaine made her TV film acting debut with a bit part in the drama “Border Line” (1999), starring Sherry Stringfield. Later that same year, she landed the plum role of orphan Kate in the Wonderful World of Disney ABC-TV version of the movie “Annie” (1999) thanks to her singing and dancing talents. The role brought the industrious girl a 2000 Young Artist nomination for Best Performance in a Feature Film or TV Movie - Young Ensemble, sharing with costars like Erin Adams, Sarah Hyland, Alicia Morton and Nanea Miyata.
However, Lalaine did not experience huge breakthrough until 2001 when she won the role of Miranda Sanchez on the Disney Channel comedy series “Lizzie McGuire,” starring Hilary Duff in the titular role. The show was a hit and so was Lalaine. Playing Duff's best friend, she received a 2002 Young Artist nomination for Best Supporting Young Actress in a TV Comedy Series and a 2003 Imagen nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Television. She also jointly nabbed two more Young Artist nominations in the category of Best Ensemble in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) (2002 and 2003). Lalaine stayed with the top-rated series until its last season in 2004.
During her years on “Lizzie McGuire,” Lalaine kept on working on other projects. In 2003, she costarred with A.J. Trauth and Spencer Breslin in the successful Disney Channel film “You Wish!” (2003), portraying Abby. She also performed the title song “You Wish” and “Running in Circles” for the movie soundtrack. “You Wish” peaked at No. 4 on Radio Disney station for six months. Also in 2003, Lalaine had a recurring role as Chloe, a young Slayer-In-Training who commits suicide, on the popular TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Her singing talent was further shown with the release of her independent album, “Inside Story,” in 2003. Produced by Jay Lazaroff and Erik Isaacs, the album contained six songs that Lalaine wrote, including “Life Is Good,” “Can't Stop,” and “Save Myself.” The song “I Wish” was also included in the album.
After “Lizzie McGuire” departed the airwaves, Lalaine starred as Norma in the independent film “Promised Land” (2004), which was directed by Michael Beltrami. The same year, she traveled to her parents' homeland, Philippines, and made guest appearances on the GMA Network including the “SOP Gigsters” (2005). She also started hosting her own Filipino travel show, “Flipside” (2004), in which she travels around the island. She also promoted GMA Pinoy TV in San Francisco, California, in 2005.
Still in 2005, Lalaine planned to release her sophomore album, “Haunted,” but it never realized. Some songs from the album have leaked into the internet, including “Haunted, “Real Life,” “No More,” “Doing Just Fine” and “More Than Words Can Say,” while the songs “I'm Not Your Girl” and “Did You Hear About Us?” were used in a physical single.
Lalaine was scheduled to reprise her role of Miranda for the pilot of a spin-off series “What's Stevie Thinking?,” centering on Miranda's younger sister. However, the show did not broadcast in 2005 as originally expected. It was eventually shown in 2007. Lalaine revisited the big screen later that same year to play Tutti on director Norm Hunter's “Her Best Movie,” about 15-year-old soccer prodigy Sara Davis (played by Leah Pipes).
Recently, Lalaine had completed filming Babar Ahmed's “Royal Kill” (2008), starring as Jan. The action/thriller also stars the Oscar nominees Oat Morita and Eric Roberts.