Alyssa Milano talks 'Project Runway' and the Atkins diet

Alyssa Milano gave birth to her daughter Elizabella a year and four days ago. There's mom and baby, but let's go back to shortly before Elizabella was born when Alyssa was hosting 'Project Runway.'

Fun facts about Alyssa Milano (Source: Wikipedia)

Milano began her career after she won a role in an open audition for a national tour of Annie, she was one of four selected at an audition from more than 1,500 girls. She appeared in off-Broadway productions and television commercials. After her stage career, Milano made her film debut Old Enough, which she recalled as a "great" way for "starting out".

At age 11, she starred in her television debut Who's the Boss?, as Tony Micelli's daughter, Samantha. After she won the role, she and her father relocated from Staten Island to Hollywood; the rest of the family followed the next year, because her mother was initially unwilling to give up her home life "for a show that wasn't a guarantee." Although born and raised in Brooklyn, Milano had trouble getting this accent right because she had worked to lose it to land more roles in the theater, including in a stage adaption of Jane Eyre. Throughout Who's the Boss?, Milano felt a strong connection with co-star Danza. At age 12, Milano co-starred in Commando as Jenny Matrix, the daughter of John (Arnold Schwarzenegger). In a 2003 interview, she admits that she was sometimes "freaked out" by the weapons on set.

The body type and personality of Ariel, the main character in the 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid, were based upon Milano. On stage, she starred in Tender Offer, a one-act play written by Wendy Wasserstein, All Night Long by American playwright John O'Keefe, and the first American musical adaptation of Jane Eyre. She returned to the theater in 1991, producing and starring in a Los Angeles production of Butterflies Are Free from December 26, 1991 to January 19, 1992.

In 1991, Milano wanted to quit acting to pursue an academic career, but did not gain release from her contract. Instead, she auditioned for the female lead role as a homeless teenager in the independent film Where the Day Takes You. Although the crew was reluctant to sign a former child star, she was given a small role as a prostitute in the production, which she filmed in the summer of 1991. Although she feared that viewers would only recognize her as "the girl from Who's the Boss?", she was noticed by the media, which helped her land the controversial role of Amy Fisher in the high-profile TV movie Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story. Milano said that her portrayal of Amy Fisher was more based on Joey Buttafuoco's point of view, and that the film "was the least 'Alyssa' of anything [she had] done." The film was shot in the fall of 1992. By then, her role on Who's the Boss had ended and she feared having trouble obtaining other roles, aware of the fate of many grown-up child stars of that period. Nevertheless, she was excited when she found out the show was cancelled, being ready "to move on" and enthusiastic to "showcase" what she was able to do. Looking back on eight years of playing the same role, Milano commented, "Creatively, it's been very frustrating. I gave her more of a personality. I changed her wardrobe, cut her hair, anything to give her new life."

In the early 90s, Milano auditioned for nearly every film role in her age bracket, including B movies and finally tried to shed her "nice girl" image by appearing nude in several erotic films targeted at adults, such as Embrace of the Vampire, Deadly Sins and Poison Ivy II: Lily. She said the nude appearances taught her to begin requiring a nudity clause in her contracts giving her "full control" over all her nude scenes. In a 1995 interview, she explained her motivation for some explicit scenes in Embrace of the Vampire: "I'm not going to say that I was manipulated into doing things that I didn't want to do. I did it because it was a woman director and I felt protected. And I learned a lot as far as knowing where the camera is and what coverage they need so that it's not all explicit."

Later in 1994, she attempted but failed to replace Shannen Doherty in the successful teen series Beverly Hills, 90210. She starred in other roles, such as Candles in the Dark, Confessions of a Sorority Girl, The Surrogate, To Brave Alaska and Fear, which did not receive very positive reviews, although the Los Angeles Times called Milano "very good" in the production.

Milano had the lead role in Hugo Pool, her first film released through cinemas after Commando. Despite the milestone, she was soon out of work and after a period of six months she decided to return to television. She portrayed Jennifer Mancini on Melrose Place, Meg Winston in Spin City and Phoebe Halliwell in the popular television series Charmed.

Milano and Holly Marie Combs became producers for the show during season four. She was offered her Melrose Place role by Aaron Spelling himself in late 1996: "We were looking for someone with sparkle. Alyssa was the perfect choice." The stint garnered her new fame and she was named the most successful and popular actress on the primetime soap, alongside Heather Locklear. She played the role of Eva Savelot in MCI Inc. commercials. In 2007, Milano filmed a pilot for ABC entitled Reinventing the Wheelers, which was not picked up for the 2007–08 season; instead, Milano appeared in ten episodes of My Name Is Earl.

On March 20, 2009 it was announced that Milano voiced Dr. Ilyssa Selwyn in Ghostbusters: The Video Game. In a 2010 interview she told the press that she had 'a blast' working on the game, although she recalled it being 'odd' having to grunt in a room alone. It was speculated that following the voice over in the video game, she was set to star in Ghostbusters III, although Milano claimed she was never approached.

On March 24, 2009, her book on her baseball fandom, Safe At Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic, was released. Milano has signed on to star in and produce My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, a romantic comedy in which she plays a woman with a relationship dilemma, with writer and director Mike Birbiglia.

She produced and led the cast of Lifetime's TV film Sundays at Tiffany's. which was her second collaboration with Lifetime, after Wisegal (2008).

Milano starred in two comedy films, Hall Pass and New Year's Eve. In 2013, Milano created the graphic novel Hacktivist, which was written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly and drawn by Marcus To. In June 2013, she played Savannah Davis in ABC drama series Mistresses which is about the scandalous lives of four girlfriends, but she left the show after season two, due to conflict between filming location and family issue.

She signed on as host and judge Project Runway: All Stars beginning with season three.

On March 2, 2015, Milano guest hosted in The Talk, about Sara Gilbert welcoming her child.

Follow Alyssa Milano on Twitter: @Alyssa_Milano

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