Actors hardly ever quote Al Pacino when discussing a Lifetime movie.
Alicia Witt (shown here in a previous role) can do that. Her career has been that varied.
Her latest film, is “The Disappearance of Cari Farver,” at 8 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 8) and 6 p.m. a week later (Oct. 15) on Lifetime. It’s a true-crime tale that takes her character through some sharp twists; “I was kind of bouncing off my seat when I got to the end” of the script, she said.
Early in her career, this might have wracked her. But at 31 she did “88 Minutes” with Pacino.
“I was so intense and all wrapped up in it,” she recalled. Pacino “said, ‘You don’t have to get caught up in it that much …. It’s an action movie; they’re going to cut it up in a million pieces.’”
That advice was helpful when handling this bizarre story:
Dave (Zach Gilford of “Good Girls”) was dating Liz (Witt), but then met Cari (Rebecca Amzallag). A passionate romance began … until he said it was too soon for them to live together. Soon, he was getting raging e-mails … as was Liz; Cari disappeared, leaving her son with nothing but some scattered e-mails to his grandmother (Lea Thompson).
Some wild twists followed. “I was continuously surprised when I read it,” Witt said.
Along the way, her character was leaping between emotions – something Witt, 47, is now prepared for.
She was in the original “Dune” movie at 9, but her breakthrough came a decade later – playing Cybill Shepherd’s daughter in the “Cybill” series and Richard Dreyfuss’ student in “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”
Since then, she’s done a full range. Yes, she’s done the light films and holiday tales where you expect to find a slender redhead. (That included one of the best, “A Show Globe Christmas.”) But she’s also done “Twin Peaks,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Justified,” “Orange is the New Black” and more.
She’s done roles that – like this one – require an emotional roller-coaster. “As a younger actor, I did not know how to” drop the emotion when the scene was over, she said.
Then she learned it’s possible to return to normal, even after quaking with Pacino-esque fury.,