Interview with ex-Days of our Lives’ Lisa Rinna image

Rinna as Katy Perry (ABC)

Rinna as Justin Bieber (ABC)

“I get to sing, dance, act and do impressions – it is almost like "Saturday Night Live" meets karaoke meets Halloween in West Hollywood.”

It’s been a while since Lisa Rinna has appeared on "Days of our Lives" as Billie Reed, but the energetic actress has been incredibly busy anyway, as usual. Her most recent project, ABC’s Sing Your Face Off, showcases Rinna’s singing chops as she competes with four other celebrities as they are transformed and trained to perform as legendary musical icons.

Lisa, who has already knocked it out of the park as Dolly Parton and Britney Spears, can next be seen channeling Katy Perry and Justin Bieber when the show returns Saturday June 7 at 9:00 AM EST with back-to-back episodes. She took time to talk with about what it took to tap into Justin Bieber’s swagger, what her family thinks of her performances – and whether we can expect to see Billie in Salem anytime soon. We love watching you on "SYFO!" What a blast.

Rinna: Thank you! I am so happy, I really am. We had so much fun doing it and am so glad that people are enjoying it because that is really what it is all about – fun, family entertainment. We haven’t had that for a while. What were your first thoughts when you heard the concept of the show?

Rinna: I thought it was genius to be honest with you. And I went after it. I was not handed this role - I really wanted to do it. So I went in and auditioned for it and had to sing three songs, and I’m not known as a singer. But I really wanted to do this. I don’t know why exactly other than I just knew it would be a blast. After doing "Dancing With The Stars," I think I am always hungry for something to do like that because it takes me to such an amazing place. And once you do it, you want to continue to do it. So it seemed like a no-brainer to me. I get to sing, dance, act and do impressions – it is almost like "Saturday Night Live" meets karaoke meets Halloween in West Hollywood. How did it feel to channel icons like Dolly Parton, Britney Spears and Katy Perry?

Rinna: I am a huge fan of not only singers and pop culture and musical icons, I love Broadway, I love theater, I love pop stars. So it was daunting, it was an honor, and it was truly one of the greatest acting exercises ever because I am portraying people who are actually alive and well and here. And are extremely crazy talented, and I have to somehow do it in a way where I don’t play a caricature, I don’t embarrass them – these are all things that go on in your head when you are taking on somebody like Dolly Parton, who is an icon. And you want to pay homage to them and you want to do it in a way that truly embodies the essence of this person. And that is not easy to do to be honest with you. These people are all very specific, and we love them and have made them into what they are today because of how fantastic and talented they are, but it is all very specific and it takes a lot of praying that you somehow embody their essence. I was just hoping that I didn’t make it a parody and that it really was enjoyable. And if the person I was portraying actually did see it, they would get a chuckle or they would really love it and not cringe. So there was a lot of pressure more than anything. Was it hard to impersonate someone of the opposite sex, Justin Bieber?

Rinna: I knew we were going to have to portray somebody of the opposite sex. I really didn’t imagine I would be portraying a 14-year-old boy! It is really kind of frightening when you first find out who you are having to portray, but then I knew I either had to throw myself into it and give 150 percent, or I would just tank completely. So I actually had a lot of fun. To play a guy, a character like that, was truly probably one of the greatest things I have gotten to do. How difficult have the transformations been to go through?

Rinna: Luckily we have one of the most genius prosthetic departments. And as an actor, I always work really well when I have costume and makeup. I think that really feeds you. So to have prosthetics – for Bieber I have a different nose and for Katy Perry I have different eyebrows. There is always something in the prosthetic department that we have so it makes you feel a lot more like what that person would be. It helped me to get into character, and the costumes really help. Especially with Bieber. Of course I don’t know what it is like to be a boy, but there are thousands and thousands of hours of video and YouTube on Bieber, so I just sat and watched him. And I have teenage daughters who are crazy about him, so they coached me in getting the Bieber swagger. It’s funny, because people hold themselves in their body a certain way and I think that helped me. Obviously, Dolly holds herself a certain way in her body. Britney is a certain way. And Bieber for sure is a certain way. And the girls really helped me find that in my body. And once I could find it in my body it helped me to become Bieber. What do your kids and Harry (Hamlin) think of your performances?

Rinna: It’s so funny because Harry thinks it is genius. He thinks it is one of the greatest things ever. He loved it. He loved coming and watching and thinks the Bieber was one of the greatest things he has ever seen, which I think is hilarious. The girls on the other hand, it is kind of funny because you don’t know if you are scarring them for life, because here is their mom doing this. But I have been watching them, and they have been showing the YouTube videos of the performances and they are watching the show back with all of their girlfriends, so I think they might be proud of it. Which is surprising to me because I thought it would embarrass them. We miss Billie in Salem! Is there any chance we will see her again on "Days" anytime soon?

Rinna: Well, I love that character of Billie. Obviously she is not dead, so you never say never. But we don’t have any plans in the immediate future to bring her back that I know of. But at least she’s not dead so she could always come back. Even if she was dead she could come back!

New fiction! Read about Alison Sweeney’s new novel Scared Scriptless. And read interview with Y&R’s Mishael Morgan.

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Header Photo Credit: Lisa Rinna (FayesVision/

- Hollie Deese