Alanis Morissette is best known as the writer and singer of pretty, angry, contemplative and sometimes spiritual rockers and ballads like 1995's "You Oughta Know," "Hand In My Pocket" and "Ironic." The album that introduced those songs, "Jagged Little Pill," stayed on Billboard's Top 20 for more than a year, and eventually sold 33 million copies worldwide.
But while her career as a singer of serious songs has rolled along quite nicely, she has also displayed an innate sense of comedy, from her wordless but charismatic appearance as "God" in Kevin Smith's "Dogma" to a hilarious parody of the Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps" that burned up YouTube in 2007.
Then, this year, we were treated to yet another aspect of Morissette's persona and talent, as she co-starred in a sensitive, romantic and even sexual role on the Showtime hit "Weeds," portraying the OB/GYN of Nancy Botwin, the main character played by Mary Louise Parker, and the lover of her brother-in-law Andy, played by Justin Kirk.
Bankrate spoke to Morissette, 35, about her acting and music, and how she juggles them with her personal life.
Bankrate: You started your show business career as an actress, didn't you?
Alanis Morissette: I would loosely use the term "actress" for what I did while I was a kid. I did a show called "You Can't Do That on Television," and I did a lot of theater, and was in some comedy troupes.
Bankrate: At the time, did you think that's where your career was going?
Alanis Morissette: I gave it more thought than a young child probably should have. I thought, "Do I want to put my energy into writing songs, or do I want to be an actor?" and I thought being an actor required teams of people while doing a record required like, three. So I thought that, logistically, it would be easier to write songs. My twin brother always laughs and says, "Boy, Alanis, at 10 years old, you were forming a record company and writing songs. I just wanted to play soccer."
Bankrate: As your music career has progressed, did you miss acting?
Alanis Morissette: Yeah, I have. There have been opportunities for long character arcs in TV shows and parts in movies with a couple of incredible directors, but I was on tour. So I'd have to say no, which was fine, because music is really godly to me.
Bankrate: You approached "Weeds" creator Jenji Kohan with the idea for your role. Did you have any indication that she was a fan of yours?
Alanis Morissette: No. It was a shot in the dark. I'm in a privileged position to be invited to do a lot of things, and there are vocations where I think, "God, there are other people who would be way more appropriate for this." But when there's something I feel I would be the perfect person for, I keep at it.
Bankrate: Why did you want to work on this show?
Alanis Morissette: The writing. I think there's a lot of smart, witty writing. That kind of humor and those kinds of comebacks really excite me because I'm a writer, and when I hear great writing I get very excited.
Bankrate: Was there also something about the chaos of Nancy's life you felt plugged into?
Alanis Morissette: Yes. Being on tour, traveling and choosing this life, a lot of my friends have said to me over the years, "Wow, you really picked a (terrible) life." So whenever I see characters portraying that pseudocontrolled chaos, it resonates.