The actress has released a book on how she coped with loss titled ‘Wake Me When You Leave: Love and Encouragement Through Dreams from the Other Side’.
Alyssa Donovan has faced big wins in Hollywood — and painful losses.
The actress who starred in “Clueless” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” is opening up in a new memoir titled “Wake me up when you’re gone.” The book, which is currently being turned into a film, explores how the 50-year-old’s career skyrocketed until her show was unexpectedly canceled, her relationship ended and Her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Donovan said she hopes her book will give readers, especially those grappling with the loss of a loved one, a sense of hope.
The star spoke to Granthshala News about how she coped with her eating disorder on the set of “Clueless,” her relationship with her former classmates on TODAY and how her story was written — to relive those memories that were heartbreaking. Vali – helped them heal.
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Granthshala News: What inspired you to release your book now?
Alyssa Donovan: It felt like the right time to share this story. And I have enough perspective on the events that have changed my life. I think people really need sources of hope and positivity. I wanted to show people that you can face great sadness and tragedy and still come out from the other side.
Granthshala News: You have acted in such iconic movies and TV shows of the 90s. When did you realize you made it?
Donovan: Okay, I don’t know if I ever feel like “I made it” but I will say, I remember when I was on the escalator at a mall, going to a movie, and all these kids right now- had just started. rotating the escalator.
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And, I told the friend I was with, “Oh, there must be someone famous on the escalator.” And, so we both looked around, wondering who it could be, and then we got to the top and they shook me. He was in, she was in. I went, “Oh, that’s a different experience.” *laughs*
Granthshala News: You suffered an eating disorder during the filming of “Clueless”. Can you remember the moment you knew you needed to get help?
Donovan: Well, I struggled with an eating disorder before that movie. But, it was during the shooting of the film that I started recovering. And, it was really when I knew I needed help because I was injured in an emergency room and knew that everything would get worse if I didn’t really start paying attention to my health.
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Granthshala News: Do you think starting an acting career in Hollywood made it worse for you at the time, or did it stem from something else that you hadn’t addressed until that moment?
Donovan: I don’t think anyone can blame Hollywood for eating disorders. It’s a much more complicated issue than wanting to be “skinny,” but I certainly think that in entertainment, especially at the time, it was somewhat championed, to be too thin.
And, of course, it was… people turned a blind eye instead of saying, “You need to be healthy.” So, I think it’s an environment that can certainly support it, but I showed up there a long time ago with those issues… long before I got into Hollywood, and it’s my own responsibility. was that I should fight them and choose to be okay.
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Granthshala News: What is one memory of Brittany Murphy that makes you smile when you think about it?
Donovan: I remember we shot this music video for a Lucius Jackson song that was in the movie. And it just makes me laugh, thinking we’re doing that in these neon roller derby outfits. We were bumping into each other, acting like we were these roller derby girls. It was really fun.
Granthshala News: How would you describe your relationship with the rest of the cast of “Clueless”?
Donovan: oh we had a great time, and i’m still in touch with donald [Faison]. I adore him. He is a friend and a great guy.
Granthshala News: When it comes to “90210”, who did you most hook up with and why?
Donovan: That was another great experience. I felt so lucky to have hit the jackpot with these projects. Everyone on that show was really funny and incredibly welcoming. They could have been… they’ve all been working together for so many years, and there are times when you come in as the new guy and you’re only there for a short time, you can feel like an outsider. Huh.
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But nobody made me feel that way. And I loved it. I loved Jason Priestley, he is one of my favorite people in the business. He is such a great human being. I loved working with Tori Spelling. Everyone was really great.
Granthshala News: How is your relationship with Melissa Joan Hart today?
Donovan: He’s just awesome. I love her She is one of the most grounded people I have come across in this business, which is no small feat considering that she has been in front of a camera as a kid. I just love her. We had a ton of fun. He is also professionally helpful. She is a good friend. she is very well.
Granthshala News: Have you ever faced any typecasting after starring in so many notable projects?
Donovan: Oh, of course I was typecast. As soon as I did “Clueless,” I was typecast as the shallow Beverly Hills rich girl comedian *laughs*. It’s never a bad idea to be typecast because it means you’ve succeeded at something, but it can be frustrating when you’re recognized for just one thing. So, in that regard, it was disappointing, but then again, the flip side of this is that it’s simply because you did something good and a lot of people enjoyed it. You can’t complain too much.
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Granthshala News: Right around the same time that “Sabrina” was canceled, your father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and your relationship with your significant other ended. What gave you the strength to keep going?
Donovan: I don’t know if I really felt I had any strength at the time. So, I think once you hit that “rock bottom,” as they call it, or certainly that kind of emotional bottom, there’s really nowhere to go but back up. , and you just let go. And, I think the thing that pulled me out was knowing that I am such a lover of life and that I have more things that I wanted to create and do and fulfill and share. So, I think that instinct and that drive is what really allows me to put one foot in front of the other.
Granthshala News: What would you say was the hardest chapter for you to write? And how did it feel to finally put those feelings on paper?
Donovan: I think the hardest part was actually when my dad was very sick. He was mainly at home. And, the last few weeks were incredibly debilitating for my family. We all went through a lot and he was obviously suffering, and it was really hard to write that part.
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When I first wrote it, it was incredibly difficult and incomprehensible. Then over time and through the revision process and because of the distance that I have now, it was easy to articulate what we are all going through… it was really encouraging for me to be able to narrow it down … me.
Granthshala News: How are you today?
Donovan: Oh, I’m doing great today. I am very happy And, a lot of times, I think we want to avoid challenges culturally or we want to ignore them or we just want to move on and not talk about them. And, I can clearly say that for me, all the things that I have gone through have really enhanced my life.
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I have gone through all those challenges. But because I was able to walk through them, I have a prosperous life today. So, I hope that people really get a sense from this book that it is important to accept our difficulties so that we can be stronger on the other side.
Granthshala News: If you were sitting with your younger self right now, what would you call her?
Donovan: I’ll say, “I love you. Just hang in there and trust that we’ll get over this and your life will be fuller than ever.”