Lacy emerged as a TV star in the role as "Claudia Salinger" on the series "Party Of Five." Since then, she has starred in several successful movies such as 2001's "Not Another Teen Movie" and 2004's "Mean Girls." A TV star with Broadway and animation voice work experience, Lacey Chabert finally made her movie debut on-camera in the big screen version of Lost in Space (1998). Born in Purvis, MS, Chabert began performing as a small child, learning how to play the violin and piano as well as sing and act. After playing the young Cosette in the Broadway production of Les Miserables for two years and appearing on the TV daytime serial All My Children, Chabert became a prime-time star playing one of the beleaguered Salinger family members on the Fox drama Party of Five (1995-2000). As the precocious youngest daughter Claudia, Chabert aged from child violin prodigy to grounded, if occasionally confused, teen before the show ended its run. While working on Party of Five, Chabert lent her voice to the animated movies Anastasia (1997) and An American Tail III: Treasure of Manhattan Island (1998). Chabert gained further notice as difficult daughter Penny Robinson in the big-screen Space, but the film was not quite the blockbuster it was expected to be. The lack of positive reviews did little to slow the actresses career though, as she continued to do frequent voice work (The Wild Thornberries Movie (2002) and Rugrats Go Wild! (2003)), as well as showing her face again in Not Another Teen Movie and Hometown Legend (both 2001). After climbing the credits as a tormenting teen in the 2004 comedy Mean Girls, Chabert would next dive headlong into a night of playful teen mischief in the 2004 teen comedy Dirty Deeds.
Lacey Nicole Chabert was born on September 30, 1982, in Purvis, Mississippi, USA.
More fun stuff about Lacey Chabert
Height 5' 3" (1.60 m)
Was among celebrities dishing out $250 meals in the fifth-annual Celebrity Server Dinner at the Palm Restaurant in L.A., with proceeds benefiting Victory over Violence. (October 11, 1998)
Was among celebrities dishing out meals in the third-annual Celebrity Server Dinner, with proceeds benefiting the Homeless Health Care Los Angeles. (October 1996)
Her last name, which is French, is pronounced "shuh-BEHR."
Has one brother (TJ) and two sisters (Wendy and Chrissy). Has a dog named Abu.
Played the role of Cosette in "Les Miserables" on Broadway (and occasionally, even Gavroche, a boy character) before taking the role of Claudia on "Party of Five" (1994).
Was originally selected to play the role of "Young Lily" in the movie Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), but bailed out for unknown reasons.
Lacey appeared as young Cosette in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway.
As "an avid photographer" and "a strong supporter of programs that encourage teens to spend their time creatively and productively", judged and promoted Eastman Kodak Company's "The Yearbook Click", a national in-school photography contest for the 1999-2000 school year.
She was originally chosen to play Chloe Steele in Left Behind (2000), but a scheduling conflict made that impossible. Janaya Stephens got the role instead.
The character she plays in Not Another Teen Movie (2001) is a spoof of the role her former "Party of Five" (1994) classmate, Jennifer Love Hewitt, played in Can't Hardly Wait (1998).
Was Miss Jr. Mississippi
Has 3 chihuahuas named Teacup, Teaspoon & Tealeaf.
Was childhood friends with rock star David Ham.
PARTY ON! Lacey was Party of Five’s whiny, goody-goody Claudia—a girl who looked and acted like a nun in training and was just about as fun. Or you may be one of the few who found her in Lost in Space, a film that was about as ill-fated as Darva Conger’s honeymoon.
ENTER SCREAMING: Lacey was born in Purvis, Mississippi, on September 30, 1982.
BAM! POW! SCHWING! The skin-tight latex costumes Lacey wore in Lost in Space were done by the same people who made the costumes for the Batman movies.
REBEL WITHOUT A COLLAR: Lacey was once escorted out of a department store in Europe for being dressed “inappropriately.” She was wearing a t-shirt and cutoff shorts.
“Guys have always told me that it’s sexier to leave a little to your imagination.”
Lacey Chabert is Party of Five’s most promising postgraduate
First things first. This isn’t the girl you remember. This isn’t even a girl. It’s a woman. She’s a woman. A petite, stunning brunette who’s shed the thin skin of adolescence for a fuller, curvier adult model that she isn’t shy about taking out for a spin. Dead is Party of Five’s whiny, goody-goody Claudia, the Salinger girl who looked and acted like a nun-in-training and was just about as fun. Long live Lacey Chabert, who buried that wet blanket in April after Fox euthanized the once-interesting, then-nauseating series. This woman is heading for the movies.
Lacey and I are gonna play golf because it beats “talking over salad in some too-trendy Hollywood hot spot,” and hell, why not! It’s a workday, and banging a bucket of balls with a beautiful budding superstar beats dumping toner into the copy machine.
We meet on her turf, at Chez Chabert, a modest house in Thousand Oaks, a valley town of subdivisions, strip malls and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. The ex-prez lives just a three-wood away, but Bonzo is yesterday’s news. Today I’m here for a swingin’ party of two, and Lacey’s waiting for me out front. She’s all smiles and sunglasses, clutching a single club—a driver with a fuzzy Sylvester the Cat head cover.
Despite the kitty on the club, Lacey’s got game. Maybe her ball doesn’t have Tiger’s distance or Ernie’s lift, but it’s straighter than a laser. Born into a den of duffers (her dad’s an addict, and her little bro, T.J., hopes to play pro), she has impressive form. Between swings, I overhear her giving a friend some lessons. “And then this arm stays straight, and keep this one loose,” she says, while demonstrating like the pro from Dover. “Then just turn your hips and swing through.” Perhaps it’s good that we’re not gonna hit the links: Play dollar-a-stroke with this innocent-looking young lady and I’d be walking back to New York. I tell her she’s better than the scouting report. “Thank you,” she beams. “I feel like one of the guys over here at the range. I’m actually surprising myself a little bit.” Unfortunately, that’s when she nails me with a shot that careens off the shed and into my knee. She doubles over laughing. “Oh, I think I almost just killed you.…Sorry.”
Lacey’s first post-Party role is in Tart, a movie about bad girls at boarding school, costarring Dominique Swain, Brad Renfro and Bijou Phillips. But before you jump into a cold shower, be aware that Lacey plays the good egg, the innocent who makes a girl’s Catholic school uniform a religious experience. Off the set, it was life imitating art.
“The whole cast was young, and most of them were drunk every night, running around the hotel high on something,” she says. “I really hadn’t been exposed to that on Party of Five, and I don’t hang out with people my age in Hollywood. It kinda made me feel like a complete loser, but I have no interest in that stuff.” Moving into movies has meant crazy life lessons—like being too juicy for a sweet part. “They’re doing a miniseries of Judy Garland’s life, and I auditioned,” Lacey says. “The part was awesome. They called me this morning, and they were like, ‘We were blown away, dear, but Judy Garland was ugly. You’re too attractive, and you’re not fat enough.’” Listen closely and you can hear gay America cringing.
It could be argued that this kind of rejection is a good thing, that hopping into a TV biopic is a tad too close to a path forged by the other Party girls—who’ve also been in more slice-and-dice classics than Freddy Krueger. This line of questioning makes our girl nervous. “I can’t say that any two people want the same career,” she says with a sigh. “I don’t want to be a ‘teen star’ because so many people don’t ever grow out of that.”
Lacey would rather be like Natalie Portman or Leelee Sobieski—a discerning, respected actress who focuses on demanding roles with few slices of cheese. “I’m so choosy about my next move,” she says. “I’ve had probably 10 offers since the show ended for either teenybopper television or MTV movies, but most of the scripts I’ve read are just crap, you know? You have to lower your IQ to keep up with them.”
If you don’t know Lacey from Party of Five, you may be one of the few who found her in Lost in Space, a film that was about as ill-fated as Darva Conger’s honeymoon. Despite its current residence in the black hole of bad movies, it was her first big-screen role, it made astronomical bucks and it put her star on the map. As precocious Penny Robinson, she squeezed into a latex bodysuit and stole scenes from such thespians as William Hurt and Gary Oldman. Her recollections of Hurt sound like a scene from GoodFellas. “The first time I met him, I said, ‘Hi, how are you?’ And he replied, ‘What do you mean? How am I? How am I here? How am I being?’ This went on and on for, you know, a good couple of minutes. I was like, ‘Dude, I just wanted to know how you were feeling.’”
Unlike many a young Hollywood starlet, Lacey is not about to end up in rehab. She is her parents’ dream, an anti–Dana Plato—a Girl Scout cookie not likely to crumble under a Hollywood haze of designer drugs, sleazy posses, nude layouts and terminal cosmetic surgery. Cancel that appearance on E!’s True Hollywood Story. I mention that Claudia got drunk a couple of times on the show and inquire as to whether Lacey has ever been tempted into a tipple. “No,” she says emphatically. Never? “Well, I’ve had wine. And, yuck! I don’t even like the smell of alcohol. I’m pretty straight.”
Lacey does dig the growing power of her own sexuality. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being sexy,” she explains. “I mean, here I am doing STUFF. There’s a difference in doing that and in just being trashy and exploitive with your body. Guys have always told me that it’s sexier to leave a little to the imagination.” Still, sex appeal has the side effect of attracting trouble. Read: comb-over-wearin’ costars, producers and casting agents who circle around budding actresses like an assault charge looking for Bobby Brown. “I went to a party a couple of weeks ago, and I had some 40-year-old guy hitting on me, saying gross stuff. It just makes me feel sick. I want to go, ‘Hello! I’m half your age.’ Then, ‘Excuse me, your hairpiece is falling off.’”
Actually, the lion’s share of predators in Lacey’s life exist not at drug-fueled orgies in the Hills, but in her own backyard—a landscaped wild West frontier where resident outlaws include roving bands of tarantulas, scorpions, rattlesnakes and coyotes.
Having drained our buckets, we head back to her personal ecosystem. That’s where we find the local game warden: her Cajun-born daddy. Friendly to a fault, he welcomes his guest with stories of killing another recent visitor—a canyon coyote who had dined on the family dog. “We knew it was a coyote because the heart was eaten. The damn thing chewed right through the rib cage and ate his heart,” he says, explaining the horror as Marlon Brando might have in Apocalypse Now. “It was almost surgical.” In the end, Mr. Chabert had his revenge. He later blew the intruder all over the backyard with a shotgun blast. I stay away from their pets. There are dogs everywhere—a bulldog named Claudia, a Miniature Pinscher and two Chihuahuas. “A rattlesnake almost killed my dog last year,” Lacey says of another imperiled pet. “We heard the dog barking and ran immediately to the vet. They had antivenin there and saved his life.” The snake, however, is on borrowed time.
Lacey Chabert's ("Party of Five") Doll House
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to Lacey
As Claudia Salinger, Lacey Chabert gets no respect around the "Party of Five" house.
Neve Campbell is always busy screaming her lungs off, Jennifer Love Hewitt is quick to follow in Neve's bloody footsteps and Scott Wolf's Bailey is always precoccupied with his petty little drinking problem.
Through it all, there's tiny Claudia--so tiny, so precious, so mature--really keeping the household in order, watching over baby Salinger and using her preparing her poutly lips to be one day used to their full potential.
No, Lacy Chabert doesn't get any respect... yet.
That will change quickly, however. Chabert, far and away the most attractive member of the "Pary of Five" crew (but don't get any ideas, guys--she's only 15) is scheduled to make a big name for herself this year with some high-end roles.
Becoming a movie starlett
Chabert's biggest role will be as Penny Robinson in the upcoming film adaption of "Lost in Space." She will also be starring in "The Wild Thornberries," an upcoming Nickelodeon Saturday morning program.
Some impressive projects, and to top those off Chabert will be lending her voice to "The Lion King II." Kids at home will then be able to roar along with their new favorite movie star.
Chabert has gained some attention from the press already, though, as she had a profile in a recent episode of TV Guide.
Sure that's a lot of hype, so I must have something to back it all up. Well, surprise, I don't! I've never even watched an entire episode of "Party of Five." (If you want to read things written by someone who does watch the show, however, check out these Unabomber-esque episode manifestos) I have seen snippets of the show, however, and while all the other characters are off getting depressed with each other and their various significant others, there's little Claudia getting depressed and maltreated all by her lonesome. Chabert is the most beautiful beautiful person on a show full of beautiful people, but there's something in her eyes that says she will be something more.
Back to the future
So, will Lacy Chabert be the wave of the future? I'm betting she will, and we'll be able to say for sure in the near future.
Lacey Chabert about Claudia confronts lizard monkeys, Doc Martens and teen traumas
Little Lacey Chabert is not quite so little anymore. She's 15--and has seemingly skipped right past the awkward years to become one of young Hollywood's it faces.
Party of Five's Claudia is now totally teen, with the perfect pinch of adolescent angst. She's still a brat, but she's justified in her mega-mood swings. (There's a lot going on in her TV life.)
But like Neve and Love before her, Lacey wants more than Fox melodrama. Now she takes her first step, starring as 14-year-old Penny Robinson in the big-screen remake of the '60s TV classic Lost in Space.
Have you seen the original Lost in Space?
When I got the script, I hadn't. But I got up the morning of the meeting with the director, and I watched it at, like, 5:30 a.m. on the Sci-Fi Channel. Since then, I've watched a lot of them.
What's your character like?
All the characters are kind of different from the show, but Penny is a complete rebel. She hates the mission because it has taken her mother and father away, practically making them ghosts. She's crying out for help, and no one is really paying attention.
Sounds like Claudia from Party of Five.
Yeah, in a way. Penny has more of an edge, though. She's a very fun character. She tries to be this big, brave woman, but inside she's still this little girl.
But outside, she's pretty grown up. Kind of sexy, even.
Oh, yeah. I mean, they cut my hair, and they made it like dreadlocks and spiky every day. It took an hour and a half to do my hair. And Penny's very into these cool clothes.
How was it dealing with all the special effects?
It was awesome! They had five big stages. It was a huge production. The hardest element was dealing with--it sounds weird--this lizard monkey that we find on the planet. We'd [act] with this puppet, but sometimes the puppet didn't exactly perform, so half the time, it wasn't there. So, it's attacking me, or I'm running from it, or it's crawling up my back and into my hair, but nothing was there. It was the strangest thing.
The human cast is pretty amazing in this film.
At first it was very intimidating being with Gary Oldman and William Hurt. I had watched their films, and I was in awe of their talent. I was sort of nervous reading scenes with them, but they were very down to earth and welcoming.
And what about Matt LeBlanc?
I was like, "Hello...do I breathe?" He is beautiful. He was a sweetheart. We ended up calling each other "Sunflower."
Sunflower? Where did that come from?
Oh, it's silly. When I study my script, I write analogies to understand a line, and one of them was "like being crippled and then running through a field of sunflowers." And Matt got hold of my script and added "with Don West"--because Penny has a crush on Don West.
I was totally embarrassed, because it was, like, my private thoughts. From then on, we called each other Sunflower. And at wrap, he gave me this enormous sunflower. It was beautiful.
Let's talk about something less sunny--Party of Five. It's been a tough year for Claudia. How is it to play her a little darker?
Well, it's been fun. It's been exciting creatively to do something different. To me, it's always a little more interesting to play a character with problems.
You're on the right show then.
Yeah. Nothing happy is ever going to happen on that show, just so you know.
How was it having your first pseudo love moments with Andrew Keegan earlier this season?
Oh my gosh. Well, you know, of course, everyone is like, "Oh, Lacey's kissing!" It was incredibly embarrassing, but I got through it.
Are you ready for a relationship offscreen?
Absolutely. I don't have a boyfriend in real life, but, you know, I'm scoping it out. Actually, I've heard that at the end of the season, Claudia might get a boyfriend. But I'm not counting on it, because it never seems to work out.
Do you relate to Claudia at all?
Well, we are the same age, so I can relate to her insecurities. You know, I'm not exactly the most confident person right now.
You seem fairly grounded.
It's my family. We're a Christian family, and that is the most important thing in my life. There has to be more to life than acting, and although I'm extremely passionate about what I do and want to continue this, I also enjoy other things. I think it's important to be focused, but you can't be completely absorbed by this.
What "other things" do you enjoy?
I love to shop. I am a complete girl. I'm totally into shoes.
What's the last pair of shoes you bought?
Oh, gosh. Right now I have on Doc Martens with a heel that I bought in London. I bought, like, five pairs of shoes there.