Meet Actress Leah Pipes

As fall sports are gearing up, we’ve got the perfect flick for you!  Cue Her Best Move, a fab coming-of-age film about 15-year-old Sara, whose hopes of scoring a coveted spot on the U.S. National Soccer Team forces her to kick practices with her intense, overbearing coach of a dad into high gear—all while trying to balance a part-time job at Coldstone (yum!), a new BF, and every other demand that comes along with being a teen.

We snuck a peek at the DVD (out August 19) and are totally lovin’ its super funny, talented star, Leah Pipes, and know you will, too. She’s more than an awesome athlete and amazing actress—she’s totally someone we would want as our BFF, playing for our team. We caught up with Leah as she talked sports, family and boys.

GL: Can you tell us a bit about Her Best Move and your character, Sara? 
Leah: Sara Davis is a very talented young soccer player, but also a normal girl. She’s trying to balance the life that involves more things than soccer. Even though she's very talented at it, she wants to see what else she could do with her life. This creates a problem for her dad and tensions among her family. She feels the need to impress her dad, while at the same time maybe impressing a boy and keeping her mom happy, keeping herself happy, and keeping her grades up. It’s a really stressful time in her life. 
GL: Are there any similarities between you and Sara?
Leah: Well, I too actually grew up playing on a very competitive soccer team, and my dad was very serious about soccer. So it was a big deal when I decided to quit soccer and pursue acting. And so I actually went through very, very similar things with my own dad. Of course he completely supports me now, and in the things that I do now, but at the time, he was really, not disappointed but I think sad that I decided to stop playing and started pursuing something else. 
GL: So what was it like to land a role that combined two of your biggest passions—soccer and acting? 
Leah: It was really exciting at first, but then I got on the soccer field and had to play with the most amazing soccer players I had ever played with, and it got to be a really humbling experience. I thought I was a pretty decent soccer player. I'm not. Not compared to these girls. I'm really bad, to the point where they had to get someone to do some of the scenes for me, because it was a joke to put me on the field with these girls and make me look like the talented one, when that was far from the truth. 
GL: Did they make you do any training beforehand or did they just throw you out on the field? 
Leah: They had me do intense training with two different trainers to try to get me into shape and get my skills up to par. So even after doing a month of training with two of the best trainers in California, I was nowhere near the talent level of those girls. 
GL: When did you first get involved in soccer and sports in general? 
Leah: I first got involved in soccer when I was three years old. And I played until I was sixteen, so for thirteen years, and I love it. I think it's important to be involved in a sport, especially as a young girl, because it wasn't always available to us. All sports weren't available to us, so we really take advantage of the fact that there are such great programs available to us now.
GL: This movie focuses on Sara's different relationships with her parents. What’s the best advice your parents have ever given you? 
Leah: I've gotten a lot of good advice from my parents. Probably the best advice I've ever gotten from my mom is "Let it go." My mom says that a lot and with my career, letting go is very important. The problem with being an actress is there's a lot of rejection. I remember being really close to a project that would’ve been a huge boost to my career and I didn't get it. And I remember thinking "Why?” I wanted a reason. I wanted someone to give me a specific reason why I didn't book this part, because I knew I was talented enough and knew I had the right look. My mom just said, "You know what, Leah? Just let it go." And she's right.
GL: Are there any special family traditions you love doing? 
Leah: There's one in particular that I really love doing. There is a Mexican food restaurant by my house, and it's not as much Mexican food as it is just cheese and beans on a flour tortilla and ground beef on there, too. My family and I, after spending the day on the beach, will stop by on the way home and [then] watch our communal favorite movie, The Princess Bride, and that's just a great summer day for us. We’ll do that once every year.  
GL: Her Best Move also sends a strong message about balance, and listening to your heart. Do you have any tips on how to balance work with school and fun?
Leah: Well, obviously, you have to be focused on your grades but also be focused on yourself. You only have one childhood. If you spend that focused on being perfect all the time, or making sure that everything comes out exactly as planned, you won't learn any lessons or anything about yourself. Be open to mistakes and really doing what you love, even if that's not necessarily what everyone else wants you to do.
GL: What's the best date that you've ever been on? 
Leah: The best date I've ever been on was with a friend of mine. We went to this really fancy, swanky sushi restaurant and ate very little because it was sushi. So afterward we were extremely hungry. We went and picked up pizza and ended up sitting on the beach on one of the lifeguard towers eating pizza and just hanging out. [We talked] for five hours. It was probably one of the most romantic nights of my life. It was really, really lovely.  

GL: What’s your favorite thing to do with your girlfriends? 
Leah: My girlfriends and I love to eat. We can pack it away like you wouldn't believe. We're really big fans of In 'n' Out, a good movie, and you know what? We pair it with Diet Coke. That way we can tell ourselves at least something is “healthy.”  
GL: And what do you like to do in your down time? 
Leah: I love reading and watching movies. I love old films. I love new films. I love like The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. I'm a huge nerd. But they're all kind of guilty pleasures, you know, being and avid reader and watching Star Wars. I don't know if anyone would be able to relate with me on that one, so I kind of keep it under wraps.

Catch Leah in Her Best Move, out on DVD August 19! And let us know if it has you screaming “you go, girl!” the entire time (it totally did for us!).

—Patricia McNamara

8/16/2008 2:04:00 PM
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