Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal
Zoe Graystone in Caprica and Claire in The Big Bang
Currently Known For:
May 29, 1987
Zoe Graystone in Caprica and Claire in The Big Bang
“I was a very special child. I did stand-up comedy. I did it all.” One of the most ambitious young women in Hollywood today, Alessandra Torresani was actually born as Alessandra Olivia Toreson on May 29, 1987 in Palo Alto, California where her mother was a CEO and her father ran several startup tech companies. From an early age, Torresani took a cue from her parents and stayed busy as she first stepped on the dancefloor at two years old when her parents enrolled her in dance and voice lessons. By the time she was eight years old, she landed her first official gig on The WB Television Network where she interviewed celebrities between cartoons.
“I remember when I did this one interview over Christmas time with John Waters—I was asking him what his favorite movies to shoot were, and I also told him that my favorite movie at that time was Serial Mom with Kathleen Turner,” Torresani recalled of her interviewing gig. “I think that he thought it was really strange that an eight year old had watched that movie.”
Making her official television debut as the host of Kids’ WB Club for the San Francisco KBWB affiliate, Torresani made one-off appearances on episodes of KaBlam!, ER, and Working before she made her first film appearance in Lost and Found in 1999. The same year, she starred as Emma in the made-for-television movie My Last Love, and went full force into the new millennium with credits in Baby Bedlam, Mad Song, Popular, and Even Stevens. In 2001, she appeared as Sara Coleman in Malcolm in the Middle and made the rounds on television with cameos in JAG, Arrested Development, Grounded for Life, Bones, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. By then, she was well-adjusted to staying busy and tried her hand at stand-up comedy while juggling dozens of television and film auditions. “I did it all,” she said. “My family didn’t understand. ‘Aren’t you tired?’ I’m like, ‘No.’ I’m like an insomniac. I hardly sleep, I’m always on the move.”
Torresani found staying power in 2009 when she auditioned for and won the part of Zoe Graystone on Caprica, a sci-fi drama series and the spinoff prequel of Battlestar Galactica. “They didn’t give me the script at first, so I went into casting, directors and everything, and it was not a cold read, but just a script, and I just knew there was me, the regular girl, and then this avatar,” Torresani said of the audition. “At the time, we knew what an avatar was, but you know, you read a script and then suddenly you’re talking to yourself… It was very confusing to me, but it immediately hit me, as if I was born to do this. I just thought, ‘You know what? This avatar, Zoe, is a child. Everything’s brand new.’ And that’s how I treated her. She doesn’t realize she can talk, and then she learns to talk; you’ll see that in a couple of flashbacks. You’ll see how she first learns to walk; it’s like she’s a child.”
Although Torresani wasn’t familiar with Battlestar Galactica prior to landing the role, her performance struck a chord with the network and the series was picked up for one season, which was one of the best gifts she’s ever received. “I booked the show two weeks before my birthday, which was the best birthday gift ever, and then we shot it,” Torresani said. “We knew it got picked up around Christmas time. Ironically enough, I went to Disneyland for the Christmas spectacular bullsh-t that they have, and I’ve got my Jack Skellington earmuffs on (my best friends and I go to Disneyland like once a month) and I got a phone call while we were eating at my favorite Mexican restaurant… Everyone was drunk on margaritas, but I don’t drink so I was just chilling. That’s when I booked it and it got picked up, and that was the coolest thing in the world to me—I went to Disneyland, got some dope Mexican food with my best friends, and I got picked up for Christmas.”
Although the series was picked up, Caprica didn’t have staying power and was canceled after the first season. However, that didn’t stop Torresani from pushing forward as she released a series of YouTube videos on how to make it in show business and returned to film after a decade in the short film, Annie Goes Boating. She made cameos in RuPaul’s Drag Race, Warehouse 13, and American Horror Story, and picked up a recurring role as Haley in Husbands from 2011 to 2013.All About Claire: A Bartender, An Aspiring Screenwriter, and Raj’s Dream Girl
Adding in appearances in Two and a Half Men, The Fosters, and Workaholics, Torresani returned to primetime television in 2016 when she was cast as Claire, a bartender and aspiring screenwriter, in the ninth and tenth seasons of The Big Bang Theory. When she is first introduced, Raj and Howard meet her in the comic book store where she talks about her work writing a children’s science fiction series. She instantly hits it off with Raj and asks him to collaborate on the movie script; however, Raj declines thinking that Claire is hitting on him. Although he informs her that he’s in a relationship with Emily, Raj already envisions a future with Claire and breaks things off with his girlfriend.
Raj has high hopes for Valentine’s Day and plans to ask Claire on a date only to see his dreams shattered when he learns that Claire has rekindled her relationship with her ex-boyfriend. Through a comedic whirlwind of breakups and make-ups, Claire breaks up with her boyfriend again and asks Raj out for a drink just as he plans to make up with Emily. Although Raj chooses to stay with Claire, he secretly starts dating both women until Claire learns the truth and breaks up with him. By the tenth season, Claire makes one final appearance when she returns to Raj’s apartment where she meets his previous girlfriends in Raj’s failed attempt to find out why he sabotages his relationships. By then, Claire has happily moved on and admits that Raj is much too needy and vain!From Caprica to The Big Bang Theory and Beyond: Alessandra’s Life Today
“I want to be the poster girl for engineers and computer nerds.” Years before she snagged a recurring role on The Big Bang Theory, Torresani turned heads in 2011 for attending Coachella alongside Rob Kardashian, the only son of the infamous Kardashian family. With Rob competing on Dancing with the Stars in 2011, the tabloids were abuzz with Kardashian gossip, which made the photo of him and Torresani even bigger news as many wondered if the two were dating. While some critics argued the pair were only friends, others suggested that Torresani’s outfit of choice—sexy black shorts and a cherry red bra top—wasn’t something a woman would wear to hang out with a guy friend.
Unfortunately, the rumors of Kardashian and Torresani’s romance were never confirmed as Kardashian started dating singer Rita Ora. Afterward, he started a family with Blac Chyna with the birth of their daughter, Dream Renee Kardashian, in November 2016. However, trouble quickly followed as Kardashian confirmed their nasty split. So, what does that mean for Torresani? While nothing is confirmed since Torresani keeps a tight lid on her private life, that doesn’t mean she won’t rekindle her friendship (or romance) with the Kardashian heir. In fact, we can’t rule anything out since it doesn’t look like the 30-year-old actress is currently seeing anyone!
As for Torresani’s career, it looks like things might be slowing down for the actress after her 2018 film, Step Sisters, went direct-to-video. On television, her last credits came in Lucifer in 2016 and The Big Bang Theory in 2017, which leaves us to wonder what’s next for the former Caprica star?