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“My career after Life Unexpected took a really big dip, and I realized you have no control as an actor over the process of going to work.I decided I was not going to sit at home and wait for the phone to ring.She also kept busy acting, with a six-episode stint on Chicago Fire, one episode of Law & Order: SVU, and a Lifetime movie, Kristin’s Christmas Past.“Shiri looked at all the people she idolized in the industry and saw the common thread was that they had their hand in more than just acting,” says her husband, Jon Shook, a Los Angeles chef and restarauteur, who won a James Beard award last month with his partner, Vinny Dotolo.When Alloy asked Appleby to return for a scene in the show’s second season, Allen advised her to take the job — if the production company would also let her direct. “I showed myself that I knew how to at least take the first baby steps with confidence,” Appleby says, “so then I went and met with studios.” She started with the CW and ABC Family, hoping her connections at those networks and their affiliated studios would open doors.Executives counseled her to land a lead role, make that show a hit, and then ask to direct an episode.
There’s a sweetness to Shiri that is really disarming.” Appleby turned her attention to acting, hoping that if that show was a success, it could also lead to her first directing credit.This is Appleby’s most high-profile role since she played Liz Parker on the WB sci-fi series Roswell, 14 years ago, but for the past five years, the actor has been more focused on climbing the ranks behind the camera.“Being able to be the person that’s finally calling the shots and saying, this is how I read it and how I imagine it — it’s very liberating to be able to speak your mind with confidence,” Appleby says.“I had initially conceived her as being a bit heavier because she lives behind the scenes and eats pizza all night and is a schlubby production girl, like I was,” Shapiro laughs. Then Shiri walked in the door.” Appleby had seen Sequin Raze and knew this role was different."Most of the roles I’ve had, usually the story’s about how the man affects my character," she says.