Getting to know Clea Alsip

Clea Alsip stars alongside Clive Owen in the Broadway production of M. Butterfly, which opened at the Cort Theatre this week. We asked her to tell us about herself:

I am… an actor, collaborator, writer who really likes food and wine. I spend way too much time researching restaurants and creating “special occasions” to go to said restaurants.

My role in M. Butterfly is… sexy, funny, flirty, and bold. I get to, in multiple forms, represent the sexually forward Western woman. And often I am in disbelief that it is ME getting to do these things, playing these incredible women.

Working alongside Clive Owen is… dreamy. He’s dreamy. And so kind, funny, and professional. He was off book on day one, leading everyone to work their hardest and best, yet he cracks jokes and tells hilarious stories, so it’s a genuine joy to be around him. He is an amazing helmsman of our ship.

Aside from M. Butterfly, you can also catch me in… the upcoming, all female created web series “Friend Therapy” that I co-wrote and star in alongside my dearest friend Vella Lovell (of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and The Big Sick). The show is about two best friends who work through their political differences after the 2016 election in a series of hilarious, awkward, and potentially disastrous therapy sessions. It will be released for all to check out on November 7th! We’re so excited to share it with everyone.

I spend too much time… watching Project Runway. And eating peanuts. Often times simultaneously. I’ve watched every season of regular and All Stars. And recently began at season one again cause it’s just the best show about artists creating art! And the peanuts, well they’re just God’s gift to snacking.

I’ve never… made the bed first thing in the morning. I can’t do it. I know I should do it. I know it’s a “meditative beginning to your day” but nope. I just like to lay in it for a while and then go make breakfast, or run off to the gym. And then maybe make it later in the day, if my boyfriend hasn’t gotten to it before me. ; )

Home is… Brooklyn, NY. Though it originally was Tulsa, OK. For the longest time living in California and then New York, I still called Tulsa my “home.” I remember distinctly, about three years ago, returning to my apartment from Christmas in Tulsa, walking in my door, and thinking “ahhhhh, I’m home!” and it sort of surprised me. I suddenly realized Tulsa is where I’m from, yes, where my family is, yes, but it’s not my home. New York, my apartment and people here, that’s my home.

It might surprise people to learn that… I’m fluent in Spanish. I went to a Spanish Immersion school for elementary school. All my classes were taught in Spanish until the third grade when we had English class in English. But Math, Science, Music, History, etc. were all in Spanish. And then I went off to Stanford for undergrad and studied International Relations because I wanted to be a diplomat to foreign countries. I still kinda want to do that one day, actually, just in the, you know, actor-to-diplomat way now.

Keep up to date with Clea on Twitter.

M. Butterfly plays at the Cort Theatre now. For tickets and information, go here:

bobby townsend


Interview by Bobby Townsend. Photo by Chris Loupos.