Heather Hemmens, at age 22, is getting a taste of what it’s like to be one of the mean girls.

And she’s having the time of her life.

Hemmens, who is from the small town of Waldo in the Belfast area, is an actress who got her big break this year with a role in the new CW Network cheerleading drama “Hellcats.”

Hemmens plays Alice Verdura, a cheerleader at a Southern college who loses her spot on the cheer squad to a pre-law student (Aly Michalka). But the pre-law student doesn’t really want to cheer. She just needs the scholarship.

Hemmens had never cheered, so the unique dynamic of a cheerleader’s world is new to her. But as an actress, she enjoys, and even admires, her mean girl character.

“It’s amazing to play her, because she’s so brave and outspoken,” Hemmens said. “I don’t agree with her tactics, but I admire that she just goes after what she wants.”

“Hellcats,” which premiered on the CW Network on Sept. 8, airs at 9 p.m. Wednesdays. The CW Network is known for dramas aimed at teenagers and 20-somethings, including “Gossip Girl,” “90210” and “The Vampire Diaries.”

Hemmens got involved in acting by doing a school play when she was in the fifth grade at Morse Memorial School in Brooks. She played Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.”

Her teacher, Dale Breau, later helped her get involved in community theater in Belfast, and she eventually attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts, a performing arts school in Greater Boston.

In the past few years, she has landed guest roles on prime-time TV dramas such as “CSI: Miami” and “Without a Trace.”

She considers “Hellcats” her big break.

While she enjoys playing a mean girl, Hemmens said the cheerleading and dancing parts of the role have been tough for her. Although she does have experience in martial arts, she had never cheered.

“The martial arts has helped me, but I have to work on the dancing constantly,” she said. “It’s definitely not as easy for me as the dialogue is.”

Hemmens’ friends and family have been very supportive as she has worked to establish an acting career, and they are thrilled that she’s on a prime-time network show, she said.

“There’s been a mountain of support from my parents, friends, the high school – everyone,” she said. “I’m just thankful to be from a place like Maine.”

 

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: [email protected]