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Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) I've been working a lot, but it is now just starting to all come out. With a lot of my "South of Nowhere" castmates, I just finished filming Cowgirl Up 2 with Nancylee Myatt, who was our co-Executive Producer on "South of Nowhere" on the first two seasons. It's a webseries and a comedy, which is really great for me to play. I've been doing a lot more of those lately. I did a pilot about a year ago with Cedric the Entertainer. I also recently did the movie Divorce Invitation. I did National Lampoons: Another Dirty Movie, as well, which was directed by Jonathan Silverman. Then, I created a reality show called "Beverly Hills Nannies," which airs on ABC Family. We are waiting right now for our pick up for a second season.
Q) I know you and the "South of Nowhere" cast were working to get a reunion.
A) We were trying so hard, but the network wouldn't go for it. All of us want to do it so badly and Cowgirl Up was great because I got work again with Mandy Musgrave and Matt Cohen, who are two of my closest friends. Aasha Davis and Valerie Ortiz were there, too. It was like a mini reunion. As you know, the actors did the campaign with Nancylee. The fans were behind it, but we just couldn't get any network to go for it. It was too bad! I want to let the fans know that as much as they wanted it, we really wanted it. We will always have those memories. We're still trying to get conventions together so we can reach out to the fans because that show is timeless. It's still as important today, if not more so, because now so many shows are capturing and portraying these characters. At the time, we were one of the first (in my opinion) to bravely and honestly (and not for shock value) represent them. It was an amazing series that will really stand the test of time. If the fans want to see it, they need to keep tweeting Teen Nick and saying they want to see more reruns of it. It's up to the fans to have the voice.
Q) You are in the Lifetime TV movie teenage Bank Heist. What made you want to be a part of the film?
A) They came to me about it. It was a really, really great script. I had worked for Lifetime before, but usually as the leads best friend. It's really Abbie Cobb's movie, who plays my daughter. There are two separate storylines, basically. We are mother and daughter bank tellers. She is seventeen years old and, unlike her friends who know where they are going to college after school, she happens to be floundering a little bit. As her mom, I'm not really happy about that. I'm a single mom and I have her working at the bank to try to get her focused. When the movie opens, the bank is being held up by three thugs and she is taken hostage. There are really two separate stories, one is her journey through that and the other is a frantic mother trying to save her daughter and she'll stop at nothing. My character, Joyce, is pretty kick ass. She is pretty determined. Nothing is going to stand in her way of finding her daughter.
Q) What did you find challenging about the role?
A) I found it intriguing because it is primarily an all female cast. The actresses are amazing. Abbie Cobb also worked on "90210," but we never had any scenes together. She really played this tremendously well. The girls just do an amazing job. I thought it was a really cool movie for Lifetime to do because they are sort of known for their romances and this is an action thriller drama. As far as the part, it was personal for me because I had just come off of about fourteen months of a lot of loss. I had just lost my dad about fourteen months before I shot this film. I lost my father, my best male friend from college and then it was my dog. Those were three big males for me to lose. After all that, my boyfriend and I decided to part ways. We're still really good friends, but that was a lot of loss. As far as this character, I really needed to dig deep and tap into a lot of stuff. Joyce's whole world changes that morning at the bank. She loses her life and her daughter. The whole movie takes place in one day and sometimes going through that loss seemed like an eternity. The losses that I had were really tough. Losing my best guy friend at such an early age was tragic and I was the only girl in the family, the baby, so you can imagine how hard it was for me to lose my dad. It is natural though to lose your pet, but my dog died really early. Each loss wasn't easy in it's own way, but at the same time it isn't natural for a parent to lose their child. You shouldn't have to bury your child. In this movie, her child is taken at gunpoint. So, it is the longest day of this woman's life and she is not going to stop at anything until she gets her daughter. It doesn't matter who is in her way and what she has to do. I would have done the same to get back any of the three that I lost. I would kick some serious ass! It was pretty great for me to play because it was therapeutic for me to tap into those emotions.
Q) What was your chemistry like with your castmates?
A) It was great to form such strong friendships on this movie. We didn't have the four seasons (three years) that I had with the "South Of Nowhere" cast, but in one month I formed an amazing friendship with all these girls. We're watching the movie together and we will be live tweeting. They are just great girls!
Q) Why will people want to take their time to tune in to see Teenage Bank Heist?
A) If anyone has watched Lifetime before I think it will be a different type of movie. I think that will catch them. Also, they won't be able to tell what's coming right from the beginning to the next moment. There is a huge twist at the beginning! I think it will be one of those things that has you on the edge of your seat. You just don't know what twists and turns are coming next. The performances by these girls...The girls are just amazing. They all did a great job! Rosa Blasi was such a joy to work with, as well. She plays a detective trying to find my daughter. We've just become such great friends. The whole experience was amazing and the director did an incredible job capturing all of the nuances. It wasn't just a one note movie. There are a lot of different layers.
Q) Is there any charity work you would like to share with your fans?
A) One thing that I have been working with this year is that I am an ambassador for a women's energy drink. It's called Go Girl Energy Drink. The reason I'm so passionate about it is because Go Girl Energy Drink gives back to breast and ovarian cancer 365 days a year. It doesn't just give during September, which is Ovarian Cancer Month, or October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A lot of companies just use those months to donate to those causes. Go Girl Energy Drink, from it's inception, has given back to ovarian and breast cancer research and awareness every single day of the year. That's really personal to me because my mom is a fourteen year survivor of ovarian cancer and my friend lost his sister at age sixteen from breast cancer. I just think it is important to keep the message going all year round. I'm just so excited to be working with them. Not to mention, that my best friend, Shannon Deary-Bell, is CEO of the company and was my roommate from University of Southern California. It's just a great drink and I encourage anyone looking for an energy drink for your hand to go towards Go Girl because you'll be doing something so good by giving back to ovarian and breast cancer. I know that my mom wouldn't be around if it weren't for companies like this giving towards research. You can get it at most major grocery stores and you can order it online.
PHOTO ONE AND TWO BY CHARLES CHRISTOPHER