A Moment with Actress April Bowlby

August 20, 2012 3:33 PM

Best known for her role as Stacy on Drop Dead Diva, and also for her supporting role as Kandi, Alan Harpers quirky, head-in-the-clouds girlfriend, and subsequent ex-wife in the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, April Bowlby stumbled upon acting, by way of modeling and through comedy, and has found her niche in show business. After moving to LA to pursue a modeling career, April discovered a world of comedy, simply by having a down-to-earth personality and a natural knack for making those around her (and behind the camera) laugh. April opens up about her instant change of career and what she plans on doing in the future with her side-splitting acting career.

 

*1. I've read that you stumbled upon acting while pursuing a modeling career in LA. How are these two professions different? What would you be doing if you weren't doing either?

Modeling and acting are so different because in acting, the core of it, you definitely have to make choices and you have to get out there and really stand behind the choices that you’ve made in your acting. Choices like what the character is, and how to play that character. In modeling you kind of just show up, and you’re there, and everyone else makes choices. The makeup artist, the stylist, the photographer, the lighting, the poses-- I mean you are in charge of your angles and what you do with your body but it’s not like acting where it’s like, literally, you’re putting yourself out there emotionally. And I think that’s one of the best things about acting. You’re really responsible for what you do; there’s no photoshopping, you’re just out there.

If I wasn’t doing acting, one of my dreams when I was little was, I’d like to be a florist or work in a flower shop. It just smells good all the time and you’re surrounded by amazing, beautiful flowers. And then also, a close second would be a librarian.

2. Speaking of being a model, you almost seem to be a chameleon in the sense that your look can be changed drastically by changing your hair color, etc. This is obviously a good thing in your profession. What look do you prefer most for your personal style?

I love jeans, and flip flops, and a t-shirt. Maybe a belt, if I get crazy! And I just love to have clean makeup. Maybe some blush and a little mascara. Most of the time I pull my hair back just because it’s easy and I like it out of my face. But if I’m feeling kind of funky, I’ll tousle it and just have it down. But really it’s just very low-maintenance, be comfortable in a certain way where it’s put together but super casual.

3. Your first major sitcom role was as Kandi in Two And A Half Men, where you played Alan's(Jon Cryers) short-lived wife. You've also played the love interest of Barney's (Neil Patrick Harris) in How I Met Your Mother. Which role did you most enjoy playing, that of Kandi or "Crazy" Meg?

You know, I love them both. But I have to say, Kandi was really fun to play, and so was Crazy Meg. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing crazy, goofy girls, but one, Two and a Half Men was filmed in front of a live audience and so it raises the stakes and is really intense so I think the payoff is so much bigger on that show. How I Met Your Mother, the producers are laughing, but it’s not a whole audience, which I really love. I think Meg was a little crazier than Kandi; I think Kandi was more innocent and just kind of loopy, like she really had no idea what anyone was thinking. Almost like, “why is no one on her level”? And I think it was just a really fun thing to play.

4. In Drop Dead Diva, you play Deb's (Jane's) BFF, Stacy Barrett. Stacy's inventive and entrepreneurial side gets a lot of attention on the show. Do you have any hobbies in your personal life that can relate to Stacy's quirky characters’ hobbies?

I do sometimes. I am always trying to find things to keep me busy because as an actor, when you have down-time, you really have down-time. So I have done a few things similar to Stacy. I’ve taken a self-defense class. I think Stacy knows how to kick some ass. Also, I’m a baker and this season she’s opened her "Pakery", and I also enjoy baking. I also like to make jam. Jam is great, you can put it on everything! I do admire Stacy’s abilities because every day it’s something new, and I don’t have that, but we have similarities.

5. How does your personal style compare to Stacy's from DDD?

Stacy likes to wear all these bright colors and is certainly always put together; I’m more white t shirt and black jeans. I don’t have as much color in my wardrobe as Stacy does, or as many dresses. I just really love my jeans!

6. We've seen Jane get pretty involved with a significant other in recent episodes. Does Stacy happen to get romantically involved with someone this season?

This season, she’s been so busy with her "Pakery", that there is no love interest for Stacy this season. I’m sure there’s going to be something next season. Come on, everyone has a love interest except her this season.

7. Brooke Elliot and Margaret Cho are hilarious women. How much fun is it to work with the cast of DDD on a daily basis?

It’s amazing. We’ve been doing it for about four years now, so everyone is comfortable and it’s not even like going to work. You barely get nerves in your belly anymore. It’s like doing theater with your friends. You just laugh and you know your lines, and you play off of each other. I think
that’s why it’s so funny because everyone is so comfortable and every take is different because you’re just playing off the other person. It's a joy. Everyone is so talented on our show, it’s amazing.

8. As the fourth season of DDD unfolds, what can we expect in the next few episodes? Any juicy bits you can share with us?

I think I can say this, but I’m not going to say anything else; there is a wedding. And it's not a dream sequence, it’s a real wedding!

9. Being a California girl myself, I know what it's like to be away from the Golden State for long periods of time. Do you miss California while you're on set in Atlanta for DDD?

So much! I miss it so much! There’s no place like California. We’re lucky enough to grow up here, and it’s just what we know, so when we go someplace else that we don’t really know it’s kind of like, huh?? And what? There’s no ocean 20 minutes away! I don’t get it. It’s definitely a challenge especially with the summer months in Atlanta. It’s a different kind of heat. That takes a while to get adjusted to, but it’s a fun state, Georgia. Definitely different from California and I did get very homesick for the first couple of months.

10. Can you tell us what your favorite thing about performing is? Whether it be on stage, dancing or in front of the camera, acting?

So there’s an immediate payoff. To get in touch with what’s going on with you and to have an audition or a performance piece that you can relate to, it’s almost therapeutic. You can be like, okay, this person is going through this on the script, what am I going through? You really have to
look at yourself and figure out how to play it. I really like the self-exploration part of performing because you have to make it real and the only way to do that is to go inside of yourself and I think that’s my favorite thing about performing.

11. I've seen pictures of you at the AIDS Research Alliance. Are there any charities or organizations that you feel passionate about?

It’s funny that you ask that! I’m just starting to get into some environmental organizations and I haven’t picked one yet to get my name behind. I’m definitely into the environment, and saving our planet and our water. We have to figure this out. We just landed on Mars; we have to figure out how to recycle!

12. What's one thing people don't know about you, or a funny story you'd like to share with us?Any prom date horror stories? Your favorite music to dance to in front of the mirror? Any secret talents?

Do I have any secret talents? Well it’s a secret (Laughs). I’m not sure I have any secret talents. My favorite music to dance to {In front of the mirror} shockingly enough is Radiohead! It’s not a get-up and like YEAH, but it’s kind of a more sensible, hey look at me!

13. If you could transform into any person alive or dead who would it be and why?

Hmmm...that’s a really good question. I would like to be Mikhail Baryshnikov because he is the most amazing dancer in the world. I think it would be cool to be in his body, one, because he’s a guy, and two, he’s just incredible!

14. If you could transform into anything, object, animal, etc.. what would it be and why?

Oooh...I’d probably be a tree because they give life and they are just majestic. They don’t go anywhere and they live for so many hundreds of years and they must see a lot of change in the world!

15. What can we expect from April Bowlby in the future? Any major dramas? Would you like to stick to comedies? Maybe all of the above? Do you have any specific roles that you look forward to conquering in your career?

I love my comedy! I love, love, love it. I definitely have no problem doing it for the rest of my life but I would also like to do a kick-ass role. Like a girl in the Matrix or something dressed in black and really serious.*

Interviewed by Dianne Jacques

Edited by Yuan Yuan Wang & Patrik Lundberg

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