Talking DROP DEAD DIVA with April Bowlby

I don’t think there’s a true “breakout star” of Lifetime’s DROP DEAD DIVA because the cast as a whole stands out above a lot of the other drivel we see on TV, but if I had to pick a favorite best friend on TV, the award is a toss up between Margaret Cho’s delightfully angry Teri and April Bowlby’s charming and struggling model Stacy.

In keeping up with this week’s DROP DEAD DIVA premiere week, I had the great chance to spend some time chatting with the lovely April Bowlby about what’s coming for Stacy and what she’d love to see happen for her character!

I missed the first call earlier because I was standing in the checkout at the pharmacy.  I told her that I was talking to you – she was thrilled!

Everyone I talk to loves this show!
Oh, that’s fantastic, I’m so glad to hear that!

I love the characters, I think the chemistry great.  Was that something you had right away or is that something that came from shooting together for a while?
I think we kind of had it right away, actually.  I feel like we were all a little shy, and a little new, and we’re all like, “does anyone know what’s going on? No? Awesome, ok great, we’re in the same boat.”  I think we connected quickly on that level and it just grew from there.

At the heart of the show, it’s about Jane, and Deb in Jane’s body, growing up and embracing a different side of the world, but Stacy has definitely grown too.  Talk a bit about Stacy’s growth from the beginning to where we are now going into the second season.
Well, she, I think she’s got a handle on her ideas about this new body, this Jane body.  I think she’s understanding of it more.  I think she’s been brought into a world that she would not have experienced without Jane’s help.  I think she’s more grounded, I think she understands how there’s a whole other section to this life that she hadn’t ever explored because she was doing very surfacey stuff, so now she actually gets to grow, have experiences that she never knew were possible.  She’s just maturing, she’s growing up [laughs]!

Tell me about the first episode of Season 2 – what’s happening, where do we start?
Yes, Season 2, first episode, we start off where we left in the last episode of season 1 with Jane’s husband,and we have no idea who this guy is.  The first episode, we discover who this husband is.  We kind of get to know the situation, and it reveals itself.  Stacy’s part in that is that she’s just sort of Jane’s sidekick in the first episode.  Just like, what’s going on, everyone calm down, let’s figure this out.  With the help of Fred the angel, and me, and also everyone else on Jane’s team, we calm down and figure out what’s going on.  It’s kind of exciting.  It’s a really strong episode.  We got to watch it the other day, and it feels like we shot it ages ago and you see where you started and where we are now, in the 9th episode, and lots of stuff  is happening!

Tell us a bit more about what’s coming this season!
Well, oh well, I don’t know if I can say that. [laughs] Jane gets a love interest which is kind of awesome and it’s not Grayson so that’s exciting and kind of a bummer.  What else happens?  I get a love interest, which is also exciting.  There’s scandal at the office.  Everyone is hooking up with everybody at the office!

You bring up Grayson – your character has the unique advantage of having known him also through Deb.  Do we get to explore that relationship, or is Grayson just accepting that you’re there without questioning it?
He’s kind of just accepting the fact that I’m there.  I’m just there, and he doesn’t really know why.  I think Jackson plays it brilliantly in the sense that he kind of leaves it like “oh it’s a girl thing so I don’t want to get too involved into that, so I’ll just leave them over there, and do their weird chick thing.” [laughs]

I love the interaction between you and Margaret Cho.  Was it written on the page that Teri is so protective of Jane?  Is that an animosity that was there from day one for these characters?
I think it was hinted at in the writing, but I think we kind of went with it.  It feels very natural that we both are from different worlds but we both want to protect this person and we don’t know why the other person is so territorial for Jane.  But we’re like “no no no she’s mine”, oh “no no no you don’t understand, she’s mine”!  It was hinted, but I think that Margaret and I just naturally went into that energy surrounding it.

One of the questions that came up when I put out a call for questions was what would you like to see Stacy experience or do?
I would like for her to get a job [laughs]. I want a steady job, I think that would be really fun. Right now, I feel like, I wonder what I do all day.  What is she doing, besides working out and looking at boys?  I think it would be really fun to have a job where Stacy learns how to bake.  Or she works at a bakery and it catches on fire or something like fun.

She definitely shows the willingness to learn.  We saw her help with her lawyering skills – that’s something that can be explored!
Right!  It’s an option!

The show has done great with guest stars.  Some shows cast for big names, but the guest stars are definitely incorporated into the show.  What do you have coming up guest star wise that we can look forward to?
We have such a strong line up this year it’s amazing.  Who do we have?  We have Vivica A Fox, we’ve got Cybill Shepherd.  We’ve got Ricki Lake, and Natasha Henstridge.  She just joined.  Just like really, really amazing, beautiful people.

So the DVD came out on Tuesday – why is now a good time to grab that DVD and get caught up?
I would say, watch it now, and get caught up.  I mean, obviously, our writers are so clever in how they write that you can watch the beginning of season 2 and get the gist of what’s going on.  You can catch up really quickly, you won’t be lost.  But I think that season 1 is just so full of beautiful fun, you fall in love with the characters through that process, that I would say you need to start with Season 1! It’s a fun, colorful way to begin!

What other shows are you watching when you have some downtime?
What am I watching?  I love MODERN FAMILY.  I think that is an amazing show. GREY’S ANATOMY of course!

Did you watch the finale?
I didn’t because I watch it online, and I haven’t done that yet.  Was it amazing?

Ah! Really?  Oh my god, well I know what I’m doing tonight!

Do you have anything else coming up besides DROP DEAD DIVA that we can look forward to?
What do I have?  There’s a film that I did over the summer, no actually it was Christmas, what am I talking about?  It’s called FROM PRADA TO NADA.  I don’t know when it’ll be released.  I think late summer maybe, so that will be real fun.  Wilmer Valderama is in it, and Camilla Belle as well.   And it was just a very fun, cute little movie!