Desperate Daughter

10.9.2006

By Jeffrey Epstein

Sure, we love all those Desperate Housewives, but when it comes to sass, no one dishes it out like Susan Mayer's daughter, Julie, played by the delightful Andrea Bowen, who is rather sassy herself. At just 16, the young actress has done Broadway (Les Miserables, The Sound of Music, Jane Eyre), film (she even voiced Bambi's girlfriend in the Disney flick's sequel), and, of course, television. Now she's tackling the third season of Housewives and going back to her roots'literally.

I feel like Julie is the unsung hero of the show. She gets all the good lines.

She does. That she does.

Doesn't get much of the credit though.

No, but this season she has much more of a prominent storyline. She's getting a new love interest, which is very fun. A very hunky love interest. He's going to be the new Jesse Metcalfe. I have a feeling.

And a hair color change. Love the new blonde!

Yes! This is my natural hair color. My natural hair color is very blonde.

You're kidding.

No! And they dyed it darker for the show. For the last two seasons every six weeks they dye it brown and everyone always thought it was brown. And then this season I was like, 'I don't want to be brown anymore. I want to let it grow out and I want it to be healthier.' So I asked and they were like, 'Sure, you can keep it,' and I was like, 'Wahoo!' But everyone's so shocked. They're very confused.

So they're working it into the story?

They don't mention it. They're just going to let people assume that she dyed her hair.

Now I'm a big musical theater geek, and you just did The Sound of Music at the Hollywood Bowl. That's kind of a full-circle thing for you, isn't it?

Yeah, right, it is, because I did it for two and a half years about nine years ago on Broadway and I was Marta. I was the second youngest one. Now I'm Liesl and it's so weird to have the Liesl lines coming out of my mouth. It's very confusing. But I'm having a blast and it's so good to sing and dance again and to be on stage. I feel like I'm rusty and I want to get back to it'I love it so much and I love doing what I'm doing. It's great to be doing both so I feel very complete as a person right now.

And Marc [Cherry, the show's creator] I'm sure is very supportive, since he's a huge musical theater fan.

He is. He's great, yeah. He loves musical theater so much, like, all of our scripts are named after songs. We have fun conversations about theater.

Going on that, I imagine growing up in the theater you must have known a lot of gay people.

Oh, yeah, my whole life.

Was it ever something that you always took for granted and then realized, 'Oh, it's a big deal to some people.'

I never thought of it as anything out of the ordinary because my family just always has raised me believing there's nothing wrong with it. I always knew gay people and always loved them. As a young girl, meeting them and knowing them, I didn't understand how people could not accept it. If someone loves someone, why does it matter who it is, you know? When I got a little older and I started to get more into politics and pay attention to more things, it was shocking to me how many people were not OK with it. I have so many gay friends and I love them all. I don't understand how people can't love them as well.

Do you find you get a big reaction from gay people?

With the show? Yes. It's very fun. I have gay men coming up to me all the time and just telling me how much they love my character and I love it. I really enjoy that.

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