You Betta Work
By Noah Michelson
Can you tell us a bit about Sonja? For fans of Marissa on The O.C., will there be any bisexual exploration or drug abuse highs/lows?
I hope that after four seasons on “The O.C.” that fans took away more than just a tryst with Olivia Wilde. Marissa went through the gamut and she was just a high school girl from the insular world of Orange County, so I can only imagine the direction the writers will take Sonja. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was experimentation in both regards, but you’ll just have to tune in to find out. As for my character, though she’s barely older than the newbies, she’s already considered an established vet which I think will be used to her advantage, as well as her detriment.
Zac Posen is a big presence in the pilot. Which other designers would you love to see guest star?
I love Zac and I hope his presence in the pilot will lend itself to securing other big-name designers and models to guest star. I’d love to see the likes of Donatella Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Matthew Williamson, Alice Temperley, and other designers with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with and getting to know personally make appearances. I’d also like to see up-and-coming designers and their designs appear on the show as I think it could be a great launching pad to reach a lot of people on a grander scale.
With all the bare bodies and sexy shots throughout the pilot, there's definitely a voyeuristic, almost porny aspect to the show. What are you limits on nudity? How far would you go and why?
As I previously touched-upon, we’re limited as to how much we can show. In terms of the nudity, I’m not necessarily opposed to it if it’s integral to a role, but as far as TBL is concerned, I think we can remain true to the fashion world and scintillate viewers without going full frontal.
Can you clue us in to any major gay characters in the series? Are there any homo-friendly story arcs that might come along?
I think it would be reprehensible for their not to be gay-oriented storylines as many of the top industry tastemakers -- both behind-the-scenes and in the spotlight -- are gay. However, I wouldn’t want it to be gratuitous, but rather dealt with realistically and tastefully. I have heard rumors of a character or two dabbling in those arcs, so to speak.
As an actress you have to deal with a lot of paparazzi. How does that kind of headline-grabbing attention filter into the series with Sonja or the other actors' characters?
I think you have to reach supermodel status or date someone more famous than you in order to have the paparazzi on your trail as a model. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s quite as public or personal an industry as acting. Obviously, NYC is a Mecca of fashion, so models are more in the public eye; both on and off the catwalk. I’m hoping viewers will get to experience that to some degree with my character and the others on the show; even though in life, I wouldn’t wish it on my own worst enemy.
There are a lot of bitchy zingers and catty model talk. What's the nastiest thing you've heard someone say in the industry?
I guess the nastiest thing I’ve heard someone say is “That’s so last season”? Either that, or, some sort of scrutiny regarding a model’s weight…talk about pressure; makes an actress’ job look like a cakewalk.
-- JUSTIN OCEAN
Previously > A Tribute To Bea Arthur