BOCA RATON, Fla., May, 21, 2001 — Dark Angel’s Jennifer Blanc plays Kendra, the roommate of the aforementioned genetically enhanced Max, on the James Cameron-produced series. Kendra’s life revolves around dating, going out, partying and dressing up. A little like Blanc’s own life.
The season finale of Dark Angel will air Tuesday, but you can see more of Blanc when the Fox Television series returns in the fall for a second season. Or you can see Blanc on the big screen, as she’ll be filming a movie, tentatively called Bar Hop, in September in Montreal.
Blanc arrived for lunch — accompanied by her agent, her mom, her grandparents, and other assorted family members — looking very fashionable in a jean ensemble, which jumpstarted the proceedings.
You’re obviously very fashion conscious. I think you have a great sense of fashion. Where do you get your inspiration?
Jennifer Blanc: I kind of make it up as I go along. I get a certain idea in my head, and I change my hairstyle and what I’m wearing from week to week … I have a lot of people around me giving me advice.
But it’s still you.
Blanc: Yes, it’s still me. They give me a bunch of clothing and I do my own thing with it.
Where do you like to go shopping? What’s your favorite store?
Blanc: Lisa Klein’s a great store, Barneys is a great store…
No fair trying to plug stores you want free clothes from!
Blanc: [Laughs] Tracy Ross is a great store, and I like shopping at thrift stores a lot. There’s a store called Wearsville, which is near my house, that I love … Frankie B is one of my favorite designers.
What was the first role you got paid for? And what did you do with the money?
Blanc: The first serious paying job was Brighton Beach Memoirs on Broadway for a year. I did the national tour first. Some of it, obviously, went into a bank account, and some went toward our rent. My mom was struggling really, really hard to pay us as we were on our own, so some of it went to helping her.
Do you watch yourself on TV at all? Is it a hoot to see yourself?
Blanc: I watch myself, but I don’t know that it’s a hoot. I tend to pick myself apart. I think you always get better as an actress. So, by the time I see something, I feel like I’ve progressed and could have done it better.
Is doing Dark Angel as much fun as it seems?
Blanc: Yes. It’s been really cool. I’ve had the chance to work with James Cameron, everyone on the show is really hip and cool and fun. So far it’s been an amazing experience.
You said you tend to be critical of yourself. Do you ever catch an old Party of Five — [Blanc had a recurring role as Katie, Bailey’s girlfriend, on the first couple of seasons of the series]
Blanc: [Warily] Yeah…
Blanc: Everyone else loves it, but it makes me a little uncomfortable. Well, Party of Five not so much. But I was on an episode Saved By the Bell, which still airs a lot, and that makes me cringe. A friend of mine, Elizabeth Berkley, was on Saved By the Bell, and, thankfully, she’s come quite a ways since then. I guess everyone grows up.
Blanc: Michael Weatherly!
Really? That easy?
Blanc: Well, Scott and I had really good onscreen chemistry. But I think objectively, as a woman, Michael Weatherly‘s hotter.
The female characters on the show are really strong characters. Is that ever spoken about or discussed?
Blanc: It’s not really discussed, though I know there have been a couple of articles written about the strong women on our show. Again, it’s not really discussed, but it is kind of a given. The whole show is about incredibly strong physical women, who are trying to deal with their emotions. Usually women tend to be thought of as emotionally strong and physically have to catch up.
So now that we’re talking about the show, what can we expect from your character, Kendra? Is she going to marry Mr. Multiples?
Blanc: I don’t know what to expect from her, because the writers don’t tell us anything. I don’t know if they’re going to get married, I don’t know if he’s going to beat her up and she’s going to come running back, I don’t know if she’s going to become this terrible person. We’ll just have to see when the show comes back next year, which hopefully it will.
What kind of input do you have with your character?
Blanc: A lot, a lot. We can’t change the dialogue once it’s written, though. Our head producer, Charles Eglee, who also wrote Murder One, used to be Steven Bochco‘s partner, and Steven Bochco‘s very famous for never changing dialogue, for doing 25 takes just to get the “ands” and “thes” exact and Charles has a similar philosophy.
I recently saw a show [Friends ‘Til the End] on VH-1 where you play a psycho obsessed with Shannen Doherty –
Blanc: That is probably my most favorite role I’ve done so far. And I hope to have more opportunities to play a role like that. There are a lot of opportunities always sprouting from that, just because it airs all the time, and it has this weird little cult following. People have the songs from that on Napster. Zan Armstrong is the name of the character, and I love VH-1 for airing it every week. [Laughs] It was an incredible experience. I wish they would do a sequel! [Laughs]
That much fun?
Blanc: So much fun. We got to sing original songs, and I love singing. One of the things I am actually doing now is working on an album. And since that and Dark Angel are such big hits, there’s a lot of interest.
So, who would be your first choice to do a duet with on your album?
Blanc: Jewel. I think she’s incredible. Or Alanis Morissette. I like that kind of music and I think those two women are incredibly talented.
What’s your album name going to be?
Blanc: Baby J.J.
Blanc: Yup. It works, doesn’t it?
You look like you work out a lot …
Blanc: I take walks with my dog or I do Pilates, which is an amazing form of exercise. I try to switch it up a lot. I did Billy Blanks’ Tae-Bo for a really long time, and I still do some weight training in my house. Push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, etc. Yeah, I try to switch it up.
Do you watch movies? Who would you most like to be in a movie with?
Blanc: I’m more into documentaries. If I have to choose — Meryl Streep is up there. I just love her work. I would even just love to talk with her! Someone’s career that I like, as a young actress, is Patricia Arquette. I really like the roles she’s played. I didn’t necessarily like the movie Beyond Rangoon, but her role was incredible. And her role in True Romance is the ideal role I’d want to play.
Rumor has it that you have a tattoo. Confirmed or denied?
Blanc: Where’d you hear that?
On the Internet, where else?
Blanc: [Laughs] Yes, confirmed. Actually, I have three. One’s on my neck, it’s the Japanese symbol for chaos. One’s on my shoulder, Shannen [Doherty] and I got them together. And the third’s on my bikini line — two of them, an upside down rose with a petal falling off and a Chinese symbol.
What’s the last concert you went to?
Blanc: I went to TigerJam in Las Vegas. Third Eye Blind and John Mellencamp performed. Oh, and Kid Rock was there, and jumped up on the stage to do some stuff. He came with Pamela Anderson.
Are they a couple?
Blanc: [Knowingly] Oh, yeah!
You’re not going to get into trouble for that tidbit of gossip are you?
Blanc: I used to worry about that sometimes, when I did interviews. But now I see Angelina Jolie being so successful and outrageous at the same time — and she’s definitely more outrageous than any of us know — that I don’t even think about it anymore.
What’s the strangest thing in your purse right now?
Blanc: I don’t know, let’s see. [Dumps everything out of the purse onto the table] Hmm, my Coffee, Bean & Tea Leaf punch card. Here’s a picture of me as a kid. Here’s a photo of my spiritual guide, my Mont Blanc pen and the words to the song I’m about to record.
Why, that’s not strange at all. You’re normal!
Blanc: [Laughs] Yeah, I guess I’m pretty normal.