When the hit comedy Ugly Betty's first episode aired, an unusual character was briefly seen, in the form of a bandaged up woman, who Betty's nemesis Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams) met with. Since then, this character has made several more appearances, but her true identity has remained a mystery.
IGN TV was among a group of journalists visiting the Ugly Betty set this week, the morning after the show surprised many by winning Best Comedy Series at the Golden Globes, along with Best Actress in a comedy for America Ferrara's work in the title role. While there, we had a chance to speak to Rebecca Romijn, who is a new addition to the cast. "I can tell you that I play the mysterious masked woman," Romijn let us know, before adding, "And that's about all I can reveal about her!"
Despite our best efforts, Romijn was sworn to secrecy when it came to any other details about her character. However, she said she was having a great time working on the series and that, "I'm just happy to be a part of this amazing show with this amazing group of people. It's a happy show. It's light and bright." Romijn smiled, adding that, "It's a Golden Globe winning show! So now, you know, it's up to me to ruin it. It's all downhill from here."
Asked how she came to join the show, Romijn recalled, "Early on I was going on all these meetings with all the networks, and I'd watched all the pilots before they began airing. This one was by far my favorite. I immediately loved it." Referring to her short lived series from last year, Romijn elaborated that, "The tone of it reminded me of Pepper Dennis, which was partially my attraction to it. So I met with them very early on, and they pitched the idea to me, which was part of what I can't reveal to you yet, but I was thrilled."
Romijn of course got her start as a model, and Ugly Betty takes place in the fashion world. Asked if she felt the show was true to life, based on her experiences, she observed that, "The tone of the show is slightly larger than life and heightened, and the fashion industry as well is slightly larger than life, so this is heightened on top of heightened. So it's a slightly cartoony version if, but just as fabulous as can be." She also added, "Without telling too much about my character, obviously coming from the fashion world, I have a certain amount of expertise in that area, so there's some things that I brought to my character that comes from my own experience in that world." So far, the mysterious woman's scenes had consistently been with Wilhelmina, but Romijn let us know that she was currently filming her third episode, and that "I've worked with just about everybody at this point."
Romijn played the central role on Pepper Dennis, and she was asked if she enjoyed the different feeling of joining an ensemble cast with Betty. "I really do," she replied. "Having come from the X-Men franchise, which was also obviously a huge ensemble, it's really nice to be on a team. It's even nicer to be on a team that wins!"
I asked Romijn if we'd get to see her do a dramatic bandage unraveling scene, when we first see her character's face, and she replied, "I do. Actually that episode airs this week. My reveal is the next episode."
Commenting on the success of Ugly Betty on the heels of another hit fashion oriented show like Project Runway, Romijn observed that, "The design world in general has hit a real high, with all the makeover shows and Trading Spaces and all the design shows. There's a real design fever going on right now. And models have got a lot of attention, the fashion industry has really gotten a lot of attention. I think there's a real fever pitch right now."
When I asked Romijn if she was happy to learn she would be portraying the mysterious woman on Ugly Betty, she laughed, revealing, "To be honest with you, it had been airing for three weeks before I had my meeting. And that was the one part of the show where I was like, 'Ehh, this part of the story's going nowhere! Get back to Betty!' Now, all of the sudden, I'm like, 'Oh… She's very interesting, this mysterious, masked woman!'" Romijn noted that when she initially met with Executive Producer Silvio Horta and the other producers, "They already had an idea [for the character], and I was very excited."
Commenting on the appeal of doing a TV series versus films at this point in her career, Romijn remarked, "I'm in my early 30's, and I like to have a little bit more of a regular life. I think TV is an amazing place to work. There are some really good shows, and this is one of them."
Asked if she had her own, awkward, Ugly Betty moments growing up, the former model revealed, "I was very average in height, until I was about 14 or 15, and then I shot up. Between 15 and 17, I probably grew six inches. And it was so painful, and my body… I remember laying in bed, being like, 'This hurts so bad!' And I had really bad scoliosis. My bones just couldn't keep up with the muscle. My posture was terrible. I felt really awkward all the time. None of my clothes fit right."
"I used to layer my clothes, just to pad myself," said Romijn. "I would tie things around my waste. I would wear long johns underneath all my jeans, no matter how hot it was, just to make myself look thicker. And I was from Berkeley too, which wasn't exactly the fashion capital of the world. I'd grown up there in the '70s, and there was no fashion happening."
Recalling her experience on Pepper Dennis, Romijn said, "I hadn't really had a chance to do that kind of comedy and dialogue. As heartbreaking as it was for me to see that show go away, I learned a lot about myself. I didn't realize I could work that hard! I didn't know I was capable of working that hard. It was so many hours, it was amazing. And now I'm seeing America go through it."
Romijn recounted her start modeling, saying, "I was a student at UC Santa Cruz. I had a girlfriend that I'd gone to high school with, who was at college with me. She was with an agency in San Francisco and she kept begging me to come with her. I wasn't interested for a couple of years. Then after my first year of college, I didn't have any money, I was restless, and so I went with her to San Francisco one day. And there was a scout from Paris visiting, and they invited me to Paris. So I literally took some pictures, I finished my final exams, and then I got on a plane and went to Paris."
Before Pepper Dennis and now Ugly Betty, Romijn was not known very much for comic roles, but she told us, "I really wanted to do comedy. Action movies and special effects movies require a tremendous amount of patience, because it's ultimately not the actors medium. You don't know how it's going to look at the end of the day when you're working in front of a green screen. So to do comedy, you get to have a lot more fun. And I wasn't really interested in doing like a procedural type show. To do legal, medical jargon… To do dialogue that you have no connection with; I wouldn't want a job like that."
Asked what she's heard about more X-Men Films, Romijn said, "I actually don't know what they're planning to do with it. I was signed on for three [movies], so my stint is more or less done at this point." However, when asked if she was open to the possibility of doing another X-Men film, she replied, "Yeah, sure. We'll see if they decide to do any more."
When we brought up the fact that the last time we saw Mystique she was depowered, Romijn noted that, "Well, you know, they can always turn these things back around! It's not like I was dead or anything."
Original article: IGN.com
Jerry O'Connell Gets Ugly
Kristin from E! Online: "Actually, my bat phone just rang with some fantastically exclusive, breaking Ugly Betty dish: Jerry O’Connell joins his beloved Rebecca on Ugly Betty! I’m told he’s shooting a one-episode guest spot this Wednesday (01-24-2007, RRF), and AlexIS (Rebecca) is going to flirt with his character. I, for one, can’t wait to see Jerry O’C. flirt with his now transgendered (on the show) fiancée! Genius!
Original article: E! Online.com
Romijn + Gayheart share same sex kiss
Rebecca Romijn and Gayheart are set to shock fans by sharing a same sex kiss and embrace on an upcoming episode of hit sitcom Ugly Betty. Romijn, who plays a transsexual on the show, admits she had no problems smooching Gayheart, but could keep a straight face when the two actresses had to embrace afterwards.
She says, "The smooch wasn't nearly as bad as the embrace we had to endure afterwards. "For some reason they needed this long embrace to happen and neither of us could keep it together."
Original article: Yahoo!
Unhappy Rebecca Romijn to Quit 'Ugly Betty'
Actress Rebecca Romijn is quitting Ugly Betty after the current second season, claiming new writers on the show have wrecked her character.
Romijn has become a regular cast member since first appearing as Alexis Meade in the first season of the ABC TV show.
A third season has been approved, but Romijn will only return for guest appearances--hinting that she has fallen out with the new writing staff recruited after the Writers Guild of America strike late last year.
She tells NYPost.com's Pop Wrap, "They made a tremendous amount of changes, especially with the writing staff (during the strike).
"And while I know I'll be coming back next season, with all the changes, I'm not sure they can take care of my character the way they have been. So I'll be leaving, back in a recurring capacity, but time for me to leave and find something else."
Original article: Hollywood.com